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Artificial Leaves

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posted on Jul, 30 2016 @ 07:44 PM

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.

The finding is reported in the July 29 issue of Science and was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. A provisional patent application has been filed.

Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once. A solar farm of such "artificial leaves" could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.

"The new solar cell is not photovoltaic -- it's photosynthetic," says Amin Salehi-Khojin, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at UIC and senior author on the study.

"Instead of producing energy in an unsustainable one-way route from fossil fuels to greenhouse gas, we can now reverse the process and recycle atmospheric carbon into fuel using sunlight," he said.

Here we have found a way to address global warming and produce a viable energy source for power using atmospheric Co2. This could actually replace fossil fuels but at issue is when it actually starts taking to much Co2 from the air.

The truth is that will take a long time and more interesting, what about Venus?

edit on 30-7-2016 by Kashai because: Content edit

posted on Jul, 30 2016 @ 10:05 PM

Date: July 1, 2014

Source: Princeton University

Researchers have devised an efficient method for harnessing sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into a potential alternative fuel known as formic acid. The transformation from carbon dioxide and water to formic acid was powered by a commercial solar panel.

Synthesized 'solar' jet fuel: Renewable kerosene from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide

Date: May 3, 2014

Source: ETH Zürich


With the first ever production of synthesized "solar" jet fuel, the EU-funded SOLAR-JET project has successfully demonstrated the entire production chain for renewable kerosene obtained directly from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, therein potentially revolutionizing the future of aviation. This process has also the potential to produce any other type of fuel for transport applications, such as diesel, gasoline or pure hydrogen in a more sustainable way.

It would seem that at present there is a focus upon finding ways to use Co2 as a fuel and it seems to be working.
edit on 30-7-2016 by Kashai because: Added content

posted on Jul, 30 2016 @ 11:54 PM

In the 1990s a graduate student named Lin Chao at Princeton University decided to bubble carbon dioxide into an electrochemical cell. Using cathodes made from the element palladium and a catalyst known as pyridinium—a garden variety organic chemical that is a by-product of oil refining—he discovered that applying an electric current would assemble methanol from the CO2. He published his findings in 1994—and no one cared.

But by 2003, Chao's successor in the Princeton lab of chemist Andrew Bocarsly was deeply interested in finding a solution to the growing problem of the CO2 pollution causing global climate change. Graduate student Emily Barton picked up where he left off and, using an electrochemical cell that employs a semiconducting material used in photovoltaic solar cells for one of its electrodes, succeeded in tapping sunlight to transform CO2 into the basic fuel.

edit on 31-7-2016 by Kashai because: Content edit

edit on 31-7-2016 by Kashai because: Content edit

posted on Aug, 4 2016 @ 12:03 AM

Researchers reduce climate-warming CO2 to building blocks for fuels

Date:August 3, 2016


University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering


Turning carbon dioxide into stored energy sounds like science fiction: researchers have long tried to find simple ways to convert this greenhouse gas into fuels and other useful chemicals. Now, engineers has developed a technique powered by renewable energies such as solar or wind.

We can turn carbon dioxide into usefully energy.

edit on 4-8-2016 by Kashai because: Content edit

posted on Aug, 10 2016 @ 11:47 AM
maybe I'm not understanding correctly, but does this mean we can stuff these leaves down cars for fuel? lol

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