“What nature can do, so can we” is what a team of scientist must have thought at U.S. technical university MIT. They produced an artificial leaf than can produce hydrogen and oxygen from water and sunlight.
You only have to place the leaf-like paper in a glass of water in the sun and the water immediately starts to bubble. With this advancement MIT tries to solve a major shortcoming of solar energy. The delivered hydrogen work as storage, so even at night it is possible to produce electricity with the fuel cell.
According to the researchers the system is ‘truly mobile’, since you can use it anywhere, anytime. No wires, no expensive and toxic batteries and no need for a connection with an electricity network. MIT uses nature as it’s inspiration. Real plants also release water into oxygen and hydrogen using sunlight. This process is called photosynthesis.
It remains to be investigated if the actual solar cell can be taken into production. The efficiency of the solar cell is the most important problem.