ESPcat – Rust & Global Cooling

I am in lockdown again. I can’t ride my motorcycle. I can’t go to the boat. I mowed the lawn and trimmed the hedge, neither of which were any fun at all. So I’m thinking about Global Warming; what else. Global Warming is becoming a real thing. Just look at the results of huge floods in the South Island of New Zealand. (1)

We have to stop burning fossil fuels that produce those greenhouse gasses that heat things up. But what should we replace coal, oil and gas with?

Maybe we just shouldn’t give a shit. Most of my friends don’t care one tiny bit about their carbon footprint. Many people don’t care but huge floods, devastating forest fires and droughts are becoming difficult to ignore. You blog buddies are a different lot altogether. You are all kind and caring and every one of you gives a shit. Yes folks we must tackle global warming. We should switch to electricity the way God intended but where are we going to get all that electricity from without burning fossil fuels?

If you are a cheap person like me, you will want to make your electricity the cheapest way possible and that is not coal, oil or gas.(1)

The cost of electricity from various types of power plants
Just look at the bar graph above and it is obvious that wind and solar are the cheapest ways to generate electricity so why don’t we just switch to those. Well you may not have noticed but the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Too bad there isn’t cheap way to store electricity for those calm and dingy days. Well maybe there is. Maybe the answer is rust!

Yes that’s right, rust, or as scientists call it, the iron-air battery.

Iron-air batteries store electricity by causing iron pellets (see above) to rust and then un-rust (reversible rusting). The idea has been around a long time but now, MIT scientists and others have figured a way to make a practical, large scale battery based on reversible rusting. One big player, Form Energy, claims to have such a battery ready to go.(2)

Form Energy claim that their giant battery will cost just a fraction of the current batteries built by Tesla. The secret to the low cost is the materials which consist of iron, iron and iron. Yes iron, one of the cheapest and most common metals on earth. No lithium and no exotic metals. Just iron and a few minor bits and pieces. If I were an investing man rather than a poor man, I might consider investing in Form Energy and wait for things to rust up for a bit of global cooling.


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