US Researchers Produce Fuel By The Process Of Artificial Photosynthesis
Chemists at The University of Illinois have successfully produced fuels using using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. Natural photosynthesis occurs when plants use sunlight as a drive to start a chemical reaction between water and carbon dioxide to form energy-dense glucose.
The new study as published by the researchers at Illinois showcased the development of the aforementioned method used by plants, using green light region from the visible light spectrum during natural photosynthesis, to convert carbon dioxide and water into fuel. The process has electron-rich gold nanoparticles acting as the catalyst. The team published their findings in the Nature Communications journal. The ‘Goal’ that the co-author of the study and professor, Prashant Jain, said was to produce complex, liquefiable hydrocarbons from excess carbon dioxide and other sustainable resources such as sunlight.
The main advantages of liquid fuel over others such as gas is their economy in the mode of transport and their capacity to hold more densely packed energy due to their long chain bonds. Work regarding the efficiency and practical use of said fuel is still under question as a combustion to produce energy ends up releasing more carbon dioxide which would be counter-productive to the work towards renewable and clean energy.
The study is still under scrutiny as of now and work is still going forward towards a more efficient method of reproducing artificial photosynthesis as researchers acknowledged that the simulated process is nowhere as efficient as it is in plants. Jain furthermore spoke of working on the catalyst for a far better result before stepping up the scale of production.
Artificial Photosynthesis takes great strides towards a greener Earth. This showcases various teams and individuals all around the globe that have dedicated themselves towards the betterment of the state of affairs in regards to our planet.