Scientists Invented Bionic Leaf to Convert Solar Energy into Liquid Fuel

February 12, 2015 5:04 PM

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Harvard researchers have invented a bionic leaf, an integrated system, in which sunlight can be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide, with the help of a bacterium, to form the liquid fuel isopropanol. Researcher Pamela Silver stated “This is a proof of concept that you can have a way of harvesting solar energy and storing it in the form of a liquid fuel.” It is a small leaf sized solar device which is submerged in water to produce hydrogen.

The technique involves genetically engineered bacteria in combination with a solar-powered catalyzer. According to the researchers it mimics the photosynthetic powers of chlorophyll. One of the researchers, Dan Nocera from Harvard University mentioned that development of this artificial leaf system ...

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