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Creating energy from sunlight: plants


As a Plant Undergoes Cellular Respiration / Ivona Sandru / LicensePD - Public Domain

Photosynthesis in plants creates energy from sunlight through five steps in the Kok Cycle.

"The study of photosynthesis in plants could provide new clues by explaining how they absorb almost 100% of the sunlight reaching them, and how they transform it into other forms of energy. Researchers Michael Haumann and Holger Dau, from the Freie Universität Berlin, used the X-ray source of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) to investigate the kinetics of the photosynthesis process. They have confirmed the existence of a fifth step in the catalysis process converting water into oxygen, and have published their results in Science Vol 310 (1019-1021). Five intermediate states have been proposed in the process of photosynthesis - a cycle known as the 'Kok cycle' - but only four had been proved until recently. With the help of the ESRF, scientists have been able to identify the missing state, which is particularly important because it is directly involved in the molecular oxygen formation." (Courtesy of the Biomimicry Guild)
About the inspiring organism

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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Solar cells.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Energy

Haumann M; Liebisch P; Muller C; Barra M; Grabolle M; Dau H. Photosynthetic O2 Formation Tracked by Time-Resolved X-ray Experiments. Science. 310(5750): 1019-1021.
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