The part-microbe, part-microbe leaf has panels that receive the sunlight. The panels are adjusted to microbes that have been genetically modified to combine hydrogen and carbon dioxide to form an alcohol compound. When the alcohol complex is burned, energy is created. The result of this process is usually just water which does not harm the environment.
Artificial photosynthesis is not a new concept. All the same, it works much like the same way as natural photosynthesis. "We have tried to use the same idea plants use to create and store energy," said one of the researchers on the project, Pamela Silver. "Plants mostly store their energy as starch, and we store it like alcohol."
The scientists believe that this innovation will certainly help in controlling global warming as it extracts 180 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. But this is still not efficient enough to make it commercialized. The scientists are now looking for a way to split the hydrogen molecule by itself. This would result in the creation of a lot more energy. The only problem that stands before them is finding a nonnuclear way to break the hydrogen molecule.