A common waste product of the food industry can solve the energy problem storage?
A way to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and decrease the quantity of CO2 put into the air is collecting and using solar and wind energy, but little has gone towards answering the question of how to store excess energy for the times when the sun is down or the wind isn’t blowing. The traditional answer to the storage problem has been batteries or, in some cases, pumped hydroelectric storage, but some their inefficiencies can delete any environment benefit created by using solar and wind energy in the first place.
A new project’s objective was to develop new phase change materials for seasonal thermal energy storage applications in the range of medium temperatures; these materials would be low-cost, environmentally sound, safe and easy to use, furthermore these would be able to serve as a long-term storage solution with significantly lower levels of thermal loss than currently available options.
The new material considered is sugar alcohol, a common waste product of the food industry: according to a recent article on the project, sugar alcohols, when mixed with carbon nanotubes, create a material capable of storing renewable energy as heat. Researchers are optimistic about the use of this molecular alloys based on sugar alcohols as an answer to the problems of thermal energy storage.
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