Only a small percentage of U.S. vehicles are in some way fueled by solar energy. A small number of the electric cars in the States are sourced by power coming from solar panels. Also, the energy units that feed a developing armada of hybrid autos and transports depend on hydrogen converted using photovoltaic cells.
But Americans like many others around the globe, favor fluid fuel. So, to turn’s drivers love from gasoline to a more environmental friendly fuel, scientists at Harvard have figured out how to transform solar energy into a gas-like fluid fuel. The new methodology described as a’bionic leaf’, equipped for generating liquid fuel from daylight is based on a genetically designed bacteria in conjunction with a solar fueled catalyzer.
The liquefying procedure is possible with the help of a bacterial microorganism. After a kind of synthetic leaf – much like a photovoltaic cell – separates the ingested sunlight into hydrogen and oxygen, a lab-designed bacterium (Ralstonia eutropha) is inserted. The microscopic organism links the hydrogen with carbon dioxide to make a fluid fuel named isopropanol.
The new and one of a kind method mixes the abilities of an inorganic catalyst with a biological framework. Basically, it is a combination between human engineering and natural wonders of our planet. The main author behind the experiments, Daniel Nocera noted:
“We’re almost at a 1 percent efficiency rate of converting sunlight into isopropanol. There have been 2.6 billion years of evolution and Pam and I working together a year and a half have already achieved the efficiency of photosynthesis. “
The Scientists expect to increase the efficiency at 5 percent in the near future. Their scientific endeavor was detailed in this week’s issue of the diary PNAS.
Research co-author Pamela Silver added that their trials support the idea that it is possible to find a method of gathering solar energy and turning it and storing it as liquid fuel. She detailed that Daniel Nocera was the one to come up with the synthetic catalyst while another part of the research team was commissioned to find a way of finding and connecting biological organisms with the harvesting of solar energy.
The research group came from Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
Green enthusiasts should not hurry to rejoice a new turn towards the eco world as it will still be long time before the results of the study will apply for real vehicles.
Image Source: CNBC