In a new article, published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, an interdisciplinary European research group led by Uppsala University scientists describe how artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas.
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.
Researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised 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.
“Evolution has already developed and refined a tool for capturing sunlight through photosynthesis. And by introducing our artificial enzyme into photosynthetic cyanobacteria we can directly benefit from this efficient process, thus producing hydrogen gas from solar energy. We’ve developed a completely new method, which allows us to go beyond the solutions offered by evolution and nature” Senior Lecturer Gustav Berggren says.