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Posted Tue Aug 2 2011: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Carbon nanotube 'solar fuel' could store solar energy
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) have designed a new solar thermal fuel that could store up to 10,000 times more energy than previous systems. The fuel, which has been studied using computational chemistry but not yet fully tested in the lab, consists of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) modified with azobenzene. It is expected to provide the same energy storage per volume as lithium-ion batteries and can store solar energy almost indefinitely. It can also be recharged by simply exposing it to sunlight - no electricity required.... What is more, the volumetric energy density of this fuel is very low in contrast to that of azobenzene/CNT, which has a value that is 10,000 greater. "This value is comparable to that of lithium-ion batteries, and high enough for us to realistically envisage our solar thermal fuel in real-world applications," Kolpak told "The fuel also has many other advantages, such as being emission-free and easily rechargeable - you don't need to be near an electricity source to recharge."... The researchers admit that there are still many challenges to overcome before they can even consider commercializing such a technology.
[Read more stories about: alternative energy, technological innovation, nanotechnology]

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'Doc Michael says:
See? I told you that technology would solve the problem. Er, sometime in the future.

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