How young minds may create a new energy revolution

Creating energy from carbon dioxide could be the solution to our environmental woes – yet the problem has so far stumped top scientists. Surprisingly, some students might have found the answer.

Photosynthesis is how every plant on Earth creates energy from water, carbon dioxide and sunlight. But it’s not just plants that can do it.

Artificial photosynthesis, where sunlight is used to convert carbon dioxide to other forms of energy, is currently being researched. The benefits could be enormous – such as reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and removing carbon from the atmosphere. But the devices built so far require rare and expensive elements such as platinum and ruthenium.

Professor Harry Gray, who set up Harry’s Solar Army to try and beat global warming, says some of the thousands of students who have signed up to the army have beaten distinguished scientists to come up with ways to create photosynthesis using simple, cheap chemicals.

If you would like to comment on this video, or anything else you have seen on Future, head over to our Facebook or Google+ page, or message us on Twitter.