Back in 2011, researchers at MIT developed an artificial leaf technology
that could produce energy from water and sunlight. The artificial leaf
is essentially a silicon solar cell that has different catalytic
materials bonded to each side that allow it to split water molecules
into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter of which could be stored and used
as clean fuel. While that technology is groundbreaking enough, the
project team, led by Daniel G. Nocera, Ph.D., has announced that the
technology now has the ability to self-heal and produce energy from
dirty water.

The artificial leaf is designed to be a cheap energy source and it’s made from abundant materials like silicon, cobalt and nickel. It’s also opens the door to solar technology that produces a clean fuel that can be stored and used at night.

Ultimately the research team wants to combine the artificial leaf with technology that converts the hydrogen into a liquid fuel to power everything from traditional portable electric generators for homes to cars.

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