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Solar Powered Chemistry and Nanowire Bacteria Hybrids

A new system has been developed that is capable of capturing CO2 emissions prior to them being expelled into the atmosphere and then via solar energy converting them into high-value products. These include liquid fuels, pharmacological drugs and degradable plastics. Artificial Photosynthesis System

The Department of Energy (US DOE), the Berkeley Lab and the University of California Berkeley have pooled their resources to create a system of semiconducting nanowires with bacteria capable of mimicking the photosynthetic process used by plants to synthesize carbohydrates from water and CO2. This new system artificially synthesizes the water and CO2 into acetate. This is a common foundation for biosynthesis.

Major Innovation for the Oil and Chemical Industry

A chemist from Berkeley Lab – Peidon Yang – stated that the system has the capacity to dramatically change the oil and chemical industry, by producing fuels and chemicals in a renewable manner. This differs from the alternative of ground extraction. Yang authored a paper which displays how the abstract concept operates. The process is premised on the direct solar production of water and carbon dioxide, in much the same way as the process of photosynthesis.

The New Photosynthesis System

There are four components of the ground-breaking photosynthesis system, including the harvesting of solar energy; the generation of reducing equivalents, the reduction of CO2 into biosynthetic intermediate and the production of value-added chemicals. This new process actually solves the problem of storage by utilizing the captured CO2 effectively. By using nanowire arrays with bacterial populations, the artificial photosynthesis provides a beneficial solution to the environment.

6 Comments

  1. Becky Brooks says:

    So excited to learn about the advancements in solar energy.

  2. Rich Pirrin says:

    Wow! It really is the future. The fact that we can make clean energy that is renewable is like something from a movie. I would love to read more on how the process works.

  3. Nick Smith says:

    It is an amazing discovery of mimicking photosynthesis by bacteria to produce carbohydrates. It will make substantial impact in production industries.

  4. John Squire says:

    Clean energy is the ultimate goal, this sounds amazing if it’s true although I remain skeptical to the claims being made here

  5. Jaymopols says:

    Technology and human ingenuity is amazing. In a weird way we need more “faith” in science. This article about better capturing CO2 will hopefully lead to amazing things.

  6. Krystal Victoria Markham says:

    I think the harvest of soloar engery is very interesting to know. Something that changes oil and chemicals to make it renewable is very amusing. Hopefully this discovery could help with a ton of thing’s.

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