Artificial photosynthesis for environmentally friendly food production
from left: PhD student Vivian Willers und Prof. Volker Sieber
Agriculture 2.0: TUM researchers produce important amino acid from greenhouse gas CO2
Ensuring the supply of food to the constantly growing world population and protecting the environment at the same time are often conflicting objectives. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have successfully developed a method for the synthetic manufacture of nutritional protein using a type of artificial photosynthesis. The animal feed industry is the primary driver of high demand for large volumes of nutritional protein, which is also suitable for use in meat substitute products.
A group led by Prof. Volker Sieber at the TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability (TUMCS) has succeeded in producing the amino acid L-alanine, an essential building block in proteins, from the environmentally harmful gas CO2. Their indirect biotechnological process involves methanol as an intermediate. Until now, protein for animal feed has been typically produced in the southern hemisphere with large-scale agricultural space requirements and negative consequences for biodiversity.
The CO2, which is removed from the atmosphere, is first turned into methanol using green electricity and hydrogen. The new method converts this intermediate into L-alanine in a multi-stage process using synthetic enzymes; the method is extremely effective and generates very high yields. L-alanine is one of the most important components of protein, which is essential to the nutrition of both humans and animals.
Prof. Sieber, of the TUM Professorship for Chemistry of Biogenic Resources, explains: “Compared to growing plants, this method requires far less space to create the same amount of L-alanine, when the energy used comes from solar or wind power sources. The more efficient use of space means a kind of artificial photosynthesis can be used to produce the same amount of foodstuffs on significantly fewer acres. This paves the way for a smaller ecological footprint in agriculture.”
Bioeconomy and hydrogen economy in combination
The manufacture of L-alanine is only the first step for the scientists. “We also want to produce other amino acids from CO2 using renewable energy and to further increase efficiency in the realization process,” says co-author Vivian Willers, who developed the process as a doctoral candidate at the TUM Campus Straubing. The researchers add that the project is a good example of how bioeconomy and hydrogen economy in combination can make it possible to achieve more sustainability.
Original Article: Artificial photosynthesis for environmentally friendly food production
More from: Technical University of Munich
The Latest Updates from Bing News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Metal in glitter impairs aquatic plant growth, study shows
Glitter is used in a wide array of colors and shapes in apparel, footwear, cosmetics, makeup, handbags, festive decorations, arts and crafts, and jewelry, among many other applications. During the ...
- Is Artificial Photosynthesis the Next Source of Renewable Energy?
Is artificial photosynthesis more efficient than solar power? Discover the innovative research that could be a game changer in sustainable energy.
- Advanced artificial photosynthesis catalyst uses CO2 more efficiently to create biodegradable plastics
A research team that had previously succeeded in synthesizing fumaric acid using bicarbonate and pyruvic acid, and carbon dioxide collected directly from the gas phase as one of the raw materials, has ...
- Artificial photosynthesis uses CO2 to create biodegradable plastics
Using a visible light-driven redox system, biomass-derived compounds and gaseous carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), the technique produces chemicals which are converted to fumaric acid – a component of ...
- Advanced artificial photosynthesis catalyst uses CO₂ more efficiently to create biodegradable plastics
Amid growing global concern over climate change and plastic pollution, researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University are making great strides in the sustainable production of fumaric acid—a component ...
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Unreasonable ‘experts’ support irrational Kisan Andolan 2.0
But the 2020 laws first. These were excellent pieces of legislation which, had not been withdrawn, could have revolutionized agriculture. It was the victory of vested interests over liberalization in ...
- X users saying South Africa without White farmers may turn into Zimbabwe 2.0
The controversial topic of White farmers in South Africa is not the main focal point... The post X users saying South Africa without White farmers may turn into Zimbabwe 2.0 appeared first on The ...
- Russia’s small agricultural companies harvest around half of total grain volume in 2023
MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. Farmers and small agricultural organizations collected approximately half of the total grain harvest in Russia in 2023, Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev said on ...
- 'Roadmap 2.0': Colorado updates 2021 plan to reduce emissions, improve air quality with 49 new goals
Colorado has released a second, updated version of its Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap, originally released in 2021, after accomplishing about 95% of its near-term actions.
- Farmers’ protest 2.0: New vanguards emerge as veterans pushed to margins
The farmers’ agitation in Punjab has witnessed a change of guard as leaders who were at the forefront of the 13-month protest at the Delhi borders between November 2020 and December 2021 have been pus ...