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MIT primed to unleash solar revolution

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Posted by RF on August 1, 2008, 1:53 am

'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar
Scientists mimic essence of plants' energy storage

Anne Trafton, News Office
July 31, 2008

In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar
power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a
mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have
overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar
power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't

Posted by Eeyore on August 1, 2008, 2:37 am

RF wrote:

By converting it to hydrogen and oxygen ?

What's revolutionary about that ? There's a lot of bogus science on that
page too like the idea you can split water into 'just' oxygen or

Whatever happened to MIT ?


Posted by RicodJour on August 1, 2008, 4:33 am

You misread the article...or didn't read it at all.  You also placed
your quotation marks around the wrong word.  Nowhere does it say that
they are splitting 'just water' into 'just one gas'.  The article did
say they, "have developed an unprecedented process that will allow the
sun's energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen

The article did say, "The key component in Nocera and Kanan's new
process is a new catalyst that produces oxygen gas from water; another
catalyst produces valuable hydrogen gas."

The guy they quoted in the article doesn't appear to be a lightweight
nor agree with your skepticism.  "This is a major discovery with
enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind," said
Barber, the Ernst Chain Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College
London. "The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated since
it opens up the door for developing new technologies for energy
production thus reducing our dependence for fossil fuels and
addressing the global climate change problem."

In case you're not familiar with Imperial College -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_College_London .  Then again,
he's only a silly professor and you read one article about it on the
interweb, so I'm sure you're right.


Posted by Eeyore on August 1, 2008, 10:06 am

RicodJour wrote:

Well, the article was badly written at least. It was ambiguous IMHO.

But no numbers about efficiency. And there's all the usual hydrogen storage
problems still.

I was offered a place at Imperial as it happens. Went to UCL instead.


Posted by RicodJour on August 1, 2008, 3:08 pm

No, it wasn't.  Your opinion apparently precluded your reading

Would you like your perfect solution wrapped up with a bow and
installed free of charge?  Sheesh.

Uh huh.


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