Going to a Renewable Energy Economy
|Source: Uppsala University - Water Oxidation thru Photosystem II|
Detailing Photosystem II
Photosystem II is a protein complex that splits water into hydrogen ions and oxygen during photosynthesis. New images of the process, shown here, have been released by scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden. A team of international scientists are taking part in this research.
Goal: Cheap, Efficient Solar Fuel Power
The new images are expected to help scientists to better understand what is a very complicated mechanism - photosystem II. That detailed understanding could open the opportunity to develop solar fuel devices that are cheap and efficient. Bottom-line: photosystem II activates calcium and magnesium metal ions, which are cheap and plentiful, into a powerful water oxidation system. By understanding the process, chemists potentially could do the same and open up solar fuel possibilities.
Renewable Energy Economy
Right now, 80% of global energy consumption is fuel based. Solar fuel is carbon free or carbon neutral and it's greatly needed. Scientists believe they now have the tools and images of photosystem II to begin developing cheap and efficient solar fuel devices. The devices they envision would store solar energy in the bonds of molecular hydrogen. Other possibilities include the development of more solar fuels through carbon dioxide or nitrogen reduction.