Artificial photosynthesis - Wikipedia
A Big Leap for an Artificial Leaf - MIT Technology Review
Artificial photosynthesis is being pursued to make liquid fuel from carbondioxide and water. Researchers at the Berkeley National Laboratory think this is going to be possible since discovering that nano-sized crystals of cobalt oxide can effectively carry out the critical part of the photosynthetic reaction which is the splitting of water molecules. The photo of the water molecule to hydrogen ions and oxygen is a an important half reaction in the process of artificial photosynthesis. The electrons released in this part of the reaction is used to reduce carbondioxide to form fuel. Having a catalyst that can effectively capture the photons and utilize them fast enough so as to not waste the sunlight photons is crucial which scientists think the newly discovered cobalt nano crystals are capable of doing. When micron sized cobalt crystals were used the yield was very less but when the scientists replaced it with nanocrystals of cobalt the yield increased by 1600 times which is commensurate with the sunlight flux at ground level. Photosystem II is a process in which manganese-containing enzymes serve as the catalyst for the photo of water molecules within a complex of . Scientists at he berkeley institute say that the efficiency, speed and size of the cobalt oxide nanocrystal clusters are comparable to Photosystem II. The next step for them to do is have a use this catalytic component to develop a viable integrated solar fuel conversion system.
How photosynthetic pigments harvest light | MIT News
Artificial photosynthesis is an attractive way to utilize solar energy through inspiration from natural photosynthesis in green plants. Water-splitting is critically required to establish an artificial photosynthetic system that consists of sequential charge-obtaining and transferring reactions. The oxidation of water is a limiting step to achieving water-splitting because of its multi-hole-related characteristics. A key to the development of effective water oxidation catalysts is the optimized control of material structure and composition through a facile synthetic method. This work synthesized polycrystalline RuO2/Co3O4 core/shell nanofibers by electrospinning and evaluated their photocatalytic water oxidation performance using a Ru(bpy)32+/persulfate system under visible light illumination. Our results show that RuO2/Co3O4 nanofibers exhibit significantly enhanced efficiency of photocatalytic water oxidation with a higher number of turnover frequency than those of pristine Co3O4 nanoparticles, Co3O4 nanofibers, and RuO2 nanofibers, respectively. The unique core-shell structure of RuO2/Co3O4 nanofibers comprising the inner region of highly conductive RuO2 and the outer region of catalytic Co3O4 provided a fast and effective transport highway for holes to O2-evolving sites. This work highlights the potential of tailored 1D binary composite nanofibers for the development of efficient oxygen-evolving catalysts and offers a new viewpoint for exploring multi-component catalysts through electrospinning.