Chinese scientists realize the artificial synthesis of glucose and fatty acids from carbon dioxide

The Chinese scientists had previously achieved the de novo synthesis of carbon dioxide to starch for the first time in the world. Can carbon dioxide "change" other things besides "change" starch? According to Xinhua News Agency, a few days ago, Chinese scientists created a new path for carbon dioxide conversion. Through the combination of electrocatalysis and biosynthesis, they successfully synthesized glucose and fatty acids from carbon dioxide and water, providing artificial and semi-artificial "food". new path.

This achievement was jointly completed by Xia Chuan's research group at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Yu Tao's research group at Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Zeng Jie's research group at the University of Science and Technology of China, and published as a cover article on the 28th, Beijing time. Published in the international academic journal Nature Catalysis.

Glucose and oil are important food components. Carbon dioxide is converted into glucose or oil through a catalytic process. There have been many researchers at home and abroad for a long time, but successful cases are very rare.

In this study, the researchers first efficiently reduced carbon dioxide to synthesize high-concentration acetic acid and then fermented the acetic acid with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. "This process can be understood as first converting carbon dioxide into acetic acid, the 'food' of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and then Saccharomyces cerevisiae is constantly 'jealous' to synthesize glucose and fatty acids," said Zeng Jie, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, one of the study authors.

The growth of food crops in nature is affected by seasons, regions, and climates. This research is fully artificially controllable, breaking through the limitations of many external conditions. "Using this mode of combining electrocatalysis and biosynthesis, glucose was synthesized at the gram level 'from scratch', which shows the high production level and development potential of this strategy." One of the study authors, Yu Tao, a researcher at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said.

"In the future, if you want to synthesize starch, make pigments, produce drugs, etc., you only need to keep the electrocatalytic facilities unchanged and replace the microorganisms used for fermentation ." There is still a long way to go from the output of the technology to the large-scale application, which depends on the overall improvement of related technologies and the continuous reduction of costs. In the future, further research will be done on the homogeneity and compatibility of the two platforms, electrocatalysis, and biofermentation.

Academician Deng Zixin, director of the State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, commented: This research opens up a new strategy for the preparation of food products such as glucose by electrochemistry combined with live-cell catalysis, and provides a new paradigm for the further development of electricity-driven new agricultural and bio-manufacturing industries. , is an important development direction of carbon dioxide utilization.

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