A nickel investment for future’s grid will pay off

July 12, 2004 | Source: SmallTimes

“Energy is the single most important challenge facing humanity today,” says Richard Smalley, director of the Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory at Rice University.

“We will need revolutionary breakthroughs to find the clean, low-cost energy necessary for advanced civilization of the 10 billion souls we expect to be living on this planet before this century is out.”

Nanotechnology will play a key role, he says. For example, single-wall carbon nanotubes (or buckytubes) forming a quantum wire may play a role in the needed electrical transmission system and nanostructured membranes, nanohorn electrodes and nanocatalysts are helping to make fuel cells smaller, lighter and more affordable.