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BEST-L  June 2010

BEST-L June 2010

Subject:

Re: Alectricity?

From:

Christopher Cantaloube <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Christopher Cantaloube <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 14:18:35 -0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (102 lines)

To Steven and GRIER,

Please don't dismiss Prof. Ryu's research as 'silly' because you fail
to understand the concepts involved in his research. For one thing,
harvesting electrons this way is more efficient than simply burning
biofuels. The amount of power generated over the lifetime of the algae
cell using this method would be far greater than from biofuels. That's
because that "incredibly temporary pico scale solar cell - Grier "
generates the power required to make bonds which are broken and
release energy upon combustion. However, as the article states, algae
only stores 3-6% of the energy it generates from the sun.

As for the cost of fabricating gold nanotips. You realize that in
academic research, especially in something this new, expensive
materials may be used to show proof of concept. This isn't industry,
and as such, cost cutting has yet to be implemented because more
research needs to be done at the academic level. Gold was most likely
only used because it is a very good conductor. You realize your
computer has gold and silver parts in it right now and the catalytic
converter in your car has platinum/palladium. Don't go tearing your
computer apart now though (wouldn't put it past the steven/grier tag
team over here) because they are only found in very small amounts. You
see small amounts of precious metals (for example on the nanometer
scale) are not always cost prohibitive.

Time will tell if this research leads to a feasible source of energy,
but dismissing it now in the early stages of research based on
'silly', uneducated assumptions is well...silly. Also, if you thought
this was so implausible why did you email it to the listserve?

Chris


On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:15 AM, Steven A. Williams
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Christopher,
>
> I would be much more optimistic about this particular emerging technology if
> the raw materials needed to produce these electrodes were something a bit
> less volatile (financially, not chemically) than gold, otherwise, no matter
> how efficient the process becomes, access to this technology will be
> limited. There's no way you can drive the price of gold down to the point
> where this can be done economically, and on a large enough scale to make a
> difference in our energy policy, unless you know a few good alchemists.
>
> Best,
> Steven A.
>
> On Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM, John Hurford <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> UF's Black Hall did this experiment in the 80's. More energy expended in
>> producing the copper wire to conduct the current from the algae mat then
>> energy they coud recover.
>>
>> On Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 12:39 AM, Araneda,Barbara J <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>> O.k. That was funny. My sentiments as well. That seems a little reaching
>>> for a sustainable concept.
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu Jun 10 23:45:32 EDT 2010, "Steven A. Williams"
>>> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Maybe we should invest some research dollars into finding a
>>>> Philosopher's
>>>> Stone.
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 10:30 PM, Grier Phillips <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Besters,
>>>>>
>>>>> I came across a paper today describing a method for collecting
>>>>> electricity
>>>>> from individual cells of algae.  The method requires a nano sized, gold
>>>>> electrode to pierce the chloroplast of a single cell in order to
>>>>> intercept
>>>>> the electrons being produced.  While each cell is at best capable of
>>>>> producing ~5 picoamperes, researchers were able to collect only 1
>>>>> picoampere
>>>>> for 1 hour from each cell before they would die.  Despite this the lead
>>>>> researcher touted it as more efficient than burning biofuels.
>>>>>
>>>>> Here is the news
>>>>> release<http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/april/electric-current-plants-041310.html>
>>>>> via: Stanford Univ. News <http://news.stanford.edu/>
>>>>> April 13, 2010
>>>>>
>>>>> P.S.  Granted I am not a professional, but does this seem silly to
>>>>> anyone
>>>>> else?  Just thinking about the materials and energy necessary for what
>>>>> amounts to an incredibly temporary pico scale solar cell, I take pause.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Araneda,Barbara J
>>
>
>

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