Can photosynthesis be used in other areas?

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    • #273
      cloudnine
      Participant

      Hi to all members.
      I would like to invite all of you on this topic.

      Green plants and some bacteria (as rhodopseudomonas ) can carry out photosynthesis.
      It is the process that produce energy.
      Can this energy can be used in other areas ( may be by converting to electrical energy )
      If it is possible, it is also possible to produce electricity from a culture of photosynthetic bacteria.

      I am little bit confued with this idea and so please dicuss on this.

      yours sincerely,
      cloudnine

    • #18917
      biostudent84
      Participant

      Photosynthesis is not a process used to produce energy. It is a process of capturing energy from the sun to break apart Carbon Dioxide and Water, and to recombine the atoms into Glucose, a chemical used for producing ATP.

      It basically transforms light energy into molecular bond energy. It would be done on too small a scale to transform it into electical energy…you woud need one large positive and one large negative pole to get electricity.

      Kyle

    • #18918
      ERS
      Participant

      although, recently in the news there was some “new” technology that used spinach plant parts–basically the PSI proteins that convert sunlight to plant energy– to generate electricity.. A mini-solar power plant. The idea was to make disposable solar batteries that can run cell phones and such. Keep your eye on the news, as they are coming up with all sorts of ways to harness the power in plants..

      As Kyle mentioned though, it really isn’t feasible to try generating huge amounts of energy through the process…

      did anyone else see that article?? It came out a couple months ago.

    • #18941
      cloudnine
      Participant

      Thank you for your discussions on this.
      but there are some ways that may be possible.
      The first stage of photosyhesis is the trapping of light energy.
      This is done by photosystem I and II and it involves the protein chlorophyll especially type a .
      The point i am interested in is that is that chlorophyll can still trap the light energy and be excited and then release electrons when it is isolated in vitro.
      If so, this can be isolated, transformed into bacteria and then place some devices to capture the released electrons to have a electric current.
      But this idea can be said to be impossible but how can it be wrong?
      Friends, please dicuss on this.
      You may think i am stupid but anyway please.

      cloudnine

      PS . Hello ERS, i don’t know the article you’ve said and so please suggest me .
      And where can i find some news online, please also recommend this too.
      Hello Kyle, please again on the above.
      And all the other members.
      Thank you.

    • #18945
      biostudent84
      Participant

      The basic idea in electricity is to have a voltage. Yes, it is possible to create voltage with the energy captured during Photosynthesis. However, it would not be one big voltage, but trillions apon trillions of tiny ones from each individual molecule of Chlorophyll. Not only would it be impossible to get wiring that small to link up all those voltages together (to form one big voltage), but it would be impractacle. Sapping a plant of the energy created in Photosynthesis would very quickly kill the plant.

      I think my counterpart would be better able to explain the infeasability of this…I have not read the article about exactly how this works. ERS?

    • #18956
      Premed
      Participant

      hmmmm… one process that occurs is the electron transport chain… which is basically a movement move electron through a gradient… current is in its simplest term is the movement of electrons… if somehow you could capture these electrons and run it through a wire… it would work… I guess… I’m not really good at this sorry 😳

    • #18973
      biostudent84
      Participant

      Yes, but as I described before, there are TRILLIONS of different points where electrons are transferred. You would need trillions of molecular-sized wires to do this…

    • #19022
      cloudnine
      Participant

      Thank you for your additional comment.
      Are these wires needed only for the detection of the point of electron production.?
      why not normal wires with the smallest size?
      I think they can’t allow the electron flow with very little ampere, can’t they?
      I am not debating with you.
      I have no theory background for my idea and it is the way that i can think.

      best regards,
      cloudnine

    • #19025
      biostudent84
      Participant

      When you have electron transfer, it happens at the molecular level. These wires I talk of are thoretically impossible…and they would be needed at each atom to be effective.

    • #19069
      mith
      Participant

      Wired mag recently had an article about biocells although not through photosynthesis. The article discusses using sugar ingesting bacterial. No idea how it works though 8)

    • #19180
      thank.darwin
      Participant
      quote biostudent84:

      Photosynthesis is not a process used to produce energy. It is a process of capturing energy from the sun to break apart Carbon Dioxide and Water, and to recombine the atoms into Glucose, a chemical used for producing ATP.

      It basically transforms light energy into molecular bond energy. It would be done on too small a scale to transform it into electical energy…you woud need one large positive and one large negative pole to get electricity.

      Kyle

      Right – Energy+carbon dioxide+water=carbohydrate+water

    • #19240
      Wojahoitz
      Participant

      I have asked my bio teacher this but she never really explained it. Is it, theoretically speaking, possible to genetically engineer the process fo photosynthesis into other organisms? Such as humans?

    • #19248
      DevGrp
      Participant

      It probably would be theroretically possible to engineer another organism to allow photosynthesis but why?

      A more practical and cost effective approach would be to grow plants in a field and then use the resulting biomass / oil as fuel to drive your car / power station.

      A lot of research is already being done on using Biofuel as an alternative fuel source.

      The fields of the world are likely to get more varied as alternative “non-food” crops are grown to produce Biofuel.
      Hopefully this wont just be fields and fields of yellow rape !

