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Published August 14, 2013 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Frontiers, Opportunities, and Challenges in Biochemical and Chemical Catalysis of CO_2 Fixation


Two major energy-related problems confront the world in the next 50 years. First, increased worldwide competition for gradually depleting fossil fuel reserves (derived from past photosynthesis) will lead to higher costs, both monetarily and politically. Second, atmospheric CO_2 levels are at their highest recorded level since records began. Further increases are predicted to produce large and uncontrollable impacts on the world climate. These projected impacts extend beyond climate to ocean acidification, because the ocean is a major sink for atmospheric CO2.1 Providing a future energy supply that is secure and CO_2-neutral will require switching to nonfossil energy sources such as wind, solar, nuclear, and geothermal energy and developing methods for transforming the energy produced by these new sources into forms that can be stored, transported, and used upon demand.

Additional Information

© 2013 American Chemical Society. Received: November 19, 2012; Published: June 14, 2013. This article evolved from presentations and discussion at the workshop "Frontiers, Opportunities, and Challenges in the Biochemical and Chemical Catalysis of CO2" held in October 2011, in Annapolis, Maryland, sponsored by the Council on Chemical and Biochemical Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The authors thank the members of the Council for their encouragement and assistance in developing this workshop. In addition, the authors are indebted to the agencies responsible for funding of their individual research efforts, without which this work would not have been possible.

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