Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who needs fusion?

Whoop! Whoop!
US researchers say they have demonstrated how cells fuelled by bacteria can be "self-powered" and produce a limitless supply of hydrogen.


In their paper, Prof Logan and colleague Younggy Kim explained how an envisioned RED system would use alternating stacks of membranes that harvest this energy; the movement of charged atoms move from the saltwater to freshwater creates a small voltage that can be put to work.
As they say, it isn't economic - but then, no technology is when it's first invented. All economics tells us is how easy something is to achieve with the current technology/infrastructure. Changing that means that costs fall, and new processes become economic. Hopefully, this could develop faster than Fusion: after all, we're already at the proof of concept stage here, and the input costs will be lower than building a fusion plant. Energy from sea water. Wow. From their abstract:
There is a tremendous source of entropic energy available from the salinity difference between river water and seawater, but this energy has yet to be efficiently captured and stored. Here we demonstrate that H2 can be produced in a single process by capturing the salinity driven energy along with organic matter degradation using exoelectrogenic bacteria.

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