Feeds

Artificial leaf produces electricity through photosynthesis

Growth industry?

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

A synthetic leaf has been created that mimics the photosynthesis process, converting sunlight and water into a source of electrical energy.

Developed by a research team at MIT led by Dr Daniel Nocera, the leaf could be a significant step towards green energy becoming a sustainable reality.

The device is shaped more like a playing card than a leaf, but is thinner and made from silicon. If it is placed in a gallon of water in bright sunlight, the artificial leaf splits water molecules into their component gases: hydrogen and oxygen.

Tap those gases in a fuel cell and you have a means to turn the leaf's output into electricity – and enough of it to power a typical developing world house for a day, Nocera reckons.

Leaf

This isn't the first attempt to make an artificial leaf – boffins at London's Imperial college have had a go before – but it is the first that could be widely used.

The key is Nocera's use of inexpensive catalysts, made from nickel and cobalt, which efficiently electrolyse the water in the presence of sunlight. In testing, he showed it could operate for a continuous 45 hours without a hiccup.

"Nature is powered by photosynthesis, and I think that the future world will be powered by photosynthesis as well in the form of this artificial leaf," Nocera said. ®

Application security programs and practises

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.