It is a well-known fact that, wind and solar energy are the only substitutes for fossil fuels, but recently scientists started to think in a creative way and have come up with different alternatives for the future.
They have recently reported only a theoretical progress with nuclear energy, algae and a novel alloy.
The thermonuclear fusion will be useful, in a short time, once someone solves how to make it happen.
They have found a way to cultivate green algae for biofuel in huge quantities at US$50 a barrel, which is almost the same as the price of crude oil.
Also, they have worked out how to get electrical energy directly from cyanobacteria or a blue-green algae.
And they have achieved a mixture that can deliver an enormous vibration of electric power when you kick it.
Except on the experimental stage, none of the technologies have advanced, but all the proofs are now being expanded in the world’s laboratories and experimental start-ups.
Fusion power uses the thermonuclear conversion of hydrogen to helium with little or no deadly discharge and the generous release of energy.
This is what fuels the planet’s life and powers the sun, and this is also the basis of thermonuclear bomb. People have been trying to make fusion work peacefully on Earth for 60 years, but with not so much success.
In the journal Fusion Engineering and Design, British scientists reported that if this works, it won’t be too expensive.
They made analysis based on the cost of building, running and conclusively deactivating a fusion power station and found it equal with fission or nuclear energy.
The task of nuclear fusion is to heat stripped-down heavy hydrogen atoms to 100 million Celsius in order to fuse into helium, while managing in finding a way to tap the released energy and at the same time maintain the reaction going.
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, that is now in process of building in the South of France, may find a way to make this happen in a decade. If it works, it should be inexpensive.
Assuming the process successful, there would be no more issues, such as high-level radioactive waste, problems with finding fuel and by product that could be turned into nuclear weaponry.
Damian Hampshire, of the Center for Materials Physics at Durham University, UK explained:
Obviously we have had to make assumptions, but what we can say is that our predictions suggest fusion won’t be vastly more expensive than fission.
Calculating the cost of a fusion reactor is complex, given the variations in the cost of the raw materials and exchange rates. However, this work is a big step in the right direction.
Biofuel’s basis nowadays, is adaptation of agricultural crops, i.e. sugar cane and corn to feedstock to ethanol, which can be modified into gasoline or other fuels. But, in this world, this is not ideal.
Recently, an Israeli company, called Univerve, has invented a cultivation system, that gets much more sunlight than ever, in order to speed up the photosynthesis and to make the algae to work harder.
In the Technology journal they reported that they bubbled air through suspended, triangular structure with transparent walls and it that way the algae get their oxygen at all times and their solar energy from all sides.
The company affirms green reactors up to 100 meters, holding 100 cubic meters of “production medium” or algae. Knowing that algae make omega 3-oils, this could also serve the food industry and deliver cattle feed, and also feedstock for the biofuel business.
Some researchers from Montreal, Canada reported in the same journal that they can directly retrieve clean energy in a form of electricity by tapping into photosynthesis in a tank full of algae.
The process includes transforming sunlight into carbon-based tissue and in addition to that, the cyanobacteria tank serves as the anode in a biological battery.
The next step of this process is to find out a way to get commercially-useful power from the, so-called, power plant.
The US scientist have been looking again into alloy of iron doped with gallium that has been present for decades, but it produces only electricity. It is called Galfenol, and it was described as magnetoelastic in the Journal of Applied Physics.
Scientists found out that it can convert mechanical energy into electromagnetic discharge when it is boxed in a clamp, wrapped with copper wire and subjected to a powerful impact.
Currently, it is a discovery that waits to be processed and elaborated. But, it is a sure thing that, the researchers are determined to find clean energy sources.