Artificial photosynthesis can produce food without sunlight

Scientists are developing artificial photosynthesis to help make food production more energy-efficient here on Earth, and one day possibly on Mars.

 

Scientists have found a way to bypass the need for biological photosynthesis altogether and create food independent of sunlight by using artificial photosynthesis. The technology uses a two-step electrocatalytic process to convert carbon dioxide, electricity, and water into acetate. Food-producing organisms then consume acetate in the dark to grow. The hybrid organic-inorganic system could increase the conversion efficiency of sunlight into food, up to 18 times more efficient for some foods.

 

Photosynthesis has evolved in plants for millions of years to turn water, carbon dioxide, and the energy from sunlight into plant biomass and the foods we eat. This process, however, is very inefficient, with only about 1% of the energy found in sunlight ending up in the plant. Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware have found a way to bypass the need for biological photosynthesis altogether and create food independent of sunlight by using artificial photosynthesis.

 

Read the full article at: news.ucr.edu