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Seawater desalination and co-generation of electricity using solar energy and halorhodopsin-expressing E. coli

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6 Author(s)
Hoi Sung ; Dept. of Chem., Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China ; Ka Yan So ; Ho Chun Lai ; Wing Sum Lo
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Fresh water shortage and energy crisis are some of the most critical problems in the world. There are many methods to desalinate salt water, yet most of them are of high cost and energy-intensive. In our project, we attempt to use genetically engineered E. coli that could overexpress halorhodopsin to desalinate sea water with solar energy. Electricity can be generated from the change of salinity, using a pair of specially crafted electrodes (sodium manganese oxide and polypyrrole). Here the progress in expression of halorhodopsin and electrode fabrication is reported. As an undergraduate research group, our work also sheds light on how undergraduates can take initiatives and greater autonomy in cutting-edge research.

Published in:

Technology and Society in Asia (T&SA), 2012 IEEE Conference on

Date of Conference:

27-29 Oct. 2012

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