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Artificial Photosynthesis as a Next Generation Power Source
Artificial Photosynthesis as a Next Generation Power Source
Artificial Photosynthesis as a Next Generation Power Source

Artificial

Photosynthesis

as a Next Generation

Power Source

Artificial Photosynthesis as a Next Generation Power Source

Terms to Know

 Watt  Unit of power defined as one joule-second  Mole  Measurement of amount
Watt
Unit of power defined as one joule-second
Mole
Measurement of amount of atoms/molecules in a system
Joule
Unit of energy
Prefix “Giga”Billion
Prefix “Mega”Million
Prefix “Kilo”Thousand
Photolysis
Splitting by light
Photoelectrochemistry
Study of light and electricity interaction with chemical substances
Photoelectrochemical Cell=Photocatalytic Cell
Photocatalytic Water Splitting
Splitting of water with the help of light and catalysts

Quick Facts

 Highest solar-to-power conversion efficiency for a Photovoltaic Cell (Solar Panel) to date  20% Efficiency
Highest solar-to-power conversion
efficiency for a Photovoltaic Cell (Solar
Panel) to date
20% Efficiency
Average amount of energy the Earth
receives from the Sun per day
550 Terawatts (200 Petawatts per year)
The entire US uses 3.163 Terawatts per year
The entire world uses 16.16 Terawatts per year
Quick Facts  Highest solar-to-power conversion efficiency for a Photovoltaic Cell (Solar Panel) to date 

Photo-powered Cells vs.

Petroleum Engine

 Photo-powered  Easily controlled reaction  Very efficient energy conversion (Fuel Cell)  No heat
Photo-powered
Easily controlled reaction
Very efficient energy conversion (Fuel Cell)  No heat
Clean
Renewable
Works almost limitlessly No need for refueling
Petroleum
Explosive
Lost energy during energy conversion (Combustion)  Heat
Emissions
Non-renewable
Needs regular refueling
Clearly Photo-powered systems are better
Photo-powered Cells vs. Petroleum Engine  Photo-powered  Easily controlled reaction  Very efficient energy conversion

Quick Review of Photosynthesis

  • Photosynthesis

    • 6 Carbon Dioxide + 6 Water>>> Glucose+ 6 Oxygen

    • Requires energy

    • Takes place in Chloroplasts of Plant Cells

    • Light to Chemical Energy

    • Light reactions produce Oxygen

      • Thylakoid Membrane

    • Dark reactions produce Glucose

      • Stroma

Quick Review of Photosynthesis  Photosynthesis  6 Carbon Dioxide + 6 Water>>> Glucose+ 6 Oxygen
Quick Review of Photosynthesis  Photosynthesis  6 Carbon Dioxide + 6 Water>>> Glucose+ 6 Oxygen

Quick Review of Cellular

Respiration

  • Cellular Respiration

    • 6 Oxygen + Glucose >>> ATP (Energy) + 6 Carbon Dioxide + 6 Water

    • Produces energy

    • Takes place in Mitochondria of Cells

    • Chemical to Usable Chemical

    • Three Steps

      • Glycolysis: Sugar Breaking

      • Krebs Cycle: Carbon Dioxide and ATP Production

      • Electron Transport Chain: Water and ATP Production

Quick Review of Cellular Respiration  Cellular Respiration  6 Oxygen + Glucose >>> ATP (Energy)
Quick Review of Cellular Respiration  Cellular Respiration  6 Oxygen + Glucose >>> ATP (Energy)

Ways to Use Energy from

Photosynthesis

 Glucose Fuel Cells  Efficient  Direct Conversion of Chemical Energy to Usable Energy 
Glucose Fuel Cells
Efficient
Direct Conversion of Chemical Energy to Usable Energy
Provides reusable products
Requires expensive catalysts (for now) such as Platinum
Cellular Respiration
Efficient
ATP produced will have to be converted into Usable Energy
Provides reusable products
Complicated to synthetically reproduce
Combustion
Inefficient: Heat loss
Direct conversion of Chemical Energy to Usable Energy
Provides reusable products
Simple reaction
Ways to Use Energy from Photosynthesis  Glucose Fuel Cells  Efficient  Direct Conversion of

Photosynthesis vs.

