The vast majority of human energy needs are met through fossil fuels, which are the product of photosynthetic solar energy conversion. Photosynthesis is the most successful, largest-scale solar conversion technology. However it is not ideal for production of fuels for society because photosynthetic organisms did not evolve simply to provide energy for humans. A promising approach to solar conversion technology is artificial photosyn: thesis, which employs the basic science underlying photosynthesis, but not biological materials. Artificial photosynthetic antennas and reaction centers can harvest sunlight efficiently and convert it to electrochemical potential energy. Catalysts whose design is based on enzymes can use this potential to oxidize water and produce useful fuels. There are many approaches to artificial photosynthesis. The one discussed here involves antennas, reaction centers and catalysts consisting of organic molecules and metal complexes whose design draws heavily from their biological counterparts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)