25 February, 2019
Plenary speaker, Dan Nocera, presented a solar power produced bio-fertiliser, that could radically improve crop yields, help sequester and store carbon in soil, and dramatically reduce the amount of farming run-off ending up in rivers.
Harvard professor Dan Nocera has long been electrifying the scientific world with his work on harnessing the untapped potential of solar energy. But his research into the creation of a new type of fertiliser, shared at the MacDiarmid Institute’s AMN9 conference, could have dramatic implications for New Zealand.
It’s always an interesting question to ask someone what they’d do if the New Zealand government gave them a billion dollars to work on a project. For Harvard University professor Dan Nocera, who has been a Plenary speaker at the MacDiarmid Institute’s AMN9 conference this week, the answer is simple.
He’d build a pilot reactor, two or three stories high, which could house his bionic photosynthesis technology. From there, it could pump out bio-fertiliser that could radically improve crop yields, help sequester huge amounts of carbon and store it in the soil, and dramatically reduce the amount of runoff from farming that ends up in rivers. The kicker? “I wouldn’t need a billion, I’ve built pilots before. I think with $25 million you could get really solid data. I want to get a pilot to the point where a major partner could come in and engineer the hell out of it, and then start widespread implementation.”...