Girl Planting seeds

Driving chemical reactions with light

The chemistry of photosynthesis is still poorly understood. However, researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany and Rice University in Houston have now uncovered a major piece of the puzzle. Their findings have been published recently in Science Advances.  Trees, bushes and other plants are extremely efficient in converting water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose, a type of sugar, by means of photosynthesis. Knowing the fundamental physical mechanisms involved and harnessing them for other general applications would provide huge benefits for mankind. The energy of sunlight could be used to generate hydrogen from water as a fuel for automobiles, for example. Using light-driven processes like those involved in photosynthesis in chemical reactions is called photocatalysis.  Read more...



close (X)