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Very Interesting.


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Fuel cells are fud. They're up there with Nuclear Fusion; 10-20 years away - always.

The article is biased rubbish too. They say "Another concern, not voiced by Kato (and therefore made up rubbish), is the high environmental cost of lithium ion Battery production, which reduces the environmental benefits of EVs of internal combustion". Which effectively means they don't know what they're on about, and probably why Kato from Toyota didn't say it!

A fuel cell car has a massive environmental cost, and probably greater than petrol. The only benefit is virtually zero LOCAL emissions. A fuel cell car has a lithium ion Battery in it and it is substantial in that it must power the vehicle about 20-30 miles whilst the fuel cell warms up - especially so in winter. Then we get into the significant amounts of 'rare' earths used in a fuel cell itself, and hence why such cars are not available to buy and if they were, why they'd cost about £100,000.

And that's before we get onto the massive amounts of electricity required to produce hydrogen and store it under massive pressure - both in the car or the filling station. Hydrogen cars are relatively quick to charge/fill up though, but restricted range is another issue as filling stations in the UK can be counted on one hand.

PHEVs or BEVs are probably the ideal way at the moment to clean up our air. Hydrogen is just there to allow Shell, Esso and Texaco to carry on selling you 'something' to power your car.

Now this is an interesting read :)


The cost of the cars is high, too. With platinum as the most widely used
catalyst in the fuel cells, the price of a single fuel cell vehicle is
currently more than $100,000 and even perhaps considerably more,
is why the only hydrogen cars available for you to drive at the moment
are for lease, not for sale. Few people are in a position to afford such
an expensive car. Other catalysts are being developed which will
probably be less expensive than platinum, but nobody knows how soon
they'll be available for large-scale use.

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For smartphone users fed up with the Battery running out, scientists have found the solution… beach sand.

Researchers have discovered that it can be used to make lithium ion batteries like those in mobile phones last three times longer.

The team have called the breakthrough the ‘holy grail’ in Battery development.

For smartphone users fed up with the Battery running out, scientists have found the solution could be as simple as beach sand


For smartphone users fed up with the battery running out, scientists have found the solution could be as simple as beach sand

US postgrad student Zachary Favors stumbled upon the idea while relaxing on a California beach.

He picked up some sand and noticed it was made up mainly of quartz, which becomes a power source when turned into silicon.

His team at the University of California Riverside distilled the quartz into silicon and the resulting substance proved key to improving battery performance.

Researchers have discovered that it can be used to make lithium ion batteries like those in mobile phones last three times longer. The team have called the breakthrough the 'holy grail' in battery development

It could mean charging a smartphone every three days instead of every day. It could also apply to electric cars and laptops.

The researchers, whose study was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, have so far made coin-size batteries but plan to move on to ones for mobiles.

Study co-author Zachory Favors said: 'This is the holy grail - a low cost, non-toxic, environmentally friendly way to produce high performance lithium ion battery anodes.'

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In the coming decades the planet's resources will be put under increasing pressure. The global population is set to rise from around seven billion today to nine billion by 2050. This growth, coupled with millions emerging from poverty, will see energy demands rise to over 800 exajoules per year.

The director of Shell Netherland believes that natural gas balances the need for more energy and lower emissions. "We see a great future in natural gas," he says. "The combination of qualities really makes it unique. It is an economic fuel and it has good environmental properties compared to other fossil fuels."

Other energy sources will help make up Earth's energy mix, but few offer the various benefits of natural gas. Coal, for example, is used to produce more than 30 per cent of global energy. But coal power contributes to as much as 44% of energy-related CO2 emissions.

"If you look around the world, at countries such as China, and others which rely on coal, you see a crisis around air quality in cities," says Benschop. When natural gas is used for electricity generation, it produces around half the CO2 emissions of coal power. "You can see in the US what happens when you start to shift from using coal to using more gas - it will help you considerably in lowering carbon emissions," he says.

With industrial giants such as Germany and Japan abandoning nuclear, there is a demand for cleaner energy sources, such as wind, solar or tidal. Yet large-scale deployment of renewables is limited and expensive. The EU hopes renewables will supply just 20 per cent of its energy by 2020. The technologies then, will play a supporting role to fossil fuels for decades.

"We think there's a good opportunity for combination and complementarity with natural gas and renewable energy sources," says Benschop.

Coupled with natural gas, renewables will be critical in building tomorrow's smarter, more energy-efficient cities. By 2050 Shell estimates that 75 per cent of us will live in urban environments. Benschop says that getting cities right will go a long way to alleviating pressure on resources and the environment.

"Gas is not just used in big thermo-powered generation, like combined cycle gas turbines," he says. "You see it emerging in a more distributed presence in combined heat and power, industrial, commercial and even the residential sector. Natural gas is also emerging in transportation."

The energy challenges of tomorrow are far from solved but with new tools and innovations, we're getting closer.

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Natural Gas eh? I see where you're going here. It'll be used to make the hydrogen. It'll be used to power the hydrogen production plant, the power stations for our homes and businesses.

One small problem - ours is running out and whilst Norway is a friend, Russia is not. Or we allow fracking all over the place to extract that last gramme of gas out of the ground. Whilst that is almost acceptable in a country like America with a low population density, it won't be acceptable here.

Then there are significant issues with fracking;


From 1978 to 2008, Oklahoma was struck with an average of 2 quakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater.

In the time period, June 2009 to June 19, 2014, there were 207 such quakes recorded in the state, the USGS said.

And we all remember Blackpool.

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Plans for a thorium nuclear reactor have been finished meaning the world's first should be built by 2016.

Unlike current nuclear power stations, that use uranium, the thorium plant won't use a material that can be weaponised.

It would also mean there is much less danger from a meltdown. Thorium is also more abundant than uranium so it will be cheaper and easier to supply.

The safer material means it can be supplied at a lower cost with far fewer security needs.

Security measures are actually the most expensive part about building current nuclear power stations.

Thorium reactors, on the other hand, don't require special containment buildings and can even be set up in normal structures.

The proposed thorium reactor is made to run by itself without any need for intervention. It will only need to be checked by a person once every four months.

The plan is to build a 300MW reactor by 2016, which should have a runtime life of 100 years. India's Thorium Energy Program, which is behind the system, aims to expand from the prototype so that 30 per cent of India's energy comes from Thorium reactors by 2050.

Since thorium reactors are far safer than current nuclear reactors there has been talk of minaturising them so a £1000 unit could power a ten house street for a lifetime. While that sounds exciting the reality is still a long way off.

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