Now, `artificial leaf` can heal itself after damage
Washington: The world`s first practical "artificial leaf" has gained another innovative feature - the ability to self-heal damage that occurs during production of energy.
This makes the device even more suitable for providing people in developing countries and remote areas with electricity, said scientists.
Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D, leader of the research team, explained that the "leaf" mimics the ability of real leaves to produce energy from sunlight and water.
The device, however, actually is a simple catalyst-coated wafer of silicon, rather than a complicated reproduction of the photosynthesis mechanism in real leaves. Dropped into a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, catalysts in the device break water down into its components, hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases bubble up and can be collected and used as fuel to produce electricity in fuel cells.
"Surprisingly, some of the catalysts we`ve developed for use in the artificial leaf device actually heal themselves. They are a kind of `living catalyst.` This is an important innovation that eases one of the concerns about initial use of the leaf in developing countries and other remote areas," Nocera said.
Nocera, who is the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, explained that the artificial leaf likely would find its first uses in providing "personalized" electricity to individual homes in areas that lack traditional electric power generating stations and electric transmission lines.
Less than one quart of drinking water, for instance, would be enough to provide about 100 watts of electricity 24 hours a day. Earlier versions of the leaf required pure water, because bacteria eventually formed biofilms on the leaf`s surface, shutting down production.
"Self-healing enables the artificial leaf to run on the impure, bacteria-contaminated water found in nature," Nocera said.
"We figured out a way to tweak the conditions so that part of the catalyst falls apart, denying bacteria the smooth surface needed to form a biofilm. Then the catalyst can heal and re-assemble," he explained.
Earlier devices used rare, costly metals and other materials, involved complicated wiring and were expensive to manufacture. But Nocera`s artificial leaf uses less-expensive materials and incorporates a design - a so-called "buried junction" - that is simple and would be inexpensive to mass produce.
Nocera described the advance during the "Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry Lecture" at the 245th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world`s largest scientific society.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- When Subramanian Swamy shocked people at a wedding!
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Mumbai: Diamond export company denies job to Muslim youth
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- Woman robbed at gunpoint inside Hyderabad ATM
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Columbia student takes rape-protest mattress to graduation
- Mumbai firm booked for denying Muslim MBA graduate job on religious grounds, probe ordered
- Jayalalithaa makes public appearance, meets Governor: As it happened
- New IPL rules could see Chennai Super Kings lose MS Dhoni
- `Piku` hits jackpot, does Rs 100 crore business worldwide
- Geelani's passport application incomplete, cannot be processed: MEA
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- Lalu Yadav invites Jitan Ram Manjhi for joint fight against BJP, JD(U) upset
- CBSE Class 10 Results 2015 may not be announced today
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- Kejriwal slams notification on LG's powers, says Modi running Delhi govt through back door
- WBBSE 10th Madhyamik Results 2015: West Bengal Board (wbbse.org & wbresults.nic.in) Class 10th Madhyamik Pariksha Results 2015 to be announced on May 22
- Don't know what will happen to my career, says Ranbir Kapoor
- Tanu Weds Manu Returns movie review: Brilliant execution, superb performance!
- Osama files show an "Indian brother in Madinah” financed al Qaeda
- Manohar Parrikar meets troops at Siachen base camp