from the do-you-think-energy-just-falls-off-trees dept.
New submitter nfn writes "MIT has published a new paper (abstract), along with a video of a working prototype, of what they're describing as an 'Artificial Leaf' that separates water into oxygen and hydrogen using cheap, non-exotic materials. 'The artificial leaf — a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials bonded onto its two sides — needs no external wires or control circuits to operate. Simply placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it quickly begins to generate streams of bubbles: oxygen bubbles from one side and hydrogen bubbles from the other. If placed in a container that has a barrier to separate the two sides, the two streams of bubbles can be collected and stored, and used later to deliver power: for example, by feeding them into a fuel cell that combines them once again into water while delivering an electric current.' No word on the arrival of 'Artificial Salads,' or when any of their other alchemy projects will bear artificial fruit."
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves
up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
-- Winston Churchill