A Look Into the Future: The Artificial Leaf and Energy Harvesting

3:22:00 PM


New technologies are always popping up like daisies, and that’s a good thing right? Well, according to some religious zealots and corporate head honchos we may be advancing too much and too fast. Technology changes lives, restarts hearts, Siri makes you breakfast and whatever else you can think of. As a matter of fact, where would we be without them? I have to say that I am impressed with the genius of hard work, talent and perseverance of some scientists to tackle real world issues such as global warming, energy crisis and the like even though it takes years and years of research.

Professor Daniel Nocera, MIT


I came across an article this week that spoke of a scientist that has been doing just that. Daniel Nocera, a professor of energy and chemistry at MIT, designed a product that can harvest massive amounts of energy for use in homes, businesses and can be contained so that each person could have a piece of their own energy pie. The invention has taken since the late 70’s to become what it is today. Instead of paying government companies to jump-start our washers, electricity in house and anything else requiring energy, Nocera has developed the Artificial Leaf. This Artificial Leaf is a thin silicon sheet that when immersed in tap water and placed in light, will separate by effervescence, Oxygen and Hydrogen molecules that when concentrated separately have forceful and effective reactions that can contribute as a useful energy source.

Noceras' Artificial Leaf

Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, Newton’s first law of conservation. This law alone illustrates the fact that energy can be recycled by transferring itself into different forms whether it be sound, light, heat or movement. Learning to harvest the energy, control it and use it to our specific needs is what makes this invention and others like it so amazing and in theory masterful. Something like this will take years of testing and even longer to become a publicly used form of energy. Will we let it happen?

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