With their aim to suggest a method that could help absorb CO2 emissions from factories and trigger bioethanol production as well, folks at Panasonic have recently conceived and created an Artificial Photosynthesis System that uses sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and organic substances. According to Diginfo, the system is well capable of achieving 0.2 percent solar energy conversion efficiency.
The Artificial Photosynthesis System follows a simple reaction, wherein water molecules react to produce electrons, oxygen molecules and hydrogen ions, inside an illuminated, water-filled photo-electrode (a nitride semiconductor). The electrons, thus produced, follow a wired path to reach a catalyst electrode, where they react with CO2 and hydrogen ions to produce formic acid. The experiment requires solar illumination to excite electrons to a high-energy state.
Researchers further propose to produce differed organic substances by altering the material for the metal catalyst. Thus, the proposed system, aside from providing a viable solution to energy issues, would allow carbon-emitting factories to reduce their carbon footprint to a considerable level.