‘Artificial leaf’ could power a home
Scientists today claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy — development of the first practical “artificial leaf.” Speaking at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card that mimics photosynthesis.
“A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades,” said MIT chemist Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., who led the research team. “We believe we have done it. The artificial leaf shows particular promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries. Our goal is to make each home its own power station,” he said. “One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology.”
The device is made from silicon, electronics and catalysts. Placed in a single gallon of water in a bright sunlight, the device could produce enough electricity to supply a house in a developing country with electricity for a day, Nocera said. It does so by splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen.
The hydrogen and oxygen gases would be stored in a fuel cell, which uses those two materials to produce electricity, located either on top of the house or beside it.
Source: Kurzweil AI