Semi-artificial photosynthesis points the way to a viable hydrogen economy

A little help from life goes a long way.

New species of sea slug steals algae chlorophyll to live a solar-powered lifestyle

Lifestyle so green it shows through its skin.

Cyborg bacteria equipped with tiny solar panels outperform photosynthesis

Trees aren’t obsolete yet but this hybrid system can do amazing things.

New, cheap artificial photosynthesis scrubs the air and produces fuel

Currently only works with blue light, but they’re working on fixing that.

Photosynthetic solar cell turns carbon dioxide and sunlight into fuel

Fossil fuels could soon be a thing of the past.

Reverse photosynthesis turns plants into biofuels

Photosynthesis is maybe the most important chemical process on Earth, turning sunlight and CO2 into the oxygen we breath and the food we eat. This process can be reversed, however.

A virus was used to harvest energy from light, and it could be used in solar cells someday

Solar energy could be turned up a notch not by some exotic material or chip, but surprisingly by viruses. A team at MIT published a paper demonstrating how a genetically modified virus was used in a quantum system to transfer energy at double the speed and over a greater distance than even the best solar cells.

Artificial leaf and bacteria turn sunlight into liquid fuel

Using only energy from the sun, a pioneering artificial leaf system splits water to generate hydrogen – a highly energy dense fuel. When Daniel Nocera, then a professor at MIT, announced his device for the first time four years ago, people were really hyped about it but it soon became clear that making hydrogen was only part of the solution. “The problem with the artificial leaf,” Nocera says, is that “it makes hydrogen. You guys don’t have an infrastructure to use hydrogen.”

Tobacco plants borrowing bacteria genes achieve more efficient photosynthesis

It wouldn’t be an understatement to say we owe all the wonders of life to photosynthesis – the ability of plants and certain bacteria to convert CO2 into energy (sugars) and food. Scientists have for some time attempted to enhance photosynthesis through genetic manipulation, but it’s only recently that we’re beginning to see these efforts take form. The most recent

Hot-spring bacteria can make photosynthesis using far-red light

Bacteria living in obscure environments use an extremely rare process to harvest energy and produce oxygen from sunlight – but they don’t use visible light, they use far-red light. “We have shown that some cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, can grow in far-red wavelengths of light, a range not seen well by most humans,” said Donald A. Bryant, the Ernest C.

New insights on photosynthesis bring us one step closer to solar fuels

For billions of years, nature has been harnessing the energy from the sun through photosynthesis. This way, plants, algae and cyanobacteria use sunlight to split water and produce energy-rich chemical compounds from carbon dioxide (CO2). This energy is then transferred to animal that eat these plants, and animals that eat plant-eating animals, including us humans. It’s clear that without photosynthesis, there

Popeye’s secret: spinach provides key insight that might one day lead to artificial photosynthesis

While scientists have been studying and incrementally increasing solar cell efficiency, we’ve yet to reach nature’s magnitude of solar energy conversion through photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthesis is a goal in alternative energy research, yet the process is extremely difficult to mimic since, in nature, the process involves numerous stages and transformation of matter and energy. Purdue University physicists used spinach and applied

Progress in artificial leaf development made

What nature seems to perform effortlessly with photosynthesis has proven to be an immense hurdle for scientists trying to mimic it with so called artificial leafs. In recent years, important breakthroughs have been made with this scope in mind, yet the artificial leaf is so inefficient at the moment that it’s absolutely not worth pursuing on a large scale. Researchers

Forests become more efficient in response to rising CO2 levels

For years scientists have hypothesized that a rise in CO2 levels will cause the world’s forests to use water more efficiently, however only recently was this theory proven after Harvard University researchers performed the most complex study of the sort to date. The team of researchers  led by research  Trevor Keenan and Andrew Richardson actually found the the world’s forests are more efficient than

Secret of efficient photosynthesis is decoded

When you think about photosynthesis, the color green probably comes to mind – almost all plants are green, and they rely on photosynthesis, right? But purple bacteria have been around for a long time, and they are among the most efficient organisms at turning sunlight into usable chemical energy. Now, a key to their light-harvesting ability has been explained through

Newly discovered ‘Scarecrow’ gene might yield 50% more efficient crops

Scientists at Cornell University may have stumbled across the cornucopia gene for crops, after scientific investigations revealed that a certain gene allows some plants to photosynthesize 50% more efficient than most common plants, including crops like wheat or rice. The researchers hope through genetic manipulation that they may transfer this gene to crops, allowing for higher yields and an increase

Scientists split an atom in two and then fuse it back together

Atom = at·om, noun \ˈa-təm\, from the greek  ἄτομος (atomos) meaning “indivisible”. Apparently the atom isn’t that indivisible after all. Scientists at University of Bonn have managed to split an atom into two with a special laser, in special conditions, before merging it back together. Just like in the case of light, quantum mechanics allowed an atom to be split and then fused back. But how is

How to make photosynthetic solar panels, MIT scientist explains

If you’re reading this post via e-mail or RSS, please visit the post’s page on the website to view the video interview. MIT researchers, guided by Andreas Mershin’s vision of a world fueled by cheap and renewable electricity, have recently published a paper in which they explain how photovoltaic panels made from plants can be considered a highly appealing alternative

Artificial leaf closer to reality after two new studies

If harnessed at a much greater potential than it is now, sunlight might not only become the primary source of energy on the planet, but the cheapest too. In one hour the sun sprays our planet with enough energy to power all the electrical needs of the word for an entire YEAR. Now that’s something to think about, and luckily

‘Artificial leafs’ turn water and sunlight into electricity

The sun is the biggest source of energy on our planet, and it’s all natural. It’s enough to realize that in one hour the sun produces enough energy to power all the electrical needs of the word for an entire YEAR! Naturally, research has been underway for many years now for means of practically and efficiently exploiting this remarkable natural