Growing Food in the Dark is Possible: Study

Scientists have come up with a new way to recreate the process of photosynthesis without the help of the sun. 

Photosynthesis is a process that converts sunlight into energy and helps to support plant life, this process is not possible without the help of solar energy. 

Scientists have released the findings in the journal, Nature Food, which surpasses the need for biological photosynthesis altogether and creates food independent of sunlight by using artificial photosynthesis. The said study consists of two steps electrocatalytic process to convert carbon dioxide, electricity, and water into acetate, the form of the main component of vinegar.

The conversion in a lab-based model is said to be 18-fold more viable than the conventional process. Its output was optimized to support the growth of food-producing plants by increasing the amount of acetate produced and decreasing the amount of salt produced as a byproduct.

According to the researchers, this resulted in some of the highest levels of acetate ever produced in an electrolyzer to date. “Using a state-of-the-art two-step tandem CO2 electrolysis setup developed in our laboratory, we were able to achieve a high selectivity towards acetate that cannot be accessed through conventional CO2 electrolysis routes,” said corresponding author Feng Jiao, of the University of Delaware, in a press statement.

Through the experiments, scientists demonstrated that this technology could be used to grow a wide variety of food-producing organisms in the dark including green algae, yeast, and fungal mycelium that produce mushrooms.

With the help of the findings of this particular study growing food under difficult conditions, might be possible due to climate change. 

 

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