Artificial starch beats photosynthesis in plants

Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences designed a method to manufacture starch from carbon dioxide that is 8 and a half times more efficient than photosynthesis in plants.

Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet. It is also an important industrial raw material.

At present, we extract starch from crops such as corn, which creates starch from CO2 through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis in plants involves about 60 biochemical reactions and complex physiological regulation.

The new artificial method is a chemoenzymatic system that reduces the number of reactions to just 11, making it 8 and a half times more efficient than photosynthesis in corn.

The researchers claim that, if we bring down the manufacturing cost to a level comparable with agricultural planting, we could save more than 90% of cultivated land and freshwater resources.

Something like this would hugely improve global food security and also put an end to the negative environmental impacts from pesticides and fertilizers.

How would our world change if all that agricultural land were to suddenly become unused? What could or should we do with it? Let us know in the comments below!

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