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Semi-Artificial Photosynthesis recreates Solar Energy, Turns Sunlight into Fuel

We all know that the most efficient alternative to all the non-renewable resources is Solar Power hence the scientists and researchers have been working hard to discover new and more effective processes of extracting it. A new study came up where Researchers used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy. They used natural sunlight to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen using a mixture of biological components and manmade technologies.

The latest study by academics of University of Cambridge led by St John ‘s College put semi-artificial photosynthesis to use to formulate a new strategy of producing and storing solar energy. The academics used a blend of modern technologies and biological components to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen from natural sunlight. Hydrogen which is produced when the water is split could potentially be a green and unlimited source of renewable energy. The methodology also resulted in more absorption of sunlight in comparison to the natural process of photosynthesis.

This unique platform to achieve unassisted solar-driven water-splitting is developed at the Reisner Laboratory in Cambridge and it is expected that the key findings of this research may now revolutionise the systems used for renewable energy.

The issue of scaling process of renewable energy creation through artificial photosynthesis for industrial usage was marred by the fact that catalysts used in the process are often expensive and toxic. However, the Cambridge research instead used the enzymes to create the desired result thus overcoming the limitation.

Researcher Katarzyna Soko along with her team managed to reactivate a process in the algae that has been dormant for millennia. Researchers are now hopeful that innovative model systems for solar energy conversion can be developed through the findings.

Lead researcher Soko asserted that the findings of this research can lead to the emergence of more robust solar technology.

“The approach could be used to couple other reactions together to see what can be done, learn from these reactions and then build synthetic, more robust pieces of solar energy technology,” she said.

This is first of its kind model to use hydrogenase and photosystem II for creating semi-artificial photosynthesis supported entirely by solar power.

The research has been published in Nature Energy journal.