Solar Poster 2011 - Metabolism

Solar Poster 2011 - Metabolism

Durability of Dragons Blood Pigment in Dye-Sensitized Photovoltaic Cells
Brett Jones and Jim Bidlack
Department of Biology, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK 73034

Figure
Figure 1:
1: Brett
Brett Jones
Jones applying
applying Dragons
Dragons Blood
Blood pigment
pigment to
to cells.
cells.

Figure
Figure 2:
2: Power
Power curve
curve results
results for
for 17
17 days
days in
in original
original experiment.
experiment. This
This data
data was
was gathered
gathered in
in aa prior
prior experiment
experiment using
using hand-made
hand-made cells,
cells, and
and it
it is
is expected
expected that
that the
the manufactured
manufactured plates
plates will
will perform
perform better.
better.

INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
ItIt is
is not
not aa question
question of
of ifif the
the world
world will
will run
run low
low on
on fossil
fossil fuel
fuel supplies,
supplies, but
but of
of
when
when this
this will
will occur.
occur. As
As itit appears
appears that
that this
this scenario
scenario will
will unfold
unfold sooner
sooner rather
rather
than
than later,
later, itit is
is necessary
necessary that
that alternative
alternative means
means of
of electricity
electricity generation
generation are
are
developed.
developed. One
One of
of the
the most
most promising
promising alternative
alternative energy
energy technologies
technologies is
is the
the
photovoltaic
photovoltaic cell.
cell. However,
However, traditional
traditional silicon
silicon cells
cells are
are costly
costly to
to construct.
construct.
Fortunately,
Fortunately, an
an alternative
alternative to
to common
common photovoltaic
photovoltaic cells
cells exists
exists in
in the
the form
form of
of
thin
thin film
film photovoltaic
photovoltaic cells.
cells. These
These cells
cells can
can be
be thinner,
thinner, more
more cost
cost effective,
effective,
easier
easier to
to construct,
construct, and
and lighter
lighter than
than traditional
traditional photovoltaic
photovoltaic cells.
cells. A
A subset
subset of
of
thin
thin film
film photovoltaic
photovoltaic cells
cells is
is the
the dye
dye sensitized
sensitized solar
solar cell,
cell, which
which this
this project
project is
is
focused
focused on.
on. Currently,
Currently, there
there are
are some
some dye
dye sensitized
sensitized solar
solar cells
cells used
used in
in
commercial
commercial products,
products, however
however these
these cells
cells typically
typically use
use toxic,
toxic, caustic,
caustic, and
and
inorganic
inorganic dyes.
dyes. Some
Some of
of these
these dyes
dyes are
are expensive,
expensive, which
which while
while negating
negating the
the
cost
cost benefit,
benefit, does
does retain
retain the
the other
other three
three benefits.
benefits. Yet,
Yet, to
to make
make this
this technology
technology
viable
viable as
as aa replacement
replacement to
to fossil
fossil fuel
fuel electricity
electricity generation,
generation, costs
costs of
of production
production
must
must be
be lower.
lower. Organic
Organic dyes
dyes are
are an
an attractive
attractive option,
option, but
but these
these tend
tend to
to decay
decay
after
after some
some days
days or
or weeks
weeks in
in operation.
operation. Typically
Typically these
these dyes
dyes are
are part
part of
of the
the
photosynthesis
photosynthesis process
process in
in plants.
plants. In
In this
this experiment,
experiment, an
an ancient
ancient dye
dye derived
derived
from
from Daemonorops
Daemonorops draco
draco was
was evaluated,
evaluated, as
as itit has
has been
been used
used in
in various
various
applications
applications since
since antiquity
antiquity and
and has
has proven
proven to
to be
be durable
durable in
in other
other applications
applications
where
where itit is
is exposed
exposed to
to light
light (Edward
(Edward et
et al.,
al., 2001).
2001).
Plant
Plant Pigments:
Pigments: ItIt has
has been
been demonstrated
demonstrated that
that aa thin
thin film
film coating
coating of
of TiO
TiO2,2, on
on
conductive
conductive glass
glass which
which is
is impregnated
impregnated with
with dye
dye molecules
molecules and
and in
in contact
contact with
with
aa suitable
suitable redox
redox mediator,
mediator, can
can facilitate
facilitate an
an electron
electron transfer
transfer process
process that
that
mimics
mimics photosynthesis
photosynthesis (ORegan
(ORegan and
and Gratzel,
Gratzel, 1991).
1991). In
In this
this process,
process, TiO
TiO22 acts
acts
as
as the
the electron
electron acceptor
acceptor and
and an
an iodine
iodine solution
solution replaces
replaces water
water as
as the
the electron
electron
donor
donor (redox
(redox mediator).
mediator). ItIt does
does not
not appear
appear to
to matter
matter ifif the
the dye
dye was
was used
used by
by the
the
plant
plant to
to help
help harvest
harvest light,
light, but
but rather
rather that
that the
the wavelength
wavelength and
and chemical
chemical
structure
structure facilitating
facilitating bonding
bonding with
with the
the TiO
TiO22 allows
allows for
for better
better electron
electron excitation,
excitation,
as
as demonstrated
demonstrated with
with flavanoid
flavanoid and
and anthocyanin
anthocyanin dyes
dyes extracted
extracted from
from plant
plant
materials
materials and
and used
used separately
separately in
in TiO
TiO22 nanocrystalline
nanocrystalline cells
cells (Cherepy
(Cherepy et
et al.,
al.,
1997;
1997; Smestad
Smestad and
and Gratzel,
Gratzel, 1998).
1998).

