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« Turning Misery into Opportunity | Main | Mercury-Absorbant NanoSponge for broken compact fluorescent lamps (CFL's) »

June 26, 2008



This story is nonsense. Or, at least, talk of using 30 times less energy to boil water is nonsense. The minimum amount of energy needed to boil water is set by hard thermodynamic limits; the actual amount needed in practice is not far above the thermodynamic minimum. (I.e., in a well-designed boiler, the amount of heat wasted is small compared to the heat used in converting water to steam.)

I've no doubt that nanotechnology has some potential for improving the efficiency of heat exchangers. That may well be important for improving the efficiency of various chemical processes. It would also help to improve the efficiency of various heat engines, by reducing temperature drops across heat exchangers. But the improvements will be incremental, not revolutionary.

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