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RCA graduate develops an artificial leaf that’s capable of producing oxygen

Human beings have long since been looking up at space, wondering when mankind will finally be technologically-advanced enough to colonize space. While staring heavenwards recently, we stumbled across this jaw-dropping development by RCA graduate Julian Melchiorri. A synthetically developed leaf, this concept called the Silk Leaf Project, is capable of absorbing water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen, just the way a real plant does! Quoting Melchiorri, “NASA is researching different ways to produce oxygen for long-distance space journeys to let us live in space. This material could allow us t0 explore space much further than we can now.”

silk-leaf-2The Silk Leaf Project was developed as part of the Royal College of Art’s Innovation Design Engineering course in collaboration with Tufts University silk lab. Made from chloroplasts suspended in a matrix made out of silk protein, the leaf “as an amazing property of stabilizing molecules.” Not unlike real plants, these leaves created by Melchiorri also require light and a small amount of water to produce oxygen. This is the first man-made biological leaf in the history of mankind and an idea as such could help us step beyond boundaries, in terms of technology and lifestyle. Melchiorri sure deserves a pat on his back for his brilliance!

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