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Sustainable Energy Solution: the Bloom Box

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Published on Jul 15, 2011

The Bloom Box is a solid oxide fuel cell made by Bloom Energy, which generates energy using only oxygen and natural gases. The founder and CEO of the Bloom Box, K.R. Sridhar, along with his team developed this idea by reversing a similar idea they were working on with NASA that used solar panels to electrolyze Carbon Dioxide, which would essential produce oxygen and fuel on Mars.

The Bloom Box uses thin white ceramic plates, which are claimed to be made from "beach sand". Each ceramic plate is coated with Bloom's signature black ink on one side (which acts as the cathode) and green ink on the other side (the anode). Oxygen enters the cathode side, while natural gas enters the anode side, and the two gases combine to produce energy. One 10x10cm paper-thin square can power a lightbulb; and these squares can be stacked thousands of times to create "a powerplant in a box".

Several industrial-sized Bloom Boxes have been deployed in California for a number of corporations like eBay, Google, Wal-Mart and come with a price tag of $800,000. EBay has already released a statement claiming they have saved over $100,000 in fuel costs over a nine-month trial period.

Bloom's goal is a $3000 box no larger than a small loaf of bread, which can eventually be used in any residential home.

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