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Scientists Discover How To Use Entire Solar Spectrum To Sustain Life On Earth

By Nicole Caldwell

To feed more than 10 billion people on Earth three generations from now, we’re going to need a whole lot more electricity, purified water, heating capacity, and crop production. To do so sustainably will require harnessing massive amounts of renewable energy. 

Thankfully for us, the solar spectrum may be just the ticket. A new concept put forth by scientists seeks to meet energy, food, and water needs of a “full Earth” by harnessing different parts of sunlight’s spectrum, Phys.org reports.   

Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University's Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, is leading a research group that is looking into the system, which would have the capacity to maximize resource production from a specified tract of land. The process by which said system would utilize the full spectrum of sunlight was published last week in Scientific Reports in a paper written by Emre Gençer et al.