Artificial photosynthesis?




The problem of increasing carbon dioxide emissions can be solved in three ways: the use of alternative energy sources with low emissions or no emissions at all, capture and storage of carbon dioxide (carbon capture and storage – CCS) in special storage facilities (mainly underground), capture and processing ( eg, oil, etc..).

Researchers at Princeton University say they have developed a technique that combines two of the three ways, through the use of solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into formic acid.

With the help of electricity produced commercial solar photovoltaic installation and supplied energy company Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE & G), the researchers laboratory chemistry professor Andrew Bokarsli (Andrew Bocarsly) at Princeton University (Princeton), working in conjunction with researchers from the company’s Liquid Light Inc., New Jersey, were able to convert a mixture of carbon dioxide and water in formic acid (HCOOH) in the electrochemical cell.

The electrochemical cell consists of simple parts produced by machining, contains channels for the passage of fluid between the metal plates, and has the size of a standard lunchbox. In cell placed on the agent and its load is applied, which increases up until the process of flowing in the device will not work on a target level response.

By optimizing the process known as matching resistors, the team has made the adjustment of power generated by the solar panel to power cell that can withstand, resulting in maximizing the effectiveness of the system.

According to the scientists, they were able to achieve a 2% efficiency by combining the three electrochemical cells. How do they say it is twice as effective than the natural process of photosynthesis takes place in the tissues of plants and the best efficiency for the system to simulate photosynthesis, built by man.

Formic acid found in the venom of ants at the moment has a very wide application – as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed, in the form of a salt of formic acid as a de-icer for the runways at airports. And it has the potential to store energy produced within the fuel cell.

This method has something in common with the system of artificial photosynthesis developed by electronics giant – by Panasonic. However, the system of the Japanese corporation, the principle of which is based on the use of hydrogen produced by splitting water using nitride semiconductor to produce formic acid, has an efficiency of only 0.2%.


In: Technology & Gadgets Asked By: [15554 Red Star Level]

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