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Could Chemical Solar Power Beat Photovoltaics?

Could a vat of chemicals be a more effective way to harness the sun's energy than those fancy, intricately crafted silicon wafers? We're not sure, but Professor Chaurasia of the cialis online generic University of Birmingham, UK, was telling me about that possibility earlier in the month.

He's developing a unique process in which propanol is dehydrogenated using a catalyst and click now purchasing viagra clean, solar energy. The hydrogen then generates electricity - courtesy of a Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell. The byproduct of dehydrogenated propanol -- acetone -- and the protons (H+) and electrons (e-) then all recombine to form more propanol, which is then ready to start the project all over again.

Very simply, it's a way of harnessing the instability of propanol to push electrons onto the grid. It's not a new way of creating hydrogen, it's a new way of harnessing the sun's power using the versatility of hydrogen, and the instability of propanol. Indeed, it's pretty genius.

But the question of economics remains. Current solar cells are getting cheaper and more efficient every day. And though Chaurasia thinks that his chemical cells could be competitive, that will depend on several factors. The propanol is cheap, PEM fuel cells and titanium catalysts are not, so we will have to wait for these "solar fuel cells" to scale up before making any real judgments.

Chaurasia's most recent paper was published in the International Journal of Sustainble Energy.

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Comments (5)Add Comment
written by bloggersmosaic, April 14, 2008
i like your blog ..
written by Ken, April 14, 2008
I wonder if the reactions always produce 100% desired yield, and if not, then would the efficiency decline over time? I'm skeptical for now.
written by Drew, April 14, 2008
Years ago I read about a similar concept, if I have understood this proposal correctly.

A big advantage of how to get levitra this technique could be that once the propanol is dehydrogenated it might be stored for later use or even transported.

This would be huge. Solar power could be captured in the most efficient locations at the most efficient times and still be utilized anywhere you'd care to transport it to.
new solar energy way
written by solar charger, April 15, 2008
Good idea, I'm waiting this technique comes to real.
Transportation etc
written by P A Nilsson, October 08, 2008
The hottest (?) now according to some sources, is to run cars on Hydrogen. If the above described process is buy low price levitra fairly efficient for splitting propanol it could be a way of producing the gas.
But a friend of mine had another idea - glass tubes in a sunny area where some "goo" that grows inside the pipes can produce some kind of hydrocarbon gas as by-product. That gas can be used in fuel cells to produce electricity. The hard bit is to 1: fuel the "goo" with something containing C and H, 2: formulate this "goo" :)
But thats up to buy levitra canada the scientists.. ;)

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