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Terra Leaf: Art and Science for Climate Change

Submitted by: IPAI Global L3C

Categories: Technology, Renewable & Alternative Energy

Posted: Aug 29, 2012 – 02:23 PM EST


WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 /CSRwire/ - Terra Leaf is a new start-up venture, with a strong foot in both the art and science world. Not only is Terra Leaf currently developing cutting-edge carbon capture and sequestration technology but the visionaries are also preparing for an art exhibition next month in Mexico. 

The start up’s product mimics a leaf’s natural processes to remove carbon-dioxide from the air and turn it into useful organic compounds and can simultaneously generate electricity from a constructed, efficient solar membrane.

Terra Leaf continuously and selectively removes CO2 from the atmosphere and fixes it as an organic compound. This is the first product that can do this for long periods of time, in and out of academia.

This synthetic leaf is the brainchild of environmental engineer, Ed Chen, who looks to plants for a model of the process Terra Leaf is recreating. “We use the earth’s natural, life-giving materials to produce chemicals that we already depend on,” said Chen.

This product marks the beginning of a new industry as not only will it help to address the growing demand for carbon capture technologies but it also succeeds in doing something never accomplished before in a lab. Terra Leaf provides the opportunity to inexpensively remove some of this carbon-dioxide while being able to use the organic compound by-products. Climate scientists are growing increasingly concerned over the concentration of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere and its correlation to global warming. It makes economic and environmental sense.

While Ed represents the science arm his fiancé, Tara Cronin, is the artist and her work is the inspiration behind Terra Leaf. Tara’s art led Ed to experiment with one of nature’s gifts of life – chlorophyll. "Some months prior to Terra Leaf's formation, I used chlorophyll to make artworks,” says Tara. “The same exact substance that ended up being the key 'ingredient' in Ed's invention," she said.

While Ed has been experimenting with chlorophyll scientifically, Tara has been exploring it photographically. Her work involves allowing blood and chlorophyll to spread across clear negatives and then leaving them to dry and crack in natural fractal-like patterns. Her work has been well received by her local artist community and has even been featured in Discover magazine.

Tara is inspired by life in all its forms, “particularly starting with the concrete, the basic materials that make up various consciousnesses” she explained. Tara is especially drawn to a sense of “the tactile and the mythological,” her eye finds the kind of materials and subject matter that is at once rich and complex in its organic nature, but simultaneously tells a loose narrative – one that tells the story of humanity.

Tara’s solo exhibition “Sangre de Arbol, Sangre de Mi” will be featured in the Museo de la Ciudad in Queretaro, Mexico, from September 21, 2012 - November 4, 2012. The curator of the exhibition Azucena German is also a sculptor who works with sustainable and recycled materials. Azucena says she prefers to use nature as a general theme. This makes Tara’s work a perfect fit. For more information on the museum exhibition, visit:

Tara’s series, the ‘T For Transition’ series, detailed on her website, shows how art can inspire science which can inspire business and sustainability.

On the path to sustainability, Terra Leaf has successfully identified several paths for business opportunities, which will mitigate environmental threats under a viable business model. Currently Ed is partnering with the Institute for Policy Analysis and Implementation (IPAI) to commercialize the product and have it ready as soon as the testing is completed. (For more information on the process or if you would like to get involved: Terra Leaf is also a featured entrepreneurial company at the upcoming conference,  “Entrepreneurs in the Green Economy: Solutions for Sustainable Growth” from September 20-21, 2012, for more information please visit:

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Sheridan Founder, IPAI
Phone: 202-660-3306
Twitter: @s_sheridan
Bianca Silva Equity Partner, IPAI
Twitter: @silvabee


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