Novel Means To Harvest Energy From Sunlight Unraveled

Robert Hilton While mankind is aware about several means to improve solar power and its production, the need for harvesting energy from the sun does arise. And here is a discovery which can probably boost energy production. Scientists from the BYU have now laid hands on an artificial system of photosynthesis for harvesting energy from sunlight.

As part of the investigation, researchers employed a common protein which is predicted to react with sunlight and harvest its energy. This process appears similar to what chlorophyll does during photosynthesis. In order to prove their findings, experts mixed citric acid from oranges with the protein. They then dissolved gold powder into the solution and added vials of the yellow-colored mixture in direct sunlight. As a result, the solution turned purple which indicates that the gold atoms have acquired electrons.

The energy was used to bunch together as small, purple-colored nanoparticles. So the protein may have employed the sunlight to excite the citric acid and transfer energy. The impact of direct sunlight was apparently registered within 20 minutes, but a high-powered tungsten mercury lamp worked at a much faster rate. When Professor Richard Watt and colleagues set the system up and turned on the light, the solution turned purple. Further attempts will be made to find ways of storing the harvested energy.

The research is published in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

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