No need for sunshine? Researchers can grow food crops in the dark
Environment Climate Change Agriculture

No need for sunshine? Researchers can grow food crops in the dark

Dr. Lindy Whitehouse
Dr. Lindy Whitehouse

In 10 seconds? Scientists have found a way to carry out artificial photosynthesis to produce food, removing the need for sunshine. This new technology could increase the conversion efficiency of sunlight into food by up to 18 times!

Sounds too good to be true… care to share some details? Sure! Researchers have developed a hybrid inorganic-biological system that uses a two-step electrochemical process to convert carbon dioxide, electricity, and water into acetate, one of the main components found in vinegar. This acetate can then be used as a food source for primary producers – organisms that produce food – such as algae, yeast, lettuce, rice, and canola. By using solar panels to generate electricity to power the electrochemical process it is possible to increase the conversion efficiency of sunlight into food. While previous research has focused on using artificial photosynthesis to produce fuels, this is the first study to demonstrate that it can be used to grow food.

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