15 Apr '12, 9am

Breakthrough Rivals Speed of Natural Photosynthesis, Sets Solar Energy World Record

Breakthrough Rivals Speed of Natural Photosynthesis, Sets Solar Energy World Record

A Humble Perspective /CC BY-SA 2.0 Researchers at the Swedish KTH Royal Institute of Technology have created a catalyst that can break water into oxygen and protons (which become hydrogen) at a turnover rate of 300 oxygen molecules per second per catalyst. The rate sets a world record for "turnover frequency," and represents an important breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis. A major branch of research into harvesting light energy targets producing hydrogen from water directly with light , instead of generating electricity and then losing a lot of efficiency breaking up oxygen electrolytically. The speed of the artificial process remained an obstacle, with the best known artificial catalysts performing a hundred times more poorly than nature's process. But the KTH group's record-setting turnover frequency of 300 lands squarely in the middle of the natural rate of 100 t...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/biomimicry/breakthrough-rivals-...

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