Artificial leaf can generate oxygen for long space travel

Plants make our life more comfortable. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. But there are no plants in space, and growing them on distant planets or spaceships can be problematic. How to start long space travel without plants?

An artificial biolist based on silk fibers can be a solution to this problem. It contains chloroplasts extracted from the cells of living plants. After all, it is chloroplasts that are responsible for photosynthesis, so the resulting material absorbs water and carbon dioxide and produces oxygen. Just like a real living leaf.

The synthetic sheet was developed by Royal College of Art graduate Julian Melchiorri in collaboration with the Tufts University lab.

Such material will come in handy in future space travel. However, according to the author of the invention, the synthetic sheet will find application on Earth. Large sheets can be used for building facades or as wallpaper. This will make the indoor air cleaner.