Creating the Solar Catalyst that Imitates Nature
Researchers at SISSA have long been examining the method that plants use in photosynthesis to use the sun’s energy in photosynthesis, create molecules that are broken apart and then store the energy for use. The process involves a catalyst that in essence, uses a kind of ‘cut and paste’ concept with other molecules to oxidize water, thereby separating the oxygen from the hydrogen. Hydrogen is already a fuel but is difficult to handle, and is thereby used in synthesis in a later stage that helps to use the hydrogen and carbon atoms to produce sugars. Scientists at SISSA are looking into this process to create an inorganic artificial catalyst. The intention is to produce this catalyst so that it is more resistant and faster than those found in nature.
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4 Responses to “Creating the Solar Catalyst that Imitates Nature”
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Anyone remember studying photosynthesis in Biology class? I was totaling taken in by the intensity of something that happens all around us, every day, in every plant that we see. Solar energy is one of the hottest topics today and it just makes sense to go back to that class and rethink everything. Kind of amazing.June 18th, 2013 at 11:23 pm
It seems we return to nature when we want to find the most efficient processes. This new solar energy research could be an incredible step forward, using nature’s own technology. I know trying to emulate Mother Nature is always a challenge but it looks like this company is doing a great job.June 17th, 2013 at 10:50 pm
Great idea. Solar panels seem to be a challenge because our technologies just haven’t been advanced enough. If they can do this without contributing any more negative problems to the ecology, I will buy it.June 16th, 2013 at 9:25 pm
I betcha it was a question from a kid that got them started on this path of research. Today’s kids are really paying attention to alternative energy and this seems so simple (and yet so complex). If we can have solar energy by acting like the plants and storing it for future use, it can change everything.June 15th, 2013 at 10:42 pm