‘Carbon replacing carbon’ – Importance of materials in clean energy transition
During the second half of this century, nearly all energy production needs to be carbon neutral according to the Paris Climate Agreement. Clean energy sources such as renewable energy and energy efficiency will play a key role in this major technology transition. Many of the new energy technologies rely on better materials to improve their efficiency and reduce costs. Nanomaterials and nanotechnology along with functional materials are examples of fields that may help to leapfrog in energy technology due to their superior properties. Carbon-based nanomaterials can be used in batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, among others to enhance charge transfer processes, catalytic activities or specific areas which in turn lead to major performance improvements. Many of the nanomaterials lend themselves to simple industrial scale-up e.g. in the form of roll-to-roll production, which could be a pathway to clean energy technology mass production. This talk will discuss the role of nanomaterials, in particular carbon-based, for energy applications.