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Bactérias podem formar ‘microparques’ eólicos

Nos últimos 30 anos, as turbinas eólicas e suas pás mais do que quadruplicaram de tamanho, passando a entregar energia limpa e renovável em grande escala. No mundo da nanotecnologia e das micromáquinas, entretanto, o desafio é encontrar fontes menores que um grão de pólen.

Pois um grupo de pesquisadores da Universidade de Oxford empenhados nessa busca descobriu que o movimento natural de bactérias pode ser aproveitado na construção de ‘microparques eólicos’.

O estudo, publicado na revista Science Advances, demonstra como o movimento caótico de micro-organismos como bactérias pode ser organizado com o uso de rotores cilíndricos e fornecer uma fonte constante de energia.

Bactérias em soluções aquosas salinas fluem espontaneamente, mas quando os cientistas inseriram seis dezenas de microrotores no fluído, elas se organizaram de tal modo que os rotores vizinhos começaram a girar em direções opostas — uma organização estrutural simples que, segundo os cientistas, lembra a de um parque eólico (no caso, uma espécie de parque eólico bacteriano).

Essas usinas biologicamente alimentadas podem, no futuro, se tornar motores microscópicos para dispositivos minúsculos e autossuficientes em energia, e os cientistas estão empolgados com as oportunidades que a descoberta abre.

“A capacidade de obter até mesmo uma pequena quantidade de trabalho mecânico a partir desses sistemas biológicos é valiosa, porque eles não precisam de uma potência de entrada e utilizam processos bioquímicos internos para se movimentar”, diz o coautor do estudo Dr. Amin Doostmohammadi.

“A natureza é brilhante na criação de motores pequenos, e há um enorme potencial se pudermos entender como explorar projetos similares”, completa a principal autora do estudo, a professora Julia Yeomans.

Fonte: Exame

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