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Has MIT Discovered a Way to Store Solar Energy?

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David Teeghman of Discovery News reports:

"MIT's Jeffrey Grossman and his colleagues have done some initial research that could lead to an entirely new method for capturing and storing sunlight, and it has the potential to make this renewable energy indefinitely storable and transportable.

"The research is based on the molecule fulvalene diruthenium, which is derived from the rare, expensive and platinum-like element, ruthenium.

"Grossman and his team found that when a fulvalene diruthenium molecule absorbs sun, it changes shape into a semi-stable formation. Adding a catalyst to the mixture, snaps the molecule back into it original form."

Here's Grossman describing his findings:

The only problem, Teeghman writes, "is that the diruthenium molecule is expensive and so using it as a rechargeable liquid battery is not practical. But now that Grossman and his team understand the fundamental mechanism, they think they can find other, cheaper molecules that exhibit the same characteristics."

Considering the innovations that have come out of MIT--the world wide web, doppler radar, voice recognition technology, the fax machine, GPS, and so much more--I'm willing to bet these guys are on the right track...
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