HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Seeing how plants split water could provide key to our future energy needs

The possibility of using the Earth's abundant supply of water as a cheap source of hydrogen is a step closer thanks to researchers from Imperial College London. By mimicking the method plants use to split water, researchers say that a highly energy efficient way to form cheap supplies of hydrogen fuel may be possible in the future.

Reporting online in the journal Science today Imperial researchers reveal the fine detail of the protein complex that drives photosynthesis - the process that converts atmospheric carbon dioxide into organic matter and oxygen (O2) by using sunlight to split water (H2O).

Using X-ray crystallography, the researchers describe for the first time the mechanism that underpins the photosynthetic water-splitting reaction. By analysing these findings the researchers believe it may be possible to learn how to recreate the process on an industrial scale, allowing hydrogen to be manufactured as a fuel.

Professor Jim Barber of Imperial's Department of Biological Sciences explains:
"Without photosynthesis life on Earth would not exist as we know it. Oxygen derived from this process is part of the air we breathe and maintains the ozone layer needed to protect us from UV radiation. Now hydrogen also contained in water could be one of the most promising energy sources for the future. Unlike fossil fuels it's highly efficient, low polluting and is mobile so it can be used for power generation in remote regions where it's difficult to access electricity.

"But the problem is hydrogen doesn't exist on Earth by itself. Instead it combines with other elements such as oxygen to form water, or with carbon to form methane, coal and petroleum. However, water is very stable and for this reason cannot be used directly as a fuel. Researchers have investigated using electrolysis to split water into oxygen and hydrogen but today it costs ten times as much as natural gas, and is three times as expensive as gasoline.


'"/>

Contact: Judith H Moore
j.h.moore@imperial.ac.uk
020-7594-6702
Imperial College London
5-Feb-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Seeing the forest for the trees: The future of environmental policy lies in interaction
2. Seeing stars after LASIK? Study suggests certain pre-surgery factors may be to blame
3. Seeing one weapon from a food-borne pathogen
4. Seeing Blue-Yellow Color Perception For The First Time
5. Seeing How the Brain Changes During Aging
6. The CIA Would Like To Know What Scientists Are Seeing Over The Rainbow
7. New research shows plants can shuffle and paste gene pieces to generate genetic diversity
8. Pollutant causes delayed flowering in plants
9. Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants
10. New discovery may help transplants survive
11. Genetic discovery could dramatically reduce need for liver transplants in children

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Seeing how plants split water could provide key our future energy needs

(Date:12/17/2014)... 16, 2014 Valencell, a leader in performance ... technology to industry leaders such as Intel, Jabra, Atlas, ... biometric wearable products. These products will be showcased at ... Las Vegas . "Our partners ... and robust – with the clinical data to back ...
(Date:12/11/2014)... --Research and Markets , ... ) has announced the addition of the ... their offering. One major trend ... multimodal biometric systems. Multimodal biometric systems utilize more ... and identification purposes. This helps to reduce the ...
(Date:12/10/2014)... , Dec. 9, 2014  Wake Forest Baptist Medical ... building for its School of Medicine. Funding for this ... capital campaign that will be publicly launched next summer. ... located in the former 60 series R.J. Reynolds Tobacco ... Quarter. Construction will begin immediately with plans to be ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Valencell PerformTek Biometrics Power the Most Accurate Wearables at CES 2015 2Biometrics Market in India 2015-2019: Key Vendors are 3M Cogent, NEC, Safran and Suprema 2Wake Forest Baptist to Build New Medical Education Facility In Wake Forest Innovation Quarter 2Wake Forest Baptist to Build New Medical Education Facility In Wake Forest Innovation Quarter 3Wake Forest Baptist to Build New Medical Education Facility In Wake Forest Innovation Quarter 4
(Date:12/17/2014)... (PRWEB) December 17, 2014 Gene ... that it has entered into a technology access ... (ADM) to apply DNA2.0’s proprietary protein engineering technology, ... process. , “We are extremely excited that the ... platform. This proprietary bioengineering technology has now ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. , Dec. 17, ... positive results of a Phase 2 study evaluating ... for the treatment of patients with severe, chronic ... the current standard of care, including topical steroids ... endpoint was percent change in Visual Analog Scale ...
(Date:12/15/2014)...  GlassesOff Inc. (OTCBB: GLSO) announced today the appointment ... director of the Company,s Board of Directors. ... its CEO until its acquisition by Stanley Black ... Recognized as the inventor of the first Wi-Fi-based Active ... -based RFID solutions focused on improving operational efficiency, safety ...
(Date:12/13/2014)... (PRWEB) December 12, 2014 Clarassance, a ... announced its new name: Therabron Therapeutics , Inc. ... and bronchioles (a type of structure in the lungs ... company’s mission to develop novel protein therapeutics for the ... directors decided to change the name to mark the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:ADM and DNA2.0 Enter Into Protein Engineering Technology Access and Service Agreement 2Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC and Tigercat Pharma, Inc. Announce Phase 2 Results for VPD-737 in Patients With Chronic Pruritus 2Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC and Tigercat Pharma, Inc. Announce Phase 2 Results for VPD-737 in Patients With Chronic Pruritus 3Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC and Tigercat Pharma, Inc. Announce Phase 2 Results for VPD-737 in Patients With Chronic Pruritus 4AeroScout Founder Joins GlassesOff's Board of Directors 2AeroScout Founder Joins GlassesOff's Board of Directors 3Maryland-based Biotech Company's Path Forward in Treating Respiratory Diseases Sparks Name Change 2
Cached News: