Once this technique is scaled up, oil production will never be the same again.
Scientists at the University of Illinois, Chicago may have finally mastered the art of photosynthetic solar cells.
The technology of photosynthetic solar cells essentially mimics a plant’s ability to inhale carbon dioxide and with the addition of water, convert the same to oxygen and glucose.
This breakthrough in technology is significant since the system can now draw in carbon dioxide from the environment, process it and produce synthetic fuel which could power tomorrow’s vehicles. It would seem the universe has a sense of humour: the very carbon that’s threatening our climate and our lives, can now be harnessed, and channelized for running tomorrow’s cars.
The artificial leaf that does the magic capturing the sun’s rays and initiates a chain of catalytic reactions with various obscure compounds including diselenide and nanoflake tungsten. The end result of this process is synthetic gas, which can be further processed to make diesel.
If the process developed by the University of Illinois can be scaled to make it cost effective, the end result could be the end of traditional gasoline production.
Instead of fracking and drilling machinery, a network of these cells could be installed at solar farms so as to create fuel and in the process substantially reduce the available carbon dioxide that is harming out atmosphere.
Yes, there is a downside to the process, it being, we would end up re-releasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but hey, no one said this is a perfect solution. It’s an amazing stop-gap solution for fighting climate change while we work to limit our carbon footprint.