Solar fuels and inspiration from photosynthesis

Cogdell, R. J. , Gardiner, A. T., Yukihira, N. and Hashimoto, H. (2018) Solar fuels and inspiration from photosynthesis. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, 353, pp. 645-653. (doi: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2017.09.013)

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The generation of renewable electricity is becoming increasingly cost-effective and efficient so that a different set of challenges have arisen that need to be overcome. The most pressing of these is the development of viable, ‘green’ ways to store this energy as carbon–carbon bonds. Natural photosynthesis provides a ready blue print for the conversion of solar energy into carbohydrate, i.e., a fuel composed of carbon–carbon bonds. Natural photosynthesis is too complicated and its components too fragile ever to be copied in an artificial context. Natural photosynthesis, however, does provide many templates that can be mimicked in any future bio-inspired version of artificial photosynthesis, such as the oxygen evolving complex and the enzyme RuBisCO. Many options will need to be explored to find the best ways to achieve artificial photosynthesis and to achieve it will require a large-scale, coordinated international effort. There is simply no time left to continue in the way we are now. Climate change needs to be stopped as soon as possible and the clock is ticking for us to make clean, renewable solar fuels. We must all now work together!

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cogdell, Professor Richard and Gardiner, Dr Alastair
Authors: Cogdell, R. J., Gardiner, A. T., Yukihira, N., and Hashimoto, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
ISSN (Online):1873-2666
Published Online:07 September 2017

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