Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is Reverse Combustion the Key Alternative Energy Source?


 
  • A new technology from researchers at Princeton is turning carbon dioxide into a viable fuel source.
  • A new technology from researchers at Princeton is turning carbon dioxide into a viable fuel source.These days, everyone from governments to major companies are worried about their carbon footprint and so are turning to alternative energy sources right and left to help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment.
    What if it were possible, though, to take the carbon dioxide that's already in the environment and turn it into a viable fuel source? Startup company Liquid Light, along with many other research projects, is making headway into creating just such an energy source.
    Princeton graduate student Emily Barton, following up on the work done in the 1990s by Lin Chao, discovered that by taking an electrochemical cell that uses the same semiconductor photovoltaic solar cells use, it's possible to transform carbon dioxide into fuel thanks to sunlight.
    The idea behind this principle isn't a new one—at least not for plants anyway. Photosynthesis takes care of this on a daily basis, and it has for billions of years. The product, naturally, is typically sugars, but research to create liquid fuel as a product could quickly slow the buildup of greenhouse gases, changing the alternative energy picture forever.
    Click here to view a video of the new technology in action.

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