“A new device which mimics the ability of plants to photosynthesise could hasten the transition away from fossil fuels, say the Cambridge scientists who created it.
The test unit converts light, carbon dioxide and water into a clean and stable fuel that can either be used directly or converted into hydrogen.
It operates wirelessly and without an external power source, and despite being only three inches in size, it can be scaled up for use on an industrial level akin to solar farms, according to the researchers.
The quest to replicate photosynthesis has long been a challenge for science. The problem has been ‘converting as much of the sunlight as possible into the fuel you want, rather than be left with a lot of waste’, said Dr Qian Wang of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry and lead scientist on the project.
Producing a scalable renewable fuel that can be easily stored and transported has also proved an intractable problem.”