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Posted Thu Jan 20 2011: from California Institute of Technology via ScienceDaily:
New Reactor Paves the Way for Efficiently Producing Fuel from Sunlight
Using a common metal most famously found in self-cleaning ovens, Sossina Haile hopes to change our energy future. The metal is cerium oxide -- or ceria -- and it is the centerpiece of a promising new technology developed by Haile and her colleagues that concentrates solar energy and uses it to efficiently convert carbon dioxide and water into fuels...For all of this to work, the temperatures in the reactor have to be very high -- nearly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. At Caltech, Haile and her students achieved such temperatures using electrical furnaces. But for a real-world test, she says, "we needed to use photons, so we went to Switzerland."
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, efficiency increase, renewable energy, technological innovation]

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