Domestically, the zero-energy home is a real technological possibility. Now, we only need to drive the price down.
The "crack in the dam" in our energy crisis is transportation. We need a clean, green mobile fuel source.
Last week in my post called, Virgin's new green super fuel; Branson on a roll? we told you about Richard Branson's new company, Virgin Fuels which is working on a secret green energy fuel.
After mentioning this during my talk at the World Future Society conference in Toronto this weekend, and speculating about possible options with some colleagues I'm more and more convinced that I know what Virgin Fuel might be working on....a clue might be in the name itself.
N.B. (for a copy of my presentation, send me an email with 7 pieces of informtion--your: 1) name,2) title, 3) department or division 4)company, 5) city & country, 6) telephone and 7) email; any ommisions will guarantee no reply )
My guess: Water or H2O, Yes water !! Cars that run on plain old water. What could be more virgin and pure then water?
Producing hydrogen (from water or other feed stock) by industrial means has already proved too expensive and inefficient. And there are also problems with storing and transporting.
Smart Solution: Hydrogen-to-Go
Now, however, researchers have come up with a system for producing hydrogen on demand inside the vehicle itself – and all you need is water and the element boron.
Water can be catalyzed by boron or some other elements that react violently with water such as potassium or sodium ( remember your high school chemistry class ? )
Boron reacts cleanly with steam (water heated to 800 degree C) to produce only hydrogen (H2) and boron oxide (a solid) which can be stored and reprocessed back into boron. The hydrogen can be stored for use in a hydrogen fuel cell.
According to New Scientist:
".....a car would need to carry just 18 kg of boron and 45 liters of water to produce 5 kg of hydrogen, which has the same energy content as 40 L tank of conventional fuel."
Ian Pearson, British Telecom's (BT) in-house futurologist, predicts that after a short term energy crunch and shortage, we may be in for an energy glut in the next coming decades.
Cars like the Natrium could contribute to that glut, driving us down the road to a more secure energy future and plummeting energy prices in the long term.
All of this may be for not though......Ian is less confident about the prospects for our next generation...a worst case scenario for a number of emerging technology clusters and the emergence of one or two "wild cards" points to a prediction that the human race could become extinct by 2080. All I can say is -- I hope he's right in the mid term and wrong in the long term.
Expert, Consultant and Guest Speaker on emerging Smart Technologies, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Lateral Creative Thinking and author of an upcoming book on the Smart Economy "
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.....Strategy without action is a day-dream; action without strategy is a nightmare"- old Japanese proverb
.......Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to. - H. Mumford Jones
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