Scientists figured out how to grow plants in complete darkness

Scientists figured out how to grow plants in complete darkness

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Scientists from the University of California at Riverside, USA, have found a way to grow plants in complete darkness. According to them, this method is 18 times more efficient than conventional photosynthesis. According to Futurism magazine, for these purposes it is necessary to use artificial photosynthesis, in the future it can be used on Mars.

What is the essence of the method?

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Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide, sunlight energy and water into plant biomass. As a result, we get vegetables and fruits that are edible. But, as scientists say, during natural photosynthesis, only 1% of solar energy enters plants. And in complete darkness, they cannot grow. Therefore, the researchers decided to invent a new way to create plants – artificial photosynthesis.

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For this purpose, a two-stage method was developed. It is based on the conversion of carbon dioxide, water and electricity into acetate, which is the form of the main component of vinegar. Plants consumed acetate while growing in the dark. According to the researchers, the use of solar panels to generate electricity makes the process of growing vegetables and fruits 18 times more efficient than the natural method.

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Robert Jinkerson of the University of California at Riverside says the scientists wanted to develop a way to produce plant-based food that would overcome the limitations of natural photosynthesis. Experiments have already been carried out with the cultivation of tomatoes, rapeseed, rice, green peas in total darkness.

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A group of researchers believe that artificial photosynthesis is an enhanced opportunity for the production of plant products in adverse conditions. In the future, it is possible to apply the method on the Moon and Mars, as well as in total darkness.



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