the Artificial Leaf

timer Asked: Dec 12th, 2017
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Question description

write a summary of this paper including

1-background information on the artificial leaf


3-Design of the Artificial Leaf

4-Reactions of the Artificial Leaf

5-The Advantages / The Disadvantages

6-The Relation to Cell Biology

7-Future of Artificial Leaf

u cane exceed to more the one page but not more than 2 pages. the summary should all on your own word no quote at all

Course: Cellular Bio-363 Date: 12/12/2017 Artificial Photosynthesis Introduction Plants are living organisms that exist either in the wild form natural evolution or domesticated by man through careful bias selection over many years. Plants are able to generate the necessary food resources (oxygen and carbohydrates) required for energy creation through a natural process called photosynthesis; plants convert light energy from sun light to chemical energy through green pigmentations known as chlorophyll in leaves while bacteria under-go this process in the plasma membranes. The chemical energy produced is released by the organisms to facilitate their normal activities later on. This process occurs naturally. Man has found a way to manipulate this process and mimic photosynthesis through a process known as artificial photosynthesis. The aim of this paper is to critically analyze artificial photosynthesis. General background Artificial photosynthesis in not a sudden discovery as its conceptualization and implementation occurred over a long time and involved several people. Giacomo Ciamician, a chemist of Italian origin, is the first person credited with the formulation of the theory of artificial photosynthesis. This was in 1912. He proposed the abandonment of the use of fossil fuel to the more reliable use of energy captured from sunlight by using advanced photochemistry technology. He envisioned that the use of such energy would lead to less pollution of the environment arising from the burning of fossil fuels. Additionally, its spread and use would lessen the gap between the producers of fossil fuels and the rest of the world as sunlight can easily be accessed from anywhere in the world unlike the former whose distribution is limited (Martin, 2016). Akira Fujishima is credited with the discovery of Honda-Fujishima effect employed in hydrolysis in the 1960s; he discovered that titanium dioxide had photo-catalytic properties. In 1994, the Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis was created. Its sole aim was study and analyze natural photosynthesis so that the discoveries could be replicated using artificial systems. This field is currently experiencing a resurgence as more scientists and scientific organizations take up keen interest in it; such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO), the Brookhaven National Library and the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The first practical artificial leaf was created in 2011 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ Solar Revolution Project and chemist Daniel G. Nocera and his team (Martin, 2016). The mechanisms of artificial photosynthesis Natural photosynthesis occurs in a two-step sequence that involves the harvesting of sun light and the splitting up of water molecules using energy from the first step. The aim of natural photosynthesis is the production of oxygen and glucose while for artificial photosynthesis hydrogen is the resultant product. Plants are able to harvest sun light using chlorophyll. This is combines carbon dioxide molecules (6) and water molecules (6) to produce a single glucose molecule and 6 molecules of oxygen. In artificial photosynthesis energy used for splitting up the water molecules is derived from the photocatalytic splitting of water using solar light. The selected catalyst used in this process should be able to quickly react, absorbing a large amount of the available incident photons from sunlight i.e. it should be very effective and efficient at carrying out this process. This is a preferred method as a sustainable amount of hydrogen is obtained as an alternate source of energy. This reaction splits water into hydrogen protons and oxygen. The protons react with carbon dioxide to produce hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst (The Drawdown Organization, 2017). Design of the artificial leaf A research group led by Daniel Nicora designed and created the most basic artificial leaf. It consists of a solar cell made purely from silicon to produce the energy required for the photocatalytic splitting of water. Photocatalytic materials are bound onto two of its sides. This does away with the need for the use of control circuits or wires to operate the artificial leaf. The leaf is made of is made up of cobalt, nickel and silicon which are both abundant on earth and inexpensive in nature. The leaf design contains a sheet of silicon, this should be very thin and be a semiconductor of electricity. This converts solar energy into electricity that is wirelessly streamed throughout the leaf. A cobalt based catalyst is bound onto the silicon sheet; it releases oxygen from water. An alloy of nickel-molybdenum and zinc is coated on the other side of the silicon sheet. It serves to release hydrogen molecules bound in the water. This device is very inexpensive at it can be easily created and used; it is placed on to a container of a container of water which is then exposed to the sun and begins to immediately generate energy i.e. two bubble streams are observed on each side of the cell, one containing oxygen and the other hydrogen. The leaf should be designed such that a barrier exists to separate these two gases collected to be stored. The device is heterogeneous such hat two separate electrodes exist, an anode and a cathode. This ensures that oxygen and hydrogen are produced at different points in the device making their production and collection easier and safer. The device is ready for the market. However, researchers have not yet been able to create the necessary system for the collection of the gases produced during the observed reactions (Martin, 2016). Current research and development Artificial photosynthesis is a developing field that constantly experiences advancements as scientists seek to come up with more inexpensive ways of carrying out the process using the cheapest and most affordable materials. In 2009, K. Dormen and F. del Valle demonstrated the effective use thermal treatment within a closed atmosphere by using the photo-catalyst Cd1xZnxS. The solid catalyst showed a high rate of production of hydrogen from water (del Valle, Ishikawa, & Domen, 2009). Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz separately tested the use of cadmium selenide quantum dots sensitized and nitrogen doped titanium dioxide nanowires and nanoparticles to achieve the same results in 2010 (Hensel, Wang, Li, & Zhang, 2010). In 2010, the United States Department of Energy established the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. The organization aims to come up with cost-effective means of producing safe energy using carbon dioxide, water and sunlight only (Solar Fuels Hub Organization, 2012). Additionally, a team led by Professor David Windell from the University of Cincinnati was able to demonstrate the photosynthesis by the use of enzymes (Beckman, 2010). This developing field will continue to attract more interest as man seeks to turn away from fossil fuel and switch to the use of inexpensive and safe clean alternative energy sources. Comparison to “organic” photosynthesis Artificial photosynthesis borrows a lot of its concepts from “organic” photosynthesis. As such, most of its primary components are similar. The two processes involve similar raw materials; water, carbon dioxide and sunlight, and end products; carbohydrates and oxygen. Both reactions use sunlight as their primary energy source. Both processes occur in two stages; the first step involves the acquisition of energy from the sun while the second part involves the use of the acquired energy in the reaction between carbon dioxide and water. Both processes have catalysts, chlorophyll in green plants and cobalt-based catalysts in artificial leaves, which control the rates of reactions and the amount of energy produced. Both reactions occur in specialized sites; in the chloroplasts for green plants and photo-catalytic sites containing cobalt, nickel or silicon in artificial leaves. In both these instances, water is split into its basic components; hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Photosynthesis is dependent on the availability of sun light as the primary source of energy. As such both processes are limited by the availability and intensity of sun light in the environment (Olmos, 2015). Contrast between “organic” and artificial photosynthesis Organic photosynthesis is a natural process that occurs in green plants, algae and bacteria as the primary source of energy used to facility metabolism and other body functions. On the other hand, artificial photosynthesis is a process that is instituted and manipulated by man to for the provision of an alternate source of clean energy. The former therefore occurs whenever sunlight is available in green plants while the latter requires man’s input. Natural photosynthesis occurs in specialized sites such as the leaves and plasma membranes of bacteria. Artificial photosynthesis can be instituted wherever is most convenient to man; it only requires the artificial leaf and water. The former uses sun light directly as its primary source of energy while the later has to change sun light in to solar energy in order to for incorporation into the reaction. Natural photosynthesis produces glucose and oxygen as its primary products while artificial photosynthesis produces water and hydrogen as the end products. The hydrogen produced is converted to a fuel source on its own or is farther combined with carbon dioxide to produce organic fuels. The latter reaction is complete when water molecules are split into its constituent components while the former goes a step farther by incorporating carbon dioxide into the reaction to form glucose (Materials for a Sustainable Future, 2014). Real-world application of artificial photosynthesis The main purpose for the development of artificial photosynthesis is the production of clean energy from readily and easily available resources thus doing away with the expensive and limited fossil fuels. As such all that is required is the availability of water, whether clean or dirty and a solar energy source that can easily be acquired to generate hydrogen and oxygen as alternative energy sources. Alternatively, artificial photosynthesis can be used to generate clean water for safe drinking and other uses from dirty or contaminated sources; water is split into its constituent elements that can later be recombined to produce clean water free of contaminants albeit relatively expensive as compared to conventional water treatment methods (Martin, 2016). Advantages and disadvantages of artificial photosynthesis Advantages It uses solar energy that can easily be generated, stored and used for a later purpose hence is relatively inexpensive. This means that the process is institutable at any time hence making it very convenient to the user. The construction of an artificial leaf requires relatively cheap and easily available materials hence making it a worthwhile venture. It is to use and is portable as all it requires is a collection point for the products. The user is sure of the products he is acquiring hence making it both an effective and efficient energy source; very little energy is lost during production. The products of this process are environmentally friendly as it uses carbon-neutral raw materials (Barber & Tran, 2013). Disadvantages The material used is easily lost over time due to corrosion while in water as they are relatively unstable. Additionally, most hydrogen catalysts are very sensitive to the presence of oxygen as they are either degraded or inactivated hence interfering with the whole process. There is also the chance occurrence of photo-damage to the components of the machine. Presently, production costs outweigh the benefits derived from the technology as compared to the extraction and use of fossil fuels. This rules it out as a viable alternative as a source of commercial fuel (Barber & Tran, 2013). The future of artificial photosynthesis The rapidly growing field that is expanding beyond just the production of clean energy sources; it is being incorporated into other scientific fields such as the production of alcohols and other chemicals. The use of fossil fuels is unreliable due to the diminishing levels of available stock; it is also being discouraged as it is a constant source of environmental pollution. This gives room to the rise of clean energy sources that easily be undertaken by the use of artificial photosynthesis. Research currently conducted by various individuals and institution seeks to come up with better and more sustainable materials to be used in the production of the artificial leaf. This ensures that the process is more reliable as its components are able to produce more energy over a longer period (Kim, Lee, Baek, & Park, 2017). The relationship between artificial photosynthesis and molecular biology Living organisms continually take up large amounts of compounds which they use to facilitate provision of metabolic energy and biosynthesis. Photosynthesis is one such chemical reaction studied under molecular biology. It demonstrates how living organisms have formulated organic pathways and processes that ensure they use what is naturally available to them to survive. Molecular biology seeks to understand how such actions take place so that man can easily replicate these into useful everyday components which in the end make life easier to live. Artificial photosynthesis is an example of a real-world application of the principles studies in molecular biology. Conclusion Artificial photosynthesis is a practical example of how man is constantly learning from nature on the basic aspects required to survive the ever evolving world. It mimics natural photosynthesis to produce clean energy which is both sustainable and durable under the right conditions and setting. Nature is the best place where man can easily learn how to adapt and use basic components readily available to create items that are essential for everyday uses. Molecular biology allows us the ability to study and easily understand biological processes in nature. More time and infrastructure should be invested in this field. Bibliography Artero, V. (2016, March 26). European and International Initiatives in the Field of Artificial Photosynthesis. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from Science Direct: Barber, J., & Tran, P. D. (2013). From natural to artificial photosynthesis. Journal of The Royal Society Interface. Beckman, W. (2010, March 15). Frogs, Foam and Fuel: UC Researchers Convert Solar Energy to Sugars. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from UC News: del Valle, F., Ishikawa, A., & Domen, K. (2009, May). Influence of Zn Concentration in the activity of Cd1xZnxS solid solutions for water splitting under visible light. Catalysis Today, 143(1-2), pp. 5159. Hall, D. O., & Rao, K. K. (1999). Photosynthesis . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hensel, J., Wang, G., Li, Y., & Zhang, J. Z. (2010). Synergistic Effect of CdSe Quantum Dot Sensitization and Nitrogen Doping of TiO2 Nanostructures for Photoelectrochemical Solar Hydrogen Generation. Nano Letters, 10(2), pp. 478-483. Kim, S. K., Lee, S., Baek, S., & Park, T. Y. (2017). A Highly Versatile and Adaptable Artificial Leaf with Floatability and Planar Compact Design Applicable in Various Natural Environments. Advanced Materials. Martin, R. (2016, June 7). This Bionic Leaf Is Better at Photosynthesis than a Real Leaf. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from MIT Technology Review: Materials for a Sustainable Future. (2014). Artificial Photosynthesis. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from Materials for a Sustainable Future: Nguyen, P. D. (2017). Current progress and challenges in engineering viable artificial leaf for solar water splitting. Journal of Science: Advanced Materials and Devices. Noorden, R. V. (2012). Artificial leaf' faces economic hurdle. Nature News. Olmos, J. D. (2015, September). A Quest For Artificial Leaf. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from Science Direct: Shoji, S. (2017, July 24). Strontium Titanate Based Artificial Leaf Loaded with Reduction and Oxidation Cocatalysts for Selective CO2 Reduction Using Water as an Electron Donor. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9(24), 20613–20619. Solar Fuels Hub Organization. (2012, November 7). Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from Solar Fuels Hub Organization: The Drawdown Organization. (2017, July 18). Artificial Leaf. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from Drawdown: Whalen, C. (2016, August 12). Artificial photosynthesis and the future of energy. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from Carbon Commentary: https"//

