From:                              Integrity Research Institute <>

Sent:                               Wednesday, June 29, 2016 10:46 AM


Subject:                          Future Energy eNews


COFE8 July 29-30 See you there!



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Future Energy eNews




June 2016 TOC





COFE8 is just around the corner, with two days of great speakers addressing energy, propulsion, and bioenergetics. We are honored to have famed medical doctor, Norm Shealy, MD, PhD, inventor of the TENS pain device, to give two lectures. One will be to the joint audience of the ExtraOrdinary Technology Conference and COFE8, while the other will be just to our group at the concurrent COFE8. Visit for more info where you can learn about all of the COFE8 topics dedicated to our energy future, at COFE8, the end of July, 2016. All of our speakers are listed online and registration is now open. (IRI was the first organization to publicize the "future energy" concept in 1999 with our first COFE.) IRI Members get 10% off too. By the way, IRI and last year's COFE7 was just mentioned in a new book on inertial propulsion by Dennis Allen which will be published later this summer.


Our first story this month piggy backs on the solar plane that is making a world record circumnavigating the globe as this eNews is going out. NASA gets the credit for the all-electric, zero-emission X-57 aircraft that uses less energy and can cruise at higher speeds than similar aircraft of today. It also has an interesting propeller design that adds to its efficiency.


The second story could be the blueprint for power plants in West Virginia and other coal and natural gas harvesting states in the US. Rather than discouraging folks with lots of coal and natural gas to bring up, turning the CO2 into stone is a "surprising chemical transformation" which lets the fossil fuel burners have their concentrated energy source and burn it too! The article is in the leading journal Science  and also in the popular Scientific American . They aim at decarbonizing our energy infrastructure!


The third story celebrates zero point energy once again as Casimir forces are finally able to be measured. However, just as Dr. Pinto warned us at COFE3, the journals like "Van Der Waals" forces but shun the other two just mentioned even though virtual particles are what keep the gecko sticking to a surface. This rose by any other name is still caused by the Quantum Vacuum! Using a single xenon atom, physicists have verified the fundamental quantum mechanics giving stability to all matter with the influx of a half-quantum of energy.


Our fourth story comes from one of my favorite journals, the Energy Harvesting Journal, which has become very popular in the past few years, for obvious reasons. Now we find  that a nanocavity can improve ultrathin solar panels with improved light capturing capability, with mirrors of aluminum oxide and closed paths for the light to follow. The design absorbs almost 70 per cent of the incoming light, which is extraordinary. And did I mention the panels are flexible too?


The last story gives us a glimpse of what is possible undersea, with wind turbines that operate underwater. The Aquantis company will be installing 200 MW undersea turbines in the Gulf Stream in just a couple of years, with investments from Microsoft, the USDOE, Mitsubishi, Facebook, Google, and more.




Thomas Valone,  Editor









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1) NASA's New Electric Plane Ushers a New Era of Clean  Aviation




Matt McFarland,  

Washington Post, June 16, 2016


NASA is developing an electric plane to accelerate the introduction of zero-emission aircraft that use less energy and cruise at higher speeds than the aircraft of today. If successful, the plane could become a significant first step toward a new era of more efficient and environmentally friendly air travel.



The electric plane, which NASA is calling the X-57, will seat only a pilot. NASA is also planning five larger planes capable of carrying far more passengers and cargo.


The plane will include 14 motors that power propellers on an unusually thin wing. Typically such a narrow wing would be out of the question, because planes need the lift that a broad wing provides during takeoff and landing. But because NASA has a cluster of propellers lining the wing, more air will be blowing across the wing, providing extra lift.


While all 14 motors would operate during takeoff and landing, only two would be needed once the plane is cruising high in the sky.


The X-57 will have a limited range of about 100 miles and an hour or less of flight time. But the agency is thinking long-term and counting on advances in battery technology to dramatically augment the plane's power in future years.


"If batteries continue to be on the same rapid increase in energy density that they have been on over the past 10 years or so, one can envision five to 10 years out in the future the battery technology would be such that this particular aircraft could be enabled for a commercial-type aspect," said Matt Redifer, the chief engineer on the project.


NASA has a four-year timeline for developing the aircraft. Its first step will be to convert a Tecnam P2006T, an Italian twin-engine light aircraft, to a purely electric powered plane.

NASA hopes to show that switching to a distributed electric system relying on 14 motors will be five times as energy efficient as a typical plane.


The development of an electric plane could prove valuable amid concerns about climate change. Commercial aircraft contribute 11 percent of U.S. transportation emissions and 3 percent of all U.S. emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.


This is the first experimental plane NASA has designed itself in a decade. The organization's history in experimental planes dates to 1947 with the first piloted airplane to break the sound barrier.


NASA is nicknaming the X-57 "Maxwell," in honor of James Clerk Maxwell, the 19th-century Scottish physicist who is known for his work in electromagnetism.


NASA administrator Charles Bolden will be formally announcing the project Friday at a conference.

