A prototype solar device has been unveiled which mimics plant life, turning the Sun’s energy into fuel.
The machine uses the Sun’s rays and a metal oxide called ceria to break down carbon dioxide or water into fuels which can be stored and transported.
The ‘fuel’ for this machine is just like plant’s — water and carbon dioxide, and it will produce a byproduct of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Produces of this machines can be easily used as fuel. Hydrogen will be utilized in hydrogen fuel cells and
a combinatino of carbon monoxide and hydrogen can produce syngas.
The prototype is extremely inefficient, utilizing only 0.7% of the solar energy, but this US-Swiss invention can finally allow us to harness single most simple element of all — hydrogen. This could be a solution to our long addiction to oil.
The reason for the emergence of new electricity generation technologies is due to Peak Oil. It is believed that we have tapped almost all oil reserves. Once we hit the 0 mark on our oil supply, life will be quite different. How would we operate our cars? How would we get to work? How would we transport products? These kinds of questions need answers, and the answer is investment in alternatives such as this.