|Source: American Chemical Society|
The artificial leaf has a sunlight collector sandwiched between two films that generate oxygen and hydrogen gas. On the other side of the leaf, a cobalt film generates oxygen gas. When dropped into a jar of water in the sunlight, it bubbles away, releasing hydrogen that can be used in fuel cells to make electricity. Instead of using an expensive platinum catalyst, Nocera used a less-expensive nickel-molybdenum-zinc compound.
Artificial photosynthesis units are attractive for making hydrogen fuel for electricity in remote places and the developing world.
Daniel G. Nocera. The Artificial Leaf. Accounts of Chemical Research, 2012; : 120404113447002 DOI:10.1021/ar2003013