CHINESE SCIENTISTS DESIGNED PRODUCTION OF ARTIFICIAL STARCH FROM CARBON DIOXIDE

Recently, Chinese scientists were the first in the world to develop an artificial method for the synthesis of starch from carbon dioxide (CO2). Relevant results were published in the journal Science.

A new way of obtaining enables the production of starch to be transferred from traditional agricultural to industrial production.

Starch is the main component of cereals, as well as an important industrial raw material. Currently, it is mainly produced from agricultural crops (crops), such as corn – by fixing CO2 through photosynthesis. This process involves about 60 biochemical reactions, as well as complex physiological regulation. The theoretical energy conversion efficiency of this process is only about 2%.

Strategies for sustainable starch supply and CO2 use are much needed to overcome the great challenges of humanity. Primarily because of the food crisis and climate change. In addition to photosynthesis of plants, an innovative scientific and technological mission is important for designing new methods for obtaining starch. It will be a significant technology in today’s world.

Artificial starch from the laboratory

To address this issue, scientists from the Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (TIB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have designed a chemoenzyme system as well as an anabolic pathway for obtaining artificial starch. The system consists of only 11 reactions to convert CO2 to starch.

Starch can be artificially produced from CO2 with 8.5 times higher efficiency than starch biosynthesis in corn. This indicates a big step towards overcoming the natural path for obtaining starch. This provides a new scientific basis for creating biological systems with unprecedented functions.

“According to the current technical parameters, the annual production of starch in a bioreactor of one cubic meter is theoretically equated with the annual yield of starch from the cultivation of 1/3 hectare of corn. Without taking energy into account, ”said CAI Tao, lead author of the study.

This work could create great opportunities for industrial starch production from CO2.

As much as 90% of the land remains for food production

“If the total process costs can be reduced in the future to a level that is economically comparable to planting agricultural products, it is expected to save more than 90% of cultivated land and freshwater resources,” said MA Yanhe, co-author of the study.

In addition, it would also help to avoid the negative impact of the use of pesticides and fertilizers on the environment. Then, improve human food safety. And, finally, it promotes the formation of a sustainable society based on biology.

A team of researchers from the institute has been working on artificial starch biosynthesis and CO2 use since 2015.

E2 portal (EurekAlert)


Source: E2 Portal by www.e2.rs.

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