ESBJERG

Researcher from AAU Esbjerg receives funding from Novo Nordisk for fungal battery research

AAU ESBJERG RESEARCHER GETS NOVO NORDISK SUPPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT OF FUNGAL BATTERY

Jens Laurids Sørensen, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biosciences, Aalborg University Esbjerg, has just received funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation for his research project. The project aims to identify pigments from moulds that can be used to store energy, thus replacing traditional batteries that are harmful to the environment.

Last modified: 13.01.2021

The idea of using fungi for batteries was developed in 2016 by Jens Laurids Sørensen and his research team who have continuously improved on the idea. With the support from Novo Nordisk, they expect to get a step closer in their search for suitable fungal pigments with very special properties that can be used to store energy – a solution that is in line with the green transition and the goal of more environmentally friendly energy production.

- The advantage of substances from fungi is that they are 100% degradable compared to batteries made from toxic metals such as vanadium and lithium. The first prototype in the laboratory has already been developed. Now it’s about optimising and finding the right species of fungi to make the solution competitive with existing products on the market, says Jens Laurids Sørensen, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Esbjerg.

This is not the first time that the research team has received support in the millions of kroner for the fungal battery. Thus far, the researchers have made computer simulations of >400 fungal pigments that can both accumulate and discharge energy. The support from Novo Nordisk will be used to move pigment production to a new high-producing yeast strain which so far has shown promising qualities.

- The project is funded exclusively from external sources, and the support is essential for us to realize significant experiments in the lab, and in the long term to test the battery on a large scale and demonstrate the usability of the method at the production level, says Jens Laurids Sørensen, Associate Professor.

The aim is that surplus electricity from solar and wind energy will be able to be stored in the battery and later provide power to the grid. When the fungal battery is used up, it can then be degraded in nature with no consequences for the environment.
 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Read more about Jens Laurids Sørensen and the group's research here,

Project title: Biosynthesis of electrolytes in oleaginous yeasts for sustainable energy storage 

Bevillling: DKK 2,903,470 - Link to Novo Nordisk
 

CONTACT

  • Jens Laurids Sørensen, Associate Professor, Tel: +45 9940 7659, Email: jls@bio.aau.dk
     
  • Camilla Kristensen, Media Relations, Tel: +45 9940 9905, Email: cakr@bio.aau.dk

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