Artificial leaves mimic photosynthesis — the process whereby plants use water and carbon dioxide from the air to produce carbohydrates using energy from the sun. But even state-of-the-art artificial leaves, which hold promise in reducing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, only work in the laboratory because they use pure, pressurized carbon dioxide from tanks.
But now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have proposed a design solution that could bring artificial leaves out of the lab and into the environment. Their improved leaf, which would use carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — from the air, would be at least 10 times more efficient than natural leaves at converting carbon dioxide to fuel. Their findings are reported in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.
“So far, all designs for artificial leaves that have been tested in the lab use carbon dioxide from pressurized tanks. In order to implement successfully in the real world, these devices need to be able to draw carbon dioxide from much more dilute sources, such as air and flue gas, which is the gas given off by coal-burning power plants,” said Meenesh Singh, assistant professor of chemical engineering in the UIC College of Engineering and corresponding author on the paper.
Unhooking the pressurized carbon dioxide supply from these leaves means that they must have a way to collect and concentrate carbon dioxide from the air to drive their artificial photosynthetic reactions.
Singh and his colleague Aditya Prajapati, a graduate student in his lab, proposed solving this problem by encapsulating a traditional artificial leaf inside a transparent capsule made of a semi-permeable membrane of quaternary ammonium resin and filled with water. The membrane allows water from inside to evaporate out when warmed by sunlight. As water passes out through the membrane, it selectively pulls in carbon dioxide from the air. The artificial photosynthetic unit inside the capsule is made up of a light absorber coated with catalysts that convert the carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, which can be siphoned off and used as a basis for the creation of various synthetic fuels. Oxygen is also produced and can either be collected or released into the surrounding environment.
“By enveloping traditional artificial leaf technology inside this specialized membrane, the whole unit is able to function outside, like a natural leaf,” Singh said.
According to their calculations, 360 leaves, each 1.7 meters long and 0.2 meters wide, would produce close to a half-ton of carbon monoxide per day that could be used as the basis for synthetic fuels. Three hundred and sixty of these artificial leaves covering a 500-meter square area would be able to reduce carbon dioxide levels by 10 percent in the surrounding air within 100 meters of the array in one day.
“Our conceptual design uses readily available materials and technology, that when combined can produce an artificial leaf that is ready to be deployed outside the lab where it can play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Singh said.
The Latest on: Artificial leaf
via Google News
The Latest on: Artificial leaf
- Red Raiders semifinalists in national STEM conteston January 15, 2021 at 2:07 am
Kaua‘i High School earned a Samsung Galaxy Note20 and $15,000 to be redeemed on DonorsChoose.org Thursday after the school’s #SamsungSolve team was announced as a semifinalist school in the 11th ...
- These five AI developments will shape 2021 and beyondon January 14, 2021 at 7:27 am
Despite the travesties of 2020, artificial intelligence has quickened its progress. Baidu upped its performance across vaccines, autonomous vehicles, language processing, and quantum computing.
- Huntsman spiders eat tree frogs after luring them into leaf trapson January 14, 2021 at 5:29 am
Later in 2017 and in 2018, Martin and his colleagues found three more spiders crouching in similar leaf retreats in different types of trees. Leaves were woven together at the sides with silk and had ...
- Why leaf pre-rolled cones make the cleanest, tobacco-free bluntson January 13, 2021 at 9:47 am
It’s hard enough to find a tobacco-free alternative to a blunt wrap, much less an organic one. With King Palm, there’s finally an ideal way to pack blunts that care for you, the planet, and your herb.
- Huntsman Spider Weaves Leaves Together to Trap Unsuspecting Frogson January 12, 2021 at 1:57 pm
On a vanilla plantation in northeastern Madagascar, scientists observed a huntsman spider devouring a frog in what resembled a silk woven leaf trap, according to a study published last fall. The trap ...
- Harnessing the hidden powers of plants could help fix the climateon January 5, 2021 at 8:22 am
Photosynthesis is the source for much of the world around us. It produces wood for our buildings, fibres for our clothes, food to sustain life and much more, including medicine, dyes, rubber and ...
- The artificial trees that were in demand after Christmas was overon January 4, 2021 at 9:00 pm
There was a market for artificial trees that went beyond the ones that get put back in the box after Christmas, and that fact caught the eye of CBC's Midday 35 years ago. In January of 1986, the ...
- Artificial sweeteners should be occasional part of our dieton December 20, 2020 at 9:16 pm
It, along with all the other FDA-approved artificial sweeteners except saccharine and aspartame, is heat-stable. That means these can be used in baking. Stevia, a sweetener made from the leaf ...
- 10 Best Faux Ivy Privacy Screenson December 11, 2020 at 1:58 am
Please give an overall site rating: ...
- 'Artificial Leaf' Reaches Best Level Of Solar Energy Efficiency Yeton August 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm
The latest advancement in the artificial leaf comes from Monash University in Melbourne and brings us another step closer to a commercially viable method of turning water into fuel. Instead of ...
via Bing News