Plants Give Up Their Secret of Splitting Water
One of the major hurdles in development of hydrogen based energy systems is the enormous amount of energy required to split water molecules in order to produce hydrogen. Under current systems, this energy is likely to come from coal burning or nuclear power plants, greatly reducing their environmental benefits. Not suprisingly given our utter dependence upon plants for life, researchers are finding that plant's ability to break water into oxygen and hydrogen is amazingly efficient. Perhaps this will serve as a model for developing processes to more efficiently and cleanly produce hydrogen.
Researchers said Thursday they had taken another step toward understanding how plants split water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which may provide a cheap way to produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel.