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British Scientists Use Sunlight And Converted It To Fuel

Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen.

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Scientists pioneer novel model to turn sunlight into fuel.Flickr

In a breakthrough move, British scientists have used natural sunlight to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen by mixing biological components and man-made technologies.

The team led by academics at the University of Cambridge, used semi-artificial photosynthesis to explore new ways to produce and store solar energy, a finding that could now be used to revolutionise the systems used for renewable energy production.

Their method also managed to absorb more solar light than natural photosynthesis.

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Representational Image Of Fossil Fuel plant.
Wikimedia Commons.

“Natural photosynthesis is not efficient because it has evolved merely to survive so it makes the bare minimum amount of energy needed — around 1-2 per cent of what it could potentially convert and store,” said lead author Katarzyna Soko, doctoral student at the University’s St. John’s College.

Artificial photosynthesis has been around for decades but it has not yet been successfully used to create renewable energy because it relies on the use of catalysts, which are often expensive and toxic. This means it cannot yet be used to scale up findings to an industrial level.

The new model, detailed in the journal Nature Energy, is the first to successfully use hydrogenase and photosystem II to create semi-artificial photosynthesis driven purely by solar power.

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Hydrogen. Flickr

The team not only improved on the amount of energy produced and stored, they managed to reactivate a process in the algae that has been dormant for millennia.

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“Hydrogenase is an enzyme present in algae that is capable of reducing protons into hydrogen. During evolution this process has been deactivated because it wasn’t necessary for survival but we successfully managed to bypass the inactivity to achieve the reaction we wanted — splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen,” Soko explained.

Soko hopes the findings will enable new innovative model systems for solar energy conversion to be developed. (IANS)

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Apple’s Recycling Robot Is Capable of Disassembling 200 iPhones Per Hour

In 2018, the company refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and helped divert more than 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills. 

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Apple has received nearly one million devices through its programmes and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year. Pixabay

 Apple on Thursday announced to expand its global recycling programmes and introduced Daisy, its recycling robot that is capable of disassembling 200 iPhones per hour.

US customers can send their iPhones to be disassembled by Daisy which is 33 feet long, has five arms and can methodically deconstruct any of 15 iPhone models.

Daisy will disassemble and recycle select used iPhones returned to Best Buy stores throughout the US and KPN retailers in the Netherlands, the company said in a statement ahead of Earth Day that falls on April 22.

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For cobalt, which is a key battery material, Apple sends iPhone batteries recovered by Daisy upstream in its supply chain. Pixabay

Apple also announced the opening of its “Material Recovery Lab” dedicated to discovering future recycling processes in Austin, Texas.

The Lab will work with Apple engineering teams as well as academia to address and propose solutions to today’s industry recycling challenges.

“Advanced recycling must become an important part of the electronics supply chain, and Apple is pioneering a new path to help push our industry forward,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.

Apple has received nearly one million devices through its programmes and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year.

In 2018, the company refurbished more than 7.8 million Apple devices and helped divert more than 48,000 metric tons of electronic waste from landfills.

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The Lab will work with Apple engineering teams as well as academia to address and propose solutions to today’s industry recycling challenges. Pixabay

Daisy can take apart iPhones to recover materials such as cobalt, aluminum and tin, which are then recycled back into the manufacturing process.

Once materials have been recovered by Daisy, they are recycled back into the manufacturing process.

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For cobalt, which is a key battery material, Apple sends iPhone batteries recovered by Daisy upstream in its supply chain.

They are then combined with scrap from select manufacturing sites and, for the first time, cobalt recovered through this process is now being used to make brand-new Apple batteries. (IANS)