Scientists to produce zero-carbon fuel by mimicking plants

leaf photosynthesis

As carbon emissions continue to rise and environmentalists not really ready to adopt geoengineering solutions as a part of their plan for long-term relief, governments over the world are placing their bets on renewable energy, most of the sources of which remain highly untapped due to the challenges that exist in converting them to clean energy. Now a team of British scientists have joined forces to develop a system that can mimic plant photosynthesis to produce hydrogen using sunlight. Hydrogen can then either be used to power cars or produce clean energy on demand.

The research will make use of synthetic biology to replicate the process that happens in plants as they concentrate sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which is then released into the atmosphere. The system, the team is envisioning, would carry on artificial photosynthesis using tiny solar cells on microbes. Harnessing sunlight, the system would drive the production of hydrogen. Once this is achieved, there are several trusted technologies that could be used to produce energy. The Global Post reports that scientists are confident that by replicating the natural process of photosynthesis they could be able to efficiently convert sun’s energy to a usable form using existing technologies.

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