MATERIALS AND METHODS

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Photovoltaic
Photovoltaic cells
cells were
were constructed
constructed and
and tested
tested in
in the
the Biology
Biology Department
Department at
at the
the University
University of
of Central
Central
Oklahoma.
Oklahoma. Procedures
Procedures for constructing cells were
were derived
derived from
from aa Nanocrystalline
Nanocrystalline Solar
Solar Kit
Kit purchased
purchased from
the
the Institute
Institute of
of Chemical
Chemical Education
Education at the University of Wisconsin in
in Madison, Wisconsin. Pre-constructed
tin-annealed
tin-annealed glass plates (titanium dioxide-coated anodes
anodes and platinum-coated cathodes)
cathodes) and their
corresponding
corresponding thermoplastic
thermoplastic seals
seals were
were obtained
obtained from
from Dyesol
Dyesol of
of Queanbeyan,
Queanbeyan, Australia.
Australia. The
The resin
resin required
required
to
to make
make the
the Dragons
Dragons Blood
Blood dye
dye (Daemonorops
(Daemonorops draco)
draco) was
was obtained
obtained from
from Mountain
Mountain Rose
Rose Herbs
Herbs of
of Eugene,
Eugene,
Oregon.
Oregon. All other
other materials
materials were
were supplied
supplied from
from Sigma-Aldrich
Sigma-Aldrich in
in St. Louis,
Louis, Missouri.
Missouri. Monitoring
Monitoring of
of voltage
voltage
produced
produced by
by photovoltaic
photovoltaic cells
cells was enabled
enabled through
through use
use of
of an
an ADC-16
ADC-16 board
board connected
connected to
to a data
data logger
logger from
Pico
Pico Technology,
Technology, Ltd.,
Ltd., United
United Kingdom.
Kingdom.

No
No results
results have
have been
been gathered
gathered yet
yet from
from this
this experiment,
experiment, as
as the
the experiment
experiment is
is ongoing.
ongoing.
The
The experiment
experiment will
will run
run for
for aa period
period of
of 30
30 days,
days, and
and data
data will
will be
be analyzed
analyzed at
at that
that time.
time.
Each
Each manufactured
manufactured cell
cell may
may have
have lower overall
overall voltage
voltage than
than the
the previous
previous experiment,
experiment,
as
as the
the area
area of each
each cell is smaller than cells used in the previous experiment.
However,
However, it
it is
is anticipated
anticipated that the voltage-per-area will
will be higher and that each cell will
be
be more
more consistent
consistent with
with similar
similar cells
cells in
in power
power output.
output.

Exactly
Exactly 5.0 grams
grams of
of Daemonorops draco
draco resin were
were soaked
soaked in 40 mL
mL of
of acetone
acetone for three days
days to
to create the
the
dye
dye preparation.
preparation. Photovoltaic
Photovoltaic cells using the dye were constructed using tin
tin dioxide
dioxide (SnO
(SnO22)) coated
coated
conductive
conductive glass plates with
with a triiodide
triiodide electrolyte
electrolyte sandwiched
sandwiched between
between the
the opposing electrodes.
Conductivity
Conductivity of
of glass plates was
was measured
measured prior
prior to
to construction
construction by
by using
using aa Volt-Ohm
Volt-Ohm meter
meter and
and indicated
indicated aa
coating
coating resistance
resistance that
that ranged
ranged from 22 to 23
23 Ohms.
Ohms. Each anode was
was soaked
soaked in
in aa beaker
beaker with
with the
the dye
dye
preparation
preparation for 72 hours to ensure
ensure complete
complete reaction with the
the TiO 22 layer.
layer. Each
Each cathode
cathode was then
then placed
placed with
with
the
the platinum
platinum facing
facing the
the TiO
TiO22 coated
coated side
side of
of the
the anode.
anode. A
A KI/I
KI/I22 solution
solution was utilized as the
the electrolyte between
the
the two
two plates,
plates, which were then sealed together
together with
with small rubber
rubber bands
bands and
and aa thermoplastic
thermoplastic seal
seal between
between
each
each plate.
plate. Control
Control cells
cells were
were constructed
constructed using
using the
the same methods,
methods, but were not left to
to soak in the
the dye
preparation.
preparation. Twenty-four
Twenty-four cells
cells were
were constructed:
constructed: 88 controls,
controls, and
and 16
16 treatments
treatments of
of 100
100 L
L split equally
between
between four
four applications of
of 25
25 L
L and
and ten
ten applications
applications of 10
10 L.
Voltage
Voltage readings will be
be recorded
recorded in
in an
an environmental chamber
chamber where light intensity ranged from 20,000 and
30,000
30,000 lumens
lumens during
during aa 12-hour
12-hour day
day period
period and essentially
essentially zero lumens
lumens during a 12-hour night period. Voltage
measurements
measurements will be recorded using PICO software
software at 10
10 minute
minute intervals
intervals during the experiment.
experiment.

