Tuesday, October 06, 2009

solar powered magnesium refining system

Oceans contain about 1800 trillion tons of magnesium, which if refined can be used to meet the world’s energy needs for the next 300,000 years. But refining this metallic element requires temperatures in excess of 4000C, which means a lot of money and energy. Future thinking scientist Takashi Yabe at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, believes that he has a system that can run on solar-power to refine magnesium.

Dubbed magnesium injection cycle or “MAGIC”, the process could well end the world’s dependence of fossil fuels with a fuel that emits no carbon. The process begins by extracting magnesium chloride from seawater using a special evaporation technique. This magnesium chloride is converted to magnesium oxide, which is then heated using plastic Fresnel lenses that focus sunlight into lasers and send it down microscopic fibers. The result of the process is refined magnesium.

The next stage is where the MAGIC engine kicks in, which mixes magnesium granules and water to create heat energy and hydrogen that can power a car. The by-products are water and magnesium oxide, which can be broken down again by the sunlight laser for more fuel. Yabe is also planning to sell refined magnesium for use in fuel cell batteries as magnesium batteries are seven times more powerful than lithium-ion batteries that are commonly used in electric and hybrid vehicles.

via EcoFriend

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