Synthetic Leaf

Recently scientist have created a synthetic leave that could create oxygen for long space travel and possibly allow habitation of distant planets with no oxygen. The leaf is made from silk proteins and uses very little energy to create oxygen and is also very light weight, just like a regular leaf. The leaf just needs light to create oxygen, also just like a leaf. It was created by Royal College of Art graduate Juilan Melchiorri. The leaf creates oxygen just like any other leaf, through photosynthesis. She set out to create a device that would use the exhaled carbon dioxide by astronauts into breathable air. The funny thing is it really does look and feel like a leaf, which would make adapting to it much easier. The leaf is fairly expensive to create and it seems like a lot will be needed in order to create a breathable area. This is just the beginning for oxygen in space, if they can mass produce this synthetic leaf or create something like this on a larger scale, living on another planet besides earth is not a too far off idea. The leaf its self will be able to save NASA money by allowing astronauts to use a smaller amount of compressed oxygen, and then using light and the exhaled carbon dioxide to keep recreating an endless source of oxygen.
The leaf can also be used on earth to help improve urban lighting, ventilation, and decrease pollution. This could actually be used in very dense areas such as china’s major cities and any other major cities. The leaves would help create more oxygen and could be places when trees cannot be. This will allow cleaner air and possibly a reduction in air pollution. The leaf has so many uses and can only help the environment, it takes almost no energy, only light, and someone breathing around the leaf for it to activate. The leaf is still in test phases so we do not know the true potential of the leaf, but hopefully it could help eb a means to an end of air pollution.
This is an amazing idea, with all the problems earth is facing, this could help humans move or separate to a different world, allowing the human race to reduce the amount of pollution, and other problems we have caused. This is just the first step and will take many many years before scientist will be able to create a reusable ecosystem like the one we have on earth, but this will allow our space programs to go further than we ever thought, and for a cheaper price. Hopefully this graduate student can get more funding to help save our world. It is crazy how a simple thing as a synthetic leaf could have such a huge impact on our lives in just the short future. It is great to see people who really do care about our earth and see something become so helpful, instead of people just looking to create something that will earn them money.

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3 Comments

  1. Wow, I guess it won’t be long before we are actually terraforming the moon or Mars. I never thought something like this would exist in my life time. The future is slightly more terrifying to me now.

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