Speaking in Anaheim, California at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists have described the advanced solar cell, about the size of a playing card, which imitates photosynthesis.
It has long been a goal of scientists working towards sustainable energy to develop an artificial leaf. The device shows promise for a cheap source of electricity especially in third world countries, and it is thought that just one of them could power the average house in most developing nations.
Optically the device has however nothing in common with the natural counterpart. It is made from silicon, different electronic parts and several catalyst substances, which accelerate and start reactions that would otherwise not happen. To use the device it is placed in water, where it splits water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. These are then put into a fuel cell, which uses them to produce electricity. This fuel cell could be located on top of a house or next to it.
At the moment the artificial leaf is already about 10 times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf, but the team is confident that they can boost both efficiency and lifetime of the device significantly in the near future.
sorry guys for my rather long absence. I've been busy with school and I will probably be busy with school for quite some time to come. I'll go through all your blogs soon and catch up on what I missed.