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The race to invent the artificial leaf

In this excerpt from his new book Taming the Sun, Varun Sivaram follows the research paths of two rival scientists determined to find a way to wring fuel out of thin air.
by Varun Sivaram

Since the early 1970s, scientists have been on a quest to develop a technology that could create liquid fuels out of carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight far more efficiently than photosynthesis, the process by which plants harness sunlight to produce carbohydrates and store energy. They call it the artificial leaf. A commercially viable artificial…


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