Artificial photosynthesis uses sunlight to make biodegradable plastic
Synthesis of fumaric acid by a new method of artificial photosynthesis, using sunlight.
In recent years, environmental problems caused by global warming have become more apparent due to greenhouse gases such as CO2. In natural photosynthesis, CO2 is not reduced directly, but is bound to organic compounds which are converted to glucose or starch. Mimicking this, artificial photosynthesis could reduce CO2 by combining it into organic compounds to be used as raw materials, which can be converted into durable forms such as plastic.
A research team led by Professor Yutaka Amao from the Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis and graduate student Mika Takeuchi, from the Osaka Metropolitan University Graduate School of Science, have succeeded in synthesizing fumaric acid from CO2, a raw material for plastics, powered—for the first time—by sunlight. Their findings were published in Sustainable Energy & Fuels.
Fumaric acid is typically synthesized from petroleum, to be used as a raw material for making biodegradable plastics such as polybutylene succinate, but this discovery shows that fumaric acid can be synthesized from CO2 and biomass-derived compounds using renewable solar energy.
“Toward the practical application of artificial photosynthesis, this research has succeeded in using visible light—renewable energy—as the power source,” explained Professor Amao. “In the future, we aim to collect gaseous CO2 and use it to synthesize fumaric acid directly through artificial photosynthesis.”
Osaka Metropolitan University is a new public university established by a merger between Osaka City University and Osaka Prefecture University in April 2022. For more science news, see https://www.omu.ac.jp/en/, and follow @OsakaMetUniv_en, or search #OMUScience.
Journal: Sustainable Energy & Fuels
Method of Research: Experimental study
Subject of Research: Not applicable
Article Title: Visible-light driven fumarate production from CO2 and pyruvate by the photocatalytic system with dual biocatalysts
Article Publication Date: 13-Dec-2022
Osaka Metropolitan University
All latest news from the category: Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
This complex theme deals primarily with interactions between organisms and the environmental factors that impact them, but to a greater extent between individual inanimate environmental factors.
innovations-report offers informative reports and articles on topics such as climate protection, landscape conservation, ecological systems, wildlife and nature parks and ecosystem efficiency and balance.
Researchers show an old law still holds for quirky quantum materials
This surprising result is important for understanding unconventional superconductors and other materials where electrons band together to act collectively. Long before researchers discovered the electron and its role in generating…
Straining memory leads to new computing possibilities
Researchers develop hybrid phase-change memristors that offer fast, low-power, and high-density computing memory.# By strategically straining materials that are as thin as a single layer of atoms, University of Rochester scientists have…
A patch of protection against Zika virus
A simple-to-apply, needle-free vaccine patch is being developed to protect people from the potentially deadly mosquito-borne Zika virus. A prototype using The University of Queensland-developed and Vaxxas-commercialised high-density microarray patch…