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:5/23/2017)...  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor ... Genoa, Italy . The first 30 robots will be ... USA . The technology was developed and patented at the ... spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur ... ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... DALLAS , May 16, 2017   ... for health organizations, and MD EMR Systems ... certified development partner for GE, have established a ... Patient Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, ... Centricity EMR. These new integrations ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 ... and partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) ... "With or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Terrorist Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with ... resettlement. (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... RMC Pharmaceutical Solutions, Inc. ... Timothy Reinhardt to manage the new site. , Tim has 25 years of ... most recent role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier Quality Assessment. ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... RegMedNet has produced a Spotlight series on “Cell Therapy ... and perspectives by leading experts on the unique regulatory challenges of stem cell ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce that its ... be appropriate as a screening test at dairies and farms for raw commingled cow ... the Charm EZ Lite system. These systems are a combination incubator and reader in ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... 2017  Kibow Biotech Inc., a pioneer in developing ... of a new patent covering a unique method for ... Patent and Trademark Office on May 23 rd ... of Bio award in 2014 in San ... approaches to chronic disease. Renadyl™, the first and only ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: