The continuing role of hydrocarbon fuels in any transition to a sustainable energy future
March 20 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Professor Peter P. Edwards
The King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST)–Oxford Petrochemical Centre of Excellence, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QR
Abstract: Global oil consumption may be coming to its peak but it will stay at around 100 mbd for a very long time. Pretending that fossil fuels will not continue to play their leading role in our energy future cannot be seen as a reflection of the reality of our energy usage. Fossil fuels are deeply and inextricably bound up with our modern civilisation. With the world’s ever-increasing demand for energy – particularly in the developing world – the bulk of that demand will continue to be met by fossil fuels. In addition, global warming presents us with undoubtedly the greatest test we humans have yet faced.
If we can, develop an energy economy which does not depend upon fossil fuels, all well and good. In the meantime, until renewable or sustainable energy sources supplant, or even come close to replacing fossil fuels, the leading challenges are clear…“Obtain maximum energy from fossil-derived hydrocarbon fuels, efficiently extracted and processed with minimum energy, then utilise – with renewable energy – their ultimate oxidative product, CO2, to establish one view of a transition to future totally renewable energy fuels”.
The purpose of this lecture is to provide a status report of our efforts over the past 5 years or so, through our KACST-Oxford Centre of Excellence in Petrochemicals, to advance new, innovative – and even nonconventional – technologies that reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.
I thank KACST for their generous financial support and Prince Turki Saud Mohammad Al Saud, Sir David King and Sir John Meurig Thomas for their continued support and encouragement.
Biography: Peter P. Edwards has been the recipient of the Corday-Morgan, Tilden and Liversidge Medals of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society. In 2012, he presented The Bakerian Prize Lecture of the Royal Society, was elected to an Einstein Professorship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and International Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded the Armourers and Brasiers’ Materials Science Venture Prize for his work on transparent conducting oxides. In 2013, he was elected to the Academia Europaea.
With H. Almegren and T. Xiao, in 2011, he established the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology-Oxford Petrochemical Research Centre (KOPRC), now designated as a centre of Excellence in Petrochemicals.
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