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Artificial photosynthesis

Artificial photosynthesis is a research field that attempts to replicate the natural process of photosynthesis, converting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen. Sometimes splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by using sunlight energy is also referred to as artificial photosynthesis.

Research is being done into a streamlined form of photosynthesis which breaks water into oxygen and hydrogen [1] . This process is the first stage of plant photosynthesis (the Light-dependent reaction). Carbon dioxide is not required in this approach. The hydrogen released in artificial photosynthesis (stage 1) could be used in hydrogen engines to generate "clean" energy.

The light-independent reaction (aka the Calvin-Benson cycle) is the second stage of plant photosynthesis, which converts carbon dioxide into glucose. Glucose is stored energy for a plants' growth and repair. It has been suggested that such a process replicated on an industrial scale could help to counter global warming. Specifically, the light-independent reaction of photosynthesis could be used to "mop up" excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. [2] Again, however, such a process would ultimately require a source of energy, just as plant photosynthesis does.

Chemical Reactions

If indeed the following equation:

6 CO2(gas) + 6 H2O(liquid) + photons → C6H12O6(aqueous) + 6 O2(gas)

requires no catalyst, photosynthesis may be accomplished easily by exposing water to carbon dioxide and light, or by using carbonated water.

If the reaction requires a catalyst such as chloroplast or chlorophyll, this catalyst must be isolated and added to the carbonated water before proceeding.

Research at Australia National University, Canberra

  • Engineering light-activated metalloproteins to split water

CSIRO, Australia:

  • Scientists Developing "Artificial" Plants
  • Researchers Work to Perfect Artificial Photosynthesis (Shorter version of above article)
  • Artificial Photosynthesis

Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York:

  • Designing a Better Catalyst for “Artificial Photosynthesis”
  • Designing A Better Catalyst For 'Artificial Photosynthesis'
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Artificial_photosynthesis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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