Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of technology have come up with yet another revolutionary discovery. The team of MIT scientists claims that it has devised a new type of solar thermal fuel. The thing that makes this fuel different and better is that it can store 10,000 times more energy than any other existing fuel or system. Once again, nanotechnology has found its application in this fuel in the form of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that have been altered a little by azobenzene. This new material can be used as a substitute for the lithium ion batteries since it possesses the same energy per unit volume. It can be charged by exposing it to the sun and can be used for a long period.
The scientists have already begun synthesizing the compound for lab testing. They are planning to design viable and eco friendly prototype devices for using these fuels. A lot of hurdles are still there before this technology can be launched for industrial or domestic use. One of them is the need to develop a fundamental knowledge of the relationship between the geometry of the hybrid nanostructure-based fuels and their solubility in water and other solvents, and accordingly design and maximize highly soluble structures that possess high energy density, thermal stability and good cycling capacity. Another thing is that they must make this technology compatible with the existing gadgets and devices.
Source: Crazyengineers & nanotechweb.org