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17 Aug 2009 02:08:04

Renewable energy to be created from artificial leaf



Renewable energy to be created from artificial leaf
A team of researchers from Imperial College London have embarked upon an project to mimic the natural process of photosynthesis.

The team of scientists hopes that by developing an 'artificial leaf', they will be able to produce a steady supply of clean, renewable energy, according to the Guardian.

Photosynthesis is used by plants to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugar using sunlight and is the most efficient known way of solar-based power generation.

Speaking to the newspaper, James Barber, leader of the artificial leaf project, said: "If the leaf can do it, we can do it but even better. The challenge is to get hydrogen out of water using a ready supply of energy."

He suggested that the team intends to learn from nature and then build upon its designs, much in the same way as the aviation industry has.

"Leonardo da Vinci tried to design flying machines with feathers that flapped up and down. But in the end we built 747s and Airbus 380s, completely different to a bird and, in fact, even better than a bird," Mr Barber was quoted as saying.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/aug/11/artific...

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