A New Dawn for Industrial Photosynthesis

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A New Dawn for Industrial Photosynthesis

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dc.contributor.author Robertson, Dan E.
dc.contributor.author Jacobson, Stuart A.
dc.contributor.author Morgan, Frederick
dc.contributor.author Berry, David
dc.contributor.author Church, George McDonald
dc.contributor.author Afeyan, Noubar
dc.date.accessioned 2011-09-13T18:35:38Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation Robertson, Dan E., Stuart A. Jacobson, Frederick Morgan, David Berry, George M. Church, and Noubar B. Afeyan. 2011. A new dawn for industrial photosynthesis. Photosynthesis Research 107(3): 269-277. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0166-8595 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:5130453
dc.description.abstract Several emerging technologies are aiming to meet renewable fuel standards, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and provide viable alternatives to fossil fuels. Direct conversion of solar energy into fungible liquid fuel is a particularly attractive option, though conversion of that energy on an industrial scale depends on the efficiency of its capture and conversion. Large-scale programs have been undertaken in the recent past that used solar energy to grow innately oil-producing algae for biomass processing to biodiesel fuel. These efforts were ultimately deemed to be uneconomical because the costs of culturing, harvesting, and processing of algal biomass were not balanced by the process efficiencies for solar photon capture and conversion. This analysis addresses solar capture and conversion efficiencies and introduces a unique systems approach, enabled by advances in strain engineering, photobioreactor design, and a process that contradicts prejudicial opinions about the viability of industrial photosynthesis. We calculate efficiencies for this direct, continuous solar process based on common boundary conditions, empirical measurements and validated assumptions wherein genetically engineered cyanobacteria convert industrially sourced, high-concentration CO\(_2\) into secreted, fungible hydrocarbon products in a continuous process. These innovations are projected to operate at areal productivities far exceeding those based on accumulation and refining of plant or algal biomass or on prior assumptions of photosynthetic productivity. This concept, currently enabled for production of ethanol and alkane diesel fuel molecules, and operating at pilot scale, establishes a new paradigm for high productivity manufacturing of nonfossil-derived fuels and chemicals. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Springer Netherlands en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi://10.1007/s11120-011-9631-7 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3059824/pdf/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject cyanobacteria en_US
dc.subject metabolic engineering en_US
dc.subject hydrocarbon en_US
dc.subject alkane en_US
dc.subject diesel en_US
dc.subject renewable fuel en_US
dc.subject algae en_US
dc.subject biomass en_US
dc.subject biodiesel en_US
dc.title A New Dawn for Industrial Photosynthesis en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal Photosynthesis Research en_US
dash.depositing.author Church, George McDonald
dc.date.available 2011-09-13T18:35:38Z
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Health Sciences and Technology en_US
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Genetics en_US

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