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How Eco Diamonds Can Help Deliver Clean Energy

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How Eco Diamonds Can Help Deliver Clean Energy

November 1, 2015 BY Alon Ben-Shoshan IN Diamonds & Technology

We know that eco diamonds like ours are great from eco engagement rings, green wedding bands, environmentally friendly diamond pendants, and killer satellites from James Bond. But eco-conscious energy too?

The Skinny on Steam

Currently, 90% of the world’s electricity is still generated by a steam engine. Coal, natural gas, nuclear, and concentrated solar-thermal often provide the heat source for generating pressurized steam – but there is always a steam engine involved.

When it comes to solar-thermal, conversion of concentrated solar radiation into electrical power is done using a device called a thermionic energy converter.

solar-panel-farm

Diamond holds the key to making thermionic energy converters even more eco-conscious.

However, the thermionic energy converter is a “middleman” of sorts. Simply put, it would be more efficient if the heat source could directly induce the flow of electrons – this is called “thermionic emission”

Why Diamonds?

It turns out that eco diamonds are the perfect candidate for turning heat into electron flow due to its “negative electron affinity”  This means that electrons can be emitted from its surface with little or no loss of energy. As an eon project summary explains: a diamond thermionic emitter can operate at higher temperatures than photovoltaics (PV) and therefore should be more efficient. Since the device uses more concentrated solar energy, it should also be cheaper. 

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