Japan, a revolutionary new technology, Magnesium Energy Cycle could one day free society from dependence on fossil fuels. The demonstration conducted by Tokyo Institute of Technology Professor Takashi Yabe uses water and the common metallic element Magnesium to create pollution-free power.
Solar-powered lasers are used to renew the magnesium fuel with the only waste product being oxygen. Professor Yabe’s team at TIT has been steadily testing the technology for several years now, and the pilot plant at Chitose is intended to showcase the environmentally-friendly fuel cycle.
The cycle is relatively simple: magnesium powder is mixed with water (H2O) at room temperature, upon which a chemical reaction occurs bonding the magnesium with the oxygen and creating heat energy. What’s left is hydrogen, which is collected and burned to produce more heat with water as its byproduct. It then renews itself by applying solar-powered lasers to break the oxidized magnesium back down to metallic magnesium and oxygen. The only energy used is sunlight while the waste products are oxygen, hydrogen and water.
Magnesium , is a light, shiny metal that is the ninth-most common element in the universe. It makes up 2 percent of the earth’s crust and is the third-most common element dissolved in seawater.