Photocatalysis

 Photosynthesis  Produces Glucose and Oxygen  Glucose and Oxygen combustion produces 3204 kilojoules per
Photosynthesis
Produces Glucose and Oxygen
Glucose and Oxygen combustion produces 3204
kilojoules per mole
Energy per Weight=17.8 kilojoules per gram
Less weight efficient
Easily found in nature
Photocatalysis
Produces Hydrogen and Oxygen
Hydrogen and Oxygen combustion produces 286
kilojoules per mole
Energy per Weight=283 kilojoules per gram
Very weight efficient
Still being researched
Photosynthesis vs. Photocatalysis  Photosynthesis  Produces Glucose and Oxygen  Glucose and Oxygen combustion produces
Photosynthesis and electrochemistry vs. Photovoltaics  Photosynthesis/Photoelectrochemistry  Convert sunlight directly to easily stored chemical compounds
Photosynthesis and
electrochemistry vs. Photovoltaics
Photosynthesis/Photoelectrochemistry
Convert sunlight directly to easily stored chemical
compounds
Shorter Lifespan
Easily adapted to current engines
Still being researched technology
Photovoltaic
Converts sunlight into electricity which then needs
to converted to chemical energy for storage
Longer Lifespan
Can not be easily adapted to current engines
Well-established technology

C6H12O6+6(H2O)

E N E R G Y Typical Photosynthesis Cell Light 6(CO2)+6(H2O) Storage Photosynthetic Fuel Cell Cell
E
N
E
R
G
Y
Typical Photosynthesis Cell
Light
6(CO2)+6(H2O)
Storage
Photosynthetic
Fuel Cell
Cell

Candidates for Artificial

Photosynthesis

evolves oxygen from water

 Microalgae  Converts Carbon Dioxide and Water into Lipids at high efficiencies  Nostoc Punctiforme
Microalgae
Converts Carbon Dioxide and Water into Lipids at high
efficiencies
Nostoc Punctiforme (Cyanobacteria)
Converts Nitrogen gas into Ammonia and releases
Hydrogen, both of which can be used to create energy
NAPD+/ NADPH Coenzyme System
Based off the Calvin Cycle, produces Carbohydrates
which can be used to create energy
Ribulose-Bisphosphate Carboxylase (RuBisCO)
Rather slow enzyme that reduces Carbon Dioxide, works
in mild conditions
Blue Dimer
Catalyst based off those found in natural photosynthesis,
Candidates for Artificial Photosynthesis evolves oxygen from water  Microalgae  Converts Carbon Dioxide and Water
Detailed Look into Blue Dimer  Blue Dimer is a photocatalyst that produces protons (H+) ions
Detailed Look into Blue Dimer
Blue Dimer is a photocatalyst that produces
protons (H+) ions and O2 molecules from water
It mimics the light reactions of Natural
Photosynthesis
For it to be properly used, the Hydrogen ions would
have to be converted to H2 molecules
It is much more efficient in terms of energy
production than RuBisCO systems or Microalgae
To provide an even greater efficiency, the Triad
Approach could be utilized

Triad Approach

Triad Approach
Triad Approach
Triad Approach

Typical Photoelectrochemical

Cell

Photocatalyst

E N E R G Y 2(H20) Storage Fuel Cell 2(H2)+O2
E
N
E
R
G
Y
2(H20)
Storage
Fuel Cell
2(H2)+O2
Light
Light

Candidate Catalysts for

Photoelectrochemical Cells

 Most Catalysts come from Transition Metals (D- Block) of Periodic Table  Candidates for PEC
Most Catalysts come from Transition Metals (D-
Block) of Periodic Table
Candidates for PEC Cells are:
Vanadium Dioxide (VO2)
1.416 moles of hydrogen/gram catalyst/hour 405
kilojoules/gram/hour
Sodium Tantalate (NaTaO3)
1180 millimoles/gram/hour  33 kilojoules/gram/hour
Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)
180 millimoles/gram/hour  5 kilojoules/gram/hour
Cadmium Compounds (Cd)
Various Rates, Highest Achieved: 14
moles/gram/hour 4 Megajoules/gram/hour
Candidate Catalysts for Photoelectrochemical Cells  Most Catalysts come from Transition Metals (D- Block) of Periodic

Detailed Look at VO2 System

 Vanadium Dioxide provides the best ratio of price to efficiency  $20 per pound 
Vanadium Dioxide provides the best ratio of price to
efficiency
$20 per pound
183 Megajoules per pound (Enough to power 36 houses
for a day)
Vanadium Dioxide would be deposited on silicon chips
via sol-gel method
Using a design similar to a solar panel, VO2 would break
down a constant stream of water that would flow over it
The Hydrogen gas produced would exit via a tube at the
top of the panel
Hydrogen could be stored indefinitely
Hydrogen could then be catalyzed with oxygen in a fuel
cell, releasing energy
Oxygen would be produced by a different catalyst, such
as Ruthenium Dioxide (RuO2)

Vanadium Dioxide

Vanadium Dioxide Photoreactor Cell

Photoreactor Cell

RuO2 Fuel Cell Fuel Cell VO2
RuO2
Fuel Cell
Fuel Cell
VO2
Vanadium Dioxide Photoreactor Cell RuO2 Fuel Cell Fuel Cell VO2
Vanadium Dioxide Photoreactor Cell RuO2 Fuel Cell Fuel Cell VO2
Basic Fuel Cell

Basic Fuel Cell

Basic Fuel Cell
Basic Fuel Cell
Basic Fuel Cell

A Final Recap

 Photosynthesis and Photoelectrochemistry use light from the sun to produce chemical compounds that store energy
Photosynthesis and Photoelectrochemistry
use light from the sun to produce
chemical compounds that store energy
Stored chemical energy can be released
by various methods, allowing the energy
to be used
Products of the release of energy can be
used to form more energy-storing
compounds
A Final Recap  Photosynthesis and Photoelectrochemistry use light from the sun to produce chemical compounds

Global Impact

Photosynthetic Cells and PEC Cells, once

perfected, will provide a cheap, accessible, clean,

and renewable power source. Currently the best technology is either the Blue Dimer Catalyst or the VO2 catalyst. The Photocells will help with Global

Climate Change as no they will reduce CO2

emissions. Over time, once they have been incorporated into everyday infrastructure such as cars, gas stations, and power plants, they could very

well make gasoline and other fossil fuels obsolete.

Global Impact Photosynthetic Cells and PEC Cells, once perfected, will provide a cheap, accessible, clean, and
Global Impact Photosynthetic Cells and PEC Cells, once perfected, will provide a cheap, accessible, clean, and

