Under green light and assisted by an ionic liquid, gold nanoparticles, bottom, lend electrons to convert CO2 molecules, the red and grey spheres in the center, to more complex hydrocarbon fuel molecules. Image: Sungju Yu, Jain Lab at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Artificial photosynthesis for green energy advances - green technology short science news

Researchers have succeeded to produce fuel from water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight, in a process that is similar to what plants use to generate energy from light (photosynthesis).

By converting carbon dioxide into more complex organic molecules like propane, with the aid of gold as a catalyst in the chemical reactions, they have come closer to using excess carbon dioxide to store solar energy.

While this artificial from of photosynthesis is not as efficient yet as natural photosynthesis in plants, the storing capacity of energy in the form of chemical bonds inn liquid fuel might be a strategy to be adopted in the future for the development of green energy.

Read the full story: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Scientific publication: Nature Communications