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Special Issue: Solar Energy

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The Central Role of Chemistry in the Transition to Solar Economy: Outcomes of Two Lectures at the Russian Academy of Sciences

Mario Pagliaro*   

  1. Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
  • Received:2020-04-27 Revised:2020-05-12 Online:2020-12-20
  • Contact: Email: mario.pagliaro@cnr.it (M. P.)
  • Supported by:

Abstract: On June 8 and 9, 2017, I gave two invited lectures at the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry (ZIOC) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. The first lecture, “Sol-Gel Catalysts: Making Green Chemistry Possible”, focused on the practical outcomes of 25 years of research on sol-gel entrapped catalysts. The second, “Chemistry for the Bioeconomy: From Discussion to Action”, offered a critical insight to the forthcoming bioeconomy. Both lectures aroused much interest in the audience and ended with a vigorous discussion lasting about one hour. An outlook is provided in this study, whose core argument is that in the transition to the solar bioeconomy, chemistry will play a central role. In the latter economy, sunlight, water and wind replace fossil fuels to generate electricity that is then used for all energy end uses, while biomass replaces petroleum as raw material of the chemical industry with the oil refinery becoming a biorefinery.


Key words: sol-gel, solar energy, bioeconomy, catalysis, nanochemistry

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