By Erin Hale
The Guardian – The most efficient way to turn sunlight into energy has existed for around 400m years: photosynthesis. Scientists have been attempting to replicate this in artificial leaves for some time and have now taken a step forward by replacing expensive materials with cheaper ones.
This is significant, because while artificial leaves could be the fuel cells of the future, production costs remain a major issue. One of the biggest obstacles to artificial photosynthesis has been that scientists could only replicate it with a costly platinum catalyst. Now Danial Nocera at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) says his team has found a way to replace it with a cheap nickel-molybdenum-zinc compound. This puts him one step closer to his goal of finding an inexpensive, portable source of renewable energy for developing countries…. Read More