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Compound benefits: Creating new materials to aid cleaner energy generation

By Shane Huntington

Materials scientist Prof David Sholl explains how new hi-tech metal hydrides and metal-organic frameworks can be used to increase the efficiency of nuclear power stations and to capture carbon dioxide emissions in coal-fired power plants.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

I’m Dr Shane Huntington. Thanks for joining us. There's little doubt that the energy sources we currently rely on will be sticking around for decades to come despite their inefficiencies and environmental side effects. No amount of wishful thinking nor the gradual embrace of greener methods will rid the energy sector of the emission intensive process of burning coal. However we can work towards making the process less polluting. Similarly other energy sources such as nuclear will almost certainly be part of a complex solution to meet our future energy needs, but how can we take a process like burning a carbon rich material such as coal and transform it into a viable and clean way to produce energy for the future? Can we create a new generation of nuclear power plants that are genuinely safe and secure and what technologies are we currently missing that will allow us to meet these goals?
Today in Up Close we discuss some of the physical materials that have the potential to help resolve these issues. These materials don't exist naturally but must be carefully designed to have specific properties by teams of scientists and engineers. Our guest today, Professor David Sholl is...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.