By Bill Moore
The idea of burning a solid element at more than 4000 degrees Kelvin to power a pollution-free engine intrigues me. It's also not an easy concept to get one's mind around, but it does offer some enticing advantages over both hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels.
But that's exactly why Canadian Graham Cowan's choice for tomorrow's fuel isn't hydrogen, but boron,
Boron? That's right; the fifth element in the periodic table between beryllium and carbon.
For starters, it packs more energy than gasoline by weight and volume. That means a car fueled by boron can travel 1000 km on 60 kilograms of the stuff. Best of all, it will generate no pollution, only ingots of boron oxide, which can be reprocessed into boron fuel over and over again. Extracting just a tiny fraction of the boron dissolved in sea water could provide enough fuel for billions of automobiles.
Cowan was once a proponent of hydrogen, but over time he became disillusioned with its shortcomings. Instead, he began looking for a substitute fuel, one that offered the advantages of both hydrogen and fossil fuels, but none of their drawbacks. He would finally settle on boron. In this nearly 40 minute-long interview, he explains why.
In addition to listening to our interview with him, we recommend you also review his web site and read his technical paper. We also encourage other experts to examine carefully Cowan's claims. If boron offers a promising alternative pathway to clean, sustainable transportation, we should be exploring it.
Click the Play Audio links at the top right to listen to our discussion. You will need the RealPlayer plug-in, various versions of which are available for free from RealNetwork.Com.
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