Posted on Feb 28, 2012 | Comments 0
Photosynthesis is known as a process performed by plants, through which they can turn the solar energy into fuel and food. Nonetheless it is also known that the process isn’t a really efficient one; its efficiency being of only one percent.
This is why the specialists have been working on creating an ‘artificial leaf’ that could really turn solar power into liquid energy. One of the specialists working in this field is Roger Cogdell from the University of Glasgow.
According to the professor the sun offers us this possibility, but we have to keep in mind that it is quite difficult to make use of it at its full potential.
Naturally there are the solar panels that we could be using, but their use is quite limited.
This is why the specialists are trying to come up with a way to trap the energy of the sun and to store it so it could be used when people need it.
The researchers are working on a chemical reaction that is something like photosynthesis but it takes place in an artificial setting. The plants are using the energy of the sun to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.
They release the oxygen and turn hydrogen into fuel. This is the process that the researchers are trying to replicate.
The professor said that the researchers are working on a large chemical system that could be performing the same process on a large scale. Unlike the solar panels that are producing electricity, this system would produce fuel.
This new system could make the most of the solar energy. If we go back to the basic reactions of photosynthesis, researchers could find ways to convert energy at higher levels. In case they succeed, as a result we could have a more sustainable economy based on this process.
Since the fossil fuel burning would be decreased, there would be less carbon-dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Howard Griffiths, a professor at the University of Cambridge has the same goal. Still he has a different approach; he is focusing more on the enzyme known as RuBisCo. This is a vital enzyme regarding photosynthesis. It makes it possible for the plants to use carbon-dioxide and turn it into different molecules, such as sugar.
The truth is that there is still a long way ahead to finalize the ‘artificial leaf’, but the results are worth the effort.
Filed Under: Green News