– Speed has been the main problem, the bottleneck, when it comes to creating perfect artificial photosynthesis, says Licheng Sun, professor of organic chemistry at KTH.
But now, together with research colleagues, he has imitated natural photosynthesis and thereby succeeded in creating a molecular catalyzer that is record fast. The speed with which natural photosynthesis does its job is given as 100 to 400 turnovers per seconds. The KTH have reached over 300 turnovers per seconds with their artificial photosynthesis.
– This is clearly a world record, and a breakthrough regarding a molecular catalyzer in artificial photosynthesis, says Licheng Sun.
The fact that the KTH researchers are now close to nature’s own photosynthesis regarding speed opens up many new possibilities, especially for renewable energy sources.
– This speed makes it possible in the future to create large-scale facilities for producing hydrogen in the Sahara, where there’s an abundance of sunshine. Or to attain much more efficient solar energy conversion to electricity, combining this with traditional solar cells, than is possible today, says Licheng Sun.
He points to the problem of skyrocketing gasoline prices, and these advances with the rapid molecular catalyzers can in turn lay the groundwork for many important changes. On the one hand, they make it possible to use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into various fuels, such as methanol. On the other hand, the technology can be created to convert solar energy directly into hydrogen. Licheng Sun adds that he and his research colleagues are working hard and pursing intensive research to make this technology inexpensive.
– I’m convinced that it will be possible in ten years to produce technology based on this type of research that is sufficiently cheap to compete with carbon-based fuels. This explains why Barack Obama is investing billions of dollars in this type of research, says Licheng Sun.
He has conducted research in this field for nearly twenty years, more than half of that time at KTH, and adds that he and many other researchers see efficient catalyzers for oxidation of water as key to solving the solar energy problem.
– When it comes to renewable energy sources, using the sun is one of the best ways to go, says Licheng Sun.
The research findings are of such importance that they have recently attracted the attention of the scientific journal Nature Chemistry.
The research pursued by Licheng Sun and his colleagues is funded by the Wallenberg Foundation and the Swedish Energy Agency. They collaborate with researchers at Uppsala University and Stockholm University, and, together with Professor Lars Kloo at KTH, they run a joint research center involving KTH and Dalian University of Technology (DUT) in China.
For more information, please contact Licheng Sun via email@example.com or +46 (0)8 - 790 81 27. Please note that Professor Licheng Sun will be attending various conferences around the world for the next few weeks, which means it is easiest to reach him by e-mail.
Peter Larsson | idw
A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies
Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences