Just 45 days ago, Nocera and his team stuck an artificial cobalt- and phosphate-coated silicon leaf into a jar of water and managed to create power--at an efficiency that surpasses today's solar panels, no less. The technique mimics photosynthesis by splitting hydrogen from water to generate power from the sun.
Nocera's research is still in the preliminary stages; by next year, he expects to be able to generate enough energy from a bottle and a half of water (wastewater can be used) to power a small house. If Nocera's research pans out as hoped, a swimming pool-sized container of water could meet the entire planet's electricity demands for a day. So no matter how preliminary the research, Tata stands to reap big rewards if it pans out.
Posted by Zach Royer | April 5th, 2011 10:08AM PST