Harvard boffins develop bionic leaf that can turn sunlight into fuel

Scientists from Harvard University use a bionic leaf that mimics the chemical processes in photosynthesis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

    2015/02/24

NSFW    US scientists have developed a bionic leaf that can convert solar energy into liquid fuel.

Scientists from Harvard University use a bionic leaf that mimics the chemical processes in photosynthesis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

A bacteria called Ralstonia eutropha then converts the hydrogen gas into protons and electrons. They are then integrated into carbon dioxide molecules as part of the reproductive cycle of the bacteria to form liquid fuel isopropanol, according to a press release on the Harvard Medical School’s website.

“This is a proof of concept that you can have a way of harvesting solar energy and storing it in the form of a liquid fuel,” said Pamela Silver, an author of the paper in the press release.

Although isopropanol is a combustible liquid fuel, it is currently mostly used as household disinfectant and as industrial drying agent to remove water from fuels, Yibada reported.
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