1. Justin Kim
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Beleaf
  1. Katie Cho
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Beleaf
  1. Andrew Lent
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Beleaf
  1. June Xu
  2. Presenter’s INNOVATETOMITIGATE
  3. PHS Beleaf
Public
Choice

Judges’ Queries and Presenter’s Replies

  • Icon for: Jim White

    Jim White

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 09:22 a.m.

    Thanks for this project, folks.The synthetic leaves are a fascinating technology, and I remember reading about them last year.

    Question: Have you looked into recent developments with the synthetic leaves, or been able to contact their inventor?

  • Icon for: Katie Cho

    Katie Cho

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 09:59 p.m.

    The inventor, Mr. Julian Melchiorri, had an intent for these leaves to be implemented in spacecraft to allow long-period space travel without the need for true biological leaves or oxygen tanks. He is currently developing the leaf to make it more efficient and also available to sell commercially. Our lead presenter, Justin Kim, has sent numerous emails to the developer and has not received a reply.

  • Icon for: Geoffrey Bomarito

    Geoffrey Bomarito

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 10:44 a.m.

    Cool idea! It would be awesome if we could implement this worldwide, but do you know if artificial leaves need to be in certain climates? For instance, would they work in very cold or very dry regions?

  • Icon for: Katie Cho

    Katie Cho

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 10:16 p.m.

    The leaves are made out of real, extracted chloroplasts that have been suspended in a silk material. Similar to real leaves, the artificial leaves can carry out photosynthesis in the winter time when it is colder. However, as far as functioning in regions that are generally always cold and dry, this could be problematic if the leaf and its chloroplasts degrade over time. The silk material, however, is very durable and long-lasting. This can help prevent degradation and damaging of the chloroplasts.
    It is also worth mentioning that the leaves were actually made to function in a zero-gravity environment in space. Although this does not directly address your question about colder or drier climates, it is evident that the leaf is full functioning in a very different environment than the ones that exist on Earth because of the strong, resistant material. We are still in the process of researching this topic. Thank you for your question.

  • June 8, 2015 | 07:39 p.m.

    Very intriguing concept. How would you suggest incentivizing and promoting implementation of solar cells and artificial leaves across NYC?

  • Icon for: Katie Cho

    Katie Cho

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 09:20 p.m.

    In order to promote the implementation of the solar cells and artificial leaves across NYC and perhaps even other very developed states, we would have to begin by informing the owners/managers of the buildings of the issue. Then it would be important to tell them that they, especially, can provide a way to help by using PHS Beleaf’s idea with the solar cells and artificial leaves on their buildings. This could be done through the media – website, social networks, etc.
    There are a handful of people that own a lot of the buildings in New York City. If we could reach those people and inform them of our project, they could potentially implement the leaves and solar panels on some or all of their buildings.

  • Icon for: Sara Lacy

    Sara Lacy

    Judge
    June 8, 2015 | 09:53 p.m.

    Interesting combination!

    Would you please provide a little more detail about your calculations? You say that NYC uses 60,000 gigawatts —that’s power. How much energy did you calculate that NYC uses and over how long?

    Do you know if solar panels can generate enough electricity for an apartment building?

  • Icon for: Katie Cho

    Katie Cho

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 09:59 p.m.

    New York City consumes 60,000 gigawatt hours per year. We apologize for the confusion. This data was found on the Internet when we were conducting research. Most of the calculations that were done for this project were also actually based off of what we learned during our research period. For example, the amounts of carbon dioxide that real leaves and the artificial leaves take in per year were researched online and we used that to do basic calculations of how that, in combined use with the solar panels, could cancel out the carbon dioxide emissions in NYC.
    A typical apartment building could have about 200 units. Each unit uses about 800 kilowatt hours per month. In total, that is 160,000 kilowatt hours per month for the entire building’s apartment rooms. We plan on implementing about 4000 square meters of solar panels on top of the buildings (however, this is dependent on the size of the rooftop). This will generate approximately 240,000 kilowatt hours per month which will provide enough electricity for the tenants to use.

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.

Presentation Discussion
  • Icon for: Matthew Feng

    Matthew Feng

    June 7, 2015 | 10:24 p.m.

    What is the technology behind of the leaf? How does it generate electricity? How will the energy generated from the leaves be stored? Will the leaves degrade over time? What is the effect of weather, such as rain and snow, on the leaves? Will animals/insects mistake the artificial leaves for real leaves, and try to ingest them? What would be the effect if they do?

  • Icon for: June Xu

    June Xu

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 08:41 p.m.

    The artificial leaf is made up of chloroplasts that were extracted from real leaves suspended in a silk protein material. These chloroplasts facilitate the process of photosynthesis.
    Just to clarify, our design is two-fold. First, the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be decreased with the leaf. The purpose of the leaf is not to generate electricity, but to increase photosynthetic productivity. CO2 is taken in, and then converted to useable products for organisms. Second, the need for burning fossil fuels for energy could be mitigated with the use of solar panels.
    Rain and snow will not affect the functionality of the leaves. The chloroplasts incorporated into the artificial leaf function like chloroplasts in a real leaf, and photosynthesis can still occur in the winter. However like a real leaf, over time, the chloroplasts in the leaves could degrade, but at a much slower rate due to its sturdy material, in comparison to real leaves, and its thickness and resistance to erosion.
    We are not anticipating issues with the consumption of the artificial leaf because they’re made out of silk. Bugs and other animals will not find this appealing. However, if it does become a significant issue, we may plant some herbs that repel insects, such as lavender and rosemary, around the building.
    If the silk leaf is consumed by insects like moths who typically eat silk, they will be fine. On the other hand, for animals like birds, consumption of the silk protein may lead to disruption of the digestive system. However, as we stated before, we are not expecting an issue with the consumption of the artificial leaf.

  • Icon for: Divya Gandla

    Divya Gandla

    June 8, 2015 | 10:29 a.m.

    How will the chloroplasts function since there are so many enzymes involved in this process? What will happen with the resultant glucose from photosynthesis? Also how are your leaves different from Melchiorri’s leaves?

  • Icon for: June Xu

    June Xu

    Co-Presenter
    June 11, 2015 | 11:39 p.m.

    The chloroplasts in this artificial leaf are not artificial, they are extracted from real plants and do not have to be powered. ATP is not required to fuel the process because ATP is CREATED by photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is not a powered process, rather it is one that results from the reaction between water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. This water will be used to remove byproducts like glucose through osmosis, forming a layer of residue around the leaf that can be easily washed away.
    Also, our leaves are not different from Melchiorri’s leaves, they are his leaves.

  • Small default profile

    Jason T

    Guest
    June 10, 2015 | 09:04 a.m.

    great video!!! highly recommended

  • Further posting is closed as the competition has ended.