• Tylor Brackett

New Solution Comes to Fend off Greenhouse Gasses

As we all know, our planet is being attacked and heating up by excessive carbon dioxide deposits also known as greenhouse gasses. What you probably didn't know though is that we have manufactured a possible solution to this problem, synthetic leaves. Synthetic leaves are human-made and use photosynthesis to replace carbon dioxide with cleansing breathable oxygen.

The synthetic leaf is a remarkable step in the future of our planet and the colonization of others. Rather than bridging or keeping plants that may die, now we have a never dying source of oxygen, which was a main issue faced in space travel. The original synthetic leaf was created by Julian Melchiorri, a graduate student in innovation design engineering at the Uk’s Royal College of Art.

The synthetic leaf was made from extracted protein-based material straight from silk fibers used to stabilize organelles. By definition, organelles are any number of organized or specialized structures within a living cell. This allows the photosynthetic leaf to use photosynthesis as a normal organic leaf would. “I have the first photosynthetic material that was working and breathing as a leaf does”Melchiorri. said.

There has also been another version of Julian Melchiorri’s synthetic leaf created by scientists that instead of producing glucose and oxygen produces alternative fuel and oxygen called the artificial leaf as they call it, was they created by a group of scientists led by Yimin Wu. The artificial leaf turns carbon dioxide into methanol which will reduce greenhouse gasses and provide a new safer fuel replacing the fossil fuels that create the greenhouse gasses."Climate change is an urgent problem and we can help reduce CO2 emissions while also creating an alternative fuel, the key to the process is a cheap red powder called cuprous oxide,” Wu stated.

The powder Wu refers to is created when glucose, copper acetate, sodium hydroxide and sodium dodecyl sulfate are added to water and heated. After the powder is created, it is used as a trigger to yet another reaction. It's mixed with water into carbon dioxide is blown while a white light is detected with a solar simulator. The following steps for this creation is commercializing to companies or power plants that emit large deposits of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.“We believe that the artificial leaf concept could be used in the form of solar farms next to chemical and power plants in order to convert the carbon dioxide from the exhaust stream to fuels” project co-author Larry Curtiss says. The process that the artificial leaf uses is one similar to photosynthesis but instead to capture any carbon emission from burning syngas would be recycled into more fuel.

The threat to our planet now has a man made solution using various forms of photosynthesis to transition our world into a more efficient breathable future. This starts with the creation of the synthetic leaf to the creation of the artificial leaf, bringing us different positive effects but ultimately come up with different possessive results.

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