Friday, May 18, 2007

More news on the alternative energy front.

I have a reflexive distrust of scientists who claim to be victims of misunderstanding, and compare themselves to earlier "crackpots" like Galileo or Einstein. Nevertheless, I found this story interesting, if only because Professor Woodall is on the faculty of a respectable university* and I'm beginning to believe just about anything bad about the executive branch of the federal government these days. This does seem to have more traction than cold fusion, even if, like the solar powered ship, practical application seems a way off.

It's not so far off, however, as any prospect of our tapping into the ultimate source of clean energy.

Meanwhile, it's nice to know that you can do a little bit for the environment just by sucking down a tube of Foster's.

*Yeah, I know, there's a guy at Harvard who believes in alien abductions.


  1. the way i read that article, the process is already known and used, and the funding would be to increase efficency, etc.. so, it seems he has even more of a point.

    as for a cleaner world via beer...i'm not sure the benefit is worth the cost of actually drinking fosters.

  2. And don't forget the anthropologist at Idaho State who's devoted his career to studying Bigfoot...

  3. Gallium isn't super abundant (about a billion kg in all the world, evidently, though the gallium based hydrogen source could surely be regenerated), and there's not a domestic producer. Most of it, fittingly, comes from France. source

    You can get funding for "hydrogen storage" research. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a little mafia of one sort of technology over another, but I don't think people find it so important as to sink in real money yet in either case. It's still easier and cheaper to get it from reforming hydrocarbons.

    (In a broader sense, energy storage is immensely important though. Maybe these guys just suck at writing proposals.)


    (I'm going to go perform my civic duty I think, as I ponder my fears about galactic destruction)

  4. keif: it's still a hell of a lot cheaper than platinum, which is currently used by the auto industry. that's $1200 a troy ounce, compared to $500 a kilogram for gallium.