Who said that total darkness is bad? Who said that you need to stay away from the dark side? Such a place seems the right one for artificial photosynthesis to do its thing. Researchers from the University of Delaware, University of California, and Riverside prove that it’s indeed possible.
According to SciTechDaily, scientists managed to come up with artificial photosynthesis as a way to produce food that doesn’t need sunlight to provide energy. The process takes two steps. The first phase is to convert electricity, water, and carbon dioxide into acetate. The next phase is for acetate to be consumed in the dark by food-producing organisms in order to glow. The system is able to convert sunlight into food more efficiently by taking advantage of electricity-generating solar panels that will power the electrocatalysis.
Feng Jiao, a corresponding author from the University of Delaware, explained more, as SciTechDaily quotes:
Using a state-of-the-art two-step tandem CO2 electrolysis setup developed in our laboratory, we were able to achieve a high selectivity towards acetate that cannot be accessed through conventional CO2 electrolysis routes.
Researchers are even optimistic that artificial photosynthesis can grant a lot of help to the world in the long run.
Here’s what Robert Jinkerson has to say, who’s serves as an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UC Riverside, as the same source mentioned above quotes:
Using artificial photosynthesis approaches to produce food could be a paradigm shift for how we feed people. By increasing the efficiency of food production, less land is needed, lessening the impact agriculture has on the environment. And for agriculture in non-traditional environments, like outer space, the increased energy efficiency could help feed more crew members with less inputs.
The new study was published in Nature Food.