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Solar energy: the world’s leading scientists to meet in Palermo

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Sicily as the undisputed capital of solar energy. The island with the highest solar radiation in the Mediterranean will host the leading researchers in the field of solar energy who will take part in the annual international conference SuNEC “Sun New Energy Conference”, to be held in Palermo on 7 and 8 September 2016.

The SuNEC 2016 conference will take place at Sicily’s Government Building and is organized by the Italian National Research Council – CNR, University of Palermo and Legambiente Sicilia. The researchers will present the latest results of their research in the field of solar energy applied not only to electricity generation but also to the automotive sector, biofuel sector, purification systems and the pharmaceutical and food industries, with significant economic benefits for local economies which produce the raw materials found in nature.

The international conference, this year in its sixth edition and coordinated by Francesco Meneguzzo and Mario Pagliaro of CNR, will be opened by Percival Zhang, Director of the Biofuels and Carbohydrates Lab at Virginia Polytechnic University, who discovered, through synthetic biology techniques, how to produce hydrogen from carbohydrates and cellulose as well as energy from agricultural waste, and how to produce sugar-powered bio batteries with 10 times the energy storage of lithium-ion batteries.

SuNEC 2016 speakers include Wouter Maes (Materials Chemistry-Hasselt University, Belgium), who discovered the polymers that increase solar cell efficiency, and Henning Doescher (Physics of Conductors-University of Marburg), who developed a process that improves the production of hydrogen from water using sunlight.

“The solution to the global environmental and energy crisis passes also through Sicily – says Francesco Meneguzzo, IBIMET CNR, Florence – thanks to SuNEC, the international meeting of researchers, organized by CNR and held yearly in Palermo since 2011”.

“In Sicily – adds Mario Pagliaro, ISMN CNR Palermo and coordinator of Sicily’s Solar Pole – thanks to scientific research and the new materials applied to the various processes, it has been possible to virtually produce equal amounts of energy from alternative and traditional sources and to propose to the Sicilian Regional Assembly the ‘Guidelines’ to be translate into a single egulation for Municipalities and Superintendents for the installation of solar systems in old town centres and smaller islands. For this reason, CNR may open an institute in Sicily dedicated to solar energy and bioeconomy”.

Publication date 09/07/2016
Source CNR
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