Miracle of ‘Fake’ Photosynthesis Hoped to be Attainable
Written by Brandon Kenney on September 10th, 2020
New Machine Proves to be Promising Innovation in Reaching Goal
Researchers in Cambridge, England have developed a machine that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into a non-polluting fuel mimicking the production of energy in plants.
The specific product is formic acid and oxygen. Formic acid can be converted into various types of fuel. This amazing breakthrough is not free of complications, however. Unfortunately, the researcher’s machine does produce some unwanted residuals. Dr. Qian Wang and Professor Erwin Reisner, who both are part of the project, assert they are currently attempting to refine the device.
The machine functions by utilizing photocatalysts.
Prior devices used solar cells; that is not the case with this machine as it uses semiconductor powder formed into stratum. The catalyst itself is constructed from cobalt. It is easy to make, durable and is extensible. The Cambridge researchers are experimenting with other catalysts to see if other fuels and byproducts are achievable.
This could be another positive step forward for solar energy.
According to the IEA, solar energy increased 22% in 2019. This represents the second largest growth of renewable energy. Presently solar energy produces 3% of global electricity; it is forecasted it could produce 3,268 terrawatt-hours by 2030. The photosynthesis machine described above could very well increase solar energy production even further.
Source: “Wireless device makes clean fuel from sunlight, CO2 and water” by Science Daily