By: 12.09.09  •  2 Comments

The CR5 (Counter-Rotating-Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator) is about 15-20 years away from being efficient enough to use as a major energy source, but it can still be kind of awesome in the meantime.  It’s a two-chambered cylinder with 14 rotating rings in the center.  The outer edge of each ring is iron oxide.  When it’s heated to 1500 ºC [2732 ºF] the iron oxide releases oxygen.  Then carbon dioxide is pumped in and the iron oxide, depleted of oxygen, strips an oxygen molecule off the CO2 like I stripped your mom last night.  Without mercy.  Now the iron oxide is ready for another go (like your mom), and the carbon dioxide was converted to carbon monoxide, a possible building block for fuels, like syngas.

Below is a video of James May conducting an interview about the research.  They start talking about the CR5 near the 5:00 mark.  Prior to that, they’re just burning hot dogs and melting steel with something similar to an archimedes mirror (the solar concentrator supplying heat to the CR5), if that’s your cup of tea. I’ve been burning entire cows and melting buildings with an archimedes mirror all day, so that’s just old hat to me. Now, who wants steak?

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