Biomimetics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems as models for the design and engineering of materials and machines. It is widely regarded as being synonymous with biomimicry, biomimesis, biognosis and similar to biologically inspired design. The research in the field of artificial photosynthesis is mainly inspired by the Biomimetics. It encompasses the design and assembly of devices for the direct production of solar fuels, photoelectrochemistry and its application in fuel cells, and engineering of enzymes and photoautotrophic microorganisms for microbial biofuel and biohydrogen production from sunlight.

One of these devices is tagged "Artificial leaf". British scientists have recently claimed to be working on a project to produce an oil substitute, using photosynthesis, which could power the cars, ships and planes of the future. A team at Glasgow University says the oil substitute is being made using “artificial leaf ” technology — it’s actually a twisted version of photosynthesis, the method plants use to harness sunlight, but uses electricity to spark the reaction.

As per a report by the Daily Mail, rather than producing organic material from carbon dioxide as plants do, the scientists plan to produce hydrocarbon “fuel” which could be used in petrol engines to power cars and even aeroplanes.


Download GKToday's Android App for Current Affairs updates and quizzes.