In
In the
the previous
previous experiment,
experiment, photovoltaic
photovoltaic cells
cells treated
treated with
with the
the Dragons
Dragons Blood
Blood pigment
pigment
exhibited
exhibited cycles
cycles with
with voltage
voltage readings
readings as
as low
low as
as 00 mV
mV at
at night
night and
and up
up to
to 330
330 mV
mV
during
during the
the day
day (Figure
(Figure 2).
2). During
During this
this 17-day
17-day experiment,
experiment, most
most cells
cells either
either maintained
maintained
or
or demonstrated a decrease in voltage
voltage as the cells
cells aged.
aged. Control cells (without
(without
pigment)
pigment) generally
generally demonstrated
demonstrated lower
lower voltage
voltage than
than those
those treated
treated with
with pigment.
pigment.
These
These results
results suggest
suggest that
that the
the Dragons
Dragons Blood
Blood pigment
pigment functioned
functioned successfully
successfully as
as
part
part of
of aa dye-sensitized
dye-sensitized photovoltaic
photovoltaic cell.
cell.
Durability
Durability of
of the
the treated
treated cells
cells during
during the experimental
experimental cycle
cycle (17
(17 days)
days) appeared better
better
than
than expected.
expected. Test
Test cell
cell 44 was
was the
the most
most consistent,
consistent, demonstrating
demonstrating no
no apparent
apparent
degradation
degradation of
of the
the pigment.
pigment. Voltage
Voltage readings
readings from
from test
test cells
cells 1,
1, 2,
2, and
and 33 indicated
indicated aa
breakdown
breakdown of
of the
the glue seal
seal at points and
and spiked
spiked highly,
highly, then
then fell
fell to
to lower
lower values.
values.
Interestingly,
Interestingly, this
this did
did not
not appear
appear to
to render
render the
the cells non-functional, as voltages
voltages were
still
still observed
observed in
in these
these cells
cells throughout
throughout the
the experiment.
experiment. All
All cells
cells treated
treated with
with Dragons
Dragons
Blood
Blood still
still demonstrated
demonstrated at
at least
least 100
100 mV
mV by
by the
the end
end of
of the
the experiment.
experiment.
Control
Control cells demonstrated low voltages throughout the experiment. These non-dye
non-dye
cells,
cells, were
were sealed
sealed well and
and demonstrated
demonstrated values
values in
in the
the 200
200 to
to 300
300 mV
mV range,
range, but
but
voltages
voltages quickly declined
declined to under 200 mV
mV at
at the very
very beginning
beginning of the experiment.

LITERATURE CITED
O'Regan, B., and
and M. Gratzel, 1991. A low-cost,
low-cost, high efficiency solar
solar cell
cell based
based upon
dye-sensitized
dye-sensitized colloidal TiO22 films.
films. Nature
Nature 353:737-740.
353:737-740.
Smestad, G., and M. Gratzel. 1998. Demonstrating
Demonstrating electron transfer and nanotechnology: A
Journal
A natural
natural dye-sensitized
dye-sensitized nanocrystalline
nanocrystalline energy
energy converter.
converter.
Journal of
Chemical
Chemical Education
Education 75:752-756.
75:752-756.
Edward,
Edward, H.G.M.,
H.G.M., L.
L. Fernando,
Fernando, C.
C. de
de Olivera,
Olivera, and
and A. Quye. 2001. Raman
Raman spectroscopy
spectroscopy
of coloured
substances.
coloured resins used in
in antiquity: dragon's blood and related
substances.
Spectrochimica
Spectrochimica Acta.
Acta. Part
Part A
A 57:
57: 2831-2842.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Figure
Figure 3:
3: Dragons
Dragons Blood
Blood dye
dye (right) and
and cells which have been
been treated with
with the
the dye
dye (left).
(left).

Funding
Funding for
for this
this project
project was
was provided
provided by
by Office
Office of
of Research
Research &
& Grants
Grants at
at the
the University
University
of
of Central
Central Oklahoma
Oklahoma (UCO).
(UCO). Many
Many thanks
thanks to
to Toby
Toby FitzSimons
FitzSimons and
and Cliff
Cliff Pelchat,
Pelchat, who,
who,
along
along with
with Dr.
Dr. Bidlacks
Bidlacks Research
Research Group,
Group, provided
provided training
training of
of methodologies,
methodologies, as
as well
well
as
as advice
advice and
and guidance
guidance for implementing
implementing the
the experiment.
experiment.

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