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Chinese and Japanese Scientists Copy Plants’ Methods for Energy Production

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Published on : Jun 17, 2015

Chinese and Japanese scientists have been inspired by plants and claim to have identified a modus operandi for a do-it-yourself system that can provide fuel and electricity for home uses. The researchers have got motivation from the way plants create hydrogen from solar energy.

The scientists estimate that their findings may be an innovation for energy production in current times when diminishing reserves of energy are driving people to use alternative sources of energy. Professor Zhang Fuxiang the lead scientist in the research says the process does not involve heavy investment or infrastructure and can be used by anybody by the use of sunlight and water. 

The process does not need a large swimming pool, just a few buckets of water would work fine on the roof, and enough power can be generated for a person’s use, according to Zhang who is from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics. The discovery has been reported in a German journal related to applied chemistry. 

The researchers from Tokyo and Dalian in China chanced upon a new form of photo-catalyst that can separate hydrogen and oxygen as effectively as plants do when open to sunshine. Zhang says that their discovery is the most powerful water-splitting powder that has been found. The professor cannot foresee when the powder would be mass-produced, but feels that the force of the research may progress and the product may be on sale within a decade.

Scientists have admired at the photosynthesis methods of plants that convert sun rays into energy for many years. The scientist’s discovery is water-splitting technologies that needs more research to provide a viable solution to mankind’s’ energy problems. The mechanism is same as plants but needs ten times more development to become feasible. If it works then a clean form of fuel can be obtained and can be converted to electricity.

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