Artificial Photosynthesis Uses Co2 to Create Biodegradable Plastics

12 April 2024

As part of Footprints, we often like to shed light on some of the world’s most interesting and unusual stories from the world of Energy and Sustainability. This week we’ve had our eyes on an innovation that could revolutionise the fight against climate change and plastic pollution!

Researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University in Japan have recently unveiled a groundbreaking artificial photosynthesis technique that has produced a key component of biodegradable plastics.



Using a visible light-driven redox system, biomass-derived compounds, and carbon dioxide (CO2), they’ve successfully produced fumaric acid – a key component of biodegradable plastics like polybutylene succinate. This innovative method tackles two critical environmental issues simultaneously: reducing greenhouse gases and combating plastic pollution.

Led by Professor Yutaka Amao, the team developed a new photosensitizer to convert light into energy effectively. This advancement in artificial photosynthesis doubles the yield of fumaric acid compared to previous methods, paving the way for more sustainable production.

We celebrate this monumental achievement and will continue supporting innovative research that leads us towards a greener, cleaner world