Used to manufacture plastics and polyester, and made out of petroleum and natural gas, ethylene is one of the "largest petrochemical produced by volume around the world." Researchers are working towards using genetically engineered cyanobacteria which could take sunlight and CO2 and "produce ethylene or ethylene derivatives," benefitting both the environment and current production energy requirements.
Ethylene already can be made without fossil fuels through the conversion of bioethanol, but that requires making bioethanol plus an additional step. Yu's research showed ethylene could be made directly and continuously from cyanobacterium. Normally, algae convert carbon dioxide during photosynthesis into biomass or sugars. But Yu's method redirected the cyanobacterium to use a portion of the CO2 to produce ethylene. Ethylene rises to fill the headspace of a sealed glass tube or photobioreactor and can be easily captured. Since his initial discovery in 2010, Yu has managed to increase the amount of ethylene produced in the laboratory by more than a thousand-fold, to 35 milligrams per liter per hour.
His goal is to reach 50 milligrams by the end of the year.
|Growing Human Organs for Harvest in Animals As Soon as Next Year|
|Study: People View Criticisms of Their Favourite Brand as a Threat to Their Self Image|
|First black hole for light created on Earth|
|Kickstarter Bans Future Projects Featuring Genetically Modified Organisms|
|The Illusion of Being Observed Can Make Us a Better Person|
|“Facebook is a data collection service for those who want to sell you products.” #deleteFacebook|
|“Regular exposure to humans results in white patches in the fur.”|
|“The idea is that someday in the future scientists will scan your bricked brain and turn it into a computer simulation.”|
|Future Horizon's Plasma Lightsabers|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“The Pentagon’s relatively quiet tip-toe into converting the U.S. Armed Forces to a machine-majority force.”|
|“Facebook played a 'determining role' in stirring up hatred against Rohingya Muslims.”|
|“Clearly, no one is going to build weapons that have sufficient general intelligence to, for example, decide and execute a plan to take over the world.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|3D Printed $10,000 House|
|“Contains all the same components as cow’s milk, [...] but doesn’t use any animals in its production process.”|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|