This conversation is closed.

A photo-chemical fuel to solve the energy and pollution problems once and for all, and at the same time.

Imagine a liquid that releases oxygen in the presence of sun light, this liquid has also the property of remaining liquid at very high temperatures. You burn this fuel in an external combustion engine, then you collect the exhaust gas and condense it into a reservoir where it is then exposed to the sun light in order to release the oxygen added during the combustion process, once free of oxygen it returns to the fuel tank and the process repeats itself indefinitely. There is no pollution since nothing escapes to the atmosphere, and there is no need to refuel either since the exhaust gases are turned into fuel again by the sun light, so both problems (energy and pollution) are solved simultaneously. The recommendation for an external combustion engine is due to the fact that internal combustion engines may add oil vapor to the exhaust gas contaminating this way the fuel. The fuel must remain liquid at high temperatures in order to condensate it quickly once burned, but also to keep it from vaporizing when exposed to the sun light.

I understand this kind of process may not be suitable for a vehicle, but I think it can suit quite well many industrial processes.

I am not a chemical engineer and don't know if such a thing is possible, but I suspect it is, and if it is, it would be one of the most dramatic breakthroughs of human history.

  • Aug 12 2013: Not trying to rip a hole through your sails, but I'm afraid those types of ideas are of limited value without the precise engineering.
    If all it took was an understanding of general principle and the will to make a change/some money, we'd have had nuclear fusion by now. Obviously, we don't (except as a weapon, but I don't think that's what you're looking for).

    The real question is whether its practical to apply in practice. Unless that question has a positive answer, with the math to back it up, then I'm afraid its not much use.
  • Aug 8 2013: Chemical power is incompetent in terms of future energy requirements. By 2020, oil will become uneconomical to use. The same fact applies to all chemical fuels. Atomic energy will be the only feasible recourse if we are to supply power to 9 billion+ people. By 2050, we will have to produce, at minimum, 70% more energy. Chemical power simply won't be capable meeting our demands.