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Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation

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Man-made solar energy harvesting systems that mimick nature's photosynthesis.

Artificial photosynthesis would not only provide a green and renewable source of electrical energy, but could also help scrub the atmosphere of excessive carbon dioxide. To get there, however, scientists need a far better understanding of how Nature does it, starting with the harvesting of sunlight and the transporting of this energy to electrochemical reaction centers. [1]

See also Directory:Solar Hydrogen

Technologies

  • Solar / Hydrogen > Solar Hydrogen > Photosynthesis Imitation >
    HyperSolar Envisions Solar Powered Hydrogen "Farms" - Essentially mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis, Hypersolar's nanoscale solar device with protective plastic coating enables the production of hydrogen in hostile environments including sea water, wastewater or stormwater runoff. That gives the system a leg up on conventional hydrogen systems, which require purified water. (CleanTechnica; May 26, 2012)
  • Solar > Photosynthesis Imitation >
    Atom-Thick Coating Helps Researchers Achieve Artificial Photosynthesis - By growing layers of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide on a semiconductor surface, researchers from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have managed to create solar cells that can ultimately extract hydrogen from water under the direct action of sunlight, just like leaves do their natural photosynthesis. (Green Optimistic; May 11, 2011)
  • Biomimetics > Photosynthesis Imitation >
    Scientists find natural photovoltaic cell in hornet, and copy it - The oriental hornet is more active during the day, and tends to become even more active as the temperature rises. And now scientists have discovered the reason: the hornets are solar powered. It turns out that the distinctive yellow stripe on the hornet's abdomen is actually full of tiny protrusions that gather sunlight and harness it for energy. (GizMag; December 6, 2010)
  • Nanotech / Biomimetics / Solar >
    Plant-Mimicking Solar Cells Can Self-Assemble - Scientists at MIT have created a breakthrough solution to one of the biggest problems facing solar cells by mimicking the world's best harvesters of solar energy: plants. Over time, sunlight breaks down the materials in solar cells, leading to a gradual degradation of devices aiming to harvest the energy in that light. Plants don't have this problem. (EcoGeek; Sept. 7, 2010)
  • Solar > Solar Hydrogen / Photosynthesis Imitation >
    Breakthrough in using sunlight to split water - A team of MIT researchers has managed to mimic the photosynthetic process in plants by engineering M13, a simple and harmless virus, to help splitting water into its two atomic components - hydrogen and oxygen - using sunlight. The virus acts as the chlorophyl by capturing light, then transfers the energy down its length, acting like a wire. (GizMag; Apr. 16, 2010)
  • Solar > PV / Photosynthesis Imitation >
    Inexpensive Highly Efficient Electrochemical Solar Cells Possible - Professor Marsan at the Universite du Quebec has developed an electrochemical solar cell technology that is cheaper, and more stable than others to date. And it has bio-mimicry attributes, using some of the dynamics of photosynthesis. (ScienceDaily; Apr. 12, 2010)
  • Solar > Photosynthesis Imitation >
    Drawing inspiration from Mother Nature in designing an ‘artifical leaf’ - A group of Chinese scientists has presented a design strategy based on the chemistry and biology of natural leaves that could lead to working prototypes of an artificial leaf that captures solar energy and uses it efficiently to change water into hydrogen fuel. (GizMag; March 26, 2010)
  • Biomimicry > Photosynthsis Imitation / Solar > R&D >
    Scientists grow solar cell components in tobacco plants - Over billions of years, plants have evolved very efficient sunlight-collecting systems. Now, scientists are trying to harness the finely tuned systems in tobacco plants in order to use them as the building blocks of solar cells, leading to the production of inexpensive, biodegradable solar cells. (PhysOrg; Jan. 29, 2010)
  • Converting light into energy with ‘artificial leaf’ one step closer - As an efficient, natural means of capturing solar energy, photosynthesis is hard to beat. But it's also proving extremely difficult to duplicate. Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands have built a light-harvesting antenna using the chlorophyll of the alga Spirulina, bring them half way towards creating an artificial leaf. (GizMag; July 1, 2009)
  • Alt Fuels >
    Turning Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel - Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are now in the process of a major breakthrough towards artificial photosynthesis, banking on cobalt oxide that can effectively carry out the crucial photosynthetic reaction of splitting water molecules to develop fuels. (Alt. Energy; Mar. 17, 2009)
  • Monash team learns from nature to split water - The breakthrough could revolutionise the renewable energy industry by making hydrogen – touted as the clean, green fuel of the future – cheaper and easier to produce on a commercial scale. (Slashdot) (Monash University; Aug. 17, 2008)
  • Could photosynthesis have a key role in future energy supply? - If we can understand exactly how plants capture and store solar energy, we could mimic the natural process to design solar panels with better energy conversion rates and also develop a clean, efficient means of producing hydrogen fuel; as well as develop better crops for biofuels. (PhysOrg; July 24, 2007)
  • Quantum secrets of photosynthesis revealed - Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria are able to transfer sunlight energy to molecular reaction centers for conversion into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. Speed is the key - the transfer of the solar energy takes place almost instantaneously so little energy is wasted as heat. How photosynthesis achieves this near instantaneous energy transfer is a long-standing mystery that may have finally been solved. (PhysOrg; Apr. 12, 2007)
  • Quantum secrets of photosynthesis revealed - Through photosynthesis, green plants and cyanobacteria are able to transfer sunlight energy to molecular reaction centers for conversion into chemical energy with nearly 100-percent efficiency. Speed is the key - the transfer of the solar energy takes place almost instantaneously so little energy is wasted as heat. How photosynthesis achieves this near instantaneous energy transfer is a long-standing mystery that may have finally been solved. (PhysOrg; Apr. 12, 2007)
  • Re-inventing nature for cheaper solar power - A research team in Sydney has created molecules that mimic those in plants which harvest light and power life on Earth. (PhysOrg; Sept. 1, 2006)
  • Solaronix - Development of dye sensitized nanocristalline titanium oxide solar photovoltaic cells imitating natural photosynthesis. This new solar cells is based on the mechanism of a regenerative photoelectrochemical process. The active layer consists of a highly porous nanocrystalline titanium oxide (nc-TiO2) deposited on a transparent electrically conducting substrate.
  • Dyesol - Dye Solar Cell (DSC), based on artificial photosynthesis is based on the concept of a dye analogous to chlorophyll absorbing light and thus generating electrons which enter the conduction band of a high surface area semiconductor film and further move through an external circuit, thus converting light into ‘green’ power. This is a two-step photovoltaic process, unlike the one step process of conventional PV. It is a photoelectrochemical cell: charge separation occurs on interface between a wide bandgap semiconductor (e.g. titania TiO2) and an electrolyte.
  • Photosynthesis Drives Solar Cell - Researchers have harnessed the light harvesting molecules of spinach and bacteria to make solar cells that could one day be sprayed on many surfaces. (MIT Technology Review; Aug. 31, 2004)

See also

SOLAR GENERAL:

SOLAR MODALITIES:

SOLAR INFRASTRUCTURE

SOLAR APPLICATIONS:

GENERAL NATURE

ENERGY IN NATURE

MAN AND NATURE

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