"Carbon nanotubes are thin sheets of carbon rolled up into teensy tubes each with a diameter about 30,000 times smaller than a strand of hair.Sounds promising, in geek sorta way. Kinda like storing solar electricity via massive liquid metal batteries - which operate at 700 degrees Celsius!
When carbon — one of the most abundant elements on Earth — is rolled up into tubes, it exhibits some extraordinary properties such as high heat conduction, which the team exploited in the new study.
The researchers coated the nanotubes with a fuel, such as gasoline or ethanol, and applied heat to one end. The result: The fuel reacts and produces more heat, which ignites more fuel to create even more heat.
The process creates “a wave that travels like dominoes falling in a line [down the length of the nanotube],” said study team member Michael Strano, a chemical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The resulting heat wave, it turns out, also creates a wave of electrons moving in one direction — aka electricity.
“The thermal wave squeezes electrons out of the nanotubes like a tube of toothpaste,” Strano explained.
The devices built in the MIT lab produced 10 times more power than a lithium-ion battery of equivalent mass."
I prefer nuclear power generation, but I'm silly that way.