Could Earth Survive with Artificial Photosynthesis?

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I do not think that earth could, right now, survive on artificial photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

Even though artificial photosynthesis apparently is working in labs I do not think that it could be used to fuel the whole earth considering we are only barely getting it to work in small labs. Plants also took billions of years to make the process of photosynthesis happen and right now it is working very well for them. Humans on the other hand do not live for billions of years and I don't think that we have the right resources or time to fully master how artificial photosynthesis could work around the whole world in only a couple of years and I think if we are talking about right now if we could use AP around the world there would be no way.

Right now we use solar photovoltaic cells to produce electricity from the sun, but it's hard to store that energy. Plants don't just produce energy but they also store it. AP would be good if it helped us store energy. AP could be used to produce hydrogen to use as fuel but you have to split water into hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. AP could also be used to create metabolically engineered bacteria that produce nitrogen. Some scientists have created a nanowire array that captures light and uses bacteria to turn carbon dioxide into acetate. This is called microbial photoelectrosynthesis.

AP could also be used to produce liquid hydrogen to power engines. It would be useful because clean fuels would be good for the environment and could even be used to remove CO 2 from the air while producing fuel.

Unfortunately, AP is not easy to create. The most popular ways to use solar energy right now are photovoltaic panels and solar heat collectors but they are not efficient and natural photosynthesis is more effective at storing solar energy. To make AP work, scientists need to figure out how to capture light and move electrons. They need to split water into hydrogen and oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide.

One way to do this is to use titanium dioxide nanoparticles to capture light. If dye is added to the titanium dioxide and put into an electrolyte solution with a platinum cathode, a current can be produced from excited electrons. This can then split water so energy can be stored. Right now scientists are trying to capture carbon dioxide and make renewable fuel. It is hard to store solar energy as efficiently as plants though so it may be a long time before artificial photosynthesis is better than natural photosynthesis.

Sources: Bill Gates: Artificial Photosynthesis Can Produce Clean Fuel for the Cars of Tomorrow

""Nanowire–Bacteria Hybrids for Unassisted Solar Carbon Dioxide Fixation to Value-Added Chemicals""

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Could Earth Survive with Artificial Photosynthesis?. (2019, Dec 10). Retrieved December 1, 2023 , from

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