Left To Right: Dan Nocera, Lecture Speaker And Patterson Rockwood Professor Of Energy At Harvard University; Ivan Dmochowski, Professor Of Chemistry At The University Of Pennsylvania; And Barry Snyder, Axalta's Senior Vice President And Chief Technology Officer (Photo: Axalta)
Professor Daniel G. Nocera, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, was the honored speaker at this year's Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series. Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, sponsored the event which was hosted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania last week. Professor Nocera's lecture titled, A Complete Artificial Photosynthesis, explained his breakthrough research that led to the development of a highly efficient, artificial device that converts water and carbon dioxide into biomass and liquid fuels using sunlight. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161107005902/en/
Left to right: Dan Nocera, Lecture Speaker and Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University; Ivan Dmochowski, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania; and Barry Snyder, Axalta's Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (Photo: Axalta)
One of the challenges with using solar energy as a source of electricity is the need for a cost effective method to store the sun's energy. One example of energy storage is photosynthesis, the process whereby plants and other organisms use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into biomass that can be used later, as needed, as a source of fuel. Professor Nocera has mimicked key aspects of this process by creating an artificial leaf. "We first invented an artificial leaf that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight," said Professor Nocera. "We then used a bio-engineered bacterium to convert carbon dioxide along with the hydrogen produced from the artificial leaf into biomass and liquid fuels. The hybrid microbial and artificial leaf operate at unprecedented solar-to-biomass (10.7%) and solar-to-fuels (6.2%) yields, greatly exceeding the 1% yield of natural photosynthesis," stated Professor Nocera.