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:


(Date:3/27/2017)... CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics ... Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, ... 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical ... CHS for its high level of EMR usage ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and ... Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft System Market ... the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by 2025. ... for all the given segments on global as well as regional ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 ... ... company pioneering graphene biosensors that accelerate pharmaceutical and biotherapeutics development, announces the launch ... the number of steps needed to gain kinetic binding data for a wide ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... of 6” modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for ... damp and wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... JULABO USA introduces its new website ... it easy to navigate through the site whether you’re in the office, in ... educational industry content and visit the company’s social media accounts, all on one ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... event, which will take place on September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place ... Head of Experimental Medicine, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: