New artificial leaf can amp up CO2 removal by 10 times

Feb 14, 2019, 7:33 AM EST
(Source: Artem Bali/flickr)
(Source: Artem Bali/flickr)

Plants remove atmospheric carbon dioxide by a process called photosynthesis that takes place in green leaves. The researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have designed a new artificial intelligence that mimics this function of natural leaves but with 10 times greater efficiency.

This is not the first time CO2-sucking artificial leaves have been developed but a limitation with these have been their inability to function outside the labs in natural conditions. The researchers overcame this shortcoming by enveloping the leaves into a special semi-permeable membrane, writes Futurism.

The artificial leaves wring out CO2 from the atmosphere and break it down into carbon monoxide and oxygen, which can be used for a variety of purposes, notes New Atlas. If the technology could be scaled up it could prove handy in lowering the planet-warming gas while producing fuel at the same time.