New Fuel Made That Allows Future Cars To Run Purely From The Sun’s Power


Scientists have developed a groundbreaking innovation in the field of clean energy, which could potentially transform the transportation industry. Through harnessing the solar power, a team of researchers from the esteemed University of Cambridge has successfully created a fuel that is both environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Utilizing the process of photosynthesis, the scientists have managed to convert carbon dioxide and water into liquid fuels capable of being directly utilized in automobile engines. This solar-powered technology enables the production of ethanol and propanol, multi-carbon fuels with remarkable energy density, in a single step.

Moreover, these fuels offer the advantage of being easily stored and transported, as affirmed by the findings published in the esteemed scientific journal Nature Energy. With this revolutionary development, the prospects for a greener future in motoring are greatly enhanced.


“Shining sunlight on the artificial leaves and getting liquid fuel from carbon dioxide and water is an amazing bit of chemistry,” said Dr. Motiar Rahaman. He is the first author of this latest study.

“Normally, when you try to convert CO2 into another chemical product, you almost always get carbon monoxide or syngas, but here, we’ve been able to produce a practical liquid fuel just using the power of the Sun.”

The achievement was made possible through the creation of a catalyst composed of copper and palladium. This catalyst was meticulously designed to enhance the artificial leaf’s capacity to generate intricate chemical compounds.

Distinguished specialists highlighted that these solar fuels not only yield zero carbon emissions but are also entirely renewable. Furthermore, unlike typical bioethanol, they do not require the use of agricultural land, ensuring that it remains dedicated to food production.


The researchers emphasized that although their ‘artificial leaves’ are still in the experimental phase, they represent a significant advancement towards transitioning away from a fossil fuel-dependent economy.

Bioethanol, derived from plants rather than fossil fuels, is often presented as a more environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline.

The United States leads the world in bioethanol production, with the USDA reporting that nearly 45% of all corn cultivated in the country is used for ethanol production.

At present, the artificial leaf and copper catalyst serve as proof of concept prototypes and exhibit only modest efficiency, as stated by the study authors. Their current focus is on enhancing the light absorbers to improve sunlight absorption and optimizing the catalyst for more efficient conversion of sunlight into fuel.

Further research is required to facilitate the mass production of the device and enable the production of significant quantities of fuel. Currently, the device serves as a proof of concept and exhibits only modest efficiency. The researchers are actively engaged in optimizing the light absorbers to enhance sunlight absorption and refining the catalyst to improve its ability to convert sunlight into fuel. Additionally, additional efforts are necessary to ensure the scalability of the device, allowing it to generate substantial fuel volumes.

“Even though there’s still work to be done, we’ve shown what these artificial leaves are capable of doing,” Prof. Erwin Reisner, the research leader, said.

Over the course of multiple years, the research team led by Reisner from the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry has dedicated their efforts to the creation of sustainable, zero-carbon fuels. Taking inspiration from photosynthesis, the natural process through which plants transform sunlight into energy, they have focused on developing artificial leaves.

“It’s important to show that we can go beyond the simplest molecules and make things that are directly useful as we transition away from fossil fuels.”



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