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May 11, 2009

The Role of Chemistry in Defining the Future Energy Supply

Daniel G. Nocera, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (USA)
Plenary Lecture at ACHEMA
Wednesday, 13 May 2009, 1.30 p.m.
CMF, Harmonie 1
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The supply of secure, clean, sustainable enery is arguably the most important scientific and technical challenge facing humanity in the 21st century. Rising living standards of a growing world population will cause global energy consumption to increase dramatically over the next half century. This additional energy needed is simply not attainable from long discussed sources – these include nuclear, biomass, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric. The global appetite for energy is simply too much. Petroleum-based fuel sources (i.e., coal, oil and gas) could be increased. However, deleterious consequences resulting from external drivers of economy, the environment, and global security dictate that this energy need be met by renewable and sustainable sources. The basic science needed for the development of a large scale carbon-neutral energy system will be the focus of this talk with an emphasis on the role of chemistry in addressing the energy challenge.

Daniel G. Nocera is the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on basic mechanisms of energy conversion in biology and chemistry.


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