MIT researcher Daniel Nocera discusses the results of his team’s artificial leaf at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. The research team has created an advanced solar cell, based on bio-mimicry of the photosynthesis process used by plants.
The leaf-like cell chemically splits water into hydrogen and oxygen for storage in a fuel cell for supplying power needs. The Nocera solar leaf is constructed of inexpensive nickel and cobalt catalysts and material.
The chemical reaction does not require extreme conditions of temperature or pressure to achieve its photosynthesis efficiency. Nocera’s team will continue to seek methods to increase the solar conversion efficiency. …
… “The device bears no resemblance to Mother Nature's counterparts on oaks, maples and other green plants, which scientists have used as the model for their efforts to develop this new genre of solar cells.
About the shape of a poker card but thinner, the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts, substances that accelerate chemical reactions that otherwise would not occur, or would run slowly.
Placed in a single gallon of water in a bright sunlight, the device could produce enough electricity to supply a house in a developing country with electricity for a day, Nocera said.
It does so by splitting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen.
The hydrogen and oxygen gases would be stored in a fuel cell, which uses those two materials to produce electricity, located either on top of the house or beside it.” …
Via Eureka Alert: Artificial Leaves, ACS Press Release.
American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute.
Daniel Nocera at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Daniel Nocera research team.
The hydrogen economy.