Liquid Energy

Moments after listening to the conclusion of Dean Fisher’s lecture on fracture critical design in class on Tuesday, I started to become slightly depressed and nervous about the future of the world we live in. We must make changes NOW, because there is no time to spare. Now, I understand that we as a society must develop a better outlook in order to salvage our planet for the generations that will precede us, but I was unaware of some of the facts that were presented during the lecture. If I’m not mistaken, Dean Fisher stated 50 percent of the world’s population will be wiped out within the next 50 years if we keep living our current ways. All types of changes, including political, ecological, environmental, and material, must be introduced to save the human species. This blog will focus on the material innovations of liquid metal batteries.

Donald Sadoway, a material chemistry professor at MIT, is in the process of developing liquid metal batteries in order to store mass amounts of energy for times of need. However, his ideas of smelting aluminum to create massive battery liquid seem a bit ambitious. If this innovation was to succeed, society would be able to produce electricity at an extremely low cost and without the harmful gas emissions. The liquid metal electrodes would be stable enough to provide electricity on a grid system for multiple blocks. These forms of innovations may be just what we need to clean our environment and save our planet. So whether our innovations involve just replacing a dryer with an outdoor clothesline to producing hybrid electric cars, changes must be made.



One comment

  1. smit5912

    Concerning Dean Fisher’s statement about 50% in 50 years, who is going to be the unlucky 50% of the world’s population that doesn’t survive the next 50 years, according to the amount of energy being used at this point in time? We are fortunate enough to live in a country that is much better off than most other countries in the world. Our poverty rate is relatively low, our life expectancy is nearly 80 years, and we have a large population of well-educated middle class citizens. As American’s our quality of living is higher than those in under developed countries; therefore, more energy is needed in creating our desired goods and we produce more waste. If and when the world runs out of necessary resources we will have contributed to that more so than a family living in a small village in Brazil.

    We have the knowledge to use carbohydrate energies, most likely regardless of any dramatic weather changes, which can create stable building materials. By changing the design thinking process to one that does not rely on hydrocarbons, the best possible building method and least environmentally harmful solution can be found.

    Like Dean Fisher discussed, it is important that we find new ways to do things to avoid this collapse. People will have to change their way of life in order to extend lives of others. This task will not be easy and the hardest part will be changing the social behavior of all consumers. If it comes to the point of exhaustion though, the more developed the country the higher the chance of survival one has. We are obligated to help our own people first, then others in need if the time arises.

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