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News Link • Energy

How Artificial Leaf Heals Itself

 The man-made leaf, created by scientists at MIT led by Daniel Nocera, mimics the ability of natural plants to produce energy through photosynthesis. Their “leaf” is made of low-cost silicon and coated with hydrogen-oxygen catalysts designed to initiate chemical reactions. When introduced to water, the leaf’s catalysts break down the water into hydrogen and oxygen. The gas that rises out of the water can then be used in fuel cells to produce energy.

And the leaf is constantly improving. Nocera announced this week at the 245th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans that the leaf is now capable producing energy from dirty water. Previous iterations of the leaf required pure water since bacteria in dirty water formed a film on the leaf that disabled energy production.

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