The idea is that when the sun hits the device, the water slowly evaporates out through those pores. In its place, carbon dioxide is selectively sucked in from outside. In turn, that gas is converted into carbon monoxide by the artificial photosynthesis unit on the inside. From there, the carbon monoxide can be captured and used for a range of purposes, such as making synthetic fuels. Oxygen is a by-product as well, which can also be collected or just released back into the outside air, like a natural plant would do.