vaalea (vaalea) wrote,
vaalea
vaalea

The car of the future will run on metal.

So reckons Dave Beach, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, who has come up with a plan to transform the way we fuel our engines. Chunks of metal such as iron, aluminium or boron are the thing, he believes. Turn them into powder with grains just nanometres across and the stuff becomes highly reactive. Ignite it, and it releases copious quantities of energy. With a modified engine and a tankful of metal, Beach calculates that an average saloon car could travel three times as far as the equivalent petrol-powered vehicle. Better still, because of the way that this metal nano-fuel burns, it is almost completely non-polluting. That means no carbon dioxide, no dust, no soot and no nitrogen oxides. What's more, this fuel is fully rechargeable: treat your spent nanoparticles with a little hydrogen and the stuff can be burnt again and again. It could spell the start of a new iron age, and not just for cars. All kinds of engines, from domestic heating units to the turbines in power stations, could be adapted to burn metal.

.....

At the very least, metal-burning engines are another entry in the list of alternatives to oil. And whatever happens, Beach's remarkable idea does raise one interesting possibility. In the past, energy magnates have earned billions from coal, oil and gas fields. In the future, they could grow rich from scrapyards full of yesterday's cars, by transforming them into fuel for the vehicles of tomorrow.

The rest of the article here: http://www.mng.org.uk/green_house/renewable_energy/metal_NS_article.htm
Tags: green
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