Dec 30, 2021

Who Needs Plants When You Can Harness Solar Energy With An Artificial Leaf?

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

The idea of a human-made device that can process solar energy to make usable fuels has been tantalizing researchers since the 1970s. There being no such thing as a free lunch, it is not so easy to engineer a device that mimics photosynthesis, which Mother Nature perfected a long time ago. Nevertheless, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Lab in California appear to have solved an important piece of the “artificial leaf” challenge.

Solar Energy & The Artificial Leaf Of The Future

The concept of the artificial leaf first crossed the CleanTechnica radar in the form of a card-sized photoelectrochemical cell, back in 2011. Instead of converting sunlight into electricity, the cell acts as a catalyst that deploys solar energy to break water into oxygen and hydrogen.

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