Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cheap electricity with Artificial Leaf which can self heal

An artificial leaf was created by scientists, way back in 2011 and this leaf could mimic the real leaf in producing energy from water and sunlight. It was promoted as a possible inexpensive source to generate electricity, at least for the developing countries and for remote locations. The artificial leaf is a simple silicon wafer covered in a catalyst. This wafer is then dropped in a can of water and kept in sunlight. The artificial leaf then breaks down the water into oxygen and hydrogen gases. The gases, which come up as bubbles are collected and can be used to power electricity in fuel cells.

It was found that the artificial leaf is prone to bacteria build up on it and the process of generating energy is halted because of the bacteria cover up. Scientists have now further refined the process for the artificial leaf with new catalysts developed which will allow the lead to heal itself which means that the leaf can even work in dirty and muddy waters. It is being assumed that about 0,25 gallons of water would be able to produce about 100 watts in a 24 hour cycle.