First Practical Artificial Leaf Developed

From Science Daily:

Scientists have claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy — development of the first practical artificial leaf. Speaking in Anaheim, California 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.”

Wired reports that the leaf is ten times more efficient than a real leaf.

Comments

  1. Jim

    I don’t understand why they only want to sell this in developing countries. Surely it could be scaled up for larger consumption rates?

  2. sweng

    All I want to know when a breakthrough is reported, when is it available and at what price.

    I’ve seen more breakthroughs being reported than I can count during the past 10-20 years but most never seem to materialize.

    As a software engineer who ships actual usable cod, I know how hard it is to predict if it will ever hit the shelves. And I believe the hardware guys have it even harder. And even if it does the specs are often downgraded. (Windows Vista was a crippled shadow of what it was supposed to be and 7 was just a bit of tweaking, no real improvements, AFAIC. Hope Windows 8 is something the guys at Microsoft can finally be proud of.)

    So is this 3, 5, 10 years out? 20? 30? When? Please. This “progress” you never see in your life is ridiculous.

    Don’t you wish they’d first put it in stores, and then they’d report the breakthrough?

  3. Andrew

    It might be 10 times more efficient, but unlike a real leaf, these leaf don’t grow on trees.

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