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New Artificial Photosynthesis Now Ten Times More Efficient: Alternative to Fossil Fuels?

An article with a more scientific nature.

Scientists have managed to develop a new artificial photosynthesis that is ten times more efficient than known artificial systems. This is what is described in the work “Biomimetic active sites on monolayered metal–organic frameworks for artificial photosynthesis”, published on November 10th.

Unlike natural photosynthesis, where plants convert CO2 into glucose using sunlight, artificial photosynthesis attempts to produce fuels such as ethanol and methane, for example.

With this new objective, the “limitation” of natural photosynthesis is that it produces carbohydrates, which are even great “fuels”, but not for our cars, which require a much more concentrated form of energy, fuels with greater energy density.

In nature, photosynthesis is carried out by several complex compounds of proteins and pigments. They absorb water and CO2, split the molecules and rearrange the atoms to produce carbohydrates: a long chain of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. However, scientists need to modify this chain of reactions to create another hydrogen-only compound around a carbon core called methane, CH₄,

The researchers have managed to make improvements to the process that splits water and the process that adds electrons and protons to carbon dioxide, but there is still a long way to go before it can produce enough fuel for widespread use.

The important thing is that this path is already being taken. The original article by University of Chicago News is available by clicking at the image below and here for a summary of the original study analysed (full work through educational institutions)


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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