Floating Solar Farms

Millions of marine floating islands, each as large as a football field and powered by sunlight, could harvest carbon dioxide and produce enough fuel to power the world’s planes, ships, trains and lorries. These solar methanol farms, proposed by scientists from Switzerland and Norway, could even eliminate all global fossil fuel emissions.

Solar panels covering the 100m-diameter islands would provide energy for combining carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methanol – a compound that can either be used directly as a fuel or serve as a feedstock for petrochemical products. A chemical plant housed in a moored ship would provide the ingredients for this reaction: hydrogen from water splitting and carbon dioxide harvested from seawater. The area underneath the islands could even be used for fish farming.

A cluster of 70 islands could produce 1.75 tonnes of methanol per hour, the team calculates. To compensate for emissions from the long-haul transport, 170,000 such clusters would be needed. They could be placed along shorelines near the equator, in particular Indonesia, northern Australia and Brazil – areas that have lots of sunlight, small waves and few hurricanes. If 1.5% of the world’s oceans was used for solar methanol farms, they could offset global fossil fuel emissions altogether.

This vision, however, is not without its challenges. Electrolysing seawater creates unwanted chlorine, so the researchers suggest desalinating the water before use. Carbon dioxide can be harvested from seawater – its concentration here is 125 times higher than in air – but it requires heating or acidification. Electrodialysis, which effectively acidifies one part of a solution, could be a practical extraction method. Moreover, to be economically viable, each island cluster can’t cost more than $90 million (£70 million). At that rate it would be projected to cost $990,000,000,000,000 (nearly 1 quadrillion dollars).

The most challenging part, however, might be the catalytic methanol production. Current copper–zinc–aluminium catalysts require high pressures and temperatures. But if temperatures get too high, hydrogen and carbon dioxide can react to form unwanted carbon monoxide. Microstructured reactors and more selective nickel–gallium catalysts might alleviate these problems, but they still need to be tried and tested.

A lot of questions remain, such as whether these technologies could be combined in the way the scientists suggest, and what the best practical design for these facilities might be.


B D Patterson et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2019, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1902335116

Visit original article here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/11-million-floating-solar-farms-could-eliminate-carbon-emissions-from-transport-/3010580.article

Climate Crisis is a Health Crisis

The Climate Crisis is a Health Crisis (Graphic from The Climate Reality Project)

The world’s leading scientists agree we must slash emissions by 2030 and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees C to avert a truly dangerous future. Carbon pollution poisons our air, water, and soil, threatening our health.

When we protect our planet, we protect ourselves. The Climate Reality Project is calling on the world’s leaders to ACT NOW.

Visit their website @ Climaterealityproject.org

New Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla’s solar roof is gradually rolling out to more homes. A new set of photos shared this week show a new installation at twilight, complete with cutouts for chimneys and other features. The design looks impressive, and it’s one of the few sightings seen on social media since the first installations appeared early last year.

The roof was shared by a now-deleted Twitter account, which was subsequently posted to Reddit by a user called “Potatochak,” where it received over 3,000 upvotes on the Tesla subreddit. The depicted tiles appear to be the textured variety, but the company also offers a smooth style depending on cosmetic appearance. Tesla recommends a normal house uses a mix of 35 percent solar tiles at $42 per square foot to 65 percent “dummy” tiles at $11 per square foot, resulting in an average price of $21.85 per square foot, but it’s unclear how many times are operational in these images.

(For the FULL ARTICLE visit: https://www.inverse.com/article/52224-tesla-solar-roof-images-of-a-new-installation-show-its-incredible-design)

Energ.io’s Solar Farms for the Blockchain

Energ.io (@greenerg.io) of Sofia, Bulgaria has crowdfunded a Solar Farm which produces six hours of green energy per day. They produce 100% green energy and use that power to support the #blockchain
Check out their bio to help support their cause!

24 Hours of Reality 2018

🌍🌎🌏 Join #24HoursofReality till 9pm EST today December 4th for the live broadcast online at https://www.24hoursofreality.org and become a citizen producer at climatereality.org! 🌍🌎🌏

Drawdown EcoChallenge

The Drawdown EcoChallenge is a fun and social way to learn about and take action on the 100 climate solutions featured in the seminal work of Paul Hawken “Drawdown.”

From April 4-25, individuals and teams from around the world will take part in simple daily activities to reduce their carbon footprints and delve into the world’s most substantive solutions to global warming. At the end of the Challenge, the teams with the most points will win great prizes, including copies of Drawdown and a one-hour video session with Paul Hawken!

