Breakthrough Research Makes Synthetic Photosynthesis PossibleJune 14, 2017
Photosynthesis is one of nature's most important processes. Aside from producing oxygen, this natural process converts solar to chemical energy by transforming atmospheric carbon dioxide and water into sugar molecules to provide plants with needed food and energy to survive.
Scientists have tried to artificially replicate this energy conversion process to produce environmentally friendly and sustainable fuels such as hydrogen and methanol. Mimicking the process has been challenging to scientists as artificial photosynthesis requires the creation of a molecular system that absorbs light, transports and separates electrical charge, and catalyzes fuel-producing reactions. All are complicated processes that must operate synchronously to achieve high energy-conversion efficiency.
A team of researchers led by chemists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Virginia Tech has designed two photocatalysts that combine individual components for light absorption, charge separation, or catalysis into a single "supramolecule." Each supramolecule is made up of multiple light-harvesting ruthenium (Ru) metal ions connected to a single catalytic center of rhodium (Rh) metal ions. The researchers found that the supramolecule with six Ru centers and one Rh center was seven times more efficient than the other, cycling 300 times to produce hydrogen for 10 hours. The larger of the supramolecules was slightly electron-deficient, making it more receptive to electrons needed for synthetic photosynthesis.
For more details, read the article at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Breakthrough Research Makes Synthetic Photosynthesis Possible
- Detailed New Maize Reference Genome Shows Its Deep Resources for Continued Adaptation
- Brazil Approves GM Sugarcane for Commercial Use
- Researchers Identify Gene Against Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus
- Study Shows Rice First Cultivated in China 10,000 Years Ago
- Filipino Crop Scientists Tackle Ways to Face Climate Change and Globalization
- South Korean Consumer Group Hosts ISAAA Brief 52 Seminar
- Scientists Discover that Symbiotic Fungi Get Carbon from Plants in the Form of Fatty Acids
- Apple Genome Sequence Published
- Alcohol dehydrogenase 1 Confers Abiotic and Biotic Stress Resistance in Arabidopsis
- Non-target Arthropod Risk Assessment for Bt Rice in China
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Researchers Identify a Carotenoid Biosynthetic Gene in Rhodosporidium toruloides
- EFSA Releases Literature Review of Baseline Information on Assessment of RNAi-based GM Plants
- Functional Characterization of OsSAPK2 Using CRISPR-Cas9
- CRISPR-Cas9-Mediated Deletion of a Target Gene in Indica Rice
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (February 1, 2023)
- Genome Editing Supplement (January 18, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (January 25, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: