The first thing I thought of when reading this article was “Wow, another thing about fake leaves.” Of course, this was only because I have seen similar articles time and time again via the dreaded chemistry and society essays last year. It is not a new idea, but where it differs is that this bionic leaf is more efficient than natural photosynthesis. Whether this is because this is the first time or I failed to pay good attention last year is up for debate, but these leaves seem to be a little more than meets the eye. The article explains that they have found a proper catalyst to make the production nontoxic and safe, making it a step above other similar bionic leaves (move over, leaf creators). They can create effective fuel that we can use from all of the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
One of the major issues our world faces is that of global warming, which is constantly battled by the need for fuels to power our machines, devices, and day to day lives. As nice as it would be to just stop our energy consumption, that’s unrealistic. The shift to renewable energy has started but is still only at its beginning. One of the main questions I worry about is the cost of producing these leaves and exactly how they will be set up to produce energy. I am far from skeptical, but it is something I feel we need to keep in mind. Regardless, having a safe way of producing fuel that helps to combat a serious problem hits both metaphorical birds with one huge rock of science, and that’s pretty dang cool.
Note: I’m working on my pun game #votemeforsupremepunqueen2k16))