How would you like to mow your lawn then power up your house with the clippings. This guy at MIT, Andreus Mershin, figured out how to do just that. First you mow the lawn or rake the leaves. Then you stir the yard waste into a bunch of cheap and plentiful chemicals. Take the resulting muck and paint it in your roof. Voila, instant electricity. Not much, at least not yet, but electricity. After extracting the chlorophyll, Professor Mershin's process is described as follows:
These molecules are then stabilized and spread on a glass substrate that’s covered in a forest of zinc oxide nanowires and titanium dioxide “sponges.” When sunlight hits the panels, both the titanium dioxide and the new material absorb light and turn it into electricity, and the nanowires carry the electricity away. In essence, Mershin has replaced the layer of silicon in conventional photovoltaic cells with a slurry of photosynthesizing molecules. “It’s like an electric nanoforest,” he says.