Artificial leaves will be the new "light" of the Earth (2 photos)

In the post-industrial era the issue of fresh airand a favorable atmosphere becomes more relevant than ever. Scientists from the University of Illinois in Chicago have developed a unique prototype of an artificial leaf that can reproduce the natural process of photosynthesis. The invention is able to work outside the laboratory under conditions close to real. This was made possible through the use of an exclusive membrane, which provides an ideal exchange of gases.

Engineers use the water decomposition reaction onHydrogen and oxygen under the influence of sunlight for several decades. Achievements have been made in the creation of special installations that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, they have a significant drawback. The devices created so far work under certain conditions that are far from reality, for example, at a given pressure. An innovative membrane by Illinois experts eliminates this disadvantage.

Standard block photosynthesis engineers wrappedinvented by the membrane, and placed inside the ordinary water, which gradually evaporates through the pores. The catalyst of the process is the sun, a heating device, which accelerates evaporation. Molecules of lost water are replaced by carbon dioxide from the environment. Carbon dioxide is converted to carbon monoxide (CO), which is the finished fuel for gas generators. The oxygen produced in this way enters the environment.

The efficiency of artificial leaf is almost 10 timesabove natural leaves. So, during the “work” of 360 artificial leaves with geometrical dimensions of 170x20 cm, within 24 hours, 10% of all carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere within a radius of 100 meters. Along the way, about half a ton of gaseous fuel is produced. The cost of such fuel is minimal, it includes only the cost of maintaining a complex of artificial leaves.