Artificial Photosynthesis moves one step closer to reality
Will we ever be able to see our energy being generated from the plants and trees that surround us? Photosynthetic organisms use the energy from light to break down water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen then reacts with carbon dioxide to help synthesize carbohydrates, the molecules organisms use to store energy. Photosynthesis falls into a class of reactions known as multiple electron systems. Nobody has succeeded in making artificial multiple electron systems that could provide the necessary energy for artificial photosynthesis. Existing systems can donate and receive only one electron at a time. Chemists have long tried in vain to reproduce the process in vain, but a group of researchers at the Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology in Qinhuangdao, China, have found that single-walled carbon nanotubes could act as the chemical heart of a multiple electron system.
James Barber at Imperial College London, UK, is an expert in photosynthesis. He thinks that many of people working in this area do not address a basic requirement that you need to have multiple electrons in photosynthesis, he finds these researchers are on the right track by addressing the multiple electrons problem head on. This could make solar energy much more efficient and possibly the best environmentally friendly energy solution.