Panasonic Touts Artificial Photosynthesis Technology - Technology Review: Panasonic's approach relies on a nitride semiconductor in the presence of light to produce a flow of electrons and split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Using a semiconductor in sunlight changes the energy state of CO2 and makes it suitable to conversion into other more valuable, organic molecules, according to Panasonic. A second reaction uses a metal catalyst to combine the "reduced" CO2 and hydrogen to make formic acid, a chemical used in the production of textiles and dyes.
The efficiency of the conversion of water, CO2, and sunlight to formic acid is 0.2 percent, which is not high enough for commercial use.
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