comScore Bionic Leaf Photosynthesis Better Than Plants | The Mary Sue
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This Bionic Leaf Does Photosynthesis Better Than Plants, Could Power Cars Someday

Suck it, plants—this bionic leaf has got you beat ten times over! A team of researchers at Harvard University, led by Daniel Nocera and Pamela Silver, have been perfecting this leaf’s ability to perform artificial photosynthesis. Back in 2014, the beginnings of a design for a bionic leaf began. Since that time, researchers have perfected the efficiency of the leaf, leading them to call this new one the Bionic Leaf 2.0 in a press release.

Natural leaves convert sunlight, water and CO2 into fuel to power their own survival. This bionic leaf uses those same three ingredients to create isopropanol, which is a liquid fuel source that could potentially be used to power a motor or even a car. Because the researchers have spent so much time perfecting the efficiency of this bionic leaf, it can create far more fuel than any leaf in nature, and it could be used as a new form of harnessing solar energy.

Ever since news of the development of this bionic leaf first began to emerge, solar energy advocates argued in favor of creating cars that could use isopropanol. Now that the bionic leaf is becoming more and more efficient, it seems ever more possible that engineers will catch on to the potential of using this methodology to fuel future projects.

(via PopSci)

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