Creating Hydrogen by Photosynthesis through Artificial Inorganic Leaf

Creating hydrogen fuel via photosynthesis had been Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) subject for research, trying to mimic nature's way to produce energy using sunlight and water.

Chinese scientist at Shanghai Jiaotong University is designing what they call Artificial Inorganic Leaf (AIL) to replicate the photosynthesis process. They have first looked into the leaves of Anemone vitifolia, a plant native to China. The scientists found built in features of the leaf favorable for light harvesting which can be replicated with the new titanium dioxide (TiO2) structure - a chemical already known as a photocatalyst for hydrogen production.

In that same study, scientist embedded nanoparticles of platinum into the leaf surface. This has increased the activity of the artificial leaf, along with nitrogen which is found naturally in leaf, by an additional factor of ten.

What is featured here is another way of making hydrogen, blueprinting nature's way based on biological paradigm for sustainable and stable hydrogen production.

Artificial Inorganic Leaf Schematic

Recipe for an Artificial Inorganic Leaf, mimics Mother Nature's processes-photosynthesis (Credit: Tongxiang Fan, Ph.D.)

Source: Science Daily

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