The satisfaction of energy needs of the world represents a major challenge for humanity. With the climatic changes, these needs are expected to increase in a few years. Recently, a study showed that a molecule ring shape could be used to solve the energy problems of the planet. Indeed, this molecule would be a catalyst effective in increasing the reaction rate.
In fact, the study describes the use of a molecule in ring shape called porphyrin. This particle is one of the most common pigments in nature. In addition, it is known to promote or catalyze chemical reactionsincluding important reactions in living organisms.
According to Gary Moore, searcher at the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery at Arizona State University, chemistry will play a key role in developing solutions to the planet’s energy problems.
The role of porphyrin molecules
The porphyrins are very common in the world organic. They bind to different metal ions and perform a multitude of functions in the cell. Furthermore, the molecules of chlorophyll (a porphyrin containing iron) promote the transfer oxygen molecular and form the electron transfer chain necessary for cellular respiration.
Thus, the porphyrins play such an important role in life that their dysfunction is associated with many serious diseases.
Use of porphyrins in energy production
In this quest for energy, researchers were inspired by nature and synthetically reproduced the process of the natural photosynthesis. They were able to describe a synthetic porphyrin and studied its potential as catalyst effective. They were able to see that the porphyrins can be used as catalysts in synthetic devices who convert chemical energy in electric energy.
“Rather than exploiting the products of natural photosynthesis, we can draw on our knowledge of photosynthesis to create new materials and technologies whose properties and capabilities rival those of their biological counterparts.»
With the development of systems of artificial photosynthesis like that of Moore, it would be possible to produce renewable energies, allowing the production of fuels and a series of useful products. These devices would collect and store solar energy to use it when needed.