Other Research

 Metabolic Engineering  Used to modify the metabolism of organisms  Research is being done
Metabolic Engineering
Used to modify the metabolism of organisms
Research is being done into altering RuBisCO so as to make it more
efficient
Fuel Cells
Used to release energy from fuel
Use precious and expensive metals
Research being done to lower price and raise efficiency of these
Ultraviolet Upconverters
Light ranges from low energy (infrared) to high energy (Ultraviolet)
Most catalysts work better with higher light energies, and most sunlight
comes in lower energies
UV Upconverters take photons with lower energies and convert them
into a proton with high energy
Chromera Velia
Photosynthetic Protista
Very good at converting sunlight into chemical energy using a different
form of RuBisCO
Unfortunately, C. Velia still uses most of its produced energy
Bibliography- Primary Sources Only 1. Faunce, Thomas. "Artificial Photosynthesis as a Frontier Technology for Energy Sustainability."Environmental Science . RSC, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2013/ee/c3ee40534f 2. 3. 4. Livage, Jacques. "Sol-Gel Vanadium Oxide. " Sol - Gel . Laboratoire De Chimie De La Matière Condensée, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.solgel.com/articles/August00/thermo/Guzman.htmRevealing How Nature Uses Sunlight to Split Water” The Royal Society n.d. Web. 16. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20208513 Kovig, Kotabova. "Photosynthesis in Chromera Velia Represents a Simple System with High Efficiency. " PLOS ONE . PLOS ONE, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0047036 5. 6. 7. Hammarström, Leif. "Arti ficial Photosynthesis and Solar Fuels. " Accounts o f Chemical Research . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ar900267k Borman, Stu. "Artificial Membrane Mimics Photosynthesis. " Chemical & Engineerin g News Archive . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v076n014.p014 "Recent Advances in the Chemistry of Lanthanide-doped Upconversion Nanocrystals." Chemical Society Reviews. Royal Society of Chemistry, n.d. Web. 16 May 201 3. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2009/CS/b809132n 8. 9. 10. 11. You, Chun. "Surpassing Photosynthesis: High-Efficiency and Scalable CO2 Utilization through Artificial Photosynt hesis. " Recent Advances in Post - Combustion CO2 Capture Chemistry . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2012-1097.ch015 "Water Oxidation at Nanostructu red Interfaces - Springer. " Artificial Photosynthesis Challe nges . Springer, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/128_2011_136 Ellis, R . John. " Biochemistry: Tackling Unintelligent Design. " Nature Journal . Na ture, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7278/full/463164a.html "Artificial Photosynthesis: Biomimetic Approaches to Solar Energy Conversion and Storage. " ScienceDirect.com . Science Direct, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0958166910000649 12. "A Hydrogen-producing, Hydrogenase-free Mutant Strain of Nostoc Punctiforme ATCC 29133. " ScienceDirect.com . Science Direct, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319902001210 13. "Mechanisms of Water Oxidation from the Blue Dimer to Photosystem II." Inorganic Chemistry. ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/icforum/cnUZKSmIRI4ZDgMgIpWY/full/10.1021/ic701249s " id="pdf-obj-21-2" src="pdf-obj-21-2.jpg">

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Revealing How Nature Uses Sunlight to Split Water” The Royal Society n.d. Web. 16.

Kovig, Kotabova. "Photosynthesis in Chromera Velia Represents a Simple System with High Efficiency." PLOS ONE. PLOS ONE, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013.

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Hammarström, Leif. "Artificial Photosynthesis and Solar Fuels." Accounts of Chemical Research. ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ar900267k

Borman, Stu. "Artificial Membrane Mimics Photosynthesis." Chemical & Engineering News Archive. ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v076n014.p014

"Recent Advances in the Chemistry of Lanthanide-doped Upconversion Nanocrystals." Chemical

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You, Chun. "Surpassing Photosynthesis: High-Efficiency and Scalable CO2 Utilization through Artificial Photosynthesis." Recent Advances in Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Chemistry. ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2012-1097.ch015

"Water Oxidation at Nanostructured Interfaces - Springer." Artificial Photosynthesis Challenges. Springer, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/128_2011_136

"Artificial Photosynthesis: Biomimetic Approaches to Solar Energy Conversion and Storage."ScienceDirect.com. Science Direct, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013.

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"Mechanisms of Water Oxidation from the Blue Dimer to Photosystem II." Inorganic Chemistry. ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013.

