The scientific and technological issues associated with the use of solar energy are just as great as the potential this energy represents. New biomimetic and carbon-based approaches are currently being pursued for application in both photovoltaics and artificial photosynthesis.
Through artificial photosynthesis, the efficiency of the natural process could be increased in the long term through genetic engineering or synthetic biology, for example. This sort of bio-inspired energy research lies somewhere between bio and nanotechnology, with important input from molecular biology and microbiology. Light-dependent metal catalysis techniques, for example involving the photocatalytic conversion of CO2 to methanol, can be seen as alternative, complementary or supplementary approaches. Here, sunlight is absorbed by organic dyes and its energy used to activate CO2 in a combination of new catalytic processes and approaches from nanotechnology and materials research.
The aim of the project is to provide an early overview of the various research trends in this field and to establish the concrete demand for research in Germany with an eye to technical usability, for the period up to 2050.
ML = Member of the Leopoldina
Statement on Artificial Photosynthesis (2018, German)
Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society
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