In addition to carbon capacity, the solar "photosynthetic" battery comes out

Researchers at the school have designed a new type of solar cell that directly converts atmospheric carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuel. The entire process is cheap and efficient, helping to accelerate the elimination of fossil fuels.
The new battery is different from the traditional solar cell, which converts sunlight into electricity and stores it in the battery. The new battery works more like a plant. The "synthetic gas" produces hydrogen and carbon monoxide "synthesis gas". Combustion can also be converted to diesel or other hydrocarbon fuels at a cost comparable to one gallon of gasoline. This technology can remove a large amount of carbon from the atmosphere and efficiently produce fuels with higher energy density.
The new author of the paper, Amin Salish-Kekin, a professor of mechanical and industrial design at the school, said that the new solar cell is not a photovoltaic cell, but a "photosynthetic" battery, which produces energy not from fossil fuels to greenhouse gases. Instead, it recycles the carbon in the atmosphere through the sun. They focused on a family of nanostructured compounds called transition metal sulfides (TMDCs), which were combined with an unconventional ionic liquid as an electrolyte to make an electrochemical cell. Two 18-centimeter-sized silicon triple photovoltaic cells are used as "leaves" to capture sunlight, and the cells are activated by light of 100 watts per square meter. The cathode generates hydrogen and carbon monoxide bubbles, and the anode generates oxygen and hydrogen ions.
Engineers have been exploring various high-efficiency catalysts that can reduce carbon dioxide for many years, but so far either the reaction efficiency is low or the precious metals are needed. The school's postdoctoral researcher, Mohamed Asadi, said the new catalyst is more active and capable, 1,000 times faster than precious metal catalysts, and 20 times cheaper.
This technology is highly adaptable and can be used not only on solar power plants but also on a small scale. Salehi-Kekin said that in the future it can even be used on Mars, whose main component of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide.
Robert McCabe, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) program that funded the study, said the results are a good blend of experimental and computational research, using the new knowledge gained in combination with chemical design, in a potentially challenging catalyst. Great progress has been made in the research field.

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