I don’t normally get excited about “Advances in Science” papers, but everything now and then it’s fun to let your imagination play.
Thus, I recommend this article about an MIT chemist named Nocera whose team discovered a cheap, non-caustic, room-temperature electrolysis process that resembles photosynthesis.
Then suddenly (and it was quite sudden), his postdoc discovers a catalyst that can produce oxygen from water, and can do it at room temperature, with cheap materials, in neutral water, and without using huge amounts of energy. In other words, heâ€™s found a catalyst that can do one of the steps in photosynthesis the same way plants can do it. This was one of the biggest challenges chemists in the field had been facing, and heâ€™d solved it.
Be sure to read the comments were the author of the article clarifies one or two things.
They’re still one to three orders of magnitude away from being real-life useful, but, well, it’s pleasant to think of the possibilities.