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Quote from source:
Scientists have discovered how a rare metal is able to absorb sunlight and store it as pure heat until it is needed.
The breakthrough paves the way for the next generation of solar power devices that are able to harness energy and heat collected from the sun and store it indefinitely.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say it could be used to create a ‘rechargeable heat battery’ that could be used to heat a home.
The remarkable material is known as fulvalene diruthenium. When a molecule of the substance absorbs sunlight it changes shape into a semi-stable, but perfectly safe, state.
It can stay like this indefinitely until combined with a catalyst when it will snap back to its original form releasing a huge amount of heat. This heat could then be used to heat a home.
The problem of ruthenium’s rarity and cost still remains as “a dealbreaker,” Grossman said, but now that the fundamental mechanism of how the molecule works is understood, it should be easier to find other materials that exhibit the same behavior. This molecule “is the wrong material, but it shows it can be done,” he said.
Link to the MIT Article.
Fine Tuning Photosynthesis article from MIT.
The new work, which looks at artificial photosynthetic systems based on self-assembling molecules designed by researchers at of the University of California, Berkeley, follows a paper they published in October in the New Journal of Physics that examined the factors that determine the efficiency of natural photosynthesis.
Inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants, Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera's lab, have developed an unprecedented process that will allow the sun's energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Later, the oxygen and hydrogen may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power your house or your electric car, day or night.
Originally posted by iamcamouflage
reply to post by predator0187
Very cool, or I guess hot new metal. Looks like a lot of potential for heating and more importantly storing of energy. Could this result in a new kind of battery?
Looks like this metal comes from ruthenium, which is mined. Who has the most deposits of ruthenium?
Heads up (foreign country), the US is going to bomb the be-jesus out of you to obtain this metal if you happen to have it within your borders.edit on 1-12-2010 by iamcamouflage because: (no reason given)