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Where to best increase efficiency?

  1. Oct 23, 2007 #1
    What processes, mechanisms or basic physics could experience an increase in efficiency best for world society?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2007 #2
    ..processes? Obviously they could nearly all experience an increase in efficiency, so I say transport. In principle, shuffling and relocating material requires zero energy. In practice, energy use and associated emissions arising from transport processes are a major global problem.

    ..specific mechanisms? If I had to pick one, then it would be fuel cells because I think they have far greater thermodynamic potential than the widespread combustion engines. (But, greater magnitude improvements could generally be obtained by changing to different mechanisms, rather than further optimising individual mechanisms. E.g., more rail.)

    ..basic physics? "What basic physics could experience an increase in efficiency?" Hmm. "What purple could experience an increase in saltiness?" Nope, that makes no sense, what was it supposed to mean?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2007
  4. Oct 23, 2007 #3
    cfrog,

    I should have written "applications of basic physics."

    Processes. I say utilization of natural processes, like photosynthesis and the genome, which evolution has tested and refined over billions of years.

    Specific mechanisms. Fabrication of inexpensive computers for the Third World, toward a truer democracy, served up with plumpynut.

    Applications of basic physics. Practical energy storage, as in clathrate hydrates like (H2)4CH4.

    (Aside: will fusion ever work?)
     
  5. Oct 25, 2007 #4
    You mean of course non destructive fusion like the ITER in France or the NIF in California, and though some think a technique of a fusion over unity release every 5 minutes will not work, I say yes. Big bucks though.

    The super capacitor or such that can store electrically as much energy as a tank of diesel fuel at the same weight, yes, that would be the berries especially if we get fusion electrics.

    The ability to use plants as chemical factories is in its infancy.

    We need an easy to use technique, acceptable and easily understood, that enables the detection and rejection of ways of life based on BS.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2007 #5

    mgb_phys

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    If the chemicals you want are sugars, starch, vitamins etc then its infancy has lasted rather a long time.
     
  7. Oct 25, 2007 #6
    More like the ones here.
     
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