Renewable energy frontier: energy from artificial leaves

A professor at MIT claims to have developed a synthetic structure can produce energy in an efficient and continuous. The inventor has already signed a contract for the development of a plant

Rome - Professor Daniel Nocera of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says he developed the first "artificial leaf" able to function without interruption as long as there is water, consisting of common materials and has a higher efficiency of natural leaves proper. The main objective is to provide a power supply technology to countries in the developing world.

Nocera has presented his project at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society held in California: no bigger than a playing card, the "leaf" of the teacher is actually composed of materials such as silicon, nickel and cobalt, and once immersed in water acts as a photovoltaic cell with high efficiency.

Thanks to solar energy, the "leaf" of Nocera is able to split water into its fundamental components (hydrogen and oxygen), components which are then stored in a "battery" apart and used for the production of electric energy .

Last attempt - in time - to mimic a complex process and fundamental as the photosynthesis of green leaves, the MIT system can boast a greater simplicity of realization (the photovoltaic cell is composed of common materials easy to find), the ability to work continuously in the light of the sun (at least 45 hours according to the experiments conducted by Nocera), and efficiency in energy production even higher than that of natural leaves.


Nocera, who at the time had already signed an agreement with the Indian company Tata Group for the construction of a small power plant the size of a refrigerator, stressed that the primary objective of the project is currently to offload the invention in countries developing: the artificial leaf is able to produce enough electricity for a whole day with 3.7 liters of water, says the professor, and the prospect of providing the most remote African villages or Indian the ability to self-produce their own energy is to say the least worthy of attention.




Translated via software




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