Panasonic develops artificial photosynthesis system generating organic materials from CO2
Panasonic Corp said Monday it has developed an artificial photosynthesis system which converts carbon dioxide (CO2) to organic materials by illuminating with sunlight at a world’s top efficiency of 0.2%. The efficiency is on a comparable level with real plants used for biomass energy.
The key to the system is the application of a nitride semiconductor which makes the system simple and efficient. This development will be a foundation for the realization of a system for capturing and converting wasted carbon dioxide from incinerators, power plants or industrial activities.
CO2 is one of the substances responsible for greenhouse effect and as such, efforts are being made to reduce the emissions of CO2 worldwide. The problem of CO2 is also directly connected to an issue of the depletion of fossil fuels. Artificial photosynthesis is the direct conversion from CO2 into organic materials, which can solve both of these problems.
In the previous approaches so far, the systems have had complex structures such as organic complexes or plural photo-electrodes, which makes it difficult to improve their efficiency in response to the light. Panasonic’s artificial photosysnthesis system has a simple structure with highly efficient CO2 conversion, which can utilize direct sunlight or focused light.