Sunday 22 January 2012

Laboratories: looks like the high-tech of the future - I

The ESC has just ended and some manufacturers have capitalized on their product concepts to shine in Las Vegas. But the real future technologies are conceived in laboratories ultra-advanced the cause of true miracles.

Fuel-based sheets, shoes that can recharge mobile, artificial skin, or a program that guesses the emotions, this is what will bring the high-tech future.

Fuel from the leaves

MIT researchers have created what they call an "artificial leaf". Just like natural leaves, they can transform the sun's energy into a chemical fuel that can be stored and used later as energy source.

The artificial leaf is composed of a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials on both sides. It does not need to son or control circuits to operate. When placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it generates bubbles: bubbles of oxygen on one side and hydrogen bubbles on the other. If it is placed in a container separated into two, the two streams can be collected on each side, stored and used later for energy. For example they can be integrated into a fuel cell that will combine them back into the water and create an electric current.

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