BBC World Service

Science & Medicine

Chart Positions

Science & Medicine 42

Explorations in the world of science.


Artificial Photosynthesis

July 16th, 2012

Episode 178 of 558 episodes

Chemist Andrea Sella explores the current race to do photosynthesis better than nature ever achieved. In just a few hundred years mankind has burnt fossil fuels that had taken natural photosynthesis billions of years to create. Now, around the world hundreds of millions of pounds are being spent on the race to develop a robust, cheap and efficient way to turn the light from the sun into fuels we can use. At a time when politicians everywhere debate the economic and climatic burdens of our future energy needs, such a "solar fuel" would be a genuinely novel alternative energy. (Image: Some beech leaves. Credit: Martin Dohrn /Science Photo Library)