A new scientific article details a new method used by researchers at Uppsala University to utilize artificial enzymes to convert solar energy into hydrogen gas. This is certainly revolutionary considering not much has been researched on such a type of conversion.
More Details about the Solar Energy to Hydrogen Gas Conversion
The researchers have synthesized an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize the cell’s own energy, and thereby enable hydrogen gas to be produced from solar energy. Hydrogen gas has long been noted as a promising energy carrier, but its production is still dependent on fossil raw materials. Renewable hydrogen gas can be extracted from water, but as yet the systems for doing so have limitations.
The new article published in the journal called ‘Energy and Environmental Science’, describes how an interdisciplinary European research group led by Uppsala University scientists used artificial enzymes to convert solar energy into hydrogen gas. This entirely new method has been developed at the University in the past few years. The technique is based on photosynthetic microorganisms with genetically inserted enzymes that are combined with synthetic compounds produced in the laboratory. Synthetic biology has been utilized along with synthetic chemistry to design and create custom artificial enzymes inside living organisms.
According to Adam Wegelius, a Ph.D. student at the Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, the team has managed to use the method to produce enzymes that utilize the cell’s own energy to produce hydrogen gas. This research is jointly lead by Senior Lecturer Gustav Berggren and Professor Peter Lindblad of the same department. According to them, the solutions banks heavily on evolution and how it has offered way to harness solar energy trapped inside cyanobacteria and other organisms. The article published in Energy and Environmental Science is called “Generation of a functional, semisynthetic [FeFe]-hydrogenase in a photosynthetic microorganism”.