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”I just love seeing all those solar panels“

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

Nachrichten aus der Chemie: Prof. Nocera, how can the energy problem be solved?

Dan Nocera: We need a chemical fuel. I am convinced we should focus on water splitting, so that hydrogen and oxygen result. But I'm not sure we should just use hydrogen. Photosynthesis teaches us that we could take hydrogen and fix it with CO2 to create a liquid fuel.

Nachrichten: Have chemists been neglecting artificial photosynthesis?

Nocera: It hasn't been neglected. A lot of people have worked on artificial photosynthesis. But it has been difficult to develop good catalysts that interface with the charge separating network. Photosynthesis works like this: light comes and goes through a wireless current, and that current is fed to catalysts. Scientists have spent a lot of time on light absorption and charge separation, but they overlooked the role of the catalysts. Existing catalysts are expensive and unstable.

Nachrichten: So you attempted to design an inexpensive catalyst.

Nocera: Yes: a cobalt and phosphate compound — a relatively inexpensive metal and just plain phosphate. What's new about it is that it's 'self healing': it can fix itself. This means long-te


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