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Nov 17, 2021

This light-powered catalyst mimics photosynthesis

Posted by in categories: chemistry, sustainability

The new type of catalyst, known as a biohybrid photocatalyst, contains a light-harvesting protein that absorbs light and transfers the energy to a metal-containing catalyst. This catalyst then uses the energy to perform reactions that could be useful for synthesizing pharmaceuticals or converting waste products into biofuels or other useful compounds.

“By replacing harmful conditions and reagents with light, photocatalysis can make pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and fuel synthesis more efficient and environmentally compatible,” says Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, an associate professor of chemistry at MIT and the senior author of the new study.

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