Wired News: Fuel Up With Banana Peels: “SRI researchers have shown that in a single step, they can take pulverized coal — or anything else that contains carbon, including human waste or banana peels, for example — and directly transform the fuel’s chemical energy into electricity by electrochemically oxidizing the carbon.”
If this works out, it’s huge. There are tons of benefits to fuel-cell technology and power distribution – so many in fact that there are companies pushing it now for the difficult to supply hydrogen based fuel cells. A cell that ran on carbon would be easy to refuel, and we’d have no trouble finding fuel to fill it up with.
People worrying about the end of oil have said that the one thing which could change the scenarios that they are forecasting would be the invention of a new technology or discovery of a new fuel source. Maybe we have that now?