Skip to main content

Artificial Leaf.


The concept:

Researchers at MIT’s Nocera Lab, led by Dr. Daniel Nocera have come up with a conception that can actually be considered as a nigh revolutionary advancement made in the field of chemistry. Basically composed of silicon, electronic components and low-cost chemical catalysts like cobalt and nickel for initiating reactions, this leaf (which actually doesn’t look like a natural leaf) can successfully utilize sunlight for “photosynthesis,” i.e. to break water into hydrogen and oxygen. The resultant hydrogen can then be used to produce clean electricity.

What difference will it make?
Already being touted as the world’s very first balanced artificial leaf, this recreation has not been done for any cosmetic appeal, but rather conceived to address the core functionality issue especially in relation to clean energy generation. The scientists wanted it to have the same energy input and output as a natural leaf. And perhaps they have been successful in that, as according to the lab’s observations, these playing card-sized leaves have produced a constant output of power for 45 continuous hours, without any instability issues. Now compare that to the first artificial leaf that was developed more than ten years ago by John Turner of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It was supposedly unstable and lasted for only one day.

Moreover, the important factor in this case has been that the researchers have managed to achieve this convenient technology in a relatively cost-effective way. They have used inexpensive materials such as cobalt and nickel as catalysts. So, at the end of the day, we may get a low-cost yet efficient source for clean and ‘green’ electricity generation, and that too being integrated with a naturalistic quality.

The possibilities:
In the present scenario, this artificial leaf can act as an inexpensive and compact source of electricity, specifically for small appliances. The requirements are just a gallon of water and sunlight. The water molecules will be split by natural sunlight just like in photosynthesis to give hydrogen and oxygen. The resultant hydrogen in turn can power our small appliances.

The artificial leaf also shows particular promise as an inexpensive yet sustainable source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries, especially in places like villages in India and Africa. Their cost effectiveness can be used as an advantageous attribute to power up affordable basic power systems. And, as the technology advances, one day it could even replace our large scale conventional power grids to generate a totally emission free form of electricity!


Popular posts from this blog

Influenza A detection by MDCK cell line

The influenza A (IA) virus is the principal cause of the outbreaks of flu. A large number of laboratories participate in the worldwide surveillance of influenza virus activity and contribute to the early recognition of newly emerging epidemic strains. Differentiation between influenza A and B viruses and determination of the subtypes of influenza A virus isolates are the first steps in the characterization of influenza viruses. This analysis is traditionally done by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) tests with specific antisera raised in ferrets, chickens, or sheep.
The diagnosis of Influenza A is largely clinical. Nevertheless, it is necessary to carry out some form of rapid antigenic diagnosis and the culture of respiratory samples to confirm the etiology of the respiratory disease and to determine the antigenic characteristics of the epidemic strains. Although the “gold standard” isolation technique is inoculation in embryonated hens’ eggs, the technical difficulties involved and …

National Seminar on Biological Sciences, Bahona College, Jorhat, Assam....

Bahona College, Jorhat is organizing a UGC sponsored national seminar on “Research in Biological Sciences for sustainable development by the application of Mathematics and allied branches”  by  the Departments of Botany, Mathematics and Computer Science in collaboration with Assam Science Society, Bahona Branch on 10th and 11th May, 2013Thrust areas: ·Recent research in Biological Sciences for sustainability. · Biophysics and Biochemistry research for sustainability. ·Issues related to global environmental crisis, biodiversity loss and conservation. ·Management of Bioresources. ·Phytochemical and Zoochemical investigations to validate the traditional knowledge. ·Critical needs in agricultural and biofuel production. ·Management of Alien species. ·Biotechnology research for sustainability. ·Mathematics and 21st Century Biology. ·Mathematical modeling ·Fluid mathematics ·Fuzzy mathematics ·Statistics in Biological research. ·Systems Biology ·Computational Biology/Bio Computing.


Center For Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB)

Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) <>

Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI)

Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP),

Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) Chennai <>

Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB)<>

Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT),<>

Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB)<>

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT),

Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH)<>

Indian Toxicology Research Center (ITRC) <>

National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune <>

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (N…