Indian researchers make artificial leaf that produces fuel and releases oxygen!

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have developed an artificial leaf that absorbs carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to generate fuel and release oxygen in the process, simulating the process of photosynthesis.

The development is being viewed as a credible candidate in tackling global warming and climate change while keeping the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in check.

Biswajit Bhattacharyya, the student at the research unit who is the first author of the study, said that although several attempts have been made worldwide to replicate photosynthesis, Quantum Leaf developed at IISc is the most efficient device using sunlight to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to oxygen.

Explaining the process, Anshu Pandey, Associate Professor at the Unit, said quantum dots — semiconducting nano-crystals — made of specific materials, act as the catalyst to convert CO2 into bicarbonate form to ‘formate’ (derivative of formic acid) that may be used as fuel.