Reverse photosynthesis may be the key to faster and greener industrial production, Danish researchers has found. This novel process offers a good option for energy source provision in the future and helps promote greener environment at the same time.
Reverse photosynthesis was developed by experts from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The process involves breaking down energy in solar rays to produce plant biomass, which may be helpful in producing biofuels, biochemicals and other beneficial yet natural products.
Despite the idea being advanced-sounding and undoubtedly interesting, it still promotes the welfare of the environment, making it a promising technique that can help shape the future of energy production for generations to come.
What Is Reverse Photosynthesis And How Does It Work?
Reverse photosynthesis works by collecting sunlight through plant's green pigment called chlorophyll. However, unlike in conventional photosynthesis, the process breaks down instead of builds up materials.
The product of the plant biomass breakdown is then combined with a special enzyme from fungi and bacteria called monooxygenases. These are actually natural substances used in manufacturing industrial fuel.
"This light-driven system may find applications in biotechnology and chemical processing," the authors write.
How Reverse Photosynthesis Can Be A Good Option For Energy Source In The Future
Reverse photosynthesis is a good option for industrial energy creation as it promises more swift production, reduced energy consumption and less pollution.
Study author Claus Felby explains the apparent yet unnoticed wonder of photosynthesis. He says photosynthesis by way of the sun is not merely about enabling things to grow. It also involves processes that can be applied to break down plant materials and pave the way for the release of chemicals.
Simply put, direct sunlight initiates chemical processes. The tremendous energy from sunlight can be used to steer processes even in the absence of other energy inputs, which may sometimes be hazardous.
Study co-author David Cannella adds that the discovery of reverse photosynthesis paves the way for developing biofuels and biochemicals for materials such as plastics at swift speeds, lower temperatures and optimal energy efficiency. In fact, processes that usually take 24 hours to finish can be completed in just about 10 minutes by using natural help from the dear Sun.
Making Chemical Production A Breeze And Environment-Friendly
The beauty of reverse photosynthesis centers on its potential to break down chemical bonds. One example of this is splitting the bond between carbon and hydrogen, which is a quality that may be created to transform biogas-plant sourced methane into methanol.
Methanol is a liquid substance that is said to be very attractive as petroleum companies can very much use it. Also, methanol can be processed to make fuels and other chemicals and materials.
Reverse Photosynthesis: Benefits To Society
The authors, whose work was published in Nature Communications on April 4, says there are so much more to research and work on before they can confirm how reverse photosynthesis can be of help to the society. However, Felby says the potential of the discovery is among the greatest that they have noted in years.