[permaculture] Scientists Develop Liquid Fuel That Can Store The Sun's Energy For Up to 18 Years

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Sun Jan 6 20:21:37 EST 2019

Scientists Develop Liquid Fuel That Can Store The Sun's Energy For Up to 18

Scientists in Sweden have developed a specialised fluid, called a solar
thermal fuel, that can store energy from the sun for well over a decade.

"A solar thermal fuel is like a rechargeable battery, but instead of
electricity, you put sunlight in and get heat out, triggered on demand,"
Jeffrey Grossman, an engineer works with these materials at MIT explained
to NBC News.

The fluid is actually a molecule in liquid form
<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aenm.201703401> that
scientists from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden have been working
on improving for over a year.

This molecule is composed of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, and when it is
hit by sunlight, it does something unusual: the bonds between its atoms are
rearranged and it turns into an energised new version
<https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04230-8> of itself, called an

Like prey caught in a trap, energy from the sun is thus captured between
the isomer's strong chemical bonds, and it stays there even when the
molecule cools down to room temperature.

When the energy is needed - say at nighttime, or during winter - the fluid
is simply drawn through a catalyst that returns the molecule to its
original form, releasing energy in the form of heat.

"The energy in this isomer can now be stored for up to 18 years
<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/chem.201802932>," says
one of the team, nanomaterials scientist Kasper Moth-Poulsen from Chalmers

"And when we come to extract the energy and use it, we get a warmth
increase which is greater than we dared hope for."

A prototype of the energy system, placed on the roof of a university
building, has put the new fluid to the test, and according to the
researchers, the results have caught the attention of numerous investors

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