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A novel sustainable, renewable energy from plant, based on biotechnology process and other related tools
Project Requested Funding: 8,667,000 Euro

Program: Nano Technologies and Nano Sciences

Program Type: IP - 6th Framework of the European Community

Status: Coordinator

Submitted: 17/03/2005


The project combines information science, chemical and electric engineering, microbiology, plant cell and molecular biology, and integrates academic research with industrial R&D, to develop a novel, sustainable, renewable energy technology. The principle of the innovation is that a plant photosynthetic extract is incubated in the sunlight. In this plant, a genetically improved electron transport chain (E-chain), linked to a bio-conductor element via an electron carrier protein (Eprotein), will transport sunlight-excited electrons to generate electricity. A naturally occurring

photosynthetic complex will be integrated with potential biotechnology materials as bio-conductor. This will be used as electron carrier chain from the nature and will be made for the first time by human beings. Aptamers, developed for the production of biosensors and biocompatible polymers, will be important contributions in the field of nanotechnology, with medical and environmental applications.


The project objectives include modeling photosystem II (PSII); selecting PSII and E-protein in genetically modified plants (GM-plant); optimizing GM-plant growth conditions; protecting environment especially for the GM-plant culture; GM-plant breeding; photocell and the final product "BIO-PV" prototyping; waste re-utilization; demonstration set-up; and coordination, knowledge sharing and IPR protection. The project scientific outcome is a new concept and knowledge of solar energy conversion via the E-chain. The project includes multidisciplinary cooperation, junior researcher training and woman involvement in RTD and policy-making, and will consequently greatly promote excellence of EU research and integration in the very advanced RTD domain. Therefore, the project practical outcome includes a sustainable large-scale and long-term electricity production, and a socio-economic impact.