Saturday October 19, 2019
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Forget global warming, Artificial Photosynthesis breakthrough is here to save us

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With increasing levels of harmful gases being released into the environment, the future, indeed, looks bleak.

Well, what about if we could ‘revamp’ those harmful gases into some highly useful things, like biofuels  or plastics?

The good thing is that a group of researchers have essentially taken cues from Mother Nature itself, and thus accomplished the impossible!

By the way, how have the scientists managed to achieve such a remarkable feat?

Here’s how:

The researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have developed the revolutionary system which essentially mimics photosynthesis.

The system collects Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases before they are let loose into the atmosphere and converts them into acetate, a basic building block for organic compounds.

Then, the acetate can be used to manufacture a diverse array of chemicals, drugs and alternative fuels.

All this is done through creation of an ‘artificial forest’ of Silicon and Titanium Dioxide nanowires, which are seeded with bacterial populations.

Scientists believe that system has the potential to revolutionize the chemical and oil industry. The system can produce chemicals and fuels in a totally renewable way, rather than extracting them from deep below the ground.

So, is it time to say goodbye to greenhouse gases?

As of now, the system boasts of an efficiency of 0.38 per cent, close to the natural process of photosynthesis. However, researchers believe that soon they would manage to increase it to 3 per cent. And, the system would be embraced on a large scale once it begins to gain traction.

“Once we can reach a conversion efficiency of 10 per cent in a cost-effective manner, the technology should be commercially viable,” said Christopher Chang, a chemist and biosynthesis expert.

The environment can hopefully breathe easy now.

Next Story

Pennsylvania Taking Big Step to Fight Climate Change in Nation’s Fourth-Biggest Emitter of Greenhouse Gases

Joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative could face pushback from the Republican-controlled Legislature and the state's influential coal

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Pennsylvania, Climate, Greenhouse Gases
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signs an executive order for his administration to start working on regulations to bring Pennsylvania into a nine-state consortium that sets a price and limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Oct. 3, 2019. VOA

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is taking a big step in his effort to fight climate change in the nation’s fourth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.

The Democratic governor on Thursday ordered his administration to start working on regulations to bring Pennsylvania into a nine-state consortium that sets a price and limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative could face pushback from the Republican-controlled Legislature and the state’s influential coal and natural gas industries.

 

Pennsylvania, Climate, Greenhouse Gases
The Democratic governor on Thursday ordered his administration to start working on regulations to bring Pennsylvania into a nine-state consortium that sets a price and limits. Pixabay

 

Pennsylvania is the nation’s No. 3 electric power state, and its energy sector is its largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

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Its dozens of power plants fueled by coal, oil and natural gas could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to the state annually under the program. (VOA)