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Artificial Leaf : The Principle of Nature to Produce Clean Energy

Nov 1, 2022

Cam Research

Artificial Leaf is a silicon-based device that uses solar energy to split hydrogen and oxygen in water producing hydrogen in a clean, sustainable, and simple way.

In search of clean energy generation resources scientists and researchers are always at work, as the call to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions into the environment has been the priority. In this effort, scientists and researchers have gone back to nature's book and have taken the leaf as the model, which can produce clean energy.

Artificial leaf is a silicon-based device that harnesses solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, thereby producing hydrogen cleanly and sustainably. This technology is designed based on the concept of plants as they simulate the natural-energy-generating process of photosynthesis.

The artificial leaf's basic components are two light absorbers combined with a silicon chip that is coated in a chemical catalyst made from the naturally abundant element cobalt.

When the device is submerged in water, a light absorber produces oxygen with the help of the catalyst. The other carries out the chemical reaction that reduces carbon dioxide and water into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, forming the syngas mixture(consisting of hydrogen and carbon monoxide). Syngas are already used as a building block in the production of liquid fuels, pharmaceuticals, and plastics.

Outdoor tests of the lightweight leaves on the River Cam, including the Bridge of Sighs, the Wren Library, and King's College Chapel showed that the artificial leaves can convert sunlight into fuels with an efficiency equal to natural plant leaves. 

So, as proven Artificial leaf technology has many benefits:

  1. Capable of producing or generating huge amounts of hydrogen.

  2. Renewable energy-generating sources such as sunlight and water are abundant on Earth.

  3. Artificial leaves could considerably lower the cost of producing sustainable fuel.

  4. Artificial leaves can be put almost anywhere in almost any country, which would also help with providing energy security.

But with many benefits too there are some flaws which can be fixed by further researches and developments like;

  1. The Artificial Leaf is fragile and heavy.

  2. Difficult to scale and transport.

This is a revolution in the field of energy production that can bring a revolutionary change in the global fight against climate change challenges caused by Greenhouse gases. FORCE is an energy-saving device of ENPOSS that aims to contribute to reducing the CO2 which is a greenhouse gas in the environment by reducing the loss of electricity.

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