Scientists just found a new way to make fuel from seawater

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Could this help reignite hydrogen as a renewable fuel?

Though hydrogen fuel eliminates tailpipe pollution, most hydrogen fuel is made from natural gas, a fossil fuel. It is possible to make it from a cleaner source: water. With electrodes in water, electricity can split the hydrogen from oxygen, giving you pure hydrogen. But until now, the processes have relied on purified freshwater, which is expensive. For the use of hydrogen fuel to scale up, we need a different source, one that’s cheaper and doesn’t use up water we could be drinking instead.

Now new research from Stanford scientists demonstrates a new method for making hydrogen fuel directly from ocean water. “Right now, the need for hydrogen is still relatively limited because the so-called hydrogen economy hasn’t taken off yet, although it’s in its early growing stage,” says Hongjie Dai, a chemistry professor at Stanford and coauthor of a new paper about the research. “You could imagine there would be more demand for hydrogen.”

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Canadian scientists are developing a system that could turn atmospheric CO2 into fuel

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An industrial carbon dioxide recycling plant is being developed by Canadian scientists that could one day suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and convert it into a zero-carbon e-diesel fuel. Developed by tech start-up Carbon Engineering and partly funded by Bill Gates, the system will essentially do the job of trees, but in places unable to host them, such as icy plains and deserts. (Video)

 

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10 Ways the Next 10 Years will be Awesome!

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It’s hard to wait for the future to get here and give us all the amazing things we’ve dreamed up in our countless sci-fi books and movies (I’m still waiting for the hover-boards Back to the Future promised me). Though much of what we’ve seen on the big screen is still decades or millennia away… or straight up impossible by our current understanding of the universe, there are several sci-fi level technological and scientific advances we’re likely to see in just the next decade.

Blogger Jordan Lejuwaan over at High Existence has compiled a list of ten such advances to look forward to in the not-to-distant future:

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Sugar battery could soon be powering your electronics

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A demonstration of two sugar biobatteries connected in a series to power a digital clock.

Almost all living cells break down sugar to produce energy. Researchers at Virginia Tech say they have developed a battery that can store the most energy for its weight using sugar as a fuel source by mimicking what plants and animals do naturally..

 

 

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Energy company developing home refueling appliance for natural-gas cars

About 112,000 natural-gas powered vehicles are now on U.S. roads.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it is working with General Electric Co GE and Whirlpool Corp. to develop a $500 appliance that will allow natural-gas powered cars to be refueled at their owners’ homes.

 

 

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Companies pave way for natural gas fueled cars and trucks

Shell, and others, see the export of the super-cooled natural gas as a lucrative venture.

While oil development continue to dominate the Royal Dutch Shell portfolio, the energy developer is now making plans to invest heavily in liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Shell, and others, see the export of the super-cooled natural gas as a lucrative venture.

 

 

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Algae fuel that can replace oil will not come from nature

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Controversial genomics scientist and entrepreneur Craig Venter said last week at a conference on the future of energy at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. that  biofuels made from algae that will be able to scale, and compete with oil, will have to be synthesized and will not come from nature.Venter said in an interview, “It’s pretty obvious that there’s nothing in the natural world to make the levels that are needed,” and he pointed to algae oil yield volumes needing approximately 20,000 gallons per acre equivalent of algae.

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Creating liquid fuel with electricity

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Researchers have generated isobutanol from CO2 using a genetically engineered microorganism with solar electricity the sole energy input.

Electric vehicles have come a long way in the past decade, but they still have many disadvantages when compared to internal combustion engine-driven vehicles. The lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles have a much lower energy storage density when compared to liquid fuel, they take longer to “refuel,” and they lack the supporting infrastructure that has built up around conventional vehicles over the past century. Now researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a process that could allow liquid fuel to be produced using solar generated electricity.

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