Bibliography- Primary Sources Only 1. Faunce, Thomas. "Artificial Photosynthesis as a Frontier Technology for Energy Sustainability."Environmental Science . RSC, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2013/ee/c3ee40534f 2. 3. 4. Livage, Jacques. "Sol-Gel Vanadium Oxide. " Sol - Gel . Laboratoire De Chimie De La Matière Condensée, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.solgel.com/articles/August00/thermo/Guzman.htmRevealing How Nature Uses Sunlight to Split Water” The Royal Society n.d. Web. 16. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20208513 Kovig, Kotabova. "Photosynthesis in Chromera Velia Represents a Simple System with High Efficiency. " PLOS ONE . PLOS ONE, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0047036 5. 6. 7. Hammarström, Leif. "Arti ficial Photosynthesis and Solar Fuels. " Accounts o f Chemical Research . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ar900267k Borman, Stu. "Artificial Membrane Mimics Photosynthesis. " Chemical & Engineerin g News Archive . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v076n014.p014 "Recent Advances in the Chemistry of Lanthanide-doped Upconversion Nanocrystals." Chemical Society Reviews. Royal Society of Chemistry, n.d. Web. 16 May 201 3. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2009/CS/b809132n 8. 9. 10. 11. You, Chun. "Surpassing Photosynthesis: High-Efficiency and Scalable CO2 Utilization through Artificial Photosynt hesis. " Recent Advances in Post - Combustion CO2 Capture Chemistry . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2012-1097.ch015 "Water Oxidation at Nanostructu red Interfaces - Springer. " Artificial Photosynthesis Challe nges . Springer, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/128_2011_136 Ellis, R . John. " Biochemistry: Tackling Unintelligent Design. " Nature Journal . Na ture, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7278/full/463164a.html "Artificial Photosynthesis: Biomimetic Approaches to Solar Energy Conversion and Storage. " ScienceDirect.com . Science Direct, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0958166910000649 12. "A Hydrogen-producing, Hydrogenase-free Mutant Strain of Nostoc Punctiforme ATCC 29133. " ScienceDirect.com . Science Direct, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319902001210 13. "Mechanisms of Water Oxidation from the Blue Dimer to Photosystem II." Inorganic Chemistry. ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/icforum/cnUZKSmIRI4ZDgMgIpWY/full/10.1021/ic701249s " id="pdf-obj-21-141" src="pdf-obj-21-141.jpg">
Bibliography- Primary Sources Only 1. Faunce, Thomas. "Artificial Photosynthesis as a Frontier Technology for Energy Sustainability."Environmental Science . RSC, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2013/ee/c3ee40534f 2. 3. 4. Livage, Jacques. "Sol-Gel Vanadium Oxide. " Sol - Gel . Laboratoire De Chimie De La Matière Condensée, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.solgel.com/articles/August00/thermo/Guzman.htmRevealing How Nature Uses Sunlight to Split Water” The Royal Society n.d. Web. 16. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20208513 Kovig, Kotabova. "Photosynthesis in Chromera Velia Represents a Simple System with High Efficiency. " PLOS ONE . PLOS ONE, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0047036 5. 6. 7. Hammarström, Leif. "Arti ficial Photosynthesis and Solar Fuels. " Accounts o f Chemical Research . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ar900267k Borman, Stu. "Artificial Membrane Mimics Photosynthesis. " Chemical & Engineerin g News Archive . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v076n014.p014 "Recent Advances in the Chemistry of Lanthanide-doped Upconversion Nanocrystals." Chemical Society Reviews. Royal Society of Chemistry, n.d. Web. 16 May 201 3. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2009/CS/b809132n 8. 9. 10. 11. You, Chun. "Surpassing Photosynthesis: High-Efficiency and Scalable CO2 Utilization through Artificial Photosynt hesis. " Recent Advances in Post - Combustion CO2 Capture Chemistry . ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2012-1097.ch015 "Water Oxidation at Nanostructu red Interfaces - Springer. " Artificial Photosynthesis Challe nges . Springer, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/128_2011_136 Ellis, R . John. " Biochemistry: Tackling Unintelligent Design. " Nature Journal . Na ture, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7278/full/463164a.html "Artificial Photosynthesis: Biomimetic Approaches to Solar Energy Conversion and Storage. " ScienceDirect.com . Science Direct, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0958166910000649 12. "A Hydrogen-producing, Hydrogenase-free Mutant Strain of Nostoc Punctiforme ATCC 29133. " ScienceDirect.com . Science Direct, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319902001210 13. "Mechanisms of Water Oxidation from the Blue Dimer to Photosystem II." Inorganic Chemistry. ACS, n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/icforum/cnUZKSmIRI4ZDgMgIpWY/full/10.1021/ic701249s " id="pdf-obj-21-143" src="pdf-obj-21-143.jpg">
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