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Discussion in 'Education news' started by dunnocks, Jul 26, 2017.
Guess I should have got that bit right, seeing as I watched some of them...
And along similar lines to what drek said the professional bodies that I have membership of are specialist for my area of expertise. The only one I would question a science teacher not knowing of is the ASE, but even then I wouldn't act superior about it.
Hear hear! It will be socks, sandals and mass weddings next!
You guys are so lucky. English teachers got naff all. Why wasn't there a worshipful company of quill-makers? Bookbinders? English is so underfunded and under appreciated...meh.
The guy from the LA refused to recognise it because it wasn't 'in the book'!
I'm sure these guys are just as good as any royal society. Maybe.
That's just lazy, if the book is as old as you described they should have known to double check.
I've just been reading this thread. I'd like to outline my current understanding of some of the issues, to see if it's correct. I would most welcome comments, particular from @Moony , @peakster , @blazer and @dunnocks
As I understand things, the talk of hydrogen extraction etc is in many senses totally irrelevant. What matters here is the energy required to carry out such extraction. Plants use energy from the sun, and some of this energy is stored in a chemical form by creating the carbon compounds within the plant itself. You can release this energy by burning the plant.
Fossil fuels are made up of old plants, and creatures that lived on the plants. Essentially all the energy originally came from the plants, which in turn came from the sun. These fuels have been built up over billions of years - an enormous timespan, awe-inspiringly so.
The actual form of fossil fuel: oil, gas, coal, wood etc is again not particularly relevant. They're all just forms of stored solar energy.
As such, these fossil fuels are an incredibly rich form of energy.
Part of this thread centred on extracting hydrogen from water. To break up water into hydrogen and oxygen requires external energy from somewhere. All this talk of Calvin cycles etc is irrelevant - to get hold of this hydrogen fuel source, you need energy. Plants do indeed store energy continuously - they capture the sun's energy. However to build up the amount that we've become accustomed to using in the modern world, would require (literally) billions of years. Even if it the process was somehow made more efficient, and say only took in the order of tens of thousands of years, that's still a time beyond most people's imagination.
OK, well maybe covering vast surfaces of the Earth with solar panels might improve on nature, for capturing solar energy. But then of course we're simply back to "how to we get hold of new sources of energy?". The hydrogen extraction etc is of secondary importance.
dunnocks, you say "might be". I'd be very interested to hear how we might be very close to having a colossal new source of energy. I'm not disputing that it would be a total game changer. The only thing I've heard that sounds vaguely realistic would be nuclear fusion, and I don't think this is this what you've got in mind. You mentioned "photons", suggesting solar radiation again. Catalyst or no catalyst, how can the vast problem of scale be overcome? Are we going to cover entire countries with solar panels, and wait for thousands (or millions) of years? You mentioned your research group. Am I correct in thinking that your research group are researching super-efficient solar panels? So radically efficient in fact, that they're "game changing"? I don't know how efficient solar panels are in converting incoming solar radiation into energy, but even if they were 100% efficient, how much energy would that produce? Enough for the rate at which the human race is currently consuming it? Enough for just 10% of this? Or 1%?
If your research group might be close to solving the human race's quest for energy, how come the only place I've heard about it is on the TES website, in a thread called "I Love Michael Gove"? How come this isn't the story of the century? How come there isn't any mention of it in peer-reviewed science journals? (as far as I know, anyway).
I'm not writing all this from an argumentative viewpoint, I'd just like to understand matters more fully.
Thanks for reading.
hello, just a quick answer because I'm off out for the day.
water can be split into hydrogen and oxygen using eletrolysis, i did just have a quick google to find you a video, but couldn't find a nice clear one in a hurry, but you can find one, I'm sure.
of course the problem is the amount of energy required for this, an the fact that although the hydrogen an be bunrt without causing pollution, ( because you just go back to water) the electricity used might have been generated with fossil fuels, so defeats the object
in artificial photosynthesis, the idea is you can get as much hydrogen out of the water, at the same rate, without using any electricity at all, you use solar power.
Of course it is known to be possible, because plants do it constantly, in daylight hours.
it happens in the presence of chlorophyll, not exactly in the same way we want it too, but it does happen.
so what most research is focused on is finding an alternative catalyst that will make it happen without chlorophyll, but still using sunlight.
Thats the main idea, just water, add the catalyst, place in sunlight, collect the hydrogen.
Burn the hydrogen, power your vehicle, collect the water, repeat.
In small quantities, a possible energy source for colonising other areas of the solar system, if there is enough sunlight.
On a large scale, a possible source of fuel on Earth.
It has been very hot topic for many years, there are a lot of groups working on it around the world, in one form or another,
there is a lot! Try googling "artificial photosynthesis" - no solar panels involved! ( not that I have anything against solar panels, I recently was without electricity for nearly a week, and two little camping solar panels produced a surprising amount of energy to charge up phones, lap tops etc.
It all comes down to a thing called enthalpy. To get energy out of a system you have to put at least the same amount of energy in. because of inefficiencies you have to put a greater amount of energy in. Plants do not make hydrogen molecules. They produce atomic hydrogen in one of the chemical steps which are immediately combined with carbon and oxygen to make carbohydrates. If we are going to use plants to produce fuels then it may be more efficient to burn the plants themselves or convert the carbohydrates they produce into fuels to be burned. Any CO2 produced in this combustion would be extracted from the atmosphere by the next batch of fuel producing plants. In the US they currently produce ethanol both by fermentation of plant sugars and also using GM bacteria to break down the cellulose from the stems, leaves and roots of plants to produce ethanol. After the process the remaining plant materials are used as animal feed and the ethanol is burned in internal combustion engines. I would estimate the process is not massively efficient but probably less polluting than burning refined fossil fuels.
Let's face it the demise of the internal combustion engine has been over rated and especially by Gove, anything can happen in the next 20 - 30 years. In the same way we were going to run out of oil by such and such a date. By using a diverse range of vehicles, hybrid, electric, hydrogen, biofuels we will merely extent the use of what we have.
There would have to be a completely new way of producing heat to change what we are doing now. Fusion might happen in 20 - 30 years!
I'm betting on teleporters.
Little way to go there as they have only managed transport a photon. I suppose I could get used to the idea of being in several places all at once.
Anything can happen in the next half-hour!
I'm gambling on tricorders. They could run it over Gove and the thing would blow up.