Tutor Answer

School: Cornell University


Surname 1
Student’s name:
The Artificial Leaf
The idea about artificial photosynthesis began in 1912 and was introduced by Giacomo
Ciamician an Italian chemist. He advocated for abandoning fossil fuels to the use of this
technology, to eliminate pollution. The artificial photosynthesis generates energy through the
photocatalytic splitting of water molecules using solar light. Hydrogen is also collected as fuel
during the process. Hydrogen is collected from the process of protons reacting with carbon
dioxide in the presence of a catalyst.
The artificial leaf is designed mainly using solar cells made from silicon, which produce
energy used in the photocatalystic splitting of water. It has the photocatalytic materials attached
onto its two sides. Other materials making the leaf include nickel, cobalt and silicon. The leaf
also contains a sheet of silicon, which is usually thin and a good semiconductor of electricity. A
cobalt catalyst is then bound on the silicon sheet, which releases oxygen from water. An alloy of
nickel-molybdenum and zinc is then coated on the other side of the sheet. This helps to release
hydrogen molecules in the water.
One of the advantages of this leaf is that it uses solar energy, which can be harnessed and
stored for future use. Another advantage of this leaf is that it requires cheap materials to make
and is also very portable. It is also advantageous that the leaf uses carbon-free raw materials and
loses very little energy to the environment during production.

Surname 2
On the other hand, one of the disadvantages of the leaf is that the material used is easily
corroded away when exposed to water. Hydrogen catalysts also interfere with the process,
making it inefficient. Apart from that, there is a high chance of photo-damage to the components
of the machine, making it unreliable. The current cost estimations also make it more costly as
compared with fossil fuels.
This field is rapidly expanding, beyond mere production of clean energy sources. It is
being incorporated in other industries and scientific fields such as production of chemicals and
alcohol. The diminishing fossil fuel resources also gives the artificial...

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