One of the right way to get a new renewable energy source is to use what we already have at hand. We learnt to use solar, wind, wave, hydrogen energy etc. How about taking something completely useless and make it work?
Researchers are trying to duplicate a natural process of photosynthesis by using carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and industrial units. It’s not just a new way of energy production, it also will make subsidiary units for carbon dioxide treatment obsolete.
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a prototype machine that utilizes the sun’s energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into the molecular building blocks that can be utilized as transportation fuels. If researchers can make this device produce twice the energy generated by the natural process of photosynthesis, it will do great service to environment. It will pave the way to recycle CO2.
Till now devices imitating the photosynthesis process are not a great success. But a hand-built demonstration machine was successfully tested this fall. Researcher Rich Diver, inventor of the device, affirms, “This is a first-of-its-kind prototype we’re evaluating.”
Scientists are of the view that people have to wait for at least 15 to 20 years before the technology is ready for market. They are planning to develop a new-generation prototype every three years with the aim of showing an increase in solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency and a decrease in cost. They want to attain the above-stated goal by developing new ceramic composites that release oxygen molecules at lower temperatures. This will help in converting more of the sun’s energy into hydrogen or carbon monoxide.