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Tonight we hear from two brilliant speakers about the topic "clean energy". Ian Thompson will discuss how we could engineer microbes to produce clean energy from waste in the environment. Moritz will make us think about organic solar cells - how they have gone from a "lab curiosity" to an available product.
Bugs Life: a route to sustainability
Ian Thompson (Professor of Engineering Science)
Ian trained as a microbial ecologist and gradually moved to engineering microorganisms for dealing with environmental problems. This includes using physical, chemical, and engineering approaches, such as ultrasound, to control and stimulate beneficial microbial processes. A key area of interest is conversion of waste carbon to useful products, such as bioplastics.
Organic solar cells - What? How? & Why?
Moritz Riede (Professor of Soft Functional Nanomaterials)
Clean energy will be key for creating a more sustainable future, and solar energy will be pivotal to achieve this goal. The solar cells developed in our laboratory here in Oxford for converting sunlight into electricity are not based on silicon, the material of most solar cells currently sold, but on organic semiconductors. Over the years, organic solar cells have developed from a lab curiosity to the first products hitting the market, and they are already now the cleanest solar cell technology and have the potential to become the cheapest form for providing green electricity globally.