Energy from Water and Sunlight

Ken G.
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Energy from Water and Sunlight

    This seems to hold a lot potential for our species,not nto mention the environment.   www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos/alternative-energy/mits-dan-nocera-creates-energyfrom-water-sunlight.html

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Ken G.
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Ooops ! link is broke ?

     I F<>ked - up somewhere,sorry if you wasted your time.  

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Desdenova
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I found a working video of

I found a working video of it through google. But my internet here is via satellite relay and highly dependent upon the weather, local usage, internet elves, and the will of the sun god Shamash, so streaming is more like trickling. I might get to watch it in an hour.

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Desdenova
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I managed to get the video

I managed to get the video to run, and it is great that he has found an effective catalyst for separating water into hydrogen and oxygen. There are still some problems before this becomes the cure for what ails our energy crunch though.

1. What effect will the catalyst have on the environment?

2. How will we increase the energy efficiency to get better than a 30% input/output exchange?

3. Will this not eventually just make water the new oil complete with the risk of running out?

4. How will we have to modify vehicles using such a volatile fuel to ensure safety, and will those modifications increase the energy expenditure of the vehicles?

 

I'm not trying to be a naysayer, but hydrogen fuel still needs a lot of technology applied to it before it solves our problems. Things like this are a great start, but I have to wonder if it is too little too late.

 

It takes a village to raise an idiot.

Save a tree, eat a vegetarian.

Sometimes " The Majority " only means that all the fools are on the same side.


cj
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Looks like someone moved it

Looks like someone moved it -

http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos/alternative-energy/mits-dan-nocera-creates-energyfrom-water--sunlight.html

Notice the two dashes before "sunlight" instead of one.

But also, this site has videos for cold fusion.  The trend seems to be flaky at best.

No matter how efficient his catalyst is, O2 is still the fuel you wind up with.  And the materials to make his catalyst and the solar cells that produce the electricity required for electrolysis still follow the 2LOT.  Dinner will still be produced in the same old fashioned manner.

Maybe his idea will lead to some breakthroughs.  Hard to tell at this point.

edit:  O2 and H2 are the fuels you get - apologies.  Yes, O2 is a fuel but is not seriously considered for general use given how dangerous it is.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Blake
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Desdenova wrote:I managed to

Desdenova wrote:

I managed to get the video to run, and it is great that he has found an effective catalyst for separating water into hydrogen and oxygen.

 

I only saw the first couple seconds of the video due to streaming problems, but that told me most of what I needed to know.  "There is so much energy in water"?  Bullshit, this guy is a terrible science popularist- I don't know how he got away with that.

 

The only way there is potentially energy in water is through fusion.  In our environment, that combination (water) is a very low state of potential chemical energy.  Throughout the universe, even, it is- short of in stars.

 

Regarding a "catalyst", though:

 

There is no such possible catalyst that can separate hydrogen and oxygen on its own.  The nature of a catalyst is that it isn't used up in a reaction.  The reaction to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen requires energy input; any chemical providing that input would be used up (there are *many* elements that can tear the oxygen of water, but that doesn't qualify as a catalyst).

A catalytic converter on a car works because the chemical reaction of degrading the exhaust further yields energy rather than requiring it (by further oxidizing CO with O3, etc.).

Modern steam electrolysis is as close as you can come to efficient at converting water into hydrogen and oxygen; converting liquid water is largely a waste of energy do to the latent heat of state change (liquid into gas), which produces quite a bit of waste.  High temperature steam electrolysis using heat from nuclear reactors is currently our best bet for a reliable source of hydrogen in the future.

 

Looking into what this guy is actually researching, all he has done is developed a potentially cheaper anode.  That's all I can find.  The anode is the receptor that rips the electrons off the oxygen ions, liberating it from the solution.  It still needs electricity, and it still needs another cathode (which is still Platinum, as it has been for ages). 

That's fine, but we have plenty of other people doing the same thing, and the sensationalism here is, well, absurd.  This guy is saying he's freed the world from electric grids- he has some messianic complex or something.  I think he needs therapy.

 

 

Desdenova wrote:
1. What effect will the catalyst have on the environment?

None, it's not released into the environment.  This is done in a small closed system.  It could be a lead-mercury-antimony compound if it worked.

 

Desdenova wrote:
2. How will we increase the energy efficiency to get better than a 30% input/output exchange?

