Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
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23-05-2011, 04:41 AM
Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
ANAHEIM, March 27, 2011 — Scientists today claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy — development of the first practical artificial leaf. Speaking here at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, they described an advanced solar cell the size of a poker card that mimics the process, called photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.

“A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades,” said Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., who led the research team. “We believe we have done it. The artificial leaf shows particular promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries. Our goal is to make each home its own power station,” he said. “One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology.”

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Awesome, this is potentially world changing but it also wouldn't be the first time I hear about a breakthrough like this and never hear about it again due to some unforeseen technological obstacle.. i.e. fuel cell technology...

So now splitting water is cheap and efficient. How about hydrogen storage and how to utilize that energy? Fuel cells are good but still require rare metals for catalysts which aren't very stable.

I hope this stuff is sorted out sooner rather than later. I'll be first to tell the electricity provider to get fucked and convert the house to hydrogen/fuel-cell tech!

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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23-05-2011, 05:07 AM
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
Sounds like a cool concept, but I can't quite make sense of it. The article claims that "(the leaf) is made of inexpensive materials that are widely available". But earlier in the article it says that " the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts". I thought silicon was a rare material. Isn't the use of silicon in solar panels the reason they are still so expensive? If that is the case, how will this be something that can help 3rd world countries?

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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23-05-2011, 11:51 AM
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
I think this is great news. We're finally moving forward with the alternative energy technologies. I hope that these get here before it's too late.

(23-05-2011 05:07 AM)Norseman Wrote:  Sounds like a cool concept, but I can't quite make sense of it. The article claims that "(the leaf) is made of inexpensive materials that are widely available". But earlier in the article it says that " the device is fashioned from silicon, electronics and catalysts". I thought silicon was a rare material. Isn't the use of silicon in solar panels the reason they are still so expensive? If that is the case, how will this be something that can help 3rd world countries?

From wiki :
"Silicon (play /ˈsɪlɪkən/ sil-ə-kən or /ˈsɪlɪkɒn/ sil-ə-kon; Latin: silicium) is the most common metalloid."

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23-05-2011, 11:55 AM
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
One of the many reasons why science is just plain awesome. Robot plants!

Why won't God heal amputees?
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23-05-2011, 12:12 PM
 
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
That's awesome. There's hope after all. Maybe when we kill off all of our own natural sources of oxygen, we'll have to rely on pure artificial leaves.
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23-05-2011, 02:21 PM
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
The question is, will this be classified as a new species?

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

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23-05-2011, 02:21 PM
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
Silicon is just "Sahara-sand" actually.

The future looks good people!

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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25-05-2011, 03:38 AM
 
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
Very cool.
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25-05-2011, 12:27 PM
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
If you read the article Deamonowner you'll notice that we are not talking about a biological organism here. its just a piece of chemical machinery that does the same job as a leaf.

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26-05-2011, 03:39 AM
RE: Worlds first practical artificial leaf discovered
First step to making artificial weed...

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