UNI – js5079 (Joshua Strake)
Sustainability Problems: Energy + Waste
- The new technology enables sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into usable forms of liquid fuels, such as ethanol and ethylene.
- Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Berkeley Labs developed the technology, which has reached efficiencies as high as 5%, reducing CO2 to a hydrocarbon end product over a certain amount of sun-time.
- The technology can also function in low-light settings, although the main interest in this case would be the reduction of CO2 and the ability to use Solar-powered fuels at any time of the day, so whether o not the technology works at night isn’t as relevant, since the byproduct of the technology (the fuel) can be used at night. THis helps solve the issues must-take forms of energy face.
- The main science behinf the technology is a “copper-silver nanocoral cathode” which breaks the CO2 down, and “an iridium oxide nanotube anode, which oxidizes the water and creates oxygen”.
3. Organizational Stakeholders: Scientists at Berkeley, Developers/Manufactuers, the Government (DoE project).
4. Three potential steps to roll out:
1 – Get better at it. (Achieve higher efficiency, optimize build and design)
2 – Standardize a means of production at large scales
3 – Engage utilities and contract developers to begin working the technology into the energy industry.