Science has had it’s foothold in cloning for some time now, but actually recreating the process of something biochemically is another story.
According to the ACS journal Accounts of Chemical Research, scientists have actually decoded the DNA of plants and synthesized an artificial plant using the information. The plant comes complete with the ability to photosynthesize.
This is a ginormous breakthrough in the vision of a famous Italian chemist from 1912 who predicted that sciences would one day find out the “secret of plants”.
Discovering this phenom creates the ability for people to use the results of this study and mimic the photosynthesis by dividing the hydrogen and oxygen elements in water. This process releases the hydrogen gas which can be used in fuel cells in electricity.
The artificial plant was originally made up of platinum, noble metal oxides, and semiconducting materials.
Daniel Nocera, a scientist on the artificial plant project devised a way in order to produce the artificial leaves in a more cost effective way, using a less-expensive nickel-molybdenum-zinc compound and a cobalt film which generates oxygen gas.
Nocera explains, “Considering that it is the 6 billion nonlegacy users that are driving the enormous increase in energy demand by midcentury, a research target of delivering solar energy to the poor with discoveries such as the artificial leaf provides global society its most direct path to a sustainable energy future”