Saturday, May 10, 2008

Will Oil be Replaced by Photosynthesis

“'This is really the first detailed picture ever obtained of the molecular mechanism behind the regulation of light harvesting energy,' Fleming said. 'We believe we will soon be in position to build a complete model of the flow of energy through the photosynthetic light harvesting system that will include how the flow is controlled. This model could then be applied to the engineering of artificial versions of photosynthesis.'”

And why would humans want to control photosynthesis?

ScienceDaily answers, "Through photosynthesis, green plants are able to harvest energy from sunlight and convert it to chemical energy at an energy transfer efficiency rate of approximately 97 percent. If scientists can create artificial versions of photosynthesis, the dream of solar power as the ultimate green and renewable source of electrical energy could be realized."

Interestingly, plants have a photon sensitivity so acute that according to Graham Fleming, the lead researcher in this study, plants "will even respond to the passing of clouds overhead.”

This is remarkable, however, it has been one of the main obstacles in the way of utilizing photosynthesis to quell vast energy consumption demands. That is, we cannot base our world on a system that's energy capacity would fluctuate with the presence and density of cloud cover, or on the other hand would overheat on really hot days - power delays and outages would be widespread.

So, the idea is by learning how the exceedingly efficient process of photosynthesis occurs with enough detail to successfully replicate it and compensate for the affects of weather fluctuations, we may be able to harness the power of the sun as plants have done for 1,300 million years.

This would virtually wipe out the global energy crisis, and impede new torrents of human created carbon dioxides from cooking Earth much further.


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