Related Story




2) In a First, Iceland Power Plant turns Carbon Emissions to Stone


By Newsletter  June 2016



Scientists and engineers working at a major power plant in Iceland have shown for the first time that carbon dioxide emissions can be pumped into the earth and changed chemically to a solid within months-radically faster than anyone had predicted. The finding may help address a fear that so far has plagued the idea of capturing and storing CO2 underground: that emissions could seep back into the air or even explode out. A study describing the method appears this week in the leading journal Science.


The Hellisheidi power plant is the world's largest geothermal facility; it and a companion plant provide the energy for Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, plus power for industry, by pumping up volcanically heated water to run turbines. But the process is not completely clean; it also brings up volcanic gases, including carbon dioxide and nasty-smelling hydrogen sulfide.


Under a pilot project called Carbfix, started in 2012, the plant began mixing the gases with the water pumped from below and reinjecting the solution into the volcanic basalt below. In nature, when basalt is exposed to carbon dioxide and water, a series of natural chemical reactions takes place, and the carbon precipitates out into a whitish, chalky mineral. But no one knew how fast this might happen if the process were harnessed for carbon storage. Previous studies have estimated that in most rocks, it would take hundreds or even thousands of years. In the basalt below Hellisheidi, 95 percent of the injected carbon was solidified within less than two years.


"This means that we can pump down large amounts of CO2 and store it in a very safe way over a very short period of time," said study coauthor Martin Stute, a hydrologist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "In the future, we could think of using this for power plants in places where there's a lot of basalt-and there are many such places." Basically all the world's seafloors are made of the porous, blackish rock, as are about 10 percent of continental rocks.


Scientists have been tussling for years with the idea of so-called carbon capture and sequestration; the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that without such technology, it may not be possible to limit global warming adequately. But up to now, projects have made little progress. It has been tried at only a handful of sites, and most experiments have involved pumping pure carbon dioxide into sandstone, or deep, salty aquifers. Here, it is hoped, pressure and solid layers of caprock above would seal in the waste. But scientists have worried that any miscalculation could result in emissions making their way back up through fractures, or that natural earthquakes or tremors caused by the injection itself could rupture subterranean reservoirs. A coal-fired power plant in Saskatchewan that currently runs North America's only large-scale operation at a generating station has been plagued by technical problems-and the captured carbon dioxide is being sent to oil producers who inject it into ailing wells to pressure out more oil, which produces more carbon dioxide when burned.


In 2007 Hellisheidi's operator, Reykjavik Energy, joined with a consortium including Columbia and the universities of Copenhagen and Iceland to get rid of its CO2 emissions, along with the hydrogen sulfide, which was plaguing the area. The plant produces 40,000 tons of CO2 a year-5 percent the emissions of an equivalent coal-fired plant, but still considerable. Lab experiments showed that, unlike the  sedimentary rocks that most other projects have used for injection, the local basalt contains plenty of calcium, iron and magnesium, which are needed to precipitate out carbon. Experiments showed that large amounts of water would also have to be added to make the reaction go-another departure from previous projects, which have just pumped down pure carbon dioxide.




3) Measuring Van Der Waals (Casimir) Forces 


Nanophysics Newsletter  June 2016




Physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the very weak van der Waals forces between individual atoms for the first time. To do this, they fixed individual noble gas atoms within a molecular network and determined the interactions with a single xenon atom that they had positioned at the tip of an atomic force microscope. As expected, the forces varied according to the distance between the two atoms; but, in some cases, the forces were several times larger than theoretically calculated. These findings are reported by the international team of researchers in Nature Communications.

Van der Waals forces act between non-polar atoms and molecules. Although they are very weak in comparison to chemical bonds, they are hugely significant in nature. They play an important role in all processes relating to cohesion, adhesion, friction or condensation and are, for example, essential for a gecko's climbing skills.


Van der Waals interactions arise due to a temporary redistribution of electrons in the atoms and molecules. This results in the occasional formation of dipoles, which in turn induce a redistribution of electrons in closely neighboring molecules. Due to the formation of dipoles, the two molecules experience a mutual attraction, which is referred to as a van der Waals interaction. This only exists temporarily but is repeatedly re-formed. The individual forces are the weakest binding forces that exist in nature, but they add up to reach magnitudes that we can perceive very clearly on the macroscopic scale - as in the example of the gecko.


Fixed within the nano-beaker


To measure the van der Waals forces, scientists in Basel used a low-temperature atomic force microscope with a single xenon atom on the tip. They then fixed the individual argon, krypton and xenon atoms in a molecular network. This network, which is self-organizing under certain experimental conditions, contains so-called nano-beakers of copper atoms in which the noble gas atoms are held in place like a bird egg. Only with this experimental set-up is it possible to measure the tiny forces between microscope tip and noble gas atom, as a pure metal surface would allow the noble gas atoms to slide around.


Compared with theory


The researchers compared the measured forces with calculated values and displayed them graphically. As expected from the theoretical calculations, the measured forces fell dramatically as the distance between the atoms increased. While there was good agreement between measured and calculated curve shapes for all of the noble gases analyzed, the absolute measured forces were larger than had been expected from calculations according to the standard model. Above all for xenon, the measured forces were larger than the calculated values by a factor of up to two.





