Another Artificial Leaf – But Significantly Different

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We’ve seen several videos like this, a setup resembling a stomach distress remedy fizzing away and giving off bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen.  Dr. Daniel Nocera first created the idea of an artificial leaf, and several others have followed his lead and refined the process, which mimics nature’s leaves in converting sunlight to energy. The U. S. Department of energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Innovation Hub, established at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) and its partnering institutions, has a main goal of creating “a cost-effective method of producing fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide.”  Artificial photosynthesis has been tried in several variants, but researchers at Caltech and its Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) now claim to have developed “the first complete, …

Rust and Sunshine Do Mix

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Chemists at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, “Have achieved a series of breakthroughs in their efforts to develop an economical means of harnessing artificial photosynthesis by narrowing the voltage gap between the two crucial processes of oxidation and reduction, according to their paper, “Hematite-Based Water Splitting with Low Turn-on Voltage,” published this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie.” With your editor wishing he’d paid more attention in high-school chemistry, a quick search came up with simple definitions of oxidation and reduction. Oxidation is gain of oxygen. Reduction is loss of oxygen. When reduction and oxidation take place simultaneously, this is known as a redox reaction. These types of reactions take place in leaves producing plant energy from sunlight, and researchers are closing in …