Daily Management Review

Newly Developed ‘Artificial Photosynthesis’ Device Converts CO2 Into Car Fuel


04/25/2017


Researchers introduce a “stop-gap” solution to slow down the effects of climate change while the search continues to find a permanent way out.



Newly Developed ‘Artificial Photosynthesis’ Device Converts CO2 Into Car Fuel
Chicago based University of Illinois’ researchers think that have mastered the “art of photosynthetic solar cells”, whereby technology turns to bio-mimicking and imitates the plant kingdom’s process of taking in CO2 and combining it with H2O to produce glucose and oxygen.
 
The above mentioned system thus developed by the researchers draws carbon dioxide and processes it into “a synthetic fuel” which could power vehicles. In theory, the device, an “artificial leaf”, is capable of creating a “virtuous cycle” with the help of which the much unwanted carbon present in the atmosphere could be converted to fuel our vehicles.
 
The ‘leafy’ device is equipped with a “pair of solar cells” which power “an infinitely more complex version” of the electrolysis involved in the process. Sun’s energy acts a catalyst to trigger a reaction with “various obscure compounds” such as “nanoflake tungsten diselenide (which is a transition metal dichalcogenide)”. As a result, the synthetic gas is released from the “other side” of the leaf like device which can either directly power vehicles or undergo a conversion process into diesel.
 
However, this does not mark the first time for the weapon-like usage of such “artificial photosynthesis” device in the war of climate change. Sometimes in the beginning of last year, one of Berkeley’s team also used “a similar process” with “genetically-modified E. coli bacteria” taking the centre stage of the system. Nevertheless, the said version did not create “synthetic gas”, instead it produced “acetate” that acts as a building block for other compounds like “biofuel, anti-malaria drugs and biodegradable plastics”.
 
If the newer process turns out to be “cost-effective”, it harbours the potential to terminate the “traditional gasoline production”:
“Instead, a network of these cells would be installed at a solar farm, creating fuel and reducing the quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the same time. The only downside is that we'd still be re-releasing the deadly gas back into the atmosphere, but it's a decent stop-gap while we work on reducing our carbon emissions more permanently”.
 
 
References:
www.engadget.com







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