We got the brains President Obama if you need them, got a spare Billion Mr Gore,
that's our University, plus I worked there for 10 years.
A UNIVERSITY of Queensland scientist said yesterday he had successfully tested technology that delivers twice the power from coal while minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
The exciting breakthrough, which could provide a billion-dollar windfall for the state, may revolutionise the way the world uses coal, a university spokesman said.
Professor John Zhu, of the school of chemical engineering, created a series of direct carbon fuel cells (DCFC) in which burning coal generates highly energy-efficient electricity.
''The very high-energy efficiency of the new technology will effectively halve the amount of coal required to create electricity,'' he said.
''When applied, it will provide industry with very significant cost and energy savings, which could then be passed on to the consumer. In addition to saving cost and energy, the direct carbon fuel cells will also provide clean power.''
Dr Zhu, 41, a father of three girls, said he worked in a ''hot and dirty'' steel factory in Hubei provence in central China while studying engineering.
''I have always wanted to do something for a cleaner environment. Now I'm feeling very positive,'' he said.
Dr Zhu, the son of a primary school teacher, said traditional power stations, which burnt coal to heat water to make steam to power turbines, were outmoded. He said his process used a coal and air mix to produce electrons inside special carbon fuel cells.
He said scientists in California were working on a similar process, but he believed he and his team at the university had beaten them to the punch.
He said he expected the fuel cells would enable the byproduct of coal-fired power - the harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide - to be trapped and stored easily and safely.
''One of the major challenges for coal-fired power is reducing its impact on the environment by developing ways to separate carbon dioxide from other gases produced in the power generation process, and ensuring it is not released into the atmosphere,'' he said.
''The DCFC produces pure carbon dioxide as a byproduct, making it much easier to manage."
He said the next stage in the development would involve consulting with the energy sector and securing industry and government funding to ''scale up'' the fuel cell technology. This could take 10 years.
Professor Graham Schaffer, dean of the university's Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, said the new fuel cell technology was one of a number of clean energy technologies being developed at the university.
''Partnerships with industry and government have enabled our researchers to make significant progress towards these new technologies,'' he said. LinkHere
Australia signs $50 billion gas deal with China
AUSTRALIA has cemented its biggest ever trade deal, a $50 billion contract to supply liquefied natural gas to China, in what the Federal Government calls a win for everyone that will create jobs, help drag the economy back to health and still be good for the environment.
Resources minister Martin Ferguson has been gushing in praise for the deal, describing it as a win-win that would effectively be another "major economic stimulus" package.
In summary, the deal is being billed as providing thousands of new jobs, billions of dollars in tax revenue and a leg-up to switching to cleaner energy. The project behind it has not yet received final green approval, but that is now seen as a formality.
The Opposition is keen to claim credit too. Coalition frontbencher Joe Hockey welcomed the deal, but said the "platform" for it was laid back in the Howard years.
The resources coup shows that Australia and China are maintaining a "business as usual'' approach to economic relations - despite the diplomatic rift caused by the jailing of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu.
The export deal - announced last night in Beijing - will also raise hopes the Australian economy is well on the road to recovery, spurred on by a new wave of exports to resource-hungry Asian countries, the Herald Sun reports.
Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson hailed the trade deal, which will see resources giant ExxonMobil supply gas from the $50 billion Gorgon field in Western Australia.
The Australian reported that the deal will pump $40 billion into Australia's tax coffers over the next few decades.
Mr Ferguson flew to Beijing to sign the deal, which he said would create 6000 Australian jobs and help lead the nation's recovery from the global financial crisis.
He also said that the deal would provide crucial help to the environment and Australia's response to climate change. "LNG is ... clean energy," he said on ABC Radio. LinkHere