Capsaicin, a Chemical Which Makes Peppers Spicy, May Play Vital Role in Optimizing Solar Panels 🌶☀️🔋
90% of the electricity in the United States is generated by the use of coal, natural gas, and nuclear. Additionally, current climate change trends are most likely the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at an unprecedented rate over decades to millennia. Optimizing renewage energy resources in the coming years are vital to combating the climate crisis.
Researchers from East China Normal University in Shanghai treated solar panels with capsaicin, the compound in peppers that make them hot, to better convert solar energy. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) commonly made from a hybrid organic-inorganic lead or tin halide-based material have been shown to be better at absorbing light than silicon-based cells. However, they fall short in converting the light to energy because of what is lost to heat.
The researchers led by Qinye Bao treated solar cells with capsaicin during the manufacturing process. In theory, the compound was said to free up electrons that carry charge by reacting with lead ions in the solar cells. The team noticed that the capsaicin-treated cells converted 21.88 per cent while the conventional rate was 19.1 per cent.
While the mechanism is still being debated, the process to convert these cells can optimize solar energy and aid in creating an adequate supply of renewable energy. Bao and his team also made it a priority to base their research around sustainability. They wanted a low-cost, natural biomaterial for and capsaicin was the right fit.