Algae and Self-Sustaining Energy
Bio Energy & Pen and InkFrom the Artist:
“To create this piece I started thinking about the immense potential algae holds as a source of new energy. I started drawing cluster of algae intuitively to show the development and growth happening within them. I wanted to show them as unique clusters of energy that comes together to create a power station that will play a huge part in survival of human species in the future. This is something that will benefit not only our lives but the earth as a whole.”
— Elle Kim
Student scientist Wayne Vigil Jr. had a hunch. He thought he could utilize photosynthetic algae biomass for energy. He placed algae in Knop’s solution (a nutrient solution used to growth plants) with agarose gel (a substance that allows electricity to flow freely). Once the algae reached a stage of proliferation the cells were producing a significant amount of voltage consistently. With the use of a designated cathode the electricity gathered increased 806%. The cells acted not only as a photovoltaic unit, but as a battery unit as well. Not only did the cells produce energy but they were self-sustaining units. This means the cells acted as an energy source and storage unit, vastly increasing its efficiency.
Elle Kim is a graphic design, typography, illustration and installation artist based in New York, NY. She attended Rhode Island School of Design where she received a BFA in Graphic Design, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she received an MFA in 2D Design. Her work has been published in the Art Directors Club - Young Gun 8, Asia-Pacific Design (APD) No.7, Design 360 magazine and Surface Magazine.