Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Artificial leaf could power the future


AN "artificial leaf" could one day be used to provide near limitless low-cost energy using water as a fuel. While there were substantial technical problems to overcome, the use of solar power and water represented the only way that growing world energy demand could be met according to a Kilkenny conference organised by research funding body Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

This doubling of energy supply could only barely be met by combining all the wind, hydro and biomass power available, provided we also built 8,000 new nuclear power plants,"It is all about the discovery of new materials and processes to make it affordable." The goal would be to "personalise" energy production by combining solar power and a chemical "artificial leaf" to produce hydrogen energy for the home and to power the family car.