What it is:
University of Copenhagen researchers have recently announced a breakthrough discovery: reverse photosynthesis. In contrast to photosynthesis (solar rays building plant material), reverse photosynthesis means the energy in solar rays breaks down -- and when combined with natural enzymes called monooxygenases, solar rays can be used to produce biofuels and chemicals for plastics in an incredibly resource-efficient manner.
Why it's important:
In nature, reverse photosynthesis enables fungi and bacteria to access the nutrients and sugars found in plants. Researcher David Cannella explains the implications for industry: "...by using the Sun, we can produce biofuels and biochemicals for things like plastics -- faster, at lower temperatures and with enhanced energy-efficiency. Some of the reactions, which currently take 24 hours, can be achieved in just 10 minutes by using the Sun."
Read more here at the Examiner.
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