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  1. Interesting. As you say, they are in use and therefore clearly work.
    I see some questions in the chemistry that were sort of skated over, such as what are the exhaust products with various fuel feedstocks?
    And some practical problems: what are the disposal requirements for the exhaust products? And assuming a typical catalytic fuel cell reaction, these things are going to pump out concentrated greenhouse gases since they extract oxygen from air to provide the oxygen supply. Several of the gases present in air are now under severe EPA regulation, and since this technology would produce greater concentrations in the outflow, it would qualify as producing pollutants. What would be the result of locating thousands of LNG-burning power plants in a small urban area, even if they do have very pure outputs? What is their efficiency of delivery versus other power sources?
    And the thing that really caught my attention–he says they can be powered by sunlight. Maybe my thermodynamics and electrochemistry are a bit rusty, but I don’t see how.
    Still, breakthroughs occur. Maybe this is one to watch. But I suspect it will be a long time before these are “in every home.” Along with “Mr. Fusion.”

  2. I see it as too good to be true.

    The media are typically composed of vapid personalities who know next to nothing about technology and science in general. They buy into promises and medical cures a bit too quickly IMHO.

    I don’t buy into the cynical, anti-industry press that shrills that more energy-effcient tech dooesn’t get introduced because of a Big Oil/GM conspiracy. Oil simply hasn’t been replaced because A) it’s cheaper than many of its alternatives; B) it’s used in our manufacturing processes to make just about everything you can think of; and C) the alternatives looked at (aside from nuclear) just don’t pack the mass-to-energy output oil does.

    The reasons why new tech for energy doesn’t get introduced are because of regulations that make it costly and inefficient to introduce new technology and oftentimes because of the toxic by-products of new technology, too. That’s in addition to the low energy output by mass, too.

    Solar panels are produced with toxic chemicals. They also require maintenance year-end, year-out and begin to lost efficiency rapidly if they aren’t taken care of. A solar panel can effectively be dead within ten years if it isn’t maintained/replaced. I think the wear-out rate on those that I had heard was something of the order of at least 10-15% a year less productivity. Oh yeah, you also have to have a LARGE square footage of the panels covering a big roof to make it worthwhile to have them since each panel on its own is pretty inefficient at converting sunlight into useful energy!

    Fuel cells and the batteries for electric cars are also produced with toxic materials. If we are to believe the stories about the Prius (if true and not just urban legend), then the Toyota factory in Canada that produces its batteries is surrounded by land poisoned by the chemicals used to make the batteries. Again, how do you call this green energy when the mechanism/battery has its toxic components?

    As Toren says, you can’t bypass physics. Garbage In = Garbage Out. Where you deliver and store garbage is always a problem.

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