ID:182131
 
I'm not following what this 'it' is. I'm assuming it's more of this water-powered-car nonsense, seeing as there's a picture of a car near the end of the article, and water is involved.

Even a quick skim demonstrates that this is a hydrogen-powered car, which is quite a different thing. The 'breakthrough' is that you can use solar power to make hydrogen out of water, rather than, say, fossil fuels.

Anyway, you put water in, you get water out - conclusion, it's solar-powered ultimately, and hydogen-powered at close range.
I liked the following comment:
Junior McGregor says:
October 31st, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Using this method would there be future problems of us running out of water? WouldnÂ’t that be ironic that our planet that has a 3 to 1 ratio of water to land that we use up every ounce of water to use this system? We can live without oil, we can live without coal and we can live without natural gas, but we cannot live without water.

Find another fuel alternative.

Unless there is something I have missed here.


Besides, as someone did mention earlier in that website's comment page - this is just simple electrolysis, not photosynthesis. He is splitting H2O with electrical current to H2 and O2. Photosynthesis would require CO2 + H2O and will produce O2 + carbohydrates.

Electrolysis:
2H2 + O2 <-- 2H2O (note the direction of the arrow).

Photosynthesis:
6CO2 + 6H2O --> C6H12O6 + 6O2
(monosaccharide)


It is interesting that he used cobalt for the anode but from the required energy that was mentioned later on...
In response to GhostAnime (#2)
Junior McGregor says:

Oh lordy, some people are just science-illiterate. Honestly, what do they think reacting hydrogen and oxygen gives you? Hydrogen peroxide?

Besides, as someone did mention earlier in that website's comment page - this is just simple electrolysis, not photosynthesis. He is splitting H2O with electrical current to H2 and O2. Photosynthesis would require CO2 + H2O and will produce O2 + carbohydrates.

Missed that. <_<

I assume they're describing it as photosynthesis because solar panels are involved, or something.
I've seen news of this discovery before, though I did learn one new thing from the article: devicedaily needs an editor, since the writer of that piece apparently didn't pass high school English.

Honestly I don't see us moving to a hydrogen economy under any circumstances--storing and using it efficiently is pretty much impossible. What this breakthrough does provide us however is a much easier means of getting from point A to point B in terms of converting between energy media, and it's probably way more efficient than the current generation of solar cells. (That said, new work is being done in material science that's already primed to radically alter the solar power game.) Ultimately, while we can make far better use out of solar energy than we do now, it is not abundant enough to sustain our needs.

I applaud this discovery and welcome many more like it, but I think the scientist in question is a bit overenthusiastic when he thinks this is a game-changer. It's more realistic to say that this is one excellent new tool to add to our still-too-small toolkit of energy science. It may well prove to be one of the most crucial tools in that kit; but as the old adage goes, not everything is a nail.

Lummox JR
In response to Jp (#3)
Jp wrote:
Junior McGregor says:

Oh lordy, some people are just science-illiterate. Honestly, what do they think reacting hydrogen and oxygen gives you? Hydrogen peroxide?

Fumes. Duh.
In response to Lummox JR (#4)
I think the most crucial tool will be carbon fullerenes, which, if I remember correctly, can hold hydrogen efficiently.
In response to Jp (#1)
Yeah, miss the fact that this "breakthrough" has been discovered many many times in the past (and people have died because of it), and only when some schmuck at MIT says he found it does anyone even consider it possible. When Steve Meyers says he can do this with tap water, people call him nuts. Oh, but it's science now, right?

I've seen about 10 machines that do what this guy's claiming on YouTube alone, in the past year. It's pretty evident to all involved that hydrogen was being produced, but noooo. It's just nutters until MIT does it.
In response to Lummox JR (#4)
Lummox JR wrote:
solar energy than we do now, it is not abundant enough to sustain our needs.

Solar energy--not abundant enough?
In response to Xooxer (#7)
Xooxer wrote:
It's just nutters until MIT does it.

You should know by now that credentials are everything in this world. You should also note that videos can be spoofed and edited--anything on youtube cannot really be trusted.
In response to CaptFalcon33035 (#9)
What if you have a patent, a working machine? Sure, you have to be skeptical to a point, but not to a fault.
In response to CaptFalcon33035 (#8)
CaptFalcon33035 wrote:
Lummox JR wrote:
solar energy than we do now, it is not abundant enough to sustain our needs.

Solar energy--not abundant enough?

Yes, that's correct. The amount of sunlight per square foot of planetary surface is actually lower than you might expect. With perfect efficiency, we would need very vast solar farms to generate power on the scale we need.

Lummox JR
In response to Xooxer (#6)
Xooxer wrote:
I think the most crucial tool will be carbon fullerenes, which, if I remember correctly, can hold hydrogen efficiently.

I dunno, I would think the big problem with hydrogen is the extreme pressure you'd need to keep it under in order to store it. Hydrogen has a low energy density. Anyway, buckyballs are problematic since they're highly toxic, though I'd love to see researchers continue working with them to see if they can find acceptable uses.

Lummox JR
In response to Lummox JR (#12)
Here's some info on using buckyballs for hydrogen storage.

http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=2999.php
In response to Lummox JR (#11)
Or vastly superior harvesting techniques, such as you described in your first reply. >.>

http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/02/04/ solar-panels-work-at-night/
Awesome, this leads back to my argument with someone over global warming when I mentioned using actual organisms to split water. This discovery is much safer, though (with GM organisms, you run the risk of giving them undesirable traits on accident), hopefully it will revolutionize how energy is obtained and used!
I'm sorry, but this is a big discovery?

I did this as extra credit in chemistry two years ago, and I sure as hell didn't come up with the idea.

Solar cells + graphite from a pencil + water = electrolysis


Who exactly was doubting this before? Whoever said it earlier is right, you can't trust a thing on youtube, but if the bottom line here is that someone is using solar panels to convert light to electricity, run that electricity to anode/cathode in water, and thus separate the water into H and O, this is secondary school stuff.
In response to Airjoe (#16)
The big announcement is that MIT is funding major research into the field.
In response to Xooxer (#7)
Wait, what?

First, it's hardly a breakthrough - it's electrolysis.

Second, anyone claiming that someone who is electrolysing water is a nutter is an idiot, assuming that the alleged-nutter did actually say that's what he was doing - if he said it was water-fuelled car time, then sure, he's a nutter, but that's just because he doesn't understand thermodynamics.