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'Artificial leaf' gains the ability to self-heal damage and produce energy from dirty water

'Artificial leaf' gains the ability to self-heal damage and produce energy from dirty water | Next things | Scoop.it

Another innovative feature has been added to the world's first practical "artificial leaf," making the device even more suitable for providing people in developing countries and remote areas with electricity, scientists reported in New Orleans on April 8. It gives the leaf the ability to self-heal damage that occurs during production of energy. Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D., described the advance during the "Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry Lecture" at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

 

Nocera, leader of the research team, explained that the "leaf" mimics the ability of real leaves to produce energy from sunlight and water. The device, however, actually is a simple catalyst-coated wafer of silicon, rather than a complicated reproduction of the photosynthesis mechanism in real leaves. Dropped into a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, catalysts in the device break water down into its components, hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases bubble up and can be collected and used as fuel to produce electricity in fuel cells.

 

"Surprisingly, some of the catalysts we've developed for use in the artificial leaf device actually heal themselves," Nocera said. "They are a kind of 'living catalyst.' This is an important innovation that eases one of the concerns about initial use of the leaf in developing countries and other remote areas."

 

Nocera, who is the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, explained that the artificial leaf likely would find its first uses in providing "personalized" electricity to individual homes in areas that lack traditional electric power generating stations and electric transmission lines. Less than one quart of drinking water, for instance, would be enough to provide about 100 watts of electricity 24 hours a day. Earlier versions of the leaf required pure water, because bacteria eventually formed biofilms on the leaf's surface, shutting down production.

 

"Self-healing enables the artificial leaf to run on the impure, bacteria-contaminated water found in nature," Nocera said. "We figured out a way to tweak the conditions so that part of the catalyst falls apart, denying bacteria the smooth surface needed to form a biofilm. Then the catalyst can heal and re-assemble."

 

Nocera said that about 3 billion people today live in areas that lack access to traditional electric production and distribution systems. That population will grow by billions in the decades ahead. About 1 billion people in the developing world already lack reliable access to clean water. Thus, a clear need exists for a simple device like the artificial leaf that's compatible with local conditions.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
David Gifford's insight:

The science daily article is very helpful

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CineversityTV's curator insight, May 18, 2013 1:53 PM

but what will it mean to Nature, disruption of more ecosystems?

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Biology Hacklabs | The Scientist Magazine®

Biology Hacklabs | The Scientist Magazine® | Next things | Scoop.it
Fueled by donations, sweat, and occasional dumpster diving, community laboratories for DIY biologists are cropping up around the country.
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This is from GenoCon

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David Gifford's curator insight, March 6, 2013 2:23 AM

BioCurious is one of a dozen community DIY biology (DIYbio) hackerspaces in the United States that serve as havens for geeks, engineers, entrepreneurs, and anyone curious about biology. Today, through volunteered time, money, and equipment, and some creative funding schemes, these labs are popping up all over the country and around the world. According to DIYbio.org, a support organization for DIY biologists, there are currently 15 DIY groups in North America, 11 in Europe, two in Asia, and two in Australia/New Zealand. DIYbio community labs accept all manner of biocurious individuals. The labs require basic safety training for new members, then provide access to laboratory equipment and reagents, training in lab techniques and biotechnology, a supportive community, and, paramount to all, space to dabble.

“The goal is just to provide lab space for anyone to do whatever the hell they want,” says Cory Tobin, cofounder of a Los Angeles DIYbio lab called LA Biohackers. “It’s for people who want to learn biology for any reason.

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World’s first telescopic contact lens gives you Superman-like vision

World’s first telescopic contact lens gives you Superman-like vision | Next things | Scoop.it
An international team of researchers have created the first telescopic contact lens; a contact lens that, when it's equipped, gives you the power to zoom your vision almost three times.

Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET, Official AndreasCY
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Rescooped by David Gifford from Amazing Science
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'Artificial leaf' gains the ability to self-heal damage and produce energy from dirty water

'Artificial leaf' gains the ability to self-heal damage and produce energy from dirty water | Next things | Scoop.it

Another innovative feature has been added to the world's first practical "artificial leaf," making the device even more suitable for providing people in developing countries and remote areas with electricity, scientists reported in New Orleans on April 8. It gives the leaf the ability to self-heal damage that occurs during production of energy. Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D., described the advance during the "Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry Lecture" at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

 

Nocera, leader of the research team, explained that the "leaf" mimics the ability of real leaves to produce energy from sunlight and water. The device, however, actually is a simple catalyst-coated wafer of silicon, rather than a complicated reproduction of the photosynthesis mechanism in real leaves. Dropped into a jar of water and exposed to sunlight, catalysts in the device break water down into its components, hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases bubble up and can be collected and used as fuel to produce electricity in fuel cells.

 

"Surprisingly, some of the catalysts we've developed for use in the artificial leaf device actually heal themselves," Nocera said. "They are a kind of 'living catalyst.' This is an important innovation that eases one of the concerns about initial use of the leaf in developing countries and other remote areas."

 

Nocera, who is the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, explained that the artificial leaf likely would find its first uses in providing "personalized" electricity to individual homes in areas that lack traditional electric power generating stations and electric transmission lines. Less than one quart of drinking water, for instance, would be enough to provide about 100 watts of electricity 24 hours a day. Earlier versions of the leaf required pure water, because bacteria eventually formed biofilms on the leaf's surface, shutting down production.

 

"Self-healing enables the artificial leaf to run on the impure, bacteria-contaminated water found in nature," Nocera said. "We figured out a way to tweak the conditions so that part of the catalyst falls apart, denying bacteria the smooth surface needed to form a biofilm. Then the catalyst can heal and re-assemble."

 

Nocera said that about 3 billion people today live in areas that lack access to traditional electric production and distribution systems. That population will grow by billions in the decades ahead. About 1 billion people in the developing world already lack reliable access to clean water. Thus, a clear need exists for a simple device like the artificial leaf that's compatible with local conditions.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
David Gifford's insight:

The science daily article is very helpful

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CineversityTV's curator insight, May 18, 2013 1:53 PM

but what will it mean to Nature, disruption of more ecosystems?

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Wolverine - The Musical!

Hugh Logan Wolverine Jackman sings. About Hugh Logan Wolverine Jackman. Come be friends with us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/gloveandboots
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on a more musical note..(found at neatogeek) http://www.neatorama.com/neatogeek/2013/07/17/Wolverine-The-Musical/

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Winchell Chung - Google+

Winchell Chung - Google+ | Next things | Scoop.it
Winchell Chung - If you have not learned something new today, the day is lost.
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Start Here!

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23andMe: This is Me TV Ad

23andMe's first TV ad shows people exploring their own DNA, to take charge of their health and learn more about themselves.
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Memory implantation is now officially real

Memory implantation is now officially real | Next things | Scoop.it

In a study published in the latest issue of Science, a team of researchers led by MIT neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate Susumu Tonegawa demonstrate their ability to isolate and activate engrams in a mouse's memory-rich hippocampus. The researchers go on to implant false memories in the mouse's mind, causing it to recall experiences that have never actually occurred. Here's how they did it.


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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Singularity coming...

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Pedro Barbosa's curator insight, July 25, 2013 5:15 PM

Excellent article. Mandatory

 

Pedro Barbosa | www.pbarbosa.com | www.harvardtrends.com 

Tony Sacksteder's curator insight, July 25, 2013 8:33 PM

Is this really good news? Though undoubtably more difficult, I'd rather see memories being interpreted and read before the ability to implant them arises.

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The Artificial Leaf - Renewable Energy - Horizons

Adam Shaw travels to Boston to meet Harvard professor Daniel Nocera who has created a device that has the ability to replicate photosynthesis. More Horizons ...
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http://www.iowaenergycenter.org/2013/05/mits-artificial-leaf-to-convert-solar-energy-to-hydrogen/ ; and a paper Modeling integrated photovoltaic–electrochemical devices using steady-state equivalent circuits: paper http://www.pnas.org/content/110/12/E1076.full ;

 
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Explore – To this day, Prometheus still holds the count for...

Explore – To this day, Prometheus still holds the count for... | Next things | Scoop.it
“To this day, Prometheus still holds the count for the most rings of any tree, at 4,862. The next oldest tree, called Methuselah, was identified by Edward Schulman in the 1950s and is still alive...

Via BulletinOfTheAtomic
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Plants genomes can be far larger than human...

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