Turning Over A New Artificial Leaf

ICICS and the Clean Energy Research Centre co-hosted a talk by Professor Yimin Wu of the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Nanotechnology on December 9. Professor Wu described novel techniques pioneered in his lab that combine X-ray and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) to understand  2-dimensional materials such as graphene at the atomic level, then modify them for practical uses. One such use is an artifical leaf that mimics photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide into methanol and oxygen, rather than glucose and oxygen as occurs in nature. This “leaf” could be used to capture carbon dioxide from high-yield sources such as thermal power plants, and convert it into methanol as an alternative fuel source. Read more about Professor Wu’s potentially game-changing work in the University of Waterloo’s Waterloo News, and in the journal Nature Energy.