Researchers at Harvard invented an electronic leaves that can produce liquid fuels. It mimics the chemical process in photosynthesis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Ralstonia eutropha, a bacteria that converts the hydrogen gas into protons and electrons. The engineered bacteria combine the hydrogen with carbon dioxide to generate liquid fuels.
“This is a proof of concept that you can have a way of harvesting solar energy and storing it in the form of a liquid fuel,” said Pamela Silver, author of the paper in the press release.
It is estimated to be more efficient than natural plants and the developers aim to adapt the bionic leaf to produce vitamins or medical drugs.