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A Renewable Energy System

A Renewable Energy System

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, July 23, 2018/Categories: video, sustainability, art and design, environment, climate change

Combining Renewable Wind and Solar Energy Production Systems (credit: Renewables Watch)

Can you envision a carbon-free energy system that powers everything entirely from hydorgen, oxygen, and nitrogen? Some researchers see a path to do just that.

According to American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Douglas MacFarlane, a chemist at Australia's Monash University, sees vast installations of windmills and solar panels constructed to generate up to 25,000 gigawatts of renewable energy, or four times the installed electricity produced on Earth. MacFarlane's team is working to improve energy storage methods including a fuel-cell that can convert electricity into a non-hydrocarbon fuel, ammonia.

The idea is relatively straight forward but still requires technology improvements and commercial scalability. The renewably generated electricity would produce hydrogen, produced from water (H2O) electrolysis, and then combined with nitrogen into an energy-rich gas (Ammonia, NH4). The ammonia would then be super-cooled into a liquid that could be transported anywhere and used as a "renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water". An Australian video discusses this potential energy production system.

MacFarlane has been quoted as saying: "Liquid ammonia is liquid energy and the sustainable technology we need". Could it power the world? It certainly would make a big contribution towards combating the climate changing alterations from current greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). 



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