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Towards Global Artificial Photosynthesis

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The first international conference dedicated to the creation of a Global Artificial Photosynthesis (GAP) project will be held under the auspices of the UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector at Lord Howe Island from 14-18 August 2011. The conference will feature experts in photovoltaics, hydrogen fuel cell, quantum coherence and governance research related to artificial photosynthesis.

With an expanding global population it is increasingly becoming clear that long-term energy and food production will need to draw more on the capacity of new technologies to collect and store sunlight in the form of chemical potential. Researchers in major national projects such as the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) in the US and Solar H network in Europe are now are actively redesigning photosynthesis in ways that may achieve low cost, localised, conversion of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into fuel for heating and cooking. Enhanced artificial photosynthesis, if applied equitably, could assist crop production on marginal lands, reduce atmospheric C02 levels, lower geopolitical and military tensions over fossil fuel, food and water scarcity and create carbon-neutral hydrogen fuel for domestic, community and industrial storage. To date, however, there has been no concerted effort to establish global collaborations, funding and governance structures for artificial photosynthesis.

This conference provides a unique forum for senior and junior researchers to discuss prospects for global collaboration in artificial photosynthesis in:

  • energy capture
  • energy conversion and storage
  • carbon fixation and
  • modified and synthetic biological processes.

It also aims to bring such researchers together for the first time with those involved in shaping the governance architecture for global artificial photosynthesis. For further information please visit the conference website.

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