Monday, October 27, 2008

Artificial Photosynthesis 10 Years Away?

When a scientist is asked how long it will take until a certain breakthrough becomes widely available, the answer is often "10 years." Artificial photosynthesis would allow humans to take sunlight (or any radiation) and divert the photonic energy into chemical or other forms of energy.
"We have copied nature, taking the elements and mechanisms found in plant life and re-creating one of those processes in the laboratory," Spiccia said in a statement issued by Monash. "The production of hydrogen using nothing but water and sunlight offers the possibility of an abundant, renewable, green source of energy for the future."

Artificial photosynthesis differs from photovoltaics, the method used in solar panels, which generates an electrical current that can't be stored but must be loaded onto the electrical grid.

"Sometimes it's more useful to make fuel which can be stored indefinitely and used where you make it - for example, in your house or to run your car - rather than be sent through a power grid," Mallouk said.

Practical artificial-photosynthetic systems are at least 10 years away, Mallouk said. There are many technical problems to be solved to equal the efficiency of nature's way. _PO
The oil bubble of last summer sent shock waves through the global economy that are still reverberating inside the credit crunch. Energy shortages are serious matters, whether caused by real shortages or as in this case by political stooges such as Pelosi and Boxer.

It's possible to chase hydrogen for a lot longer than 10 years, but there are many more practical energy solutions much closer on.



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