Zeleni listi imajo zelo učinkovit način proizvajanja energije s pomočjo sončne svetlobe. Vir: Wikipedia

Energy from an artificial leaf

Scientists have developed a technology that mimics the process of photosynthesis in the green leaves of plants.

In this way, in the future, emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide could be converted into fuel, and even the oxygen we breathe could be produced.

This is very important, because yesterday 11,000 scientists from all over the world, including from Slovenia, again warned that we must take thorough measures to preserve our planet, otherwise we are in danger of climate catastrophe.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane, is one of the key steps we need to take to keep the planet safe.

We can produce fuel in the same way that plants produce sugars, which are their source of energy

The head of the Yimin Wu research group told the English-language newspaper The Independent: »Technology has achieved about 10% success in converting solar energy into fuel. This is already a much better yield than that present in natural photosynthesis, at about one percent.«

And how does it all work? Under the influence of light, water and carbon dioxide produce oxygen and energy molecules. For plants, this is sugar and for the new technology it is methanol.

In the future, the technology they developed will be able to make a significant contribution to limiting the warming of the atmosphere due to greenhouse gases.

In addition, it could also represent an important new energy source. For example, methanol is already used as a fuel in some race cars today.

Points to Consider

  1. What forms of sustainable energy do you know?
  2. Which plants provide oxygen?
  3. Why it is important that many scientists are concerned about global warming?


The original version of this article was published on November 6th.

English translation courtesy of JL FlannerTotal Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.


Adamič je biologinja in dramaturginja, ljubiteljica živali in pisane besede.

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