Scientists make ‘artificial leaf’ to generate clean power

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Scientists make ‘artificial leaf’ to generate clean power

By Telegraph Reporter

Scientists are trying to copy the process of photosynthesis by making an “artificial leaf” to generate clean power.
Through photosynthesis plants use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugar.

It is the most effective solar energy conversion process on Earth and all power needs for a year could be met by the energy contained in the sunlight hitting the Earth in one hour.

Researchers at Imperial College London have begun a £1 million study called the “artificial leaf”.

They want to build artificial systems that can do the same as leaves to generate clean fuels such as hydrogen and methanol, the Guardian reported.

That could be used in fuel cells to make electricity or to power clean vehicles without endangering the climate.

Scientists predict that if artificial photosynthesis systems could use 10 per cent of the sunlight falling on them they would only need to cover 0.16 per cent of the Earth’s surface to satisfy global energy needs.

James Barber, a biologist at Imperial College London and leader of the artificial leaf project, told the Guardian: “If the leaf can do it, we can do it but even better.

“it doesn’t mean that you try to build exactly what the leaf has. Leonardo da Vinci tried to design flying machines with feathers that flapped up and down. But in the end we built 747s and Airbus 380s, completely different to a bird and, in fact, even better than a bird.

“The challenge is to get hydrogen out of water using a ready supply of energy,” said Barber.

Scientists can already produce hydrogen by splitting water but current techniques are expensive,

John Loughhead, executive director of the UK Energy Research Centre, told the Guardian: “We know that plants have already evolved to do it and we know that, fundamentally, it’s a workable process on a large scale.

“Ultimately, the only sustainable form of energy we’ve got is the sun. From a strategic viewpoint, you have to think this looks really interesting because we know we’re starting from a base of feasibility.”

<<Editors notE>>
And so we continue walking the path of renewable energy. We’re a bit like 50 years too late inventing all of this stuff, yet knowing “humanity” as it is, we’ll probably speed up a whole lot of processes to make all new technology available to for us rich western people before we know it…
Now let’s not forget about our less fortunate countries who are already paying the price for our own “advantage”…

Plant some seeds, instead of greed.
source:: www.telegraph.co.uk


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