Soon we will be able to replace fossil fuels with a carbon-neutral product created from solar energy, carbon dioxide and water.
Soon we will be able to replace fossil fuels with a carbon-neutral product created from solar energy, carbon dioxide and water. Researchers at Uppsala University have successfully produced microorganisms that can efficiently produce the alcohol butanol using carbon dioxide and solar energy, without needing to use solar cells.
This has been presented in a new study published in the scientific journal Energy & Environmental Science.
– We have systematically designed and created a series of modified cyanobacteria that gradually produced increasing quantities of butanol in direct processes. When the best cells are used in long-term laboratory experiments, we see levels of production that exceed levels that have been reported in existing articles. Furthermore, it is comparable with indirect processes where bacteria are fed with sugar, says Pia Lindberg, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University.
The knowledge and ability to modify cyanobacteria so they can produce a variety of chemicals from carbon dioxide and solar energy is emerging in parallel with advances in technology, synthetic biology, genetically changing them. Through a combination of technical development, systematic methods and the discovery that as more product removed from the cyanobacteria, the more butanol is formed, the study shows the way forward for realising the concept.
Read more at Uppsala University
Image: This is professor Peter Lindblad. (Credit: Uppsala University)