Chinese scientists have created an efficient way to synthesize carbon dioxide into energy-rich long-chain carbon compounds, such as sugar and fatty acids.
Experts claim that this technology can turn a common greenhouse gas emission into a valuable productwhich may represent a new way of tackling environmental problems and achieving a sustainable economy.
The method consists of a hybrid electro-biosystem, which combines the electrolysis of carbon dioxide, the process of passing electric current through a substance to effect a chemical change, and the fermentation of yeast. According to the study, the system actually converted the greenhouse gas into glucose or fatty acids.
Zeng Jie, one of the study’s corresponding authors and a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, said the breakthrough was essentially about converting carbon dioxide into acetic acid, which is the main component of vinegar. and an excellent source of biosynthesis. carbon.
Acetic acid can be transformed into other substances, such as glucose. Acetic acid can be obtained by direct CO2 electrolysis, but with ultra-low yield.
Moreover, the acetate produced by conventional electrocatalytic devices is always mixed with other by-products, which cannot be directly used for biological fermentation. To deal with these problems, the researchers developed special equipment that can separate and purify the solution, and which has the potential for practical large-scale use.
The acetic acid that comes out of our device is very pure and concentrated, and can be directly consumed by yeast as a raw material to produce glucose.
Xia Chuan, professor at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
This demonstration is a starting point for the artificial synthesis without light of important organic products from CO2.
Yu Tao, a professor at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
More information: www.nature.com (English text).