Danish researchers at the University of Copenhagen discovered a new source of energy that comes from a reversed photosynthesis process, obtaining usable biofuel and plastic from the resulting product of the transformation of plant biomass using sunlight.
The reversed photosynthesis is a process where biomass is combined with an enzyme called lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase, this is mixed with chlorophyll and then it is exposed to sunlight, which is collected by this molecule, being the same molecule used in regular photosynthesis, and then the energy of the sun is used to break down the molecules in the biomass into smaller components, lastly producing fuels and chemicals.
Claus Felby, the University of Copenhagen professor who headed up the research, said: “This is a game-changer, one that could transform the industrial production of fuels and chemicals, thus serving to reduce pollution significantly.”
This discovery can help the world fight global warming. Climate change and environmental pollution is a huge concern and threat for human beings, and this whole process can change the way we use energy these days, and help reduce pollution, as well as increase production speed and decreasing energy consumption.
By using a natural source of energy, the power of the sun, for the chemical reactions, which is the key to this process, it helps to reduce the energy wasting in the world, as well as making faster productions of plastic, makeup, paints and different chemicals derived from petroleum. It also helps to lower temperatures and improve energy efficiency.
“The discovery means that by using the Sun, we can produce biofuels and biochemicals for things like plastics – faster, at lower temperatures and with enhanced energy-efficiency. Some of the reactions, which currently take 24 hours, can be achieved in just 10 minutes by using the Sun.”, says Postdoc David Cannella, lead author of the research.
The biggest influence of this process is the replacement of energy generated by petrochemical industries.
Source: Discovery News