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[GK] Researchers Make Fuel From Sunlight With New Reactor.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-fuel-sunlight

Quote:
A simple reactor that mimics plants by turning sunlight into fuel has been demonstrated in the laboratory, boosting hopes for a large-scale renewable source of liquid fuel.

"We have a big energy problem and we have to think big," said Prof Sossina Haile, at the California Institute of Technology, who led the research.

Haile estimates that a rooftop reactor could produce about three gallons of fuel a day. She thinks transport fuels would be the first application of the reactor, if it goes on to commercial use. But she said an equally important use for the renewable fuels would be to store solar energy so it is available at times of peak demand, and overnight. She says the first improvements that will be made to the existing reactor will be to improve the insulation to help stop heat loss, a simple move that she expects to treble the current efficiency.
At last, California is doing something with all that sunlight they get!
post #2 of 9
None of this alternate **** will ever see daylight
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SadSoul View Post
will ever see daylight
Ok, that was pretty clever
post #4 of 9
haha that was fairly clever!
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post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by SadSoul View Post
None of this alternate **** will ever see daylight
Unfortunately it's true too. It's incredible how much power the oil companies have (and the lengths they have allegedly gone to keep it). I hope these guys document their findings well. They might find a poisoned spaghetti dinner tonight.

If I ever discover something world-changing... I may just hire a double.
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post #6 of 9
On a more appropriate note. This is HUGE! The biggest issue with solar/wind/geothermal/water energy is storing it. Batteries are largely inefficient, and compressing gases also has its disadvantages. Recreating liquid fuel is genius.
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post #7 of 9
3 gallons/day in such a small area would be huge, but as always it depends on long term cost/gallon.

Let's just say 2 gallons/day average at 3$ per gallon, that's about 6500$ in 3 years. Now how much would producing one of these units cost (on a mass production basis)?
post #8 of 9
The problem I see with this is "transportation fuels" being used the most first. If you used those 3 gallons of fuel to run a generator to power your house at night (solar during the day), recharging batteries for electricity storage and charging your electric car you can solve more problems in one shot rather than focusing on fuel only to be burned in a vehicle. It reduces the load on the power grid, thus dumping less CO2 in the air, and you as the consumer can be more energy flexible. Good concept though, and I hope by adding this technology to solar (electricity generation and water heating) and wind energy, this is a very good combination IMO.
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbird View Post
3 gallons/day in such a small area would be huge, but as always it depends on long term cost/gallon.

Let's just say 2 gallons/day average at 3$ per gallon, that's about 6500$ in 3 years. Now how much would producing one of these units cost (on a mass production basis)?
As long as it's close to that, when it goes commercial, and keep in mind by the time it goes commercial the prices of gas will be even higher. Also, the cost of it right now doesn't matter, because it provides us with a viable renewable fuel source, regardless of how much it costs. Over time the production will become more refined, and it will become cheaper to make.
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