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Scientists Found a ‘Leak’ in Photosynthesis That Could Fill Humanity’s Energy Bucket

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Scientists have studied photosynthesis in plants for centuries, but an international team believes they’ve unlocked new secrets in nature’s great machine that could revolutionize sustainable fuels and fight climate change. 

The team says they’ve determined it’s possible to extract an electrical charge at the best possible point in photosynthesis. This means harvesting the maximum amount of electrons from the process for potential use in power grids and some types of batteries. It could also improve the development of biofuels. While it’s still early days, the findings, reported in the journal Nature, could reduce greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and provide insights to improve photovoltaic solar panels. 

The key breakthrough came when researchers observed the process of photosynthesis at ultrafast timescales.

“We can take photos at different times which allow us to watch changes in the sample really, really quickly – a million billion times faster than your iPhone,” Dr. Tomi Baikie, from the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, told CNET.

The team used a technique…

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