‘Artificial leaf’ widens reach with self-healing capacity

leaf

Nobody can create solar power better than a plant, right?

Technology is bridging the gap between biology and engineering. An artificial leaf has been created to help bring electricity to developing areas, by imitating photosynthesis. Now, it has been updated and can self-heal and run on dirtier water, more similar to the environment where it will be used.

This leaf can be dropped into a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, catalysts in the device break water down into its components, hydrogen and oxygen and those gases bubble up and can be collected and used as fuel to produce electricity in fuel cells.

Researcher Daniel Nocera said “about 3 billion people today live in areas that lack access to traditional electric production and distribution systems and about 1 billion people in the developing world already lack reliable access to clean water.”

What are the benefits of this leaf?

This leaf could provide “personalized” electricity to individual homes in areas that lack traditional electric power generating stations and electric transmission lines.

This leaf is simple and inexpensive to mass produce which will make a huge difference for people around the world.

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Picture by Kelly.Connelly@trillionfund.com

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