Our existence on earth is entirely dependent on photosynthesis, the process which nature uses to convert incident solar radiation into molecular energy. The energy stored as ‘solid sunlight' is regained when photosynthetically created biomass reacts with atmospheric oxygen to form CO2. The combustion powers a myriad of processes, from the biochemical processes that keep us alive, to generating the vast amounts of heat, mechanical and electrical energy that has allowed modern societies to flourish.
The price of our success has been a rapidly increasing human population and a dramatically increasing atmospheric concentration of CO2, leading to global warming. We are studying fundamental processes in both natural and artificial photosynthesis with the goal of utilizing solar energy as a source of storable energy to replace coal and oil.