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New material replicating photosynthesis would mitigate energy and climate issues

Published by under Environment Sciences,Nanotechnology,News categories on January 29, 2008

Plant PhotoA group of researchers at Kyoto University has developed a nanotechnology material that could be used to replicate the natural process of photosynthesis at a much lower cost than currently possible. The innovation could lead to an efficient and relatively cheap system that uses sunlight to synthesize sugars and alcohols from carbon dioxide and thereby mop up excess CO2 in the atmosphere.

Therefore is a cheap way to both generate bio-ethanol (lets rename this as tech-ethanol) and capture CO2 while producing oxygen, which rebalances the CO2 level at the atmosphere and might lead to big contribution as climate change mitigation technology (please see our new “Climate change a fact, despite is possible to mitigate its effects” ) as well as cheap energy source.

This new material is built of nanoparticles of manganese dioxide and this is the key to replicate artificially the natural photosynthesis at very low cost. These nanoparticles are obtained by an special technique of burning. The reduced size of these particles, few nanometers, makes this new material more reactive and efficient for photosynthesis; theoretically could reduce the atmosphere CO2 level 300 times faster than natural plants.

There are vast applications like reducing CO2 within the source of emissions (vehicles, factories) and would be cheaper and faster to “plant” artificial forest made of this material, even within cities building, than natural. At the same time ethanol at low cost is synthesized as substitute of petrol derivates.

This innovative material opens the possibility to mitigate (solve?) efficiently some of the most important issues for our future: Energy, Climate change and pollution.


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