The researchers have developed a device that can operate independently to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into carbon neutral fuels without any additional components or power. The device, developed by the Cambridge University team, is an important step towards artificial photosynthesis: the process mimics the ability of plants to convert sunlight into energy. Based on advanced “photosheet” technology, the device converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and formic acid, a storable fuel that can be used directly or converted to hydrogen. < p > < p > < p > nature energy reports this result, showing a new way to convert carbon dioxide into clean fuel. As the wireless device expands, it can be used for energy “farms,” similar to solar farms, using sunlight and water to produce clean fuels. Collecting solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into fuel is an effective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and gradually abandon fossil fuels. However, it is still a challenge to produce clean fuels without unnecessary by-products. < / P > < p > “it has always been difficult to achieve highly selective artificial photosynthesis, which means turning sunlight into the fuel you want instead of generating a lot of waste at the same time.” Said Dr. Qian Wang of the Department of chemistry in Cambridge. < / P > < p > “in addition, the storage of gaseous fuels and the separation of by-products are quite complex, and we want to figure out how to produce clean liquid fuels that are easy to store and transport.” Professor Erwin Reisner, senior author of the paper, added. < / P > < p > in 2019, researchers from Reisner’s team developed a solar reactor based on “artificial blades”, which uses sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to generate a fuel called syngas. The performance and behavior of the new technology is similar to “artificial blade”, but the working principle is different, and the product is formic acid. However, the new device does not need these components, and only relies on the photocatalyst embedded in the thin plate to become the so-called photocatalyst sheet. These sheets are made of semiconductor powders, which are easy to prepare in large quantities and are cheap. < / P > < p > in addition, this new technology is more robust, the generated clean fuel is easier to store, and has the potential to generate fuel products on a large scale. The size of the test unit is 20 square centimeters, but the researchers say it should be relatively simple to scale up to a few square meters. At the same time, formic acid can accumulate in the solution and can be converted into different types of fuels by chemical means. < / P > < p > “we were surprised by the high selectivity of the technology, which produced few by-products.” “Sometimes things do not work as expected, but this time it’s really better. It’s really rare,” Wang said The cobalt based catalyst for carbon dioxide conversion is easy to realize and relatively stable. Although the scale of the technology is easier to expand compared with the artificial blade, its efficiency still needs to be improved before commercial use. Researchers are experimenting with different types of catalysts to enhance both stability and efficiency. < / P > < p > the current results also depend on the cooperation of Professor Kazunari domen of the University of Tokyo, who is also the co-author of the study. < / P > < p > at present, researchers are further optimizing the system to improve the efficiency. In addition, they are also exploring other catalysts to be used in the device to obtain different solar fuels. Epic Games accused Google of monopolizing the latter, which may have a better chance than apple