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New Artificial Material Developed That Can Produce A Self-Sustainable Source Of Energy


Researchers at Florida State University have developed a new artificial material that functions similar to the process of photosynthesis and can open up new avenues to create a sustainable energy source. According to Jose L Mendoza-Cortes, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, who led the study, this energy source will be self-sustainable.

He has published his findings in The Journal of Physical Chemistry where it has been mentioned that the material could be installed on your roof in the near future and could create energy from rainwater with the help of the Sun. The energy captured by the material from the Sun is used to decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen, a process commonly referred to as electrolysis of water. The same thing can be seen in photosynthesis wherein a plant can, with the help of the Sun, convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and carbohydrates. Plants hold on to a small amount of the oxygen they produced in the process and use it to break down carbohydrates in order to give them the energy they need.

Mendoza-Cortes’ discovery generates fascinating new approaches on the way this process can be used to create new sources of energy that are absolutely free of carbon. Furthermore, hydrogen could eventually be carried to distant locations and used as fuel. The best part about this is that it is environment-friendly and as such, will not have any unfavourable impacts on the surroundings as the material will not release carbon dioxide or waste as by-products.

To accomplish this, Mendoza-Cortes initially created a multi-layered material from manganese oxide, popularly known by the name birnessite. However, something enticing happened when he, along with his team members, peeled off the layers of the thick-layered material until a single layer was left. This particular layer started absorbing light at rapid rate. Technically speaking, it made a transition to a direct band gap material from an indirect band gap one.

Developing a single layered material that can trap sunlight efficiently is the best outcome since it’s cost-effective and could be mass produced.

These are the main reasons why the exciting discovery of this artificial material has turned out to be breathtaking – the technique is economic, efficient and does not require huge amount of sunlight to produce fuel.

The study has been published in the The Journal of Physical Chemistry  as “Birnessite: A Layered Manganese Oxide To Capture Sunlight for Water-Splitting Catalysis”.

About the author

Pankaj Mondal

Pankaj has been working as a freelance business blogger offering writing and editing services since 2010. He is based in a small town in India. His goal is to create the best possible content based on the client’s specifications as well as assist aspiring bloggers pursue their dreams. He has created content for various industries, including real estate, finance, health, tech, content marketing, online gambling and much more.

  • Pat

    /crosses fingers