Artificial leaf for hydrogen production
Ateam of international researchers, affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea, has recently engineered a new artificial leaf that can convert sunlight into fuel.
The research achieved by Professor Jae Sung Lee and Professor Ji-Wook Jang of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Roel van de Krol at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Germany was published in the renowned scientific journal, Nature Communications.
In the study, the research presented hetero-type dual photo electrodes, in which two photoanodes of different band gaps are connected in parallel for extended light harvesting. Their new artificial leaf mimics the natural process of underwater photosynthesis of aquatic plants to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be harvested for fuel.
This study is expected to contribute greatly to the reduction and treatment of carbon dioxide emissions. Using hydrogen produced by artificial leaf as fuel, does not generate carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, it can be used as a cheap and stable hydrogen fuel for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
“We aim to achieve 10% enhanced light harvesting efficiency within three years,” said Professor Lee. “This technology will greatly contribute to the establishment of the renewable-energy-type hydrogen re fuelling station by supplying cheap fuel for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.