|5 January 2017|

South Korea

A game-changing artificial leaf designed by a team of international researchers converts sunlight into fuel with groundbreaking efficiency.

The leaf splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be harvested for fuel – in a process which replicates the underwater photosynthesis of aquatic plants. Using hydrogen produced by artificial leaf as fuel, does not generate carbon dioxide emissions. It can also be used as a cheap and stable hydrogen fuel for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The results of the study by the international research team – all affiliated with the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) – is expected to contribute greatly to the reduction and treatment of carbon dioxide emissions in accordance with the recent Paris Agreement on climate change.

The research results 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 December issue of the renowned scientific journal, Nature Communications.

“We aim to achieve 10% enhanced light harvesting efficiency within three years,” says Professor Lee. “This technology will greatly contribute to the establishment of the renewable-energy-type hydrogen refueling station by supplying cheap fuel for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”