Global Artificial Photosynthesis - Breakthroughs for the Sustainocene

Date & time

2pm Friday 9 September – 10pm Saturday 10 September 2016


The Community Hall

Lagoon Road, Lord Howe Island


Dan Nocera, Harvard
Dohyung Kim, Berkeley
KB Yoon, Sogang
Chennupati Jagadish, ANU


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Professor Tom Faunce
Lord Howe Island

The third international conference dedicated to developing the scientific breakthroughs and governance structures for globalising artificial photosynthesis and promoting its role in environmental and social sustainability will be held 9-11 September 2016 at Lord Howe Island, a beautiful world heritage-listed site in the South Pacific.

Synthetic or artificial photosynthesis, if distributed globally, could allow every road, house and vehicle on the earth’s surface to make renewable fuel, fertilizer and food by using sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen while absorbing atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Artificial photosynthesis can help cities contribute ethically to natural ecosystem sustainability, assist desert crop production and forestation, reduce atmospheric CO2 levels, lower geopolitical and military tensions over fossil fuel, food and water scarcity, take resource pressure off and promote rights of natural ecosystems; by creating low-cost, globally distributed carbon-neutral hydrogen and ammonia fuel and fertilizer for domestic, community and industrial use as well as biochar for soil enrichment.

The aim of the conference is to promote and assist the integration of artificial photosynthesis research with a range of disciplines related to environmental sustainability and human flourishing, including those promoting the vision of humanity as principled ecosystem steward in a Sustainocene epoch. In particular it will focus on developing links to and support from initiatives such as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition by which a group of influential philanthropists aims to foster, patient, flexible risk capital to bring sustainable energy innovations such as artificial photosynthesis to market.  It will also seek to seek to establish links with UNESCO sustainability, ethics and governance initiatives. It will foster international collaboration and strategies for funding through a global effort in five key areas of global artificial photosynthesis:

  • a. Electricity generation and storage (i.e., via fuel cells)
  • b. Energy dense zero carbon transportation fuels
  • c. Zero carbon fuels for Industrial use;
  • d. Sustainable ammonia fertilizer to assist agriculture; and
  • e. Role of artificial photosynthesis in global energy system efficiency and sustainability
  • f. Global collaborations, governance, ethics, policy structures and models.

The conference will allow participants including representatives from academia, governments, UNESCO and sustainability initiatives such as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to interact in unique, intimate surrounds of this beautiful World Heritage site with some of the world’s leading experts in artificial photosynthesis, nanotechnology and global governance of artificial photosynthesis


  • Daniel G. Nocera »

    Professor Daniel G. Nocera is the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University. He is widely recognized in the world as a leading researcher in renewable energy. His group has pioneered studies of the basic mechanisms of energy conversion in biology and chemistry with a particular focus on multielectron transformations and the coupling of protons to electron transfer (i.e., proton-coupled electron transfer).

  • Peidong Yang »

    Professor Peidong Yang joined the faculty in the department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1999. He is currently professor in the Department of Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering; and a senior faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is S. K. and Angela Chan Distinguished Chair Professor in Energy. He was recently elected as MRS Fellow, and the member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

  • KB Yoon »

    Professor Kyung Byung Yoon has been at the Department of Chemistry at Sogang University since 1989. He has a PhD from the University of Houston.

  • Chennupati Jagadish »

    Professor Chennupati Jagadish moved to ANU in 1990 and is currently Distinguished Professor and Head of Semiconductor Optoelectronics and Nanotechnology Group in the Department of EME, RSPE, the ANU. He is also serving as Director of ANFF, ACT node and Convenor of the Australian Nanotechnology Network.   He has served as Vice-President and Secretary Physical Sciences of the Australian Academy of Science and Vice-President of the IEEE Photonics Society.   His research interests include compound semiconductor optoelectronics and nanotechnology. He holds honorary appointments at UESTC, Chengdu, Nanjing University, Tokyo University and Anna University.

  • James Blackmore »

    Associate Professor James Blackmore was a Senior Postdoctoral Scholar in Chemistry, 2012-2015 at the California Institute of Technology, and before that, received a PhD in Chemistry in 2012 from Yale University. 

  • Shunichi Fukuzumi »

    Shunichi Fukuzumi graduated in 1973 from Tokyo Institute of Technology, PhD in 1978 from the Doctor Course of the Graduate School of Tokyo Institute of Technology. His fields of interest include Electron Transfer Chemistry, Redox Chemistry of Coenzyme Analogs, Organometallic Chemistry, Photochemistry, and Coordination Chemistry.

  • Kylie Catchpole »

    Associate Professor Kylie Catchpole is at the Research School of Engineering at the Australian National University. Her research interests are in nanotechnology and new materials for solar cell applications.  She has a physics degree from the ANU, winning a University Medal, and a PhD from the ANU. She was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of New South Wales and the FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Amsterdam. She has published over 90 papers, which have been cited over 5700 times to date.  Her work on plasmonic solar cells has been featured in the news sections of Science magazine and The Economist and in 2010 her work on nanophotonic light trapping was listed as one of MIT Technology Review’s ‘10 most important emerging technologies’.

  • Wojciech Lipinski »

    Research interests are in thermal and chemical sciences, optics, and applications to energy, environmental and space engineering. The focus is on development of processes, components and systems that use high-flux solar radiation for production of fuels, materials and power.

  • Michael Nolan »

    Dr Michael Nolan's primary interest is in applying first principles modelling to metal oxides, in particular in the following research themes: Design of New Catalysts for Methanol Synthesis from syn gas and Metal Oxides in Renewable Energy Applications. 

  • Alex Bruce »

    Associate Professor Alex Bruce is an ordained Buddhist Monk in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition and an Associate Professor with the ANU College of Law where he has taught since 1999.  He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

    In September 2016, Alex travels to the University of Oxford where he will spend the next three years working for his DPhil in Theology.  Alex's thesis will focus on Buddhist-Christian dialogue.

  • Tom Faunce »

    Professor Tom Faunce's main research interest is governance of global artificial photosynthesis and its implications for environmental sustainability. In this area he has published articles in Energy and Environmental Sciencewith leading experts in the field calling for a macroscience Global Artificial Photosynthesis Project andgreater collaboration in artificial photosynthesis and organised the first international conference on this theme at Lord Howe Island in 2011, as an official event in the UNESCO International Year of Chemistry

Additional Materials

Research theme: 


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