May 21, 2019 | Updated: 12:07 PM EDT

Revolutionary Artificial Photosynthesis Brings Clean Air And Solar Fuel

Apr 26, 2017 11:08 AM EDT

Fernando Uribe-Romo on Synthetic Photosynthesis
(Photo : Youtube/University of Central Florida) A UCF assistant professor has found how to trigger photosynthesis in a synthetic material. The process can turn greenhouse gas into the clean air and produce energy at the same time.

Photosynthesis is utilized by plants to make food from the sun rays. But creating energy from artificial photosynthesis is the newly developed knack among researchers. Recently, Fernando Uribe-Romo, a scientist from Florida, innovated a new technique to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, which can turn greenhouse gasses into the clean air by also generating energy at the same time.

According to Eurekalert, Uribe-Romo along with his team of students a chemical reaction inside a synthetic material called metal-organic frameworks (MOF) which can break down Carbon dioxide into organic materials, much alike the real photosynthesis process, by which trees and plants convert Carbon dioxide and sunlight into organic food. The only difference is that instead of organic food, Uribe-Romo created two solar fuels namely, formate and formamides. In the process, the scientist used titanium and some other organic molecules, named N-alkyl-2-aminoterephthalates, that act as light-harvesting antennae. The material can absorb light as per requirement when pushed in the MOF segment. The process was synchronized with a blue LED photoreactor.

As per a report by Science Daily, Uribe-Romo's team used the photoreactor, which looked as if a shining blue LED light based cylinder, for examining the hypothesis. Measured amounts of carbon dioxide were slowly fed into the photoreactor to examine the chances of the reaction's occurrence in various occasions. The glowing blue LED lamps were bestowed throughout the surfaces of the cylinder and it was majorly targeted to act as a potential replacement to sun's blue wavelength.

At the end of the process, the innovation was successful generating both the above mentioned solar fuels. The process also formulated clean air. While describing the success, Uribe-Romo said: "The goal is to continue to fine-tune the approach so we can create greater amounts of reduced carbon so it is more efficient."

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