Improved Photosynthesis of Algae May Convert to Biofuel

These microscopic synthetic factories may present the world with some fuel.
Deniz Yildiran

Although it is not practically applied in common, the production and usage of biofuel obtained from plants is nothing new. In addition to that, scientists have recently discovered that algae have a natural potential to become biofuel, as well. It seems that mother-nature bestows us a never-ending source to make the most of it. 

The study was published in the journal of Science Advances.

A small size source with a big outcome 

Researchers used synthetic light-harvesting polymer materials to artificially regulate the photosynthesis of algae and received a large amount of lipids that convert to biofuel.  

In a world where mad consumption of fossil fuels reached to top and it's only a matter of time to run out of it, the study suggests that "it is an effective and convenient solution to artificially improve a natural photosynthetic system."


The specific polymer called PBF was the key to improve the activity of Chlorella pyrenoidosa algae, with exposure to green light. Different amounts of the specific polymer were introduced to the algae so the researchers could observe if the algae react differently to them. 

"With excellent harvesting ability to green light, water solubility, and biocompatibility, synthetic polymer materials show promising potential applications for biofuel production, as well as for future energy and environmental development," it was explained in the research. 

A 110% growth

In conclusion, the research stated that they achieved a growth rate of 110% at maximum. Through both light-dependent and light-independent reactions, PBF has been modified on the surface of algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa and finally augmented the photosynthesis.