Scientists Plan to Transform Solar Energy Into Liquid Fuel


Researchers in Sweden have developed a specialized fluid that absorbs a bit of sunlight's energy, holds it for months or even years and then releases it when needed. They built a prototype system to test the new solar thermal fuels his research group has created. Although they made a huge progress in solar thermal fuels, there's still a lot to figure out. 

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/scientists-are-trying-bottle-solar-energy-turn-it-liquid-fuel-ncna930676?fbclid=IwAR0AUfe7Xokh8aGJR76jYl1H1A_KylFxY8cxp-GwGC6MCkGT-ctMCNo0Hvc

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This sounds pretty amazing, if they can get it to actually work.

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Unlike oil, coal and natural gas, solar thermal fuels are reusable and environmentally friendly. They release energy without spewing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

"A solar thermal fuel is like a rechargeable battery, but instead of electricity, you put sunlight in and get heat out, triggered on demand," says Jeffrey Grossman, who leads a lab at MIT that works on such materials.

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Although it is still a theoretical attempt to make a commercially viable product, I like where this is going. Heat storage is our biggest problem. It reminds me on heating pads you put in your gloves making heat for a few hours. If they get this right, although we might wait for it some time, they'll make billions. 

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I would like to see data on the density of this liquid. If this can be pumped with standard equipment and the material costs manageable then as a home heating then it would be a winner. 

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