Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Man made plant tech

Hmm, what do I remember about photosynthesis? I'm going to say not enough. Plants take in carbon dioxide and water and use light as energy to produce oxygen and glucose. This is carried out by the Calvin benson cycle and phosphorylation. Photosynthesis in general will yield minimal amounts of ATP.
From what I can tell, this isn't exactly photosynthesis that they replicated. It is simmilar in a way, but does not yield glucose. Instead various alcohols are produced. This whole concept interests me to be honest, I think it is so cool to see some of the massive steps people are taking right now in science. One thing I remember saying freshman year was what if we could wear skin that would give us energy through photosynthesis and have energy from cellular respiration. It was just one of my random thoughts, but now I'm getting thinking again, maybe it could work. Anyways, this seemed like a fairly basic general concept that was very interresting.
I do have a few questions though, especially involving real applications of this new technology. It is said to be 10 times more efficient than photosynthesis at producing energy, but photosynthesis isn't really that efficient in the first place I didn't think. The article states that it would take 1000 watts to produce 60 grams of alcohol. My question is how many watts is 60 of alcohol capable of producing. It would have to be over 1000 in order to have any application in the power industry. And As far as I can tell it would not have a "go green" application either because the alcohol will be most likely burned for fuel, which will just turn the carbons in the alcohol back into carbon dioxide. This was over all a really cool and interresting topic, but I wish more was covered in how this could apply to power usage.

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