Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Artificial Photosynthesis Moves A Step Closer

Date:
March 26, 2008
Source:
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Summary:
Scientists have made an important step on the long road to artificially mimicking photosynthesis. They were able to synthesise a stable inorganic metal oxide cluster, which enables the fast and effective oxidation of water to oxygen. Artificial photosynthesis may decisively contribute to solving energy and climate problems, if researchers find a way to efficiently produce hydrogen with the aid of solar energy.

Scientists have made an important step on the long road to artificially mimicking photosynthesis. Artificial photosynthesis may decisively contribute to solving energy and climate problems, if researchers find a way to efficiently produce hydrogen with the aid of solar energy.
Credit: iStockphoto

Jülich scientists have made an important step on the long road to artificially mimicking photosynthesis. They were able to synthesise a stable inorganic metal oxide cluster, which enables the fast and effective oxidation of water to oxygen.

Artificial photosynthesis may decisively contribute to solving energy and climate problems, if researchers find a way to efficiently produce hydrogen with the aid of solar energy.

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy carrier of the future. The automobile industry, for example, is working hard to introduce fuel cell technology starting in approximately 2010. However, a fuel cell drive system can only be really environmentally friendly, if researchers succeed in producing hydrogen from renewable sources. Artificial photosynthesis, i.e. the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen with the aid of sunlight, could be an elegant way of solving this problem.

However, the road to success is littered with obstacles. One of the obstacles to be overcome is the formation of aggressive substances in the process of water oxidation. Plants solve this problem by constantly repairing and replacing their green catalysts. A technical imitation depends on more stable catalysts as developed and synthesised for the first time by a team from Research Centre Jülich, member of the Helmholtz Association, and from Emory University in Atlanta, USA. The new inorganic metal oxide cluster with a core consisting of four ions of the rare transition metal ruthenium catalyses the fast and effective oxidation of water to oxygen while remaining stable itself.

"Our water-soluble tetraruthenium complex displays its effects in aqueous solution already at ambient temperature," enthuses Prof. Paul Kögerler from the Jülich Institute of Solid State Research, who synthesised and characterised the promising cluster together with his colleague Dr. Bogdan Botar. Catalytic measurements were carried out at Emory University. "In contrast to all other molecular catalysts for water oxidation, our catalyst does not contain any organic components. This is why it is so stable".

Botar explains the next step: "Now the challenge is to integrate this ruthenium complex into photoactive systems, which efficiently convert solar energy into chemical energy". So far, energy is still obtained from a chemical oxidant.

Journal reference: Yurii V. Geletii, Bogdan Botar, Paul Kögerler, Daniel A. Hillesheim, Djamaladdin G. Musaev, and Craig L. Hill; An All-Inorganic, Stable, and Highly Active Tetraruthenium Homogeneous Catalyst for Water Oxidation; Angewandte Chemie, DOI: 10.1002/ange.200705652.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Artificial Photosynthesis Moves A Step Closer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325104519.htm>.
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. (2008, March 26). Artificial Photosynthesis Moves A Step Closer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325104519.htm
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. "Artificial Photosynthesis Moves A Step Closer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080325104519.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) — New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) — A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) — A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) — As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins