Synthetic enzyme splits water into oxygen and hydrogen

A synthetic enzyme that divides water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen has been discovered by German researchers.

A team from the University of Würzburg was successful. They discovered a method for making an artificial “pocket” that could divide molecules. It should be emphasized that this invention will hasten the switch to hydrogen energy considerably.

Plants have been using the similar technique for many millions of years. In the natural world, plants use light to split water as they undergo photosynthesis. This is accomplished by plants using a sophisticated molecular device known as the photosystem II. A promising approach to achieving the sustainable creation of hydrogen is to mimic its active center.

The Würzburg group’s long-term objective is to include the water oxidation catalyst into a manufactured device that divides water into oxygen and hydrogen with the aid of sunlight. This will take some time because the catalyst needs to work with other parts of the system, such as light-harvesting dyes and so-called reduction catalysts, to create a functional whole.

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