In dramatic leap forward for humankind, researchers from MIT have announced that humans are almost as smart as plants.
Specifically, they say we are close to an inexpensive, efficient mechanism for storing energy from the sun — a process modeled on photosynthesis that could go a long way to saving us from the carbon-emitting power sources on which we now rely. Sound too good to be true? Yeah, it does, doesn’t it. But these guys are freakin’ serious about this:
“This is a major discovery with enormous implications for the future prosperity of humankind,” said Barber, the Ernst Chain Professor of Biochemistry at Imperial College London. “The importance of their discovery cannot be overstated since it opens up the door for developing new technologies for energy production thus reducing our dependence for fossil fuels and addressing the global climate change problem.”
And that’s from a guy who wasn’t even involved.
Here’s how it works: the scientists built a contraption that inserts a few doohickies mixed with some chemicals and compounds and shit into some water, then they hit the “Go” button and BAM! — clean energy, motherfuckers.
On second thought, let’s let them explain it:
The key component in Nocera and Kanan’s new process is a new catalyst that produces oxygen gas from water; another catalyst produces valuable hydrogen gas. The new catalyst consists of cobalt metal, phosphate and an electrode, placed in water. When electricity — whether from a photovoltaic cell, a wind turbine or any other source — runs through the electrode, the cobalt and phosphate form a thin film on the electrode, and oxygen gas is produced.
Combined with another catalyst, such as platinum, that can produce hydrogen gas from water, the system can duplicate the water splitting reaction that occurs during photosynthesis.
The new catalyst works at room temperature, in neutral pH water, and it’s easy to set up, Nocera said. “That’s why I know this is going to work. It’s so easy to implement,” he said.
The best part is that scientists say that every hour the Sun hits the Earth with enough energy to power the entire planet for a full year.
That’s awesome. I love this discovery. I love it so much I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. Man I miss 30 Rock. Am I still talking?