 

This really doesn't do much at all.  The hype is probably proportional to his exaggeration and what seems to be a messianic complex.  I don't know who is responsible for that- his parents, maybe?  What I've seen and read has been very strange.  Every tiny step is good, but this isn't exactly a revelation- or new- every researcher and their dogs are working on this, and there are potential contributions coming out all of the time.

 

Desdenova wrote:
3. Will this not eventually just make water the new oil complete with the risk of running out?

No.

Water isn't a source of energy, this is only a battery.  One can use the same water over and over, just like any rechargable battery.  When the energy is stored, it turns into hydrogen and oxygen. When the energy is used up, it turns back into water.

Even if this did use of the water (which fusion does so- though this is not fusion), we have more water than we could ever use up.  Seriously.  Water is something like the second most common molecule in the universe after diatomic Hydrogen.  And the only process that uses it up (fusion) currently only uses the hydrogen, which is the most common element in the universe.  It's what the universe is largely made of- we could never run out.

 

Desdenova wrote:
4. How will we have to modify vehicles using such a volatile fuel to ensure safety, and will those modifications increase the energy expenditure of the vehicles?

 

This isn't primarily for vehicles- hydrogen is not dense enough- imagine a fuel tank larger than your car full of literal gas.  This is for home use, where large tanks could be easily and economically installed.  During the day, you'd use the solar power, and excess would be used to top off the tanks, and at night you'd use up the stored energy.

Vehicles need more dense energy storage.  That means we'll probably be using rechargeable Lithium ion batteries and similar technologies (I'm sure there will be some small advances) for the foreseeable future.  One thing that probably will change, though, is that gas motors will be dumped and range extending "super batteries" based on ultra high energy density materials like Aluminum will be included as backups.  These batteries wouldn't be able to be recharged (though they can be recycled), but they'd eliminate range anxiety.  Though a bit more expensive to use than recharging, it's better than being stranded.

 

cj wrote:

edit:  O2 and H2 are the fuels you get - apologies.  Yes, O2 is a fuel but is not seriously considered for general use given how dangerous it is.

 

Well, all his anode might do is improve electrolysis on the O2 side slightly- maybe that's where you got that?

O2 isn't usually considered a "fuel" on Earth, because it's readily available in the atmosphere.  It's what is lacking (reducing agents) that are the fuel source.  On a planet with a methane atmosphere, it's the Oxygen that would be the fuel because the hydrocarbons are readily available in the atmosphere.  The notion of "fuel" is kind of subjective- what we're really talking about here is chemical potential energy.

Both are essential components of combustion, though, and combined in a pure form (rather than diluted by Nitrogen and other gases) the reaction is much more substantial.  You can burn an iron nail like a firework in pure oxygen- it's fun- but all it results in is much faster rusting (it does that in normal atmosphere too, just in very slow motion).  Pure oxygen is only dangerous because almost everything around us (including ourselves) is really fuel; the concentration of oxygen just isn't high enough to cause sustained combustion in most cases (unless it's really hot).  There are some nice diagrams that plot oxygen concentration v.s. heat and humidity for spontaneous uncontrolled fires.


cj
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Blake wrote:cj wrote:edit: 

Blake wrote:

cj wrote:

edit:  O2 and H2 are the fuels you get - apologies.  Yes, O2 is a fuel but is not seriously considered for general use given how dangerous it is.

 

Well, all his anode might do is improve electrolysis on the O2 side slightly- maybe that's where you got that?

O2 isn't usually considered a "fuel" on Earth, because it's readily available in the atmosphere.  It's what is lacking (reducing agents) that are the fuel source.  On a planet with a methane atmosphere, it's the Oxygen that would be the fuel because the hydrocarbons are readily available in the atmosphere.  The notion of "fuel" is kind of subjective- what we're really talking about here is chemical potential energy.

Both are essential components of combustion, though, and combined in a pure form (rather than diluted by Nitrogen and other gases) the reaction is much more substantial.  You can burn an iron nail like a firework in pure oxygen- it's fun- but all it results in is much faster rusting (it does that in normal atmosphere too, just in very slow motion).  Pure oxygen is only dangerous because almost everything around us (including ourselves) is really fuel; the concentration of oxygen just isn't high enough to cause sustained combustion in most cases (unless it's really hot).  There are some nice diagrams that plot oxygen concentration v.s. heat and humidity for spontaneous uncontrolled fires.

 

I was thinking of rockets and shuttles and stuff.  Then I realized from desdenova's  post that some might think of the hydrogen being produced as the desired fuel.  And then what little chemistry I have studied deserted me in a fit of disgust.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.