Wouldn’t it be magnificent if we had a low-cost way to capture the sun’s energy and economically store it for later consumption? Actually, we do. Plant material, and its ancient forms like oil, natural gas, and coal all represent just such a scheme. As a bonus, they remove carbon dioxide from the air in the process. Improving Nature’s Design But researchers have long sought a way to improve upon nature’s processes. Artificial photosynthesis has great technical promise for utilizing solar power to convert carbon dioxide into fuel. Natural photosynthetic efficiency is very low, but it can result in huge accumulations of useful materials over time. Artificial photosynthesis would speed up the process. In its simplest form, electricity produced from solar power could be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas. Hydrogen could then be stored for later consumption as fuel, or it can be combined with other […]