Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Chemists describe solar energy progress and challenges, including the 'artificial leaf'

Abstract:
Scientists are making progress toward development of an "artificial leaf" that mimics a real leaf's chemical magic with photosynthesis — but instead converts sunlight and water into a liquid fuel such as methanol for cars and trucks.

Chemists describe solar energy progress and challenges, including the 'artificial leaf'

China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States | Posted on November 8th, 2009

That is among the conclusions in a newly-available report from top authorities on solar energy who met at the 1st Annual Chemical Sciences and Society Symposium. The gathering launched a new effort to initiate international cooperation and innovative thinking on the global energy challenge.

The three-day symposium, which took place in Germany this past summer, included 30 chemists from China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was organized through a joint effort of the science and technology funding agencies and chemical societies of each country, including the U. S. National Science Foundation and the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The symposium series was initiated though the ACS Committee on International Activities in order to offer a unique forum whereby global challenges could be tackled in an open, discussion-based setting, fostering innovative solutions to some of the world's most daunting challenges.

A "white paper" entitled "Powering the World with Sunlight," describes highlights of the symposium and is available along with related materials here.

"The sun provides more energy to the Earth in an hour than the world consumes in a year," the report states. "Compare that single hour to the one million years required for the Earth to accumulate the same amount of energy in the form of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are not a sustainable resource, and we must break our dependence on them. Solar power is among the most promising alternatives."

The symposium focused on four main topics:

* Mimicking photosynthesis using synthetic materials such as the "artificial leaf"
* Production and use of biofuels as a form of stored solar energy
* Developing innovative, more efficient solar cells
* Storage and distribution of solar energy

The scientists pointed out during the meeting that plants use solar energy when they capture and convert sunlight into chemical fuel through photosynthesis. The process involves the conversion of water and carbon dioxide into sugars as well as oxygen and hydrogen. Scientists have been successful in mimicking this fuel-making process, termed artificial photosynthesis, but now must finds ways of doing so in ways that can be used commercially. Participants described progress toward this goal and the scientific challenges that must be met before solar can be a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

Highlights of the symposium include a talk by Kazunari Domen, Ph.D., of the University of Tokyo in Japan. Domen described current research on developing more efficient and affordable catalysts for producing hydrogen using a new water-splitting technology called "photocatalytic overall water splitting." The technology uses light-activated nanoparticles, each 1/50,000 the width of a human hair, to convert water to hydrogen. This technique is more efficient and less expensive than current technologies, he said.

Domen noted that the ultimate goal of artificial photosynthesis is to produce a liquid fuel, such as methanol, or "wood alcohol." Achieving this goal would fulfil the vision of creating an "artificial leaf" that not only splits water but uses the reaction products to create a more usable fuel, similar to what leaves do.

Among the "take-home messages" cited in the report:

* There's no single best solution to the energy problem. Scientists must seek more affordable, sustainable solutions to the global energy challenge by considering all the options.
* Investing in chemistry is investing in the future. Strong basic research is fundamental to realizing the potential of solar energy and making it affordable for large-scale use.
* Society needs a new generation of "energy scientists" to explore new ways to capture, convert, and store solar energy.

"The meeting was an experiment worth trying," said Teruto Ohta, executive director of the Chemical Society of Japan.

Conference organizers expressed hope that the symposium will be the first of several to tackle "the global challenges of the 21st century and the indispensible role that the chemical sciences play in addressing these issues," said Klaus Mullen, president of the German Chemistry Association.

"Building on the success of this first symposium, we're now gearing up for the future, convening top chemical scientists to address other, equally pressing global challenges," said Julie Callahan of the ACS Office of International Activities and principal investigator on the project. "It is an exciting time to be a chemist!"

####

About American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 154,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Michael Bernstein

202-872-6042

Copyright © Eurekalert

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Radiation-guided nanoparticles zero in on metastatic cancer July 1st, 2016

Synthesized microporous 3-D graphene-like carbons: IBS research team create carbon synthesis using zeolites as a template July 1st, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

Chemistry

Synthesized microporous 3-D graphene-like carbons: IBS research team create carbon synthesis using zeolites as a template July 1st, 2016

Possible Futures

Radiation-guided nanoparticles zero in on metastatic cancer July 1st, 2016

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction June 30th, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

Investments/IPO's/Splits

Nanometrics to Participate in the 8th Annual CEO Investor Summit: Investor Event Held Concurrently with SEMICON West 2016 in San Francisco June 22nd, 2016

Artificial synapse rivals biological ones in energy consumption June 21st, 2016

NanoLabNL boosts quality of research facilities as Dutch Toekomstfonds invests firmly June 10th, 2016

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events May 10th, 2016

Announcements

Radiation-guided nanoparticles zero in on metastatic cancer July 1st, 2016

Synthesized microporous 3-D graphene-like carbons: IBS research team create carbon synthesis using zeolites as a template July 1st, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Surprising qualities of insulator ring surfaces: Surface phenomena in ring-shaped topological insulators are just as controllable as those in spheres made of the same material June 30th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Radiation-guided nanoparticles zero in on metastatic cancer July 1st, 2016

Synthesized microporous 3-D graphene-like carbons: IBS research team create carbon synthesis using zeolites as a template July 1st, 2016

A drop of water as a model for the interplay of adhesion and stiction June 30th, 2016

No need in supercomputers: Russian scientists suggest a PC to solve complex problems tens of times faster than with massive supercomputers June 30th, 2016

Energy

Yale researchers’ technology turns wasted heat into power June 27th, 2016

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool': Rapid discovery power is similar to what gene chips offer biology June 25th, 2016

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique: Technique allows sharper detail -- and more information -- with near infrared light June 24th, 2016

FEI and University of Liverpool Announce QEMSCAN Research Initiative: University of Liverpool will utilize FEI’s QEMSCAN technology to gain a better insight into oil and gas reserves & potentially change the approach to evaluating them June 22nd, 2016

Automotive/Transportation

Artificial synapse rivals biological ones in energy consumption June 21st, 2016

Marrying superconductors, lasers, and Bose-Einstein condensates: Chapman University Institute for Quantum Studies (IQS) member Yutaka Shikano, Ph.D., recently had research published in Scientific Reports June 20th, 2016

Stanford researchers find new ways to make clean hydrogen and rechargable zinc batteries June 18th, 2016

Ensuring the future affordability of wind turbines, computers and electric cars June 2nd, 2016

Events/Classes

Nanometrics to Participate in the 8th Annual CEO Investor Summit: Investor Event Held Concurrently with SEMICON West 2016 in San Francisco June 22nd, 2016

Leti Innovation Day in Lyon Will Explore New Security Challenges and Responses for a Safe Connected World June 15th, 2016

Call for NanoArt and Art-Science-Technology Papers June 9th, 2016

Novel gene therapy shows potential for lung repair in asthma May 18th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool': Rapid discovery power is similar to what gene chips offer biology June 25th, 2016

New generation of high-efficiency solar thermal absorbers developed June 20th, 2016

Novel capping strategy improves stability of perovskite nanocrystals: Study addresses instability issues with organometal-halide perovskites, a promising class of materials for solar cells, LEDs, and other applications June 13th, 2016

Perovskite solar cells surpass 20 percent efficiency: EPFL researchers are pushing the limits of perovskite solar cell performance by exploring the best way to grow these crystals June 13th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic