What does an artificial leaf that can store solar energy and turn it into a useable energy sound like to you? The first thing that comes in mind is, another genius innovation. The second, maybe, why does it have to be an artificial leaf? Why can't it be just any ordinary shapes, or something portable? Researchers at University of Illinois at Chicago have a good reason.
Assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at UIC and lead researcher on the project, Amin Salehi-Khojin, said the artificial leaf will mimic the plant's way of getting energy from the sun to turn it into a source of energy.
will basically reduce the harmful carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce clean energy. Just like how real photosynthesis works. Maybe the 'artificial leaf' is just a figurative word? Or the leaf structure has something to do with the efficiency of the product? We're really not sure, but we'll see soon.
Salehi-Khojin said in an interview
with chicagotribune.com, “In the artificial leaf that we built, we use the sun and we convert CO2 to (synthetic gas), which can be converted to any hydrocarbon, like gasoline.”
How the solar energy works with chemical conversion is pretty dumbfounding. Surprisingly, the energy of the sun has the ability to rearrange the chemical bonds of CO2. This way, the artificial leaf would store the energy of altered CO2 bonds, which could be used to produce clean and useable energy such as fuel.
This pugs is as surprised
According to Salehi-Khojin, this artificial leaf stops the carbon cycle, therefore there wouldn't be excess CO2 that damages the atmosphere. Meaning, it is an environmental friendly device that stores renewable energy. Can I get a hooray?
Salehi-Khojin team the prototype may be ready in 5 years. Their project started acquiring support from people who believes in the concept. In fact, last summer the team has received a grant for about worth $330,000 from the National Science Foundation.