How does the Bloom Box work?

I know that some of the specifics of the manufacturing and materials are proprietary, but I’m assuming that at least the basic idea of its function is not a secret.

As I understand it (from “60 Minutes”), they make a thin plate (by melting and hardening sand), coat one side with the secret black paint and the other with the secret white paint. Then, in the presence of some fuel (such as propane or kerosene) and oxygen, it produces electricity.

I’m assuming that it’s some kind of chemical reaction, but what, exactly, is going on? And if it’s really as simple as it appears, why has it taken so long for anyone to make one that (apparently) works in (some sort of) cost-effective way?

And what are the waste products?

It’s a fuel cell. Waste product is water and carbon dioxide. “Made from sand” probably means silicon or ceramic. Same can be said of computer chips.

Here is a previous thread on the subject.