I think that the 3% includes an efficiency for conversion of sunlight energy
striking leaves. The 15% doesn't require some of the stages of sunlight
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael S. Lorrey <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 16, 2000 10:34 AM
Subject: Re: Styrofoam batteries
> Damien Broderick wrote:
> > The researchers, based as the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New
> > are aiming to build a new breed of cheap polystyrene-based batteries.
> > say the batteries could be used to provide power for anything from cars
> > cellphones.
> > The project is part of continuing efforts by Tom Meyer and his
> > at Los Alamos to find simple materials that can mimic the complex
> > of photosynthesis, which allows plants to store energy from sunlight in
> > chemical bonds.
> > For now, his team's main aim is to increase the efficiency with which
> > molecules convert energy, which is now hovering around 15 per cent.
> > "There's a lot of hard work ahead, but you have to expect that," he
> > "After all, it took natural photosynthesis more than a billion years to
> > evolve."
> What method of calculating efficiency are they using? AFAIK, there is no
> natural occurence of chlorophyll based photosynthesis that exceeds 3%
> efficiency, and only a few specifically bred and engineered plants that
> go as high as 5% efficiency, which I had thought was the theoretical
> limit for chlorophyll based energy conversion.
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