A new study published by Rutgers researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences states that they have discovered a type of algae biofuel that helps develop more efficient and economical, and can fight fossil fuels Climate change from combustion.
The oceans and other bodies of water are rich in algae, which are energy plants that convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into chemical energy and help remove carbon from the atmosphere. Diatoms are one of the most successful algae, and their fossil fuels are the source of the highest quality oil on the planet.
A research group led by Rutgers University uses 3D biological imaging tools to reveal for the first time the structure of a protein called Photosystem II, which is used by diatoms to absorb sunlight and promote photosynthesis. They found that each cell contained two sets of this protein, but only one set was active. The active group has a structure related to pigment proteins, such as green chlorophyll, which absorbs light in the antennae to obtain light for photosynthesis. The inactive group lacks tentacles and does not participate in photosynthesis.
A research group led by Rutgers University is trying to understand the limits of algae's ability to photosynthesize and use this ability to produce biofuels. According to the US Department of Energy, algae stores energy in the form of natural oils and, under appropriate conditions, can produce large amounts of oil that can be converted into biofuels for cars, trucks, trains, and aircraft.
The researchers point out that the next steps are to try to understand the mechanisms that control the dynamics between proteins and support powerful energy production, which will lay the foundation for further research to develop more cost-effective biofuels from algae and replace oil.