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International solar fuels conference 2021

26 - 29 July 2021, United Kingdom



You are warmly invited to join us in July 2021 for this online edition of the International solar fuels conference. The first meeting of this internationally renowned conference was held in Uppsala, Sweden in 2015, and since then the meetings have been a highlight for the global solar fuels community.
Organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry in partnership with the University of Grenoble and Uppsala University, the 2021 conference will host some of the leading solar fuels researchers from around the world. It promises to be a great forum to bring together research leaders and young scientists to discuss the main issues surrounding climate change and energy supply. 

We’re delighted to be also hosting the Young conference immediately preceding the main conference. The Young conference aims to give as many young researchers as possible the opportunity to present, and will also include keynote talks from mentoring experts and careers advice from the RSC.
On behalf of the organising committee, we look forward to meeting you online in July 2021.
Conference Co-chairs
Vincent Artero, CEA
Leif Hammarström, Uppsala Universitet
Ann Magnuson, Uppsala Universitet
Eric Maréchal, CNRS


The programme will explore all aspects of direct solar fuel production, combining biological, molecular and solid state approaches. The main themes include:
  • Multi-electron/multi-proton catalysis (homogeneous, heterogeneous, enzymatic and bioinspired processes)
  • Light-harvesting and light-driven processes
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Photobiological approaches
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Devices and demonstration: robustness, sustainability and upscale


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance.
Harry Gray (Introductory Lecture), Caltech, United States

Harry Gray is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and the Founding Director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. After graduate work at Northwestern University and postdoctoral research at the University of Copenhagen, he joined the chemistry faculty at Columbia University, where in the early 1960s he developed ligand field theory to interpret the electronic structures of transition metal complexes. After moving to Caltech in 1966, he began work in inorganic photochemistry that led to the development of light absorbers and robust catalysts for the production of solar fuels. He also began research in biological inorganic chemistry, demonstrating that electrons can tunnel rapidly over long molecular distances through metalloproteins. This discovery opened the way for work that shed light on electron flow in respiration and photosynthesis. He has received the Centenary Medal (1985); the National Medal of Science (1986); the Linderstrøm-Lang Prize (1992); the Harvey Prize (2000); the Benjamin Franklin Medal (2004); the Wolf Prize (2004); the City of Florence Prize (2006); the Welch Award in Chemistry (2009); the Othmer Gold Medal (2013); the T. W. Richards Medal (2014); the MacDiarmid Medal (2017); the Westheimer Prize (2018); the Cotton Medal (2018); seven national ACS awards, including the Priestley Medal (1991); and 22 honorary doctorates. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; a foreign member of the Royal Society; Royal Danish Academy of Sciences; Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; and the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

Frédéric Beisson, CNRS, France

Frédéric Beisson obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Aix-Marseille in 1999 working on plant lipid bodies and lipases. He then joined in 2001 the laboratory of Pr. John Ohlrogge at the Plant Biology Department of Michigan State University as a postdoctoral fellow to work on the biosynthesis of the plant lipid polyesters cutin and suberin. He was appointed as a permanent researcher at the CNRS in 2008 in Bordeaux and is currently a CNRS research director at the Institute of Biosciences and Biotechnologies in Cadarache, southern France.
Throughout his career Fred has focused on enzyme discovery in plant and algal lipid metabolism. He is currently investigating the biological roles, mechanism and biotechnological applications of the fatty acid photodecarboxylase he has discovered a few years ago in microalgae.

Tiago Guerra, A4F - Algae for Future, Portugal

Tiago Guerra holds a biology degree from the School of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, in 2001, and a Chemistry PhD in algal biotechnologies from Princeton University, in 2013. Since then, during 7 years at A4F, Algae for Future, first as a post-Doc and after as a Senior Project manager, he managed several international R&D projects. As the R&D executive officer at A4F, he was responsible for the development of all National and international competitive R&D grants and for the operations of the Laboratory and Pilot Unit. His focus was to develop microalgae production technologies and applications that could be scalable for industrial implementation in synergy with other industrial processes and activities. His increased interest in the algae markets and applications business, led to him pursuing an MBA at Católica | Nova | MIT Joint program. He has recently become the manager of the newly formed company Algikey, Algae based solutions. Algikey belongs to the A4F group and focuses on the commercialization of algae biomass and products for food, feed, cosmetic and other applications. He is driven by sustainability issues and focused on delivering value to customers with algae-based products.

Pia Lindberg, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden

Dr. Pia Lindberg obtained her PhD at Uppsala University, Sweden in 2003, followed by postdoctoral work at CEA Saclay and at the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley. Throughout her career she has focused on engineering of photosynthetic microbes for generation of solar fuels and chemicals. She is currently an associate professor at Uppsala University, where her group is developing metabolically engineered cyanobacteria for direct production of terpenes and other useful hydrocarbon compounds from CO2. 

Ted Sargent , University to Toronto, Canada

Ted Sargent holds the rank of University Professor at the University of Toronto, where he has been on the faculty since 1998. He earned the BScEng (Engineering Physics) from Queen’s University in 1995 and the PhD from the University of Toronto in 1998.

