This is a synthesis post with some very good news. Scientists at Caltech have made a synthetic leaf that using the suns energy converts water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. So far they have only done it on a small scale but this is really exciting news. It can solve both the problem of global warming and the shrinking supply of fossil fuels. What will happen next?
I recently read The Wright Brothers by David McCullough and one of the things that I learned was that Orville and Wilbur’s success was largely attributable to their willingness to practice and fail. They spent years studying,building, crashing and flying gliders before they were able to master powered flight. This is the same story told by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers. His conclusion is that an overnight success needs about ten thousand hours of relevant experience.
So the trick with “artificial leaf technology is to build lots of leaves. Trying lots of different techniques all with the objective of lowering the cost of a btu.
I feel like it is 1849 and I just read about the discovery of gold in California. I’m thinking about dropping everything and going there to be involved in this great new adventure.
Here is a link to the Caltech article : http://www.caltech.edu/news/artificial-leaf-harnesses-sunlight-efficient-fuel-production-47635