Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The sun generates direct fuel from water and carbon dioxide

Scientists have developed solar technology that converts carbon dioxide and water into liquid fuels that can be used directly by the vehicle’s engine, without further processing.

The team of Erwin Reisner and Motiar Rahaman, from the University of Cambridge in the UK, has harnessed the power of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide (CO2), water and light into fuels such as ethanol and propanol in a single step. These fuels have a high energy density and can be easily stored or transported.

Unlike fossil fuels, these solar fuels produce no net carbon emissions, are fully renewable, and unlike manufactured bioethanol, require no agricultural land to produce, so they can be used exclusively for food production.

Although this new technology is still in the laboratory phase, the researchers say that their “artificial leaves” are an important step in the transition to an economy that is no longer based on fossil fuels.

Reisner’s research group has spent several years developing sustainable carbon fiber fireplaces inspired by photosynthesis, the process by which plants use sunlight to make food. To this end, Reisner and his colleagues use artificial leaves.

Until recently, these artificial leaves could only produce simple chemicals, such as syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide used to make fuels, pharmaceuticals, materials and fertilizers.

Artificial leaves, on the other hand, can directly produce pure ethanol and propanol without the intermediate step of producing syngas.

Other scientists have previously succeeded in producing electrical energy using similar chemicals, but this is the first time such complex chemicals have been produced with an artificial leaf using only energy from the Sun.

Reisner and Rahaman’s team discuss the unique techniques of the revolutionary method in the academic journal Nature Energy, under the title “Solar-driven liquid multi-carbon fuel production using artificial leaf perovskite-BiVO4.” (Source: NCYT from Amazing)

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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