Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK have developed a semi-artificial photosynthesis system. It uses sunlight to produce hydrogen fuel from water. That means we can use water as fuel. We all know that photosynthesis is a natural process in which plants transform sunlight into their food and energy. In this process, plants produce oxygen as a by-product when they absorb water and it splits.
Photosynthesis is certainly the most important phenomenon because it is responsible for the world’s oxygen level. In the water splitting, hydrogen is produced. This is the green and unlimited source of renewable energy. However, besides this natural phenomenon, researchers used the semi-artificial photosynthesis to figure out new ways of storing solar energy.
A Ph.D. student at University of Cambridge, Katarzyna Soko said: “Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed – around 1-2 percent of what it could potentially convert and store.”
What is Artificial photosynthesis?
Artificial intelligence is a chemical process (replica of a natural process), which converts sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates.
Noticeably, artificial photosynthesis exists globally for decades, but nobody used it successfully. Probably because it includes some catalysts which expensive as well as toxic. Now the scientists are using it to create renewable energy and to use water as fuel. Although, the “expensive nature” simply implies that we cannot use this technique on a commercial level. Also, we cannot scale up the findings and study.
It is important to note that researchers are improving the energy stored. They are also managing to reactivate the process in the algae that are dormant for mi. “Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen,” Soko added. She further said, “During evolution, this process has been deactivated because it wasn’t necessary for survival but we successfully managed to bypass the inactivity to achieve the reaction we wanted — splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.”
The researchers published the study in journal Nature Energy. The conclusions will give innovative model systems for solar energy conversion and more. Read more such amazing things on techiescoops: Click Here. Also, Follow techiescoops on Instagram to stay up to date with technology.