When we think about solar energy we usually associate it with solar panels, but in reality we need to think about plants. After all, plants are the original solar generators, converting solar rays into energy through a process which we learned about in biology class: photosynthesis.
Researchers from Monash University [Monash] in Melbourne, Australia, has developed a device that mimics the same bio-process of artificially producing what may be the cleanest energy on earth. In fact, they claim that their "artificial leaf" is even more effective than plants that use the sun's energy and turn it into useful energy. The study, published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, the research team explains how their machine for artificial photosynthesis uses electrochemical splitting of water using solar to generate hydrogen and oxygen by passing an electric current through water. This process creates hydrogen fuel, a clean form of energy, which has zero carbon emissions.
Professor Doug MacFarlane [MacFarlane Doug] one of the authors of the study said, "We try to effectively carry out artificial photosynthesis, and it is much more efficiently than do plants. Artificial leaf — which probably will not be like a leaf in produces clean energy through artificial photosynthesis, with 22-percent energy efficiency. The previous report of efficiency of use of solar energy in fuel was 18%. In most plants there is a level of efficiency of energy use between 1 and 2 percent (according to MacFarlane), thus, this synthetic alternative is a huge leap in power".
Doug MacFarlane and his team are not satisfied with the results, but still they continue to work to improve the energy efficiency of the artificial leaf, aiming for a 30% efficiency. The scientist recognizes that this technology is not something that will be on the market very soon, especially since electricity rates continue to be more affordable. However, MacFarlane is looking forward to the day when sharing the water of the artificial photosynthesis machine could be installed in the basement of any home or built into your wall, giving everyone access to clean energy with zero contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. published
P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©