Scientists imitate photosynthesis to produce potentially free energy

Scientists have made a major breakthrough in energy production by mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis. This discovery could revolutionize the way we produce and consume energy, offering a free and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuels.

As a reminder, photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae and certain bacteria transform sunlight into chemical energy. The researchers succeeded in reproducing this mechanism in the laboratory, using synthetic materials and nanoparticles to capture sunlight and convert it into energy.


Microscopic view of Shewanella oneidensis bacteria

Designing sustainable artificial photosynthetic systems has been a long-standing goal. The researchers here used photoactive nanomaterials to drive the respiration of microorganisms to produce biofuels.

It is here the extracellular electron transfer from electrogenic bacteria that has been used to directly power the photocatalytic evolution of hydrogen by nanocrystals.

This system introduces a way to capitalize on the catalytic properties of nanomaterials. Considering the wide adaptability of nanocrystalline photocatalysts, this method promises a sustainable and flexible path to a variety of solar fuels in the future.

The aim of this advance is indeed to produce a clean and renewable fuel, without greenhouse gas emissions or dependence on fossil resources. Moreover, the production of this fuel would be potentially freesince it would only require sunlight as an energy source.

If this technology manages to be commercialized, it could help to significantly reduce our carbon footprint and fight global warming. In addition, it could offer a sustainable and economical solution to meet the world’s growing energy demand.

Researchers are currently seeking to improve the efficiency of their system and to explore the various possible applications of this technology. Among the fields of application envisaged are the production of electricity, heating, air conditioning and the propulsion of vehicles.

However, let’s temper these results, which are only in their infancy in the laboratory, it will probably take (very) many years before we can consider a concrete application.

Source: GNT – Actualités by

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