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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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A Renewable Energy System Using Sunlight, Air, & Water

A Renewable Energy System Using Sunlight, Air, & Water


Combining Renewable Wind and Solar Energy Production Systems (credit: Renewables Watch)


Can you envision a carbon-free energy system that powers everything entirely using hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen? Some researchers see a path to do just that.

According to American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Douglas MacFarlane, a Australian chemist at Monash University, sees installations of windmills and solar panels constructed to generate up to 25,000 gigawatts of renewable power, or four times the installed electricity produced on Earth. MacFarlane's team is working to improve energy storage methods using a fuel-cell that converts electricity into a non-hydrocarbon fuel, ammonia.

The idea is relatively straight forward but still requires technology improvements and commercial scalability. The renewably generated electricity would produce hydrogen, produced from water (H2O) by electrolysis, which is then combined with nitrogen into energy-rich ammonia, NH4. The ammonia would then be super-cooled into a liquid that could be transported anywhere and used as a fuel made only from sunlight, air, and water. The Monash video discusses this cutting-edge energy production system.

MacFarlane has said: "Liquid ammonia is liquid energy and the sustainable technology we need".

Could it power the world? It certainly would make a big contribution towards combating the climate changing alterations to the atmosphere and oceans due to current greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The venture capital community should be all over this renewable energy idea.


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