Global warming threatens to change the entire world as we know it, but these alternative fuels could significantly slow down the entire process.
The most remarkable thing about biochar is that it is a form of charcoal made entirely from agricultural waste.
Biochar produces gas generating energy, and a stable form of carbon – charcoal. The process is then made ‘carbon negative’ by burying it in the ground. It sounds a bit strange, but biochar will go a very long way toward reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
According to researchers, biochar can reduce the demand for carbon intensive fertilizers while simultaneously improving farm productivity. Although the benefits of using biochar are apparent, there are challenges to implementing the use and progress of biochar. The biggest obstacle is perfecting biochar and distributing it at an affordable rate.
2. Sun and hydrogen
Executives at the British energy company, Hydrogen Solar, claim to have used fuel cell technology to convert more than eight percent of sunlight into hydrogen.
Hydrogen fuel is a clean, green power source that, depending upon the production process, can easily be stored.
The potential for solar energy has been widely touted for more than 100 years. It does, however, need energy to remove the hydrogen from water and other sources.
Hydrogen Solar developed Tandem Cell technology which uses two photocatalytic cells, which are made from very thin metal oxide film and coated with a nano-crystalline called nanoscale. The nanoscale coating makes it possible for the hydrogen to be produced very efficiently with no need for fossil fuels, which are responsible for significant amounts of pollution and increased damage to the environment. The greatest challenge is the cost of producing this fuel alternative. However, after the cost of production is under control, hydrogen cell farms could conceivably produce hydrogen for a pretax amount of $1.80 to $3 per kilo.
3. Cold Fusion: Nuclear Energy at Room Temperature
Two Salt Lake City electrochemists commandeered the spotlight on March 23rd 1989 w3hen they claimed to have observed controlled nuclear fusion in a glass jar. The excess heat that resulted in during the trial promised the dawning of a new power source for the entire world... not to mention a financial boon for the two scientists.
However, in the twenty years since its discovery, it is obvious that cold fusion has had absolutely no influence on the production of energy. Sceptics are convinced that cold fusion is not real and so far, no experiment has convinced them of anything to the contrary. In the 20 years that have passed since the first announcement, major funding for research has been cut off.
However, the concept of cold fusion has not completely died out. There remains a committed circle of devotees have kept the fires of cold fusion burning white hot, by conducting experiments in basements and garages, with interest still holding strong at a few more conventional institutions as well.
4. Zero-Point Energy
The premise of zero point energy lies in fundamental quantum physics. If one were to study classical physics, one would not find any reference to a matter or energy. However, quantum physics recognizes vacuums as a whole separate world of possibilities. The laws of traditional physics dictate that an object that oscillates like a pendulum for example, will continue along its path as long as it is moved by an external force, and without an outside force, the pendulum will eventually come to a halt. The laws of quantum physics, however, stipulate that the pendulum is still vibrating even while at rest. This imperceptible movement of an object is due to gravitational or magnetic fields in a vacuum, called zero point energy.
While the experts agree in principle, there is still controversy regarding the amount of energy that is actually contained in ZPE, and whether it can be extracted. The debate among the experts continues. Steven Weinberg has gone on record as being committed to the fact that a vacuum the size of planet Earth has the same energy as a gallon of gasoline. However, his colleague, John Wheeler is equally convinced that there is enough energy in a mere cup of coffee to evaporate all of the water in all of the oceans.
5. Laser Powered Fusion
Scientists have long dreamed of nuclear fusion as a reliable alternative source of energy. The idea behind nuclear fusion is to form helium by fusing deuterium and tritium, which in essence are two heavier forms of hydrogen.
At the very center of the Sun, the massive gravitational pressure makes it possible for laser powered fusion to take place at temperatures as high as ten million degrees Celsius. Laser powered fusion is only possible at the lower pressures on Earth, is only possible at extremely high temperatures - 100 million Celsius and above.
In order to achieve this, lit is necessary to use ultra powerful lasers to achieve Laser Powered Fusion. The massive NIF laser is scheduled for completion in 2010.