Solar-powered water splitting is a promising means of generating clean and storable energy. A novel catalyst based on semiconductor nanoparticles has now been shown to facilitate all the reactions needed for “artificial photosynthesis”.
In the light of global climate change, there is an urgent need to develop efficient ways of obtaining and storing power from renewable energy sources. The photocatalytic splitting of water into hydrogen fuel and oxygen provides a particularly attractive approach in this context. However, efficient implementation of this process, which mimics biological photosynthesis, is technically very challenging, since it involves a combination of processes that can interfere with each other. Now, LMU physicists led by Dr. Jacek Stolarczyk and Professor Jochen Feldmann, in collaboration with chemists at the University of Würzburg led by Professor Frank Würthner, have succeeded in demonstrating the complete splitting of water with the help of an all-in-one catalytic system for the first time. Their new study appears in the journal Nature Energy.
Technical methods for the photocatalytic splitting of water molecules use synthetic components to mimic the complex processes that take place during natural photosynthesis. In such systems, semiconductor nanoparticles that absorb light quanta (photons) can, in principle, serve as the photocatalysts. Absorption of a photon generates a negatively charged particle (an electron) and a positively charged species known as a ‘hole’, and the two must be spatially separated so that a water molecule can be reduced to hydrogen by the electron and oxidized by the hole to form oxygen. “If one only wants to generate hydrogen gas from water, the holes are usually removed rapidly by adding sacrificial chemical reagents,” says Stolarczyk. “But to achieve complete water splitting, the holes must be retained in the system to drive the slow process of water oxidation.” The problem lies in enabling the two half-reactions to take place simultaneously on a single particle – while ensuring that the oppositely charged species do not recombine. In addition, many semiconductors can be oxidized themselves, and thereby destroyed, by the positively charged holes.
Nanorods with spatially separated reaction sites
“We solved the problem by using nanorods made of the semiconducting material cadmium sulfate, and spatially separated the areas on which the oxidation and reduction reactions occurred on these nanocrystals,” Stolarczyk explains. The researchers decorated the tips of the nanorods with tiny particles of platinum, which act as acceptors for the electrons excited by the light absorption. As the LMU group had previously shown, this configuration provides an efficient photocatalyst for the reduction of water to hydrogen. The oxidation reaction, on the other hand, takes place on the sides of the nanorod. To this end, , the LMU researchers attached to the lateral surfaces a ruthenium-based oxidation catalyst developed by Würthner‘s team. The compound was equipped with functional groups that anchored it to the nanorod. “These groups provide for extremely fast transport of holes to the catalyst, which facilitates the efficient generation of oxygen and minimizes damage to the nanorods,” says Dr. Peter Frischmann, one of the initiators of the project in Würzburg.
The Latest on: Artificial photosynthesis
[google_news title=”” keyword=”artificial photosynthesis” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Artificial photosynthesis
- Self-healing semiconductor withstands light equal to 160 suns to produce hydrogenon January 7, 2023 at 8:11 am
A new type of solar panel has achieved 9 percent efficiency in converting water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process known as artificial photosynthesis.
- Breakthroughs represent ‘major leap’ towards making energy out of thin airon January 4, 2023 at 9:23 am
New devices could each represent a major breakthrough in making clean energy out of thin air, according to their creators.
- Artificial Photosynthesis Market Size 2023 with New Report by Prominent Players & Peak Selling Price till 2027on January 4, 2023 at 9:14 am
Artificial Photosynthesis market size was valued at USD 64.3 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 20.56% during the forecast period, reaching USD 197.39 million by 2027.
- Cheap, sustainable hydrogen: New catalyst is 10 times more efficient than previous sun-powered water-splitting deviceson January 4, 2023 at 8:00 am
A new kind of solar panel, developed at the University of Michigan, has achieved 9% efficiency in converting water into hydrogen and oxygen—mimicking a crucial step in natural photosynthesis. Outdoors ...
- A step towards solar fuels out of thin airon January 4, 2023 at 3:11 am
EPFL chemical engineers have invented a solar-powered artificial leaf, built on a novel electrode which is transparent and porous, capable of harvesting water from the air for conversion into hydrogen ...
- Toyota group lab passes plants in rate of artificial photosynthesison January 1, 2023 at 4:00 pm
NAGAKUTE, Aichi Prefecture--Toyota Central R&D Labs Inc. said it has gone one better than even plants, improving the efficiency of its artificial photosynthesis technology to a world record level.
- Artificial Photosynthesis report helps in making informed business decisions by having complete insights into the market.on December 21, 2022 at 3:23 am
Dec 21, 2022 (Reportmines via Comtex) -- Artificial photosynthesis has the ability to create energy out of light using an artificial system that mimics natural photosynthesis. This technology ...
- Artificial Photosynthesis Takes Another Step Forwardon December 15, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Scientists have had some limited success using expensive rare-earth or noble metal catalysts (such as ruthenium and rhenium) to achieve artificial photosynthesis. The goal, however, has been to find a ...
- Shedding light on photosynthesis at seaon December 13, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Responding to this gap, a research team led by Associate Professor Ritsuko Fujii, from the Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (ReCAP) at Osaka Metropolitan University, and graduate ...
via Bing News