Re: Styrofoam batteries

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 11:34:36 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:
> The researchers, based as the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico,
> are aiming to build a new breed of cheap polystyrene-based batteries. They
> say the batteries could be used to provide power for anything from cars to
> cellphones.
> The project is part of continuing efforts by Tom Meyer and his colleagues
> at Los Alamos to find simple materials that can mimic the complex chemistry
> of photosynthesis, which allows plants to store energy from sunlight in
> chemical bonds.
> For now, his team's main aim is to increase the efficiency with which the
> molecules convert energy, which is now hovering around 15 per cent.
> "There's a lot of hard work ahead, but you have to expect that," he says.
> "After all, it took natural photosynthesis more than a billion years to
> evolve."

What method of calculating efficiency are they using? AFAIK, there is no
natural occurence of chlorophyll based photosynthesis that exceeds 3%
efficiency, and only a few specifically bred and engineered plants that
go as high as 5% efficiency, which I had thought was the theoretical
limit for chlorophyll based energy conversion.

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