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ARTIFICIAL LEAF

ABSTRACT:
Fuel cell technology is the major
advancement in chemical engineering.
This technology is a solution to the
alarming rate at which air pollution is
increasing. Fuel cells technologies face
one basic and important problem the
generation of its fuel i.e., hydrogen. A
novel solution to the above problem is
through artificial leaf.
Artificial leaf as the name suggests
mimics the process followed by leaf to
generate energy and produce oxygen
i.e.,
the
photosynthesis.
This
biomimicry is followed by the
artificial leaf until the production of
hydrogen. Artificial leaf consists of
two electrodes a photoanode and a
photocathode,
separated
by
a
membrane.
Photoanode absorbs
light and oxidizes water into oxygen,
protons(H+ ions) and electrons. These
protons and electrons after passing
through the membrane recombine in
the
photocathode
to
generate
hydrogen. The hydrogen so generated
can be used for immediate purposes
using fuel cell technology. Another
important way the hydrogen can be
used is that it can be stored for future
purposes. The energy stored in the
form of hydrogen is leak proof (i.e.,
the energy is never lost) for several
years.

Researchers from Monash


University in Melbourne have made a
design which could function at an
efficiency of 22% that
is
higher
than the design made by researchers
in CalTech University. The progress
achieved is commendable yet it is not
financially viable .The artificial leafway
of
splitting
water
electrochemically
to
generate
hydrogen
can
be
the
future
replacement for fossil fuels.

Keywords:
Air
pollution;
fuel;
hydrogen;
biomimicry;
photoanodes;
photocathodes; membrane; storage ;
leak proof; electrochemically; fossil
fuels.

References:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/
http://www.caltech.edu/
https://en.wikipedia.org/