What is the "artificial leaf" and which are it's uses?

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giorgiana1976's profile pic

giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The mechanism of photosynthesis, in which the sunlight is taken and turned into chemical fuel, was an  inspiration for the scientists in their searching for alternative energies. Among other alternatives( wind energy, water power, etc), solar energy is one of the most reliable energy, the quantity of energy which the Earth is receiving in an hour, from the Sun, is greater than the amount which mankind consumes in one year.

Through photosynthesis process, the water and carbon dioxide is transformed into sugars,oxygen and hydrogen.Scientist tried to simulate the process and they have managed. The researches are aiming now the development of a substance to act as a catalysts, so that water to be converted into hydrogen. The technology intended to be used is photocatalytic overall water splitting, this one using nanoparticles activated by light. The important thing is that the technology mentioned is more efficient than the others and, above of all, less expensive.

By simulating the mechanism of photosynthesis, the final intended product would be not only the result of water splitting, but the obtaining of the liquid fuels, like methanol.

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versatilekamini | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Plants use solar energy when they capture and convert sunlight into chemical fuel through photosynthesis.The process involves the conversion of water and carbon dioxide into sugars as well as oxygen and hydrogen.

Artificial leaf is being made by scientists that mimics the process of photosynthesis and converts sunlight and water into a liquid fuel such as methanol.Scientist have been successful in mimicking this fuel making process,termed artificial photosynthesis.According to Kazunari Domen from the university of Tokyo in Japan noted that the ultimate goal of artificial photosynthesis is to produce a liquid fuel such as methanol.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The Artificial Leaf is an electronic device that captures solar energy and imitates the photosynthesis process.  The idea behind the leaf is to develop it so that its energy source can be converted to an alternative energy. It is based on the breakdown of molecules so that hydrogen can be produced.  Nathan Lewis and Sossina Haile have been working on the leaf.  The end goal of their quest is to help society reduce carbon emissions and create a clean energy source. Researchers are still looking for materials that can better capture the solar energy need for the leaf to become effective.

 

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