    • #19261
      mith
      Participant

      The thing with biomass is efficiency. To grow the amount of corn,for example, to power a car would be the equivalent to how much could be used to feed a small 3rd world nation. I’m not saying exactly but that’s my point. Whenever you convert from one form of energy to another you lose some energy. So the point of a biological photosynthetic solar cell is to efficiently obtain that energy.

    • #21133
      cytochromeP
      Participant
      quote biostudent84:

      Photosynthesis is not a process used to produce energy. It is a process of capturing energy from the sun to break apart Carbon Dioxide and Water, and to recombine the atoms into Glucose, a chemical used for producing ATP.

      Kyle

      All living things (all chemical reactions) require a thing called Gibbs free energy for the reaction to occur at all. Plants and other photosynthetic beings(blue-green algae…) are the only ones who “pump” Gibbs free energy into our eco-system.
      Conclusion: Photosynthesis is very much a process used to produce energy, or to put it precisely “capture the solar energy and channel it to our eco-system’s free-energy-pool”.
      Should the plants stop doing there job our system would eventually run out of free energy and forget life – even ordinary chemical reactions would’nt occur.
      As far as the question of “electricity from photosynthesis” concerned I reccommend a visit to the following link: (Title :Future army could run on alternative fuels, photosynthesis)
      http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4eve … nergy.html
      This area of research is called “biological photovoltaics”.
      I myself would like to believe that one day extracting electricity from photosynthesis would become possible, especially when nanotechnology develops the necessary tools for achieving this goal.

    • #38256
      catfishjim
      Participant

      I agree that it would be difficult to tap photosynthetic cells for electricity in practice, but it might just be a matter of figuring out the right technology.

      It seems to me that, potentially at least, deriving electricity directly from photosynthesis should be more efficient than going through the storage process first and then burning the plant (e.g., wood, alcohol. or canola oil) to release the heat energy.

      But if burning fuels is undesirable because of the CO2 released, one question would also be, Can you derive electricity directly from the photosynthetic process in such a way that the CO2 released into the air is less than if it were burned?

      Here is an article about getting electricity from trees- I don’t know how serious it is. I think I will try the experiment, though.

      http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2005 … 84393.html

    • #38312
      catfishjim
      Participant
      quote mithrilhack:

      The thing with biomass is efficiency. To grow the amount of corn,for example, to power a car would be the equivalent to how much could be used to feed a small 3rd world nation. I’m not saying exactly but that’s my point. Whenever you convert from one form of energy to another you lose some energy. So the point of a biological photosynthetic solar cell is to efficiently obtain that energy.

      Hello Mithrilhack!

      I read something not long ago that said using sugar from Brazilian sugar cane to make gasohol would be price-competive with gasoline right now, but that the sugar industry in developed countries wouldn’t put up with it.

      Here is a different article that says about the same thing: "Unlike Brazil, U.S. producers make ethanol from corn, which is a far less efficient source, yielding four times less energy than sugar. Ethanol prices in the U.S. are less competitive than in Brazil. U.S. producers are protected by a 54 cent per gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol. "

      http://www.forbes.com/2005/11/15/energy … adams.html

    • #38330
      mith
      Participant

      Interesting, but are cars really that much more important than people? Think of the ways the land could be used instead.

    • #38370
      catfishjim
      Participant
      quote mithrilhack:

      Interesting, but are cars really that much more important than people? Think of the ways the land could be used instead.

      I’m not sure how you mean that in practical terms. What would you use the land for? The sugar cane is already being produced, it’s just not being sold in the US because of protectionism (and the oil lobby?). If you mean we should ditch all other activities until we can produce enough food for everyone: I have read that there is plenty of food right now, if only those who have it would just give it to those who don’t…

      But without access to the kind of energy resources we have come to view as normal, our capability for all sorts of things would be reduced, including producing food at current levels. If energy resources get scarce, it will be impossible to maintain economic activity and the living standards we are used to. A reduction in economic activity would have far-reaching political and social consequences that would probably be negative for everyone involved, but especially for those who are already hurting.

      At the same time, there is the climate change issue. We need to find energy sources that have less impact on the atmosphere, even though it may already be too late to stop some of the effects of global warming.

    • #38453
      catfishjim
      Participant

      Thanks for that post about biological photovoltaics, it is really interesting. I looked at the link, but one gets the impression that nobody but military is interested in this field. Do you know of any universities where they are into the subject?

    • #38583
      catfishjim
      Participant

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor … Id=5173420

      Here is an NPR feature about gasohol. They didn’t pick up on the Brazilian sugarcane thing, though.

    • #90469
      retoohs
      Participant

      For anlternative check this out using synthetic photosynthesis to produce hydrogen instead of oxygen http://www.futurehi.net/archives/000159.html

    • #102282
      leftventricle
      Participant

      Is it true that photosynthesis only allows plants to make glucose and for them to use the glucose in their systems, they need to do cellular respiration to make ATP?

    • #102437
      JackBean
      Participant

      photosynthesis produces ATP, which is then used in accordance to current plant needs. In the nigth they of course need to respirate, but during the day they are able to cumulate the mass

    • #102486
      sconov
      Participant

      http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php … seudomonas

      I think, the electricity comes from acid. For example, in oranges, we can find small electricity if we put positive and negative plates that connected into amperemeter. I guess.

    • #102920
      JackBean
      Participant

      that electricity comes from the batery 😆 But the ions only transmit the electricity

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