It is a key in the process of photosynthesis, through which plants produce glucose and oxygen from water and carbon dioxide, using sunlight as energy. However, there are still significant mysteries about the process.
Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal fluctuate over time, and storing this energy is a crucial task for creating a sustainable society.
For Nakamura, this work has exciting future potential. “As seen from a flower in a vase,” he explains, “plants can use even tap water as a resource to make fuels. They do not need acid and base solutions. In other words, nature utilizes a safe, clean, and abundant form of water, thereby creating truly sustainable ecosystems. I hope that our findings will be able to contribute to the use of water at a neutral pH as a resource for generating renewable energy, which is one of the foundations for sustainable human societies.”