Notices
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Synthetic photosynthesis

  1. #1 Synthetic photosynthesis 
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,079
    Seems the crucial biochemical step that uses photoenergy to split water has been replicated on a synthetic surface.

    "The breakthrough came when we coated a proton conductor, called Nafion, onto an anode to form a polymer membrane just a few micrometres thick, which acts as a host for the manganese clusters."

    "Normally insoluble in water, when we bound the catalyst within the pores of the Nafion membrane, it was stabilised against decomposition and, importantly, water could reach the catalyst where it was oxidised on exposure to light."

    This process of "oxidizing" water generates protons and electrons, which can be converted into hydrogen gas instead of carbohydrates as in plants.

    "Whilst man has been able to split water into hydrogen and oxygen for years, we have been able to do the same thing for the first time using just sunlight, an electrical potential of 1.2 volts and the very chemical that nature has selected for this purpose," Professor Spiccia said.
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-mtl081408.php

    See also:

    http://www.chem.monash.edu.au/staff/...a/waterox.html


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Sounds as if this might be major. A method to produce hydrogen without using lots of energy and without CO2 as a byproduct. Wow!


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Him
    Him is offline
    Forum Sophomore Him's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    181
    Looks really interesting, but needs more robustness

    Testing revealed the catalyst assembly was still active after three days of continuous use, producing oxygen and hydrogen gas in the presence of water, an electrical potential and visible light.
    They put it positive but I read as: "after 4 days catalyst is less active".

    the efficiency of the system needed to be improved.
    Even in the first 3 days

    Still a lot to do I guess.
    Any ideas when this system will be commercial viable???

    But again looks great
    he who forgets...will be destined to remember (Nothing Man - Pearl Jam)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,893
    Not to be a downer, but chemists have come up with about a billion different ways to make systems that split water into hydrogen and oxygen when you shine light on them - the literature on it goes back to at least the 1970s. It never ends up being practical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Not to be a downer, but chemists have come up with about a billion different ways to make systems that split water into hydrogen and oxygen when you shine light on them - the literature on it goes back to at least the 1970s. It never ends up being practical.
    Oh dear.

    The hope, though, is that this is not like nuclear fusion or other sources of 'unlimited' energy - there do not appear (on the face of it) to be insuperable problems to its achievement.

    So hooray for artificial photosynthesis: it might not be the wave of today, but perhaps it will be the wave of tomorrow.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •