Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / US lab produces ethylene through photosynthesis
US lab produces ethylene through photosynthesis
26
Sep '12
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated a better way to use photosynthesis to produce ethylene, a breakthrough that could change the way materials, chemicals, and transportation fuels are made, and help clean the air.

NREL scientists introduced a gene into a cyanobacterium and demonstrated that the organism remained stable through at least four generations, producing ethylene gas that could be easily captured. Research results were published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

The organism – Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 – produced ethylene at a high rate and is still being improved. The laboratory demonstrated rate of 170 milligrams of ethylene per liter per day is greater than the rates reported for the photosynthetic production by microorganisms of ethanol, butanol or other algae biofuels.

The process does not release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Conversely, the process recycles carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, since the organism utilizes the gas as part of its metabolic cycle.

Ethylene is the most widely produced petrochemical feedstock in the world. But currently it is produced only from fossil fuels, and its production is the industry’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. Steam cracking of long-chain hydrocarbons from petroleum produces 1.5 to 3 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of ethylene produced.

The NREL process, by contrast, produces ethylene by using carbon dioxide, which is food for the bacteria. That could mean a savings of six tons of carbon dioxide emissions for every ton of ethylene produced -- the three tons that would be emitted by tapping fossil fuels and another three tons absorbed by the bacteria.

NREL principal investigator, Jianping Yu, says it’s the difference between using old photons and new photons. Ethylene from old photons is the ethylene produced from fossil fuels, derived from photosynthetic organisms that captured the sun’s energy millions of years ago. The NREL process uses new photons that are currently hitting plants, algae and bacteria capable of producing fuels directly.

Ten years ago, a group of Japanese scientists led by Takahira Ogawa at Sojo University was the first to try to produce ethylene via photosynthetic conversion in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus 7942. But by the fourth generation, the bacteria were defunct, producing no ethylene at all, Yu said.

NREL turned to a different cyanobacterium, Synechocystis 6803, which scientists had been researching for a long time, knowing how to change its DNA sequences. They manipulated the sequence to design an ethylene-producing gene to be more stable and more active than the original version.

This process resulted in an organism that uses carbon dioxide and water to produce ethylene, but doesn’t lose its ability to produce ethylene over time. The product ethylene is non-toxic to the producing microorganisms and is not a food source for other organisms that could potentially contaminate an industrial process.


Must ReadView All

Indian textile & apparel exports fall 13% in Jan 2018

Textiles | On 17th Feb 2018

Indian textile & apparel exports fall 13% in Jan 2018

A decline of 13 per cent year-on-year has been observed in the...

Brazilian cotton prices move up in first fortnight

Textiles | On 17th Feb 2018

Brazilian cotton prices move up in first fortnight

Cotton prices rose in Brazil in the first fortnight of February, as...

Courtesy: OrganoClick

Textiles | On 17th Feb 2018

OrganoClick introduces OrganoTex for water repellency

OrganoClick has introduced OrganoTex, a textile impregnation product...

Interviews View All

Yashiki Gumber
Sahiba Fabrics

Fabric does not restrict us from fashion trends

Anshul Sood
Oceedee

‘Indian footwear market is nascent and largely a trend follower’

Hannah Lane
Redress

Encouragement from brands will motivate supply chains to become more...

Urmil Arya

Sushila International, a well established textile organisation established ...

John Kelley

Textile Events is one of the largest textile fair in the United Kingdom,...

Suresh P Bagrecha

Komal Texfab, founded in 1981, is into manufacturing of knitted fabrics,...

Mark Paterson
Technical Absorbents Ltd

Mark Paterson, R&D manager of Technical Absorbents Ltd talks about Super...

Kevin Nelson
TissueGen

Kevin Nelson, Chief Scientific Officer, TissueGen discusses the growing...

Larry L Kinn
Suominen Corporation

Larry L Kinn, Senior Vice President - Operations Americas of Suominen...

Prathyusha Garimella
Prathyusha Garimella

Hyderabad-based designer <b>Prathyusha Garimella</b> is known for blending ...

Igor Chapurin
Chapurin

"Now we can see the Russian trend in international fashion. And Russian...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

February 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
70.3%
No
12.9%
Skip
16.8%

Total Votes: 101

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
63.4%
No
29.7%
Skip
6.9%

Total Votes: 101

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
88.1%
No
8.9%
Skip
3.0%

Total Votes: 101

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
83.2%
No
7.9%
Skip
8.9%

Total Votes: 101


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search