PHOTOSYNTHESIS TECHNOLOGY

We currently cannot offer this service but as a specialist in Green Technology, here at Enhance Automation, we are watching the technology with great interest, especially now that Tata industries have become involved to actually manufacture the product.

Artificial leaf

Scientists from MIT and SunCatalytix have been working in conjunction to create an artificial leaf capable of recreating the energy produced by photosynthesis in plants. With the parameters of the study being that only water and sunlight could be used, the researchers had to find a way to create a catalyst that would use the two resources to make energy. The result is in action, a solar cell with cobalt borate catalyst on one side, and a nickel-molybdenum-zinc alloy catalyst coating the other.

When dropped into water, both sides of the cell begin a chemical reaction when sunlight is shined on them, splitting the hydrogen and oxygen into two parts via the bubbles you see in the water. The cobalt coated side goes to work on the oxygen, creating O2, while its nickel partner is busy with releasing H2 hydrogen. The artificial leaf closely mimics the process of photosynthesis, but is ten-times more efficient than nature. The idea is that the gas that is produced can be collected and stored in power cells that could provide energy to homes and vehicles.

One of the lead scientists on the project, Daniel G. Nocera, sees this technology being able to be in full production in four years. He claims that an artificial leaf the size of a door could produce enough power for the average home for a whole day. He goes on to say that in developing third-world countries a quart of water and a smaller cell would be sufficient and very affordable. Other applications include uninterrupted power supplies for cell towers and server farms.

For more information on this exciting new technology visit: http://www.suncatalytix.com

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