Nissan makes artificial photosynthesis breakthrough to use CO2 as raw material

Nissan's photon upconversion (UC) solid materials

Nissan has announced it latest efforts that will further boost the company’s carbon neutrality efforts.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is Nissan latest development in reaching carbon neutrality throughout the life cycle of its products by 2050?

    The Japanese automaker, in collaboration with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has developed photon upconversion (UC) solid materials.
  • What can these latest UC solids do?

    This can improve artificial photosynthesis efficiency, which can reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the manufacture of resins and other products.
  • In a statement, the Japanese automaker, in collaboration with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has developed photon upconversion (UC) solid materials with outstanding performance that can improve the efficiency of artificial photosynthesis.

    Nissan's photon upconversion (UC) solid materials

    “By artificial photosynthesis, water is split into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then reacted with CO2 (carbon dioxide) to produce raw compounds, such as olefins, for resins,” the company explained.

    The latest technology will contribute to Nissan’s aims by enhancing the use of CO2 as a raw material, which can reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the manufacture of resins and other products.

    Nissan earlier declared that it plans to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the life cycle of its products by 2050.

    Nissan's photon upconversion (UC) solid materials

    “The newly developed UC solids convert presently wasted long-wavelength light into short-wavelength light, which can be used in a variety of artificial photosynthesis applications. The conversion is at a high efficiency (up to approximately 30 percent of the theoretical limit of UC) even in weak sunlight irradiation,” Nissan explained.

    “The new UC materials are stable solids that can continue to function even when oxygen is present. They increase the amount of light energy available for artificial photosynthesis when combined with photocatalysts. Conventional UC materials have often been flammable organic solvent solutions that even when solidified their efficiency and durability to light irradiation were generally poor. This often necessitated an oxygen-free environment as well as high-intensity incident light,” it added.

    Photos from Nissan Philippines

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