Researchers at Panasonic have developed an artificial photosynthesis system which converts carbon dioxide to formic acid, a chemical used for producing dye and fragrance.
The Japanese firm said the platform can be used to help capture and convert wasted carbon dioxide from incinerators, power plants or industrial activities.
Panasonic's system includes a nitride semiconductor and a metal catalyst that generates mainly formic acid from carbon dioxide and water with light at an efficiency of 0.2 percent. The efficiency is of a comparable level to real plants used in the biomass energy source.
The reaction rate is completely proportional to the light power due to the low energy loss with simple structure; in other words, the system can respond to focused light. This will make it possible to realise a simple and compact system for capturing and converting wasted carbon dioxide from incinerators and electric generation plants.
Carbon dioxide is one of the substances responsible for greenhouse effect and as such, efforts are being made to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide worldwide. The problem of carbon dioxide is also directly connected to an issue of the depletion of fossil fuels.
Artificial photosynthesis is the direct conversion from carbon dioxide into organic materials, which would be able to solve both of these problems, according to Panasonic.
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