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Can Artificial Photosynthesis Help Purify Air?

Clean and fresh air is something that is highly impossible to expect in today’s world. The plants are considered to be a great source of fresh air or for purifying the atmosphere. But, is it possible by the poor plants to clean the whole polluted air? It is something to think about deeply, right?

Can Artificial Photosynthesis Help Purify Air?

Taking this matter seriously, Professor Fernando Uribe-Romo and his group of students performed an experiment similar to that of a normal photosynthesis procedure in which the plants use the carbon dioxide to produce food and release oxygen. In the research, a synthetic material known as “metal-organic frameworks” helps convert the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere into organic materials that can be further used to produce solar fuels. The synthetic material created will help turn the greenhouse gases into the clean air and also produce solar fuels on a large scale in the coming years. This work is a breakthrough in terms of societal development as it will help reduce the greenhouse gases linked to the climate change.

According to Uribe-Romo, there is a requirement of visible light to bring about the chemical transformation for converting carbon dioxide into nontoxic organic materials, which are used further to manufacture solar fuels. The visible light ranging from violet to red wavelengths can be captured only by a few materials that bring about a chemical reaction for turning carbon dioxide into solar fuels. On the other hand, the UV light possesses loads of energy to bring about a reaction in the titanium dioxide materials, but the major drawback is that it makes up only 4% of the sun rays. Looking at the cost of the materials such as rhenium, iridium, and platinum used to capture the visible light, the researchers used titanium. Some organic molecules such as N-alkyl-2-aminoterephthalates, acting as the light harvesting antennas, were added to the material. The light harvesting antennas were synchronized or designed to absorb only blue light. In short, the blue LED photoreactor used turned the carbon dioxide to a reduced form of formate, carbon, and formamides for fuel production and cleaning the air.

Thus, the new technology can prove to be a boon for the power plants that can recycle the gas released as well as produce power for the company itself. Only the future can tell about its success.

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