4) Nanocavity May Improve Ultrathin Solar Panels


Energy Harvesting Journal, June 2016



The future of movies and manufacturing may be in 3-D, but electronics and photonics are going 2-D; specifically, two-dimensional semiconducting materials.   One of the latest advancements in these fields centers on molybdenum disulfide (MoS), a two-dimensional semiconductor that, while commonly used in lubricants and steel alloys, is still being explored in optoelectronics.   


Recently, engineers placed a single layer of MoS molecules on top of a photonic structure called an optical nanocavity made of aluminum oxide and aluminum. (A nanocavity is an arrangement of mirrors that allows beams of light to circulate in closed paths. These cavities help us build things like lasers and optical fibers used for communications.)   The results, described in the paper "MoS monolayers on nanocavities: enhancement in light-matter interaction" published in the journal 2D Materials, are promising. The MoS nanocavity can increase the amount of light that ultrathin semiconducting materials absorb. In turn, this could help industry to continue manufacturing more powerful, efficient and flexible electronic devices.  


 "The nanocavity we have developed has many potential applications," says Qiaoqiang Gan, PhD, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "It could potentially be used to create more efficient and flexible solar panels, and faster photodetectors for video cameras and other devices. It may even be used to produce hydrogen fuel through water splitting more efficiently."


A single layer of MoS is advantageous because unlike another promising two-dimensional material, graphene, its bandgap structure is similar to semiconductors used in LEDs, lasers and solar cells.   "In experiments, the nanocavity was able to absorb nearly 70 percent of the laser we projected on it. Its ability to absorb light and convert that light into available energy could ultimately help industry continue to more energy-efficient electronic devices," said Haomin Song, a PhD candidate in Gan's lab and a co-lead researcher on the paper.   


Industry has kept pace with the demand for smaller, thinner and more powerful optoelectronic devices, in part, by shrinking the size of the semiconductors used in these devices.   A problem for energy-harvesting optoelectronic devices, however, is that these ultrathin semiconductors do not absorb light as well as conventional bulk semiconductors. Therefore, there is an intrinsic tradeoff between the ultrathin semiconductors' optical absorption capacity and their thickness.  


 The nanocavity, described above, is a potential solution to this issue




5) New Wave of Under the Sea Renewable Energy Sources Coming



By  L. Johnson , Trending Tech June 16, 2016


We have all seen the many wind turbines and solar panels that are set up in the countryside and peoples homes, but what about underwater turbines?  Although this is not an entirely new area of renewable energy, thanks to a man named Jim Dehlsen, it may be about to receive the marketing, and subsequently investment opportunities need to get really this thing going.




Having many years experience in wind energy, Mr. Dehlsen decided to take that knowledge and use it in an area that is not so popular yet and to revolutionize it.  He realized the potential the waters of the world provide us with in terms of an energy source and went at it full steam to try and convert this untapped energy into something we could all benefit from using underwater turbines.


The company that was created to put forward Jim's ideas is called Aquantis and is based in Santa Barbara, California.  With turbines already in production and being distributed to Wales and the Isle of Wight in 2018, the start of something big could be just around the corner.  Soon after the first turbines have been erected, the biggest will be at a site in the Gulf Stream in 2019/2020 and will consist of a 200-megawatt field of marine turbines.


Theses gigantic turbines work by gathering the energy created by waves, tidal currents and steady currents.  Because there is always a constant flow of water, there will always be a constant flow of energy being created.  This free source of energy obviously helps to set against the initial set up costs of the underwater turbines.  Others that are currently in operation by competitors work differently to Aquantis as they tend to dig deep into the ocean floor opposed to sitting on the ocean bed, increasing the costs by a huge amount.


Microsoft has already had recognized the potential that Jim and co have to offer and have just finished a combined testing experiment that consisted of constructing an underwater chamber that housed data on behalf of Microsoft.  It was carried out over a period of 105 days and was deemed to be a success, so it could be the first of many valuable formed partnerships Aquantis will soon acquire with Facebook, Google and Apple already having been approached.


Investments are coming in from all over with people and companies wanting to get on board with Aquantis, and much of that is down to Mr. Dehlsen himself and his extensive knowledge and expertise in this field.  Department of Energy grants have already been awarded to the team, and even Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has claimed a little piece of investment.


While many people are eager to carry forward this work of the progression of underwater turbines and 'wave power', there are still a few concerns as to the actual running costs compared to solar or wind power as well as the worry that the noise may confuse sea life.


Whatever peoples concerns are it is evident that this is an avenue of renewable energy that has not yet been explored thoroughly.  But, with more time and research devoted to this field, there is no reason to say the efficiency can not improve, just as solar power systems have.  By introducing the use of marine energy, we are opening up another branch of technology that may just help save the planet and could serve almost 10 percent of the USA within the next fifteen years.





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