Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Bionic Leaf

Photosynthesis is how all plants get their fuel. It is one of the most important scientific processes that takes place in nature. Photosynthesis is so important that many students learn the concept of it early on in elementary school science. Now a team a Harvard has found a way to create a bionic leaf that can perform photosynthesis that is ten times as efficient as the natural alternative.

This was not chemist Daniel Nocera's first hack at artificial photosynthesis. Him and his team produced a similar device in 2015. The device was powerful enough to produce 216 milligrams of alcohol fuel per liter of water. The downfall of this device was that the catalyst responsible for splitting the water was also responsible for poisoning the microbes. Now Nocera and his team have found a catalyst made of an alloy of cobalt and phosphorus. With this new catalyst they have solved the old problems while making the leaf even more efficient.

Arguably the largest problem facing the world today is climate change. Climate change is such a huge problem because it effects every person living or yet to be born on this planet. Scientists from across the globe are frequently coming up with new ways to halt climate change and global warming. These are great, but a large part of combating climate change is to find a clean and renewable energy source. Without a clean source of energy, all other attempts to stop climate change are rather worthless.

Most of the alternative energy solutions recently presented by scientists don't operate with the efficiency of this bionic leaf. I believe that this method could be a very valuable source of clean renewable energy in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't read this article but it sounds like it would be a great read. The idea that we could use a bionic leaf to get clean energy is just a little too much for my brain to handle. What exactly does this leaf look like and how exactly did they go about making a leaf like this. Is alcohol fuel actually a fuel that can be used on the larger scale? does it work like a gas? How many of these bionic leaves would need to be in use to use as a feul source on the larger scale?