Finnish scientists have learned how to create food out of thin air

© Photo : Lappeenrannan teknillinen yliopistoСинтетические proteins made by scientists from the airFinnish scientists have learned how to create food out of thin air© Photo : Lappeenrannan teknillinen yliopisto

Finnish scientists have created a device that turns water and carbon dioxide from the air into edible protein pellets and, according to developers, will help to solve the problem of famine in the Land, informs the Internet edition qz.com.

«From a practical point of view, all that is needed for the production of this protein food contains in the air. In the future, devices based on our technology can be installed in deserts or in other parts of the world whose inhabitants are threatened by famine. In addition, such units can be placed at home and use them as needed,» says Juha-Pekka Pitkanen (Juha-Pekka Pitkanen) from technological University of Lappeenranta (Finland).

In recent years, scientists are actively trying to find a way of turning atmospheric CO2 into biofuel and other useful substances. For example, in July last year, physicists from Chicago have created a solar cell which directly uses light energy to split CO2 and production of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and in October their colleagues from the National laboratory in Oak ridge have created a catalyst that converts the carbon dioxide in ordinary alcohol.

Pitkanen and his colleagues figured out how you can create a device that turns air into much more complex organic compounds — molecules of proteins and sugars. To do this, scientists went to the trick — they «entrusted» the task of the microbes that can absorb CO2 and turn it into components of their own cells.

The main problem of this system remains the fact that it works quite slowly — one gram of the protein it produces for about two weeks. Pitkanen is now working to accelerate the process and creating larger versions of the bioreactor, which could produce a few kilograms of protein every day.

«Compared to traditional agriculture, this method is the production of food does not require special soil and other conditions necessary for the cultivation of agriculture. We can produce these proteins in a completely automatic mode and for their cultivation does not require pesticides or toxic fertilizers. All this helps to avoid environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere,» says Eero Ahola (Ahola, Jero), a colleague Pitkanen.

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