Penn State researchers look at to giant clam for clues to algae biofuel production

November 2, 2017 |

In Pennsylvania, researchers at Penn State are investigating the role of giant clams as “solar transformers” because they are capable of absorbing bright sunlight at a very high rate and scattering it over a large surface area. When the light is distributed evenly among the thick layer of algae living inside the clam, the algae quickly converts the light into energy. They are to trying to mimic the system by abstracting the principles of the clam’s process to create a material that works similarly and have came up with a method of synthesizing nanoparticles and adding them to an emulsion—a mixture of water, oil, and soapy molecules called surfactants—to form microbeads mimicking the iridocytes, the cells in giant clams responsible for solar transforming.

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Category: Research

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