Peidong Yang is at work on such technology, what he refers to as artificial photosynthesis. A UC Berkeley professor of chemistry and Berkeley Lab researcher, Yang and his colleagues have already produced new classes of semiconductor materials to efficiently capture sunlight for this process, and new types of catalysts to promote the chemical reactions.
His team recently reached a milestone, demonstrating a process in which sunlight shines into a water solution bubbled with carbon dioxide to produce chemical fuels, polymers and, under some conditions, even pharmaceutical intermediates to make drugs. The prototype system converts solar to chemical energy at a higher efficiency than nature.
An inorganic chemist and nanotechnologist, Yang discussed the promise of artificial photosynthesis last year at Cal Future Forum, demonstrating how Berkeley is leading the way in created sustainable and renewable sources of energy to wean us from fossil fuels.
Source : UC Berkeley