(ECNS) -- Chinese scientists have made a breakthrough in artificial starch synthesis from carbon dioxide (CO2) for the first time. The results were published in Science on Friday.
Starch is the major component of grain as well as a vital industrial raw material.
At present, it is mainly produced by crops such as maize by fixing CO2 through photosynthesis.
This process involves about 60 biochemical reactions as well as complex physiological regulations.
The theoretical energy conversion efficiency of this process is only about two percent.
A sustainable supply of grain starch and the conversion and use of CO2 represents a new strategic direction for global technology innovation.
Artificial synthesis of starch without the photosynthesis of plants will be a disruptive technology in the world.
If the overall cost of the process can be reduced to a level economically comparable with agricultural planting, it is expected to save more than 90 percent of cultivated land and freshwater resources, said Ma.
It will benefit the sustainable development of China as well as the supply of food and clothing across the world, he added.