Artificial Leaf Technology Could One Day Power Our World

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This artificial leaf creates methanol, absorbs CO2 from the air and is 10 times more efficient than plant photosynthesis. Can you be-leaf it?!
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Scientists at the University of Waterloo in Canada have come up with a new design for an artificial leaf. Not only is this technology 10 times more efficient than plant photosynthesis, it might help us move away from the fossil fuels that are getting us into so much trouble.

Since the 1970s, research groups from around the world have been vying to create the first fully-functioning, commercially viable artificial leaf. As a result, various iterations of artificial leaf technologies have unfurled across the world, with each new design building on the success of its predecessors. But the latest breakthrough comes from a Waterloo University-based team.

Instead of producing glucose and oxygen like plants do, this artificial leaf tech is capable of producing methanol, which is a cleaner burning fuel than gasoline, while also scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air and producing oxygen.

Find out more about the different approaches to artificial leaf tech and how this latest research could provide us with an alternative to petroleum and petroleum byproducts in this Elements.

#Photosynthesis #ArtificialLeaf #fossilfuels #tech #Seeker #Elements #Science

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Read More:
Scientists create ‘artificial leaf’ that turns carbon dioxide into fuel
https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/scientists-create-artificial-leaf-turns-carbon-dioxide-fuel
“An hour-long chemical reaction creates the engineered red powder
that is the key to new technology to turn carbon dioxide into fuel.”

The race to invent the artificial leaf
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610177/the-race-to-invent-the-artificial-leaf/
“Liquid fuels already have enormous global infrastructure networks, including storage facilities, transcontinental pipelines, and oil supertankers, not to mention ubiquitous filling stations around the world. A device that could transform sunlight into fuels that are already commonly used could piggyback on that infrastructure.”

The Artificial Leaf: Daniel Nocera’s vision for sustainable energy.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/05/14/the-artificial-leaf?verso=true
“His emphasis is largely humanitarian; it also arises from his belief, as a scientist, that the only way to meet the world’s projected energy needs without causing intolerable environmental harm will be to work, in effect, from the bottom up—an approach that’s very different from the ones that dominate energy research.”

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