[MUSIC] [SOUND] Thank you [INAUDIBLE]. Steve asked me to give a talk on, on energy some months ago, and, and without thinking, I said yeah, sure, whatever. So here we are tonight, and so full, here's full disclosure, when somebody says to talk about energy and whatnot I sort, here's my normal perspective on this, is here. I'm a climate person, and so this is me. What I would normally do is look at the consequences of energy. So what I decided to do in this is take a, a different shot at the energy and what can we do at the forefront of science, which is where my division is, and cure the, some of the problems. Where's the limit? It's, that's basically what I did is, where are the limits in this whole problem and where is it in the science part of it? I'm ignoring everything else because I know nothing else, nothing about those other parts. So I'm just going to focus on this part of it. Where's the limits in science? So it's going to go through some topics that are, I'm not going to go into details about it, you'll be sorry to know there's no equations involved in this, there'll be a couple figures. But I just want to say here's where the limits are, and here's where the research is. And I've picked the brains of my colleagues, I've also got some references. This is a great book put out by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council. You can get these things online. There's a lot of great information in this. But I've also picked the brains of my colleagues quite a bit, and I'll reference them as I go along, because they really helped me quite a bit. Now, this you just heard from Steve. This is just sort of on, on this side is what we need, this is the energy, this is where it comes from. The biomass, coal, natural gas, GS thermal and all the others, comes in from people. We mostly use it for electricity and it's spread out between residential, commercial, and industrial and of course, the big one is transportation. So what do we do to break this down that it's not so bad? What can we, where do we need to learn a little bit more? Alright, Steve mentioned this, we've got the sun. We've got an hour, the way I look at it you, in one hour you have enough sunlight to meet all your energy demands for a year of people. Alright, that's not bad. That's easy to say, this is alright that's no big deal. We'll just go out and get it, you know, you imagine all the people going out with nets and whatever and >> [LAUGH] >> Grabbing it. But, but the problem is actually doing it. And you all know this. You know the problems with solar energy and, and the biggest problem is this one. You gotta not only capture it which is [INAUDIBLE], but you gotta store it. You need to have it like Netflix. You need energy on demand because if you generate a geothermal or nuclear whatever, it's pumped out and you can use it and you can run it through the grid, but you need to be able to store it. So how do you do that part of it? And that's [INAUDIBLE] I got this from my colleague, Cliff Colviak, who does this for a living. He's a master at doing this, and it's basically the trick of the plant. It's artificial photosynthesis. You have to take, you want to get rid of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so if you can get rid of it, that's good. You want to use sunlight because that's the whole deal here. And then you want to convert it into a some, something to store it. Plant stores the energy as a fuel right, that's what Steve was talking about. That's what you gotta do, store it. So fuels are how you store it or in some sort of compound that is stable and not a greenhouse gas and isn't toxic. But the problem is getting that sunlight and air and it's a problem of catalysis. You have to make it go. The plants put a lot of energy into doing what they did and you gotta put that much in to get it out, just to break even. So that's the chemical part of it. And this is essentially what I said. The plants bring in the water, they bring in the carbon dioxide. You all learned this a long time ago. It processes it in this, inside this membrane. But the trick is in doing it is that you've gotta do it energy efficiently, which is a catalysis, same sort of catalyst that work in polar vortex inside of plants. It makes it go fast and robust and energy efficient. Those are the tricks. So you can do it artificially, you can take CO2 and water and split it apart, the problem is you need a catalyst and it has to go fast, because this sunlight's coming in like a fire hose. And you're sitting there the size of a little tree frog or something, and you're trying to process all this water. You can't. So you've got to be fat, and that's the trick, and energy efficient. And you also want to be better than the plants because the plants die or somebody picks them and eats them, whatever. So you have to solve that part of the problem too. So that in a nutshell, is what you're working at. So from his end, I'm sorry, it's equation, but the point I want to make here is that it's this turnover factor. It's how fast the catalyst gels. That's the trick. Well, how fast is it? It sounds like Johnny Carson. So Ed McMahon should have asked me that. So how fast does it have to go? And the answer is, if you take, if you take a normal Radio Shack photovoltaic cell, and how fast, how much current can it receive, how fast do you have to convert that? Alright how fast does your enzyme then have to turn it over? And the answer is about 100,000 times a second. Its what you're up against, you've got to turn over that much of the light to be able to use it. It's fast. So what do plants do? They've been at this for about 3 billion years, and it depends on which plants you mean. But somewhere between 3.8 and now, billion years ago, they've been doing it. So they've got a wire. So these are a couple of bacteria, one anaerobic and one and they go, the anaerobic guy goes at 31 times a second. That's fast. This guy's going at 107 times a second, and here's the trick, without going into the chemistry. Sitting in the middle of these guys, are catalysts. In this case it's Molybdenum and in this case there's iron sitting in here along with some other catalytic sides. But that's what makes it go. The trick is the recipe. You gotta figure out what makes it go. And it has to do with the way the 3 dimensions in the satellites of these, these electrons, that you gotta get everything lined up right and the energy has to be right, so it's fast and energy efficient. So can you even think about doing this and that's the trick. And so the answer is, yeah, this is one where basically this picture on the right what it is, is one of these enzymes in the middle of it is, one of the these metals. It's tungsten in this case. And now what they've done is rooted it on an electrode, this is an important trick. So you get 2 things here. Number, sorry, not so good at this. So the number 1, this actually turns over 282 times a second, that's pretty good, that's fast. Number 2, you can put it on an electrode cause remember the name of this game is not the turnover factor unless you're a catalytic canvas and that's what all the deal is about. But you want to generate electrons out of, you want to get a flow of current, so that you can split water into carbon dioxide. That's the game plan so it goes quick enough. The only problem with it right now, so this is the state of the [UNKNOWN] is that you gotta put too much juice in it to make it go. But, it's something you can do. So the trick is finding the right molecules which is what like my friend Cliff Kubiak does, you find the right catalyst, the right structure so that you can plant it on a surface and make it go without putting too much in and there's a lot of progress in this. The rate at which this gets to be better is probably 4 times greater than the rate at which you develop new photo vol takes. So in the end, here's the game plan for this. Number i, you start out with your carbon dioxide water in the plant. You run it somewhere through a photovoltaic with the sun, but it's tied to the catalyst. So you've got your solar cell, in other words, here. Then you've got the peanut butter, which is the catalyst. And then you run the whole process, which generates the car which reduces it to carbon monoxide and hydrogen using CO2. So you get rid of that, you use solar energy to do it and you make CO and H2. And anyone who's a chemist in, in my department knows man, it's fat city. This is what you want because from there, then you run it into the factory, straight away. Once you have CO, you have syn gas. Then you turn it into a compound. Boom, there you are. You can turn it into all these products. Hydrogen fuel for one. They're right, just that alone is worth it. But all these are compounds that are used for various things that are consumable. That can save energy and that So the progress in this field is actually in the last 5 years has turned really serious, and he's a part of a major hub of a 122 million dollar grant to work on the catalyst part, but people are trying to do this altogether. Right, the biology part, the catalyst part, choosing the right metal part, the photovotalic part and the syn gas part. So this is actually a very good process.