The EcoChallenges are broken down into these sections (with an added note of current participants):

LAND USE (1260)


FOOD (3156)





Executive Director of Drawdown, Hawken states “All of life is comprised of self-organizing systems and the Drawdown EcoChallenge is exactly that—people coming together to share, learn, support, imagine, and innovate for a better world. We are honored to be a part of this significant and brilliant initiative.”

Visit http://www.drawdown.org/ecochallenge for more information!

Professor & Mr. Trash Wheel

Based out of the waterfront partnership of Baltimore, Maryland and going by the name “Professor & Mr. Trash Wheel” these devices are vacuuming plastic from our oceans much like a Roomba for waterways. They operate exclusively on the energy they get from sunlight and water. Collecting litter and debris, keeping trash from winding up in the ocean, the device uses two trash containment booms in order to direct the waste up a conveyor belt and into the dumpster barge on the other end.

Since being installed, the trash wheels have kept over one millions pounds of litter out of the Atlantic ocean!

Thanks again to @mchllsong for the share!

To visit a link to the YouTube video from Mashable go here;

Hot Solar Cell

As posted in the MIT Technology Review earlier this year, we are developing a new “hot solar cell” technology.
By converting heat to focused beams of light, a new solar device could create cheap and continuous power.

Solar panels cover a growing number of rooftops, but even decades after they were first developed, the slabs of silicon remain bulky, expensive, and inefficient. Fundamental limitations prevent these conventional photovoltaics from absorbing more than a fraction of the energy in sunlight.

But a team of MIT scientists has built a different sort of solar energy device that uses inventive engineering and advances in materials science to capture far more of the sun’s energy. The trick is to first turn sunlight into heat and then convert it back into light, but now focused within the spectrum that solar cells can use. While various researchers have been working for years on so-called solar thermophotovoltaics, the MIT device is the first one to absorb more energy than its photovoltaic cell alone, demonstrating that the approach could dramatically increase efficiency.

Visit the full source article here!

RanMarine WasteShark

Founded by Richard Hardiman, Ranmarine Technology uses WasteShark — 24-hour on-the-water drones. The solar-powered drones collect detritus, marine waste and chemical substances from ports and canals.

Founded in 2015 in South Africa, the company was later re-incorporated in the Netherlands at the start of last year as RanMarine Technology BV.

Hardiman is based in Rotterdam. He moved there after being selected for PortXL Rotterdam’s maritime accelerator (portxl.org) in February last year. The startup was one of 12 companies selected from 1000 startups worldwide.

In July last year the startup began a pilot with the Port of Rotterdam to test both the use of autonomous surface vessels in their waters and how the product actually works in “high trafficked waters”. The pilot was successfully completed last month.

There are currently 3 different types of the Waste Shark products: the WasteShark, the Great WasteShark and the ChemShark.

Check out their website https://www.ranmarine.io/ for more info and videos!

Idénergie River Turbine

Combining Quebec’s expertise in hydroelectricity, aluminum and renewable energy, Idénergie has successfully developed the first solution to easily generate electricity from the natural flow of a river. This innovation will allow people to generate electricity from nearby rivers, 24 hours a day.

Idénergie’s river turbine has an embedded smart converter that allows the conversion of the energy harnessed from the water current into electricity. The built-in smart converter includes many additional features including a self-starting turbine, continuous power optimization, remote monitoring capabilities, an emergency brake and many more to come.

Mostly made of noble metals such as aluminium and other environmentally friendly components, the turbine is the greenest amongst all available renewable energy products. These material do not react to the environment and are easily recyclable ensuring a substantial end of life value. In addition, the river turbine does not require a permanent structure reducing its impact on aquatic fauna.

By taking into account numerous studies estimating the interactions of the turbines with the ecosystems, Idénergie designed its product in order for it to have minimal impact on the aquatic fauna and its housing environment. Studies carried out by the Alden laboratories, an american entity, have proven that the Darrieus Turbines, used by Idenergie, represent no harm to the river’s ecosystem. In fact, extracting energy from a fluid tend to slow it down, resulting in faster velocity on the side of the turbine thus floating objects and debris, as well as fish, tend to naturally avoid the turbine resulting in 98% survival rate.

A society based on a green economy is Idénergie’s dream. Fully aware of the need to adapt to the threat of climate change, they aim to make a positive difference by encouraging every individual, homeowner or community to use renewable energy and become energy-independent.

Check out their website http://idenergie.ca/en/ to see how this renewable-energy hardware is accessible and discover how yes, it can be done.