Yimin Wu, whose paper achieved cover article status, 'Facet-dependent active sites of a single Cu2O particle photocatalyst for CO2 reduction to methanol', and has been published in Nature Energy this week. The new technology was inspired by the way plants use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into food.
Yimin has developed a new, inexpensive, efficient way to turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel methanol using water, CO2 and sunlight as inputs. This artificial leaf can directly convert solar energy into fuels as artificial photosynthesis without assisted electricity and can mimic the natural process of photosynthesis by which plants use energy from sunlight to turn carbon dioxide into food. Notably, this could help us fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere. Applications are numerous as it can provide solutions to the oil, automotive and steel industries for reducing CO2 gas emissions and provide sustainable energy to power vehicles and aircrafts.