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Like Photosynthesis, Can Light Trigger Other Chemical Reactions?

Till sometime back, light was a mere a source of energy. However, through recent studies, scientists have come up with the way in which light can trigger a chemical reaction. The process is similar to photosynthesis, and underestimated for now.

A group of researchers from Rice University in Houston, USA and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany performed this study. The study says understanding basic mechanism behind photosynthesis can help perform various applications in daily lives.

Here is how light can trigger a chemical reaction. Metallic nanoparticles are used to harness light for a chemical process. Exposure of these nano-particles to light forms Plasmon. “These Plasmon work an antenna for visible light,” says Carsten Snnichsen, Professor at Mainz University.

Hydrogen Extracted from Sunlight Now Used as Fuel

Plasmon uses light-based process like photosynthesis, and helps in triggering chemical reaction known as photocatalysis. Using sunlight can also produce hydrogen which finds use as fuel for automobiles. Nevertheless, the experiments are in their initial stage, and will take time to get adopted widely. The scientists majorly focused on figuring the outcome when Plasmon reflects light. In addition, they are also measuring the intensity of the light.

This discovery has several benefits in coming times. Since light is a renewable source of energy, the process will be a cost-effective solution for fueling vehicles. The extraction of hydrogen as fuel for vehicles will also be a less tedious process. Besides, several processes which were dependent on chemical reaction will be eliminated. The reusability of the source is another major factor, which makes the discovery even more important in future.

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