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Trendspotting - Your guide to latest trends

01-09-2011 A Leaf to Power Africa

Scientists have created the

world’s first practical artificial leaf that can turn sunlight and water into energy. The two separate teams who have made this accomplishment at the

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claim the
leaf could pave the way for a cheaper source of power in the near future. The artificial leaf is made from silicon, electronics and various catalysts which spur chemical reactions within the device. These reactions can use sunlight to break water into hydrogen and oxygen which can then be used to create electricity in a separate fuel cell. “A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades,” says Daniel Nocera, who led one of the teams. “We believe we have done it. And placed in a gallon of water and left in sun, these artificial leaves could provide a home in the developing world with basic electricity for a day.” He added that the two teams envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this new technology.

New trends: 'Solar Powered Boats become a Worldwide Eco Trend', 'Energy from Your Balcony'

13-02-2009 Out with the Old and In with the New

Traditional paper is out. Electrophoretic Screens are in. Researchers have managed to print flexible displays onto long, thin rolls of special plastic. Although not yet available commercially, these screens are already popular, with the US Army likely to use them as electronic maps, replacing the bulkier technology that currently hinders soldiers. Unlike LCD’s, the images presented on these screens do not need backlighting, and consume less energy. The user relies on reflected light, just as they would if they were reading normal paper. As thin as paper, electrophoretic screens are sure to be the way of the future.

Picture from: www.economist.com