Kevin Sivula, EPFL, Switzerland

Originally from the United States, Prof. Sivula studied at the University of Minnesota, obtaining a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering in 2002, and at the University of California, Berkeley, completing a doctorate in 2007 under the direction of Prof. Jean Fréchet. He then joined Prof. Michael Grätzel’s group at EPFL as a postdoc, and in 2011 he began an independent research program in the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering at EPFL, where he was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering in 2018. He directs the Laboratory for molecular engineering of optoelectronic nanomaterials (LIMNO), and teaches courses in transport phenomena, chemical product design, and solar energy conversion.

Li-Zhu Wu, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Li-Zhu Wu received her B.S. degree in chemistry from Lanzhou University in 1990, and got her Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Photographic Chemistry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, under the supervision of Professor Chen-Ho Tung in 1995. From 1995−1998, she worked at the Institute of Photographic Chemistry as an associate professor. After a postdoctoral stay (1997−1998) at the University of Hong Kong working with Professor Chi-Ming Che, she returned to the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as a full professor. In 2019, Professor Li-Zhu Wu was elected as a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Her research interests are focused on photochemical conversion, including artificial photosynthesis, visible light catalysis for organic transformation, and photoinduced electron transfer, energy transfer and chemical reactions in supramolecular systems.

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts

Oral submissions are now closed. 

Abstract submitters will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 4 weeks of the submission deadline. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting speaker.

Presenters of the best oral presentations at the Young conference will also be asked to present at the main conference. This will be judged on the day by the Young committee.

Poster Abstracts 

Poster submissions are now closed. Posters will be displayed under one of the six themes:
  • Multi-electron/multi-proton catalysis
  • Light-harvesting and light-driven processes
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Photobiological approaches
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Devices and demonstration: robustness, sustainability and upscale 
Posters accepted for the Young conference will also be displayed at the main conference.

Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and some will be selected for Flash poster presentations. Poster Prizes will also be awarded to the best posters presented.

Registration is now closed. 

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the virtual sessions
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Attendance at the networking sessions
Registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
Type Cost
RSC Members* £55
Non Members** £75
Student RSC Members* £25
Student Non Members** £35

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

**For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry for 2022 is available, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 

Scientific programme

A PDF of the full scientific programme can be downloaded from the Downloads section at the top of the page.

Plenary talks

The plenary talks will be available to view 1 week prior to the conference. The conference programme will include a Q&A panel with our invited plenary speakers so please ensure to submit any questions when viewing the talks, prior to the main programme. Information on accessing the talks and submitting questions will be shared closer to the conference date to all registered delegates. 

Energy journals and Open Science at the RSC 

28 July at 16:00 (BST)
This presentation will give an introduction to the Royal Society of Chemistry and its energy journals, and will give an overview of open science at the Royal Society of Chemistry. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the session.

May Copsey, Executive Editor, Chemical Science, Royal Society of Chemistry
May Copsey is currently the Executive Editor for Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship journal, Chemical Science. She joined the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2006 as an Assistant Editor and has worked on a variety of different journals during this time, including Dalton Transactions, CrystEngComm and Journal of Materials Chemistry. She was Executive Editor for the Analytical portfolio of journals for four years, before moving to take over the General Chemistry portfolio, including Chemical Science, ChemComm and Chemical Society Reviews in 2015. She has had the pleasure of leading an editorial team dedicated to Chemical Science since June of 2018. May is a main group chemist by training, as before joining the RSC she worked for three years as Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Calgary, after completing a PhD in main group chemistry at the University of Bristol.
Grace Thoburn, Developments Editor, Journals, Royal Society of Chemistry
Grace Thoburn is a Development Editor, and has worked across Energy & Environmental Science, Sustainable Energy & Fuels and the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environmental Science journals since June 2020. She joined the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2018 as a Publishing Editor, working on the Journal of Materials Chemistry portfolio. Before joining the RSC, Grace studied Biochemistry at Imperial College London.

Meet the Editor 

28 July at 14:30 (BST),  29 July at 15:30 and 17:00 (BST) 
Interact and engage with Royal Society of Chemistry journal editors in this virtual room. Whatever the stage of your research career, be a part of discussions and gain meaningful insights on publishing, peer review, ethics and more.

Editors: May Copsey (Royal Society of Chemistry), Grace Thoburn (Royal Society of Chemistry), Vincent Artero (CEA), Garry Rumbles (National Renewable Energy Laboratory and University of Colorado Boulder) 

Mission Innovation IC5 

29th July, 11:30 – 13:30 CEST
IC5 is a global initiative to discover affordable ways to convert sunlight into storable solar fuels. This event will provide the latest updates on Mission Innovation IC5 projects and international roadmaps, followed by a panel discussion with the roadmap presenters. It is organised as a satellite event to the RSC International Solar Fuels Conference and is organised by Mission Innovation IC5 and Sun-To-X (a Mission Innovation H2020 project). 

Further information is available in the "Downloads" section at the top of this web page, including a link to register to attend the satellite meeting. 

Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the International solar fuels conference 2021.

As well as booking a virtual exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor networking events or advertise in the abstract book. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the International solar fuels conference 2021, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu

Online, United Kingdom

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