Future Energy eNews, April 2012
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 23:17:18 GMT
Topic: General

Dear Subscriber,

We at IRI have been wondering if the US is on the verge of an energy revolution. Once again, we have a blockbuster #1 article.What could be better for the world than a clean replacement fuel which allows us to say, "We have the potential to use electricity as transportation fuel without needing to change current infrastructure." That is the best summary of the breakthrough discovery from UCLA just last month to store electricity very compactly as alcohol. Hopefully the DOE is listening and will offer billions to them instead of to a solar company that goes bankrupt.

Our story #2 gives us the hope that solar cells will organically integrate into all of the everyday products, including clothing. It looks a lot more hopeful than ever before with work done at the University of Tokyo.

Fusion just received a new shot in the arm with story #3 and Sandia Labs' simulation of a new magnetized inertial fusion (MIF) method that predicts a 50 times more efficient than using X-rays. It's like combining magnetic confinement (e.g., Tokamak) with inertial confinement (laser bombardment) to get the best of both worlds. Edging toward the successful cavitation sonofusion known to work on a microscopic scale, the MIF process maybe a commercial zinger sooner than we expected.

Story #4 shows that new, unheard of materials are still emerging, like porous metal films that are transparent. With applications aimed at fuel cells, batteries and solar energy, Cornell labs can make such films from a variety of metals.

Will algae farms ever compete with imported or domestic oil? Story #5 gives the bet to Sapphire energy with the support of the National Renewable Energy Lab and a loan guarantee from the US Agriculture Dept. Though 100 barrels of crude per day sounds like a lot, the operation will have to at least triple in order to become commercially competitive, which is within reach. Only time will tell!

Note that our wonderfully watchable and less than one hour DVD from SPESIF 2011 is now available with a discount (see below).


Thomas Valone, PhD 



Source: Future Energy eNews, April 2012

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