It involves a semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy. It uses natural sunlight to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen using a mixture of biological components and human made technologies. The research could now be used to revolutionize the systems used for renewable energy production.
The research, led by academics at St John's College, University of Cambridge, is part of the emerging field of semi-artificial photosynthesis which aims to overcome the limitations of fully artificial photosynthesis by using enzymes to create the desired reaction. Oxygen is produced as by-product of photosynthesis when the water absorbed by plants is 'split'. It is one of the most important reactions on the planet because it is the source of nearly all of the world's oxygen.
Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed i.e. around 1-2 per cent of
what it could potentially convert and store.