Live Chat: Splitting Water to Store Energy
Courtesy of AAAS: news.sciencemag.org...
Today's guests. Richard Eisenberg is Tracy Harris Professor Emeritus and Professor (Research) at the University of Rochester whose research
includes photogeneration of hydrogen from water.
Aired later today: Thursday, 21 November, at 3 p.m. EST
Well, since I have a reputation for trampling every free energy/alternative energy thread that pops up I thought I would offer some balance. I am
never truly satisfied until I have pissed off believers and skeptics alike. (Always trying to remain in the middle enough for everyone to hate me.)
About a year ago we a thread discussion on the feasibility of hydrogen fuelled economy. The types of ideas being thrown around were solar arrays in
the desert (to maximize the solar collection capabilities) and then transport using liquid storage with hydrides. Personally, I think it's an
interesting concept but never did the math to calculate the actual feasibility in a manner that would qualify as "evidence" of feasibility.
In any case, some of the drawbacks with Hydrogen is major issues with storage and distribution, unless of course you store with hydrides, or employ
some type of fuel cell. (more chemicals needed).
And to simply convert the solar to hydrogen back to electrical, not only do you waste a ton of energy along the way (efficiencies) but you also lose
your load while it travels conventional distribution wires. These losses make this type of thing impossible in areas where solar collection can be
Many local areas that could house a solar array do not have optimal sunlight nor conditions & requirements needed. Some will argue that new tech can
harvest just as much solar energy in cloudy or sun conditions, but there is even newer tech which can provide some whopping numbers in desert
conditions, which I believe trumps the former.
In any case, I'm done, I have written this before reading about the discussion from the pros, so if I am wrong about anything, I am being schooled as
much as you.
When a plant uses the sun’s energy to split water molecules, it shuttles hydrogen (separated as protons and electrons) into a reaction sequence
to help it grow. But when scientists split water molecules in a type of artificial photosynthesis, the goal isn’t to grow an artificial plant.
It’s about storing energy in hydrogen as a fuel.
In order to replace a big fraction of fossil fuel power with solar power, we need a way to store energy from the bright noon sun to use at night or
when it’s cloudy. With artificial photosynthesis, scientists can make hydrogen under sunny skies to store energy, then turn it back into water when
they need the energy back. The idea has been around for decades, but lately there has been a flurry of new research. What’s the state of the art in
water-splitting? What are the obstacles to making it cheaper and more efficient? And will it really help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuel?
Join chemists John Turner of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Richard Eisenberg of the University of Rochester on Thursday, 21 November,
at 3 p.m. EST on this page for a live video chat where we discuss this burgeoning field of research and take your questions. Be sure to leave your
queries for our guests in the comment box below.
There is a brief write up about the conversation, for all interested parties, you can tune in later today. Should be interesting for anyone seriously
into the subject of alternative energy ideas.
edit on 21-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)