[Question] Is there a way to replicate photosynthesis artificially?

Hu­mans have imi­tated na­ture since pre­his­toric times. Air­craft, sub­marines and even cars are de­signed in the image of wild an­i­mals. So why haven’t we imi­tated plants yet?

The rea­son this ques­tion is sig­nifi­cant is due to the in­creas­ing dis­cor­dance be­tween the ex­is­tence of hu­man­ity and na­ture. Try as we may, the coro­n­avirus pan­demic clearly showed us just how much the na­tional econ­omy of many coun­tries de­pends on the sale and con­sump­tion of non-re­new­able re­sources like petroleum.

Since we can nei­ther re­duce the con­sump­tion of such re­sources nor kill off the ma­jor­ity of the hu­man pop­u­la­tion, we should try our best to trans­form this planet to sus­tain the ever-in­creas­ing hu­man pop­u­la­tion.


The first step for such an en­deav­our is un­avoid­ably the imi­ta­tion of pho­to­syn­the­sis. It har­nesses the in­ex­haustible sup­ply of so­lar en­ergy to con­vert car­bon diox­ide into glu­cose and oxy­gen, both of them ex­tremely im­por­tant for hu­mans. An ar­tifi­cial con­trap­tion will have many ad­van­tages over its nat­u­ral coun­ter­part as it can run 247 and be less sus­cep­ti­ble to ex­ter­nal fac­tors like dis­ease or par­a­sites. The pro­duc­tivity of such a unit can be scaled in­finitely once the pro­to­types have been op­ti­mised.

We already have the nec­es­sary tools to cre­ate such tech­nol­ogy. We know the com­po­si­tion of chloro­phyll. We are suffi­ciently ex­pe­rienced in cre­at­ing su­per thin struc­ture and even micro­scopic cir­cuits. Even though I do not have a de­gree in Botany or Chem­istry, I be­lieve that with suffi­cient stim­u­lus, hu­man re­searchers can de­velop such a tech­nol­ogy rapidly.


So the only ques­tion re­mains is: Why haven’t the de­vel­oped coun­tries of this planet in­vested in such a pro­ject already and what will it take for the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity to fo­cus on this topic?