Last Friday, on NPR Science Friday, two developers of clean energy technology were interviewed.
Klaus Lackner, director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at Columbia University, presented technology which could relatively cheaply sequester carbon directly from the atmosphere. His breakthrough was not so much in the basic principle, but in significantly reducing the cost. He believes that very soon the CO2 from a litre of petroleum could be sequestered for merely an additional USD 0.07 per litre. Emissions could be sequestered into sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or calcium carbonate (chalk, antacid).
Meanwhile, Jerry Woodall a very accomplished inventor at Perdue University has developed a simple means of using aluminum, gallium, and water to generate hydrogen. His proposed aluminum cycle could be a very useful way to allow hydrogen fuel portability at about 40% energy efficiency. The hydrogen could then be used in fuel cells or if necessary, combusted.
Today from New Scientist: University of Utah scientists have developed a means of recovering waste heat energy through an acoustic heat engine which converts heat to sound to electricity also at about 40% efficiency. One cubic centimetre of these small devices could recover about 1 W of power.