x

Type in what your trying to find.

Snippets

Photosynthesis holds key to renewable energy

GardenDrum

GardenDrum

September 2, 2014

English spinach

Renewable energy from spinach photosynthesis. Now that sounds like a good deal. But how will it work?

Plants have long held a secret – how to convert sunlight into energy. Can we find a way to replicate this process to make clean, efficient renewable fuel?

Purdue physics professor Yulia Pushkar (left) and postdoctoral researcher Lifen Yan work in Pushkar's laser lab. Pushkar and Yan are part of an international team using spinach to study the proteins involved in photosynthesis. (Purdue University photo/Tim Brouk

Purdue physics professor Yulia Pushkar (left) and postdoctoral researcher Lifen Yan work in Pushkar’s laser lab. Pushkar and Yan are part of an international team using spinach to study the proteins involved in photosynthesis. (Purdue University photo/Tim Brouk

Scientists at Purdue University, Indiana, have used special cameras to record what happens during photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy. Specially prepared proteins extracted from spinach bought at the supermarket are excited by lasers (to mimic the sun) and a camera records the changes in the electron configuration of their molecules.

The breakthrough research is possible by using the world’s most powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, which can produce extremely fast femtosecond laser pulses.

At 60% efficiency, photosynthesis is the most efficient energy conversion method known. Learning how to create artificial photosynthesis holds the promise of a truly renewable energy source for the future.

Learn more at Purdue University

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments