Bacteria Turn Sunlight to Liquid Fuel in 'Bionic Leaf'

February 9, 2015 10:11 PM

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Researchers have paired a solar-powered catalyzing device with genetically engineered bacteria to convert water and carbon dioxide into an alcohol-based liquid fuel. The system, dubbed a "bionic leaf," is described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The process is modeled after the way in which plants use photosynthesis to turn CO2, H2O and other ingredients into energy, but with some novel chemical twists. One of the researchers, Harvard's Dan Nocera, has been working on artificial leaf systems for more than a decade. "The catalysts I made are...

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