Monday, September 12, 2005

The Israelis may save the world - Hydrogen

Scientists in Israel have invented a process to produce hydrogen from the sun's energy. Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, everyone seems to agree. But the future has appeared to be far off because producing hydrogen has required burning fossil fuels - that's supposed to be the past. But now there has been a breakthrough, Israel 21C reports:
In a breakthrough that has dramatic implications for energy use worldwide, Israeli researchers have shown that hydrogen fuel can be produced with the help of sunlight - propelling the dream forward of using hydrogen as a 'green' fuel. The innovative solar technology developed at Weizmann Institute of Science that may offer an environmentally sound solution to the production of hydrogen fuel has been successfully tested on a large scale, and also promises to facilitate the storage and transportation of hydrogen. The chemical process behind the technology was originally developed at Weizmann on a scale of several kilowatts. It was then scaled up to 300 kilowatts in collaboration with scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology... The new solar technology developed by the Israelis and their European colleagues creates an easily storable intermediate energy source form from metal ore, such as zinc oxide
And the storage problem is handled by this method, as well:
The process generates no pollution, and the resultant zinc can be easily stored and transported, and converted to hydrogen on demand. In addition, the zinc can be used directly, for example, in zinc-air batteries, which serve as efficient converters of chemical to electrical energy. Thus, the method offers a way of storing solar energy in chemical form and releasing it as needed.
And there have been enthusiastic reactions, such as:
"The Israelis may save the world if this technique for producing hydrogen pans out and proves practical," wrote Professor Juan Cole of the University of Michigan on his influential blog Informed Comment.
I continue to be optimistic about our energy future because the Earth is bombarded with huge amounts of energy from the sun every day. We just have to find ways to capture, store, transport and use the solor energy. Hat tip to The American Thinker. They say that Juan Cole has nothing good to say about Israel, so his endorsement is a strong indication.

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