Semi-Artificial Photosynthesis Turns Sunlight into Energy

Semi-Artificial Photosynthesis Turns Sunlight into Energy

During photosynthesis, plants naturally split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen parts when they convert sunlight to energy to feed themselves. Energy scientists lust after this type of natural clean energy.  However, plants energy production isn’t the most efficient of processes because they make just enough energy to survive.

Now scientists from the University of Cambridge and the Ruhr University Bochum have discovered a new technique that mimics the natural process of photosynthesis in plants. In turn, this process could be used to produce hydrogen fuel which is an extremely clean (zero carbon dioxide emissions) and a likely unlimited energy source.

Cambridge University Professor, of Energy and Sustainability, Erwin Reisner is the lead author in a paper published this week in Nature Energy  that he calls a “milestone in semi-artificial photosynthesis”.

In the paper, the new method was described as splitting water into water and hydrogen using a mix of photosynthesis and human technologies (according to a press release from St. John’s College, Cambridge).

Artificial photosynthesis has been around for decades and  is not considered revolutionary. But, this is the first time an photosythethis approach has been made to be partly man-made and partly natural in order to produce renewable energy.

Hold your horses . . . the technique has to be efficient and scalable to be used to replace carbon fuels. But just think about it –  Hydrogen Fuel for the World – an unlimited source of energy without carbon emissions. This innovation is the stuff of wet dreams for environmentalists.