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All new, all improved Hydrogen
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PowerSwitchJames



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USTRE58202P20090903
Quote:
Sweet dreams are made of geoengineering
Thu Sep 3, 2009 5:00am EDT
By Gerard Wynn

LONDON (Reuters) - Farming plankton, sending solar panels into orbit, remodeling hydrogen -- for the latest wave of entrepreneurs suggesting easier ways out of climate change, it's all in a day's pitching.

Beyond grabbing headlines, such notions are attracting serious scientific attention and venture funding from investors who at least until the collapse of Lehman Brothers lent credibility to high-risk investment propositions.

Some plans seek radical alternatives to fossil fuels. Other businesses are dreaming of geoengineering -- planning to tweak the earth's climate by removing heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) or reflecting sunlight into space.

Among new energy fixes presented to Reuters in recent days is U.S.-based BlackLight Power.

The company says it may have tapped the energy that cosmologists have struggled to explain, called dark matter, which fills the universe. The concept involves shifting electrons in hydrogen molecules -- obtained cheaply from water -- into a lower orbit, releasing energy in the process.

"It represents a boundless form of new primary energy," Randell Mills, founder and chief executive, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"I think it's going to replace all forms of fuel in the world."

Britain's top science academy, the Royal Society, this week urged more funds be channeled into research on geoengineering, but for some climate commentators the unproven, technical solutions smack of society's craving for pain-free get-outs.

They note politicians may prefer to feed that habit rather than face tough choices in redressing global warming.

Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr says geoengineering projects will be seized upon by polluters as a quick fix, and the former climate change adviser to oil firm BP said they are simplistic.

"People are being naive ... looking for a technological fix," said Chris Mottershead, who is now head of research and innovation at King's College London.

"Anything of the necessary scale will have its own unintended consequences, even if they are not recognized at the moment."

He pointed out that the age of nuclear energy -- a radical carbon-free energy concept that humanity has tried and tested -- is still waiting to be reborn, mainly because of political and social concerns.

Sponsors of the radical route argue its offerings may serve as a Plan B if politicians fail, a "lifeboat" just in case climate change reaches a point of no return for Earth.

"You do everything in your possible power to make sure you never ever have to use the lifeboat but the emergency equipment has to be there," said Alan Knight, who heads a $25 million contest for a radical solution on behalf of UK-based Virgin.

"At the moment we don't have a lifeboat," he told Reuters. The Virgin award focuses exclusively on carbon removal.

ZAP

Since 1991, BlackLight's founder says his company has raised $60 million from private investors who have included -- on a personal basis -- the former chairman of Morgan Stanley, Dick Fisher, and the bank's now retired head of energy. Mills says his goal is to produce a 250 kilowatt prototype by end-2010.

The estimated capital cost of the energy at $500/KW would be less than coal power, one of the cheapest forms of energy now. Several utilities have bought licenses, in case it works.

Last month New Jersey-based Rowan University engineers said the BlackLight process in the lab had produced heat some 1.6-6.5 times beyond levels that can be easily explained.

"It does portend some type of novel energy source," said Peter Jansson, associate engineering professor at Rowan.

In another energy fix, California-based Solaren wants to launch solar panels into orbit to send back radio waves which can generate electricity back on Earth -- and benefit from the sun shining 24 hours a day in space.

"It's not like a laser or a bug zapper or anything like that," said Founder and Chief Executive Gary Spirnak. "I think this could be like any other large power source, 20-25 percent of the world's electricity, 30 or 40 years out."

Solaren aims to produce electricity from a 200 megawatt prototype by 2016 at a cost of several billions of dollars per plant: "It's a little expensive for a 200 megawatt plant. We'll do a bit better than break even."

Spirnak said his company has raised "the equivalent of $20-30 million from financial groups and private investors," and signed a power-purchase agreement with Californian utility PG&E, whose Web site shows a request for approval for power generated in this way from California's Public Utilities Commission.

"The bottom line is, it's safe," said Spirnak. "If you're out in the sun for a few minutes at noon time you'd receive at least five times the intensity as you would at the very peak of our pilot beam."

CARBON

In case the world can't contain its carbon emissions, among geoengineering fixes Dan Whaley, founder and chief executive of California-based Climos, hopes tiny plankton that live on the ocean surface can be used to absorb CO2 as they grow.

"These are not silver bullet solutions, but things that might take the edge off," he told Reuters. "What is the risk of doing nothing? We think it's so extraordinary it's apocalyptic. These geoengineering projects, the research into this, is an exercise to reduce future risk."

Global plankton deployment across 40 percent of the world's oceans for 50-100 years could remove 1-8 billion tons of CO2 per year from the air, he said. That compares with annual manmade emissions now of about 32 billion tons.

Whaley, who says he has raised $3.5 million from investors, plans to roll out the scheme over five or 10 years on a very small scale, "to increase our ability to model the environment."

But he acknowledges a risk. Experts have pointed out that the plankton that die will sink several km to the ocean's depths, a rotting mass that may create oxygen-starved, dead zones on the floor of the oceans -- a toxic prospect.

