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Researchers develop new way to boost photosynthesis in algae

Updated: 2020-09-01 (Xinhua)

Chinese researchers have developed a novel way to boost natural photosynthesis in algae, a key process for making biofuels.

Algae has been an emerging source used for producing biofuel. However, there is still room for improving production due to its slow photosynthesis.

In the latest study published in the journal Science Advances, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences tried to boost algae's photosynthesis rate by applying a type of conjugated polymer to their cell surfaces.

The researchers made a synthetic, light-harvesting polymer PBF to adhere to the plant's cell surfaces. The results showed an increase in overall growth rate by 110 percent and elevated levels of the substance produced by photosynthesis, such as oxygen.

The researchers said by improving the efficiency of natural photosynthesis, synthetic light-harvesting polymer materials hold the potential for biofuel production.