Leaf Mark2

The bionic leaf beats mother nature


Nature worked out how to obtain energy from sunlight long before we did, artificial photosynthesis was a proud leap for solar technology but last year Harvard created a bionic leaf which not only uses the power of the Sun to splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen but also utilises a bacteria to turn the hydrogen into liquid fuel.

Now, scientists at Harvard have gone one better and made a bionic leaf which is more efficient than natural ones! Some of the fastest growing plants achieve efficiencies of around 1% but the bionic leaf can achieve efficiencies of 10%

Source: Water splitting–biosynthetic system with CO2 reduction efficiencies exceeding photosynthesis – Chong Liu, Brendan C. Colón, Marika Ziesack, Pamela A. Silver, Daniel G. Nocera

Written by TreeThinker

Passionate about the Earth and those who inhabit it. An engineer (BEng (Hons), MSEE) from Oxfordshire, UK, specialising in designing for a sustainable future. A member of the Society of Environmental Engineers and a keen environmental advocate who volunteers for several grass roots sustainability groups. I work full time as a project manager for a renewable energy company based in Oxford and also run ‘TreeThinker’ (www.treethinker.org); converting previous pasture land into a rich permaculture farm growing produce for sale locally. I deliver workshops on sustainable living, including building renewable energy technologies, as well as workshops for schools discussing 'Energy as a resource' amongst other topics. I am qualified in ‘Information, advice and guidance’ (level 4) and experienced at teaching practical skills. I'm also a keen cyclist and have a love of wordplay - writing a blog on etymology (www.etymologyotd.com).

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