Renewable Energy Breakthrough Technology

Based On Photosynthesis in a Leaf, Artificial Photosynthesis

Source" stock image of leaves in the Sun

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
The new technology is an artificial version of photosynthesis.  It's a dreamed-for renewable energy technology that top scientists and engineers have been chasing for decades.  Artificial photosynthesis has just been achieved by a team of scientists at the renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in California.

Photosynthesis is the sunlight-driven, chemical reaction process that leaves and algae use to convert CO2 into cellular fuel.  Led by scientist Heinz Frei, the Berkeley Lab team has developed an artificial photosynthesis system.  It's composed of nano-sized tubes capable of all of the key steps in fuel generation.

Big Green Deal
This new green, renewable energy technology is a very big deal.  The new technology has the potential to generate vast amounts of renewable energy by using the CO2 in the air.

Solar Fuel Tiles
Source:  Berkeley Lab - solar fuel tile

The design enables the rapid flow of protons, generated by splitting water molecules inside the tube, to the outside where they combine with CO2 and electrons to form fuel.  The basic unit of the system is small, square, solar fuel tiles containing billions of the nanotubes.

Next Steps
The team says their system is doable.  Their challenge is scaling the system up to be able to make energy in the terawatts range, replacing fossil fuels left in the ground.  They also say the system will have to produce a liquid hydrocarbon fuel for use in the trillions of dollar worth of current infrastructure and technology.


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