Fake Foliage

Bionic Leaf Tops Plants in Photosynthesis




somchaij/Shutterstock.com

Bionic Leaf 2.0, a new, artificial photosynthesis system developed by a team headed by Harvard University scientists, takes in carbon dioxide, water and sunshine to create a sugary fuel. Solar energy splits up a water molecule, and bacteria turn hydrogen and carbon dioxide into liquid fuel, mainly isopropanol, which could be used someday to power a car.

An improvement on their prior effort a year earlier, the new system has a catalyst made of cobalt and phosphorus, increasing the efficiency of the reaction to 10 percent. Normal photosynthesis in plants is just 1 percent efficient at converting solar energy to biomass. This technology has the potential to bring another type of solar energy to the planet, especially in the developing world.


This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Poles Apart

With the recent years of record-breaking temperatures, both the North Pole and South Pole are melting at alarming levels, say scientists.

Eco Fill-up

Swedish scientists are developing a liquid molecule composed of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen that when exposed to sunlight, converts into a new isomer that theoretically can be released later to heat a household.

Shocking Development

Oil companies are using seismic airguns to find offshore oil and gas deposits from New England to Florida, killing marine wildlife, harming commercial fisheries and disrupting coastal economies.

Wave This

A new planetary flag designed by a Swedish student shows seven rings intertwined on a deep-sea-blue background, forming a flower in the middle.

Techno Timber

A new, lightweight synthetic wood made of polymer resin and chitosan, a sugar polymer derived from the shells of shrimp and crabs, can withstand fire and water damage.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Weekend Seminar with Salzberg and Ram Dass

Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, will host a day and evening of Equanimity: Spacious Stillness of Mind.

Tash Fitness Grand Opening in Skokie

Tash Fitness, a workout facility for women only, is now open and will celebrate with a Grand Opening party, in Skokie.

Workshop to Explore How Digestion, Excess Weight and Hormones Leave Us Tired

Reneé Barasch and Amy Andrews are presenting a transformative workshop.

Grubby Halo Acupuncture Event to Benefit Mercy for Animals

Grubby Halo Community Acupuncture (GHCA) is hosting a special event to benefit Mercy for Animals.

New Weight-Loss Program from Chicago Back Center

The Chicago Back Center is launching a new HCG Metabolic Program for 2012.

Bringing Inner Stillness to a Busy World

"Everybody needs to have some form of inner practice to develop an increasingly beautiful quality of life,” says Amona Buechler, co-founder of Inner Metamorphosis University (I.M.U.), located on Chicago’s north side, in Rogers Park.