Sep 22, 2016: As solar cells produce a greater proportion of total electric power, a fundamental limitation remains: the dark of night when solar cells go to sleep. Lithium-ion batteries are too expensive a solution to use on something as massive as the electric grid. A professor of chemistry has a better idea: integrating the solar cell with a large-capacity battery.
Sep 22, 2016: Using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves, researchers have developed a cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight. Based on photosynthesis, and technology paves the way for clean fuels from renewable sources.
Sep 20, 2016: Chemists have been the first to demonstrate that an organic semiconductor polymer called polyaniline is a promising photocathode material for the conversion of carbon dioxide into alcohol fuels without the need for a co-catalyst.
Sep 19, 2016: Hydrogen is often considered a fuel for the future, in the form of fuel cells to power electric motors or burned in internal combustion engines. But finding a practical, inexpensive and nontoxic way to produce large amounts of hydrogen gas -- especially by splitting water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen -- has been a challenge.
Sep 19, 2016: A team of researchersclaims to have made yet another step towards finding a solution to accelerate the commercialization of silicon anode for Lithium-ion batteries.
Sep 15, 2016: A fundamental step forward has been taken in advancing Li-air through the development of mixed metal catalyst that could lead to more efficient electrode reactions in the battery.
Sep 13, 2016: There have been a couple of big announcements lately regarding the increased range of BEV (battery electric vehicles). The new Tesla Model S is supposed to have a range of 315 miles and the new Chevy Bolt EV is said to have a range of 238 miles. So, the question of the day is will ……
Sep 13, 2016: Scientists have made an important breakthrough which could lead to the design of better fuel cells. They demonstrate how they synthesized nanometer-sized cage molecules that can be used to transport charge in proton exchange membrane (PEM) applications.
Sep 12, 2016: Fuel cells have long held promise as power sources, but low efficiency has created obstacles to realizing that promise. Researchers have identified the active form of an iron-containing catalyst for the trickiest part of the process: reducing oxygen gas. The finding could help researchers refine better catalysts, making fuel cells a more energy- and cost-efficient option for powering vehicles and other applications.
Sep 9, 2016: Scientists have developed numerous models to predict how much fuel remains inside Earth to drive its engines -- and estimates vary widely -- but the true amount remains unknown. In a new article, a team of geologists and neutrino physicists boldly claims it will be able to determine by 2025 