Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using Algae To Convert Sunlight Into Biofuel

Date:
October 9, 2008
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
Scientists want to make micro-algae "less green."That is, they hope to modify the tiny organisms so as to minimize the number of chlorophyll molecules needed to harvest light without compromising the photosynthesis process in the cells.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley want to make micro-algae "less green." That is, they hope to modify the tiny organisms so as to minimize the number of chlorophyll molecules needed to harvest light without compromising the photosynthesis process in the cells.

To that end, they have identified the genetic instructions in the algae genome responsible for deploying approximately 600 chlorophyll molecules in the cell's light-gathering antennae. The Berkeley researchers figure that the algae can survive with approximately 130 molecules.

Why go to this trouble? Researcher Tasios Melis argues that a larger chlorophyll antenna helps the organism survive in the wild but is detrimental to the engineering-driven effort of using algae to convert sunlight into biofuel.

The scientists want to divert the normal function of photosynthesis from generating biomass to making biofuels, that is, into products such as lipids, hydrocarbons and hydrogen. In this regard micro-algae are ideal because of their high rate of photosynthesis; they are perhaps 10 times more efficient than land plants. Melis says that the phrase "cellular optics" describes this general effort to maximize the efficiency of the solar-to-product conversion process.

The scientists are presenting their research at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Optical Society (OSA), being held from Oct. 19-23 in Rochester, N.Y.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Optical Society of America. "Using Algae To Convert Sunlight Into Biofuel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081008203549.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2008, October 9). Using Algae To Convert Sunlight Into Biofuel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081008203549.htm
Optical Society of America. "Using Algae To Convert Sunlight Into Biofuel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081008203549.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins