Energy prices being low, perhaps this is a good time to invest in energy ventures. Prices are low for traditional reasons such as over supply. Leaking oil into the Yellowstone River reminds us that the cost of energy is not always accurate if the cost to the environment is not included.
Better management of energy resources could result if environmental groups invested in energy companies so that they could have a say in what those companies do. Now may be a good time for this kind of investment.
Graphene, a semi-permeable membrane, may make fuel cells practical.
Graphene is a single layer of carbon molecules. A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen but not thermally, more like electronically.
Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons. Methane for example is one carbon and four hydrogen atoms. Energy mostly comes from the hydrogen atoms. So if you can get the hydrogen atoms by themselves without the carbon it’s way more efficient. The Apollo rockets used pure hydrogen and pure oxygen, for example, to get the most energy. But the fuel cell is way more efficient even that the Apollo, which by the way had small early fuel cells on board.
Graphene was discovered more than ten years ago, but the new discovery is that it may be able to act like a filter or a membrane that filters out pure hydrogen. Being able to get pure hydrogen and oxygen may revolutionize transportation. And all energy.
Fuel cells made the power and drinking water for the Apollo astronauts. The idea of a pollution free, highly efficient power source has been around a long time. But it hard to translate ideas into reality because sometimes the materials are too expensive or wear out too fast, etc. This semi-permeable membrane may be a big breakthrough.