ENSEK Advent Calendar Day Twenty Three - Photosynthesis

News Article

Photosynthesis - plants as our leading light?

Many of the worlds innovations have taken inspiration from nature, yesterday's blog was no difference with Vortex Vibrations but can we learn from plants in our bid to be more energy efficient?

Photosynthesis may hold the key, the process in which plants convert CO2 and water into glucose and oxygen is being investigated in a number of ways to see if it can potentially change our outlook on CO2 and energy production but how?

Artificial Photosynthesis
Scientists have been looking into the possibility of artificially replicating the process. We are able to harness light with photovoltaic cells (solar panels) and we understand the process of converting CO2 and water to glucose and oxygen so how can this help us? The benefit of photosynthesis is that energy is stored in the glucose produced so a key aim for scientists is to be able to turn the solar energy we collect from solar panels into stored energy within the glucose. If we could efficiently replicate photosynthesis we would be able to dramatically reduce CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, produce energy and then store excess created; additionally, we would be able to use any excess glucose produced as a food source.

Plants as CO2 Scrubbers
A very real application of plants that is increasing year on year is the use of plants, particularly moss, in urban areas as CO2 scrubbers. Many densely populated, high emission areas are creating walls of plants on the side of buildings so absorb the CO2 produced and increase air quality which is a very real risk in major cities. Scientists are exploring the possibility of using these walls or buildings covered in plants to capture the CO2 to be used or recycled for commercial uses such as creating hydrocarbons for fuel with the addition of hydrogen.

Collaboration in innovation is key and at ENSEK we are no stranger to that, to see our expert ecosystem and how we can help innovate in the energy sector have a look at our partner page here.

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Written by

Stephen Wright, ENSEK | Business Development Manager