RADICAL GRAZING

Finally from Australia comes a far simpler, self-funded idea. Thoroughly down-to-earth, it nonetheless illustrates the social and political hurdles ahead.

Soil Carbon is a company urging changes in farm livestock management, to rotate grazing across wider tracts of shared land rather than cooping animals in a handful of fields.

The idea is focused on seasonally dry areas, to imitate the grazing of wild herbivores such as wildebeest in Africa.

By grazing cattle intensively but briefly in fields or paddocks rotated across a larger area, the grass would be fertilized with dung and grow back after grazing and trampling.

"I reckon you could have billions of tons (of CO2) pulled out of the atmosphere really quickly," said founder Tony Lovell. Grass absorbs CO2 as it grows and deposits it in the soil.

Seasonally dry pastures account for 40 percent of the Earth's land area, or 5 billion hectares, and only remnants are managed in balance at present, he said.

But to bring his idea about would involve acquiring degraded land or changing the practices of generations of farmers, for example to mix their herds -- which may not come easily

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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They didn't mention Biochar.
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fifthcolumn



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
They didn't mention Biochar.


Which, realistically ken, is about the only reasonable way to sequester carbon since it both puts carbon away and has the added benefit of solving the other problem of soil depletion.

Wasting time, money and energy pumping carbon dioxide into the ground is a fuggen joke in my opinion.

Carbon trading is another fuggen joke. It's clear that it's only use is to make money for the investment banks who will charge a spread for the privilege of exchanging the tokens in their artificial markets. It amounts to yet another useless tax.

Use the money to make shitloads of biochar instead and then you can *sell it*.

Win-win.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:
MacG wrote:
Cycloloco wrote:
This doesn't look like a scam.


That is exactly the case with the good ones! They don't look like scams. That's why so many people fall for them.


Fusion Facts, January 1992 wrote:

BLACKLIGHT POWER, INC. The FIRST Commercialization of a New-Energy Device!

"On April 26, 1989, Dr. Mills had filed a patent for 'Energy/Matter Conversion Methods and Structures.' Dr. Mills states, '...we scaled it up greater than a factor of a thousand and we have right now a cell running that is a commercial demonstration of this technology. We're pushing right now ... we have a contract we're pursuing that will give us a one kilowatt -- a one thousand watt home heating unit within four months. We have the electrochemical power cell -- it is running. It has the capacity of putting out a thousand watts. And we are waiting for the heat exchanger unit to interface with that [power cell] and we will have a prototype of a home heating unit.'"

'We congratulate Dr. Randell L. Mills for being the first to get a new-energy technology to market. For further information see the Website."

source:http://www.padrak.com/ine/NEN_6_8_1.html



The Guardian, Nov 4, 2005 wrote:
According to Prof Maas, the first product built with Blacklight's technology, which will be available in as little as four years, will be a household heater. As the technology is scaled up, he says, bigger furnaces will be able to boil water and turn turbines to produce electricity.



This is a major red flag. The big claims - the train which never quite arrives at the station, always for very good reasons that are never the fault of the inventor. It always needs just that bit more time and money to finish off the development phase, to overcome those final unexpected little hiccups...


I have to say that my own warning lights are also flashing. Looks like a hoax/scam to me.
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Cycloloco



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Blacklightpower developments Reply with quote

The blacklightpower.com website was completely rejigged on May 22nd 2012 to say the company has finished its development work and is now working toward production.
Incidentally it has had a computer program available for a few years to do atomic and molecular calculations. They advertise better results for less computing time than standard quantum mechanical programs.
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Aurora



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Blacklightpower developments Reply with quote

Cycloloco wrote:
The blacklightpower.com website was completely rejigged on May 22nd 2012 to say the company has finished its development work and is now working toward production.
Incidentally it has had a computer program available for a few years to do atomic and molecular calculations. They advertise better results for less computing time than standard quantum mechanical programs.

Que?
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Cycloloco



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Blacklightpower developments Reply with quote

Aurora wrote:
Cycloloco wrote:
The blacklightpower.com website was completely rejigged on May 22nd 2012 to say the company has finished its development work and is now working toward production.
Incidentally it has had a computer program available for a few years to do atomic and molecular calculations. They advertise better results for less computing time than standard quantum mechanical programs.

Que?


What does 'Que?' mean. Answers preferred in English.

My earlier post now looks too brief so I am expanding it. The subject that started this thread continues to be controversial and still appears to be a scam to many people. The blacklightpower company is effectively saying they have made their unorthodox method of heat/power generation work reliably and it is ready for production.

Equally the theory behind the work appears to be unbelievable to many people so contributes to the idea that the whole company is fraudulent. I was trying to point out that a few thousand people or companies (they say) are already using a computer program based on the theory to get good results. If true that supports the assertion that this work is not a scam.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Blacklightpower developments Reply with quote

Cycloloco wrote:
What does 'Que?' mean.


'Que?' does mean "What?", you're right, although you could have put it in better English!!. Very Happy
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