Friday, May 11, 2012

MIT developed a cheap artificial leaf

Source: American Chemical Society
Daniel G. Nocera, a chemistry researcher from MIT, presented a new "artificial leaf" that uses cheaper components than other such attempts. 

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 LeafAccounts of Chemical Research, 2012; : 120404113447002 DOI:10.1021/ar2003013

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