Scientists Create a Method to Create Food From Air

Thursday, 20 July 2017 - 5:00PM
Technology
Thursday, 20 July 2017 - 5:00PM
Scientists Create a Method to Create Food From Air
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Image credit: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
We can imagine the conversation at the most recent meeting of the Apocalyptic Scenario Conference: one group claiming that global warming will wipe out all life on the planet, and a second group yelling we'll all starve to death long before then. "Well, what are we supposed to do? Create unlimited food from thin air?"

Well, yes, apparently.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) have created a plant that can extract chemical material directly from the air and synthesize it into protein, offering a potential food source or alternate livestock feed that has almost zero carbon footprint and requires no soil. According to the researchers themselves:

Opening quote
"Compared to traditional agriculture, the production method currently under development does not require a location with the conditions for agriculture, such as the right temperature, humidity or a certain soil type. This allows us to use a completely automatised process to produce the animal feed required in a shipping container facility built on the farm. The method requires no pest-control substances. Only the required amount of fertiliser-like nutrients is used in the closed process. This allows us to avoid any environmental impacts, such as runoffs into water systems or the formation of powerful greenhouse gases."
Closing quote


Here's a video of the device and the powdery substance it creates:



That's not the end of the use for this system—a demo plant has already been set up to explore creating fuels from compounds in the air, too. If it can be scaled and proves efficient enough, this system may end up being the single most important piece of tech in the past century. That, and those artificial intelligences that are getting better at creating AI than humans themselves. Because infinite food and fuel doesn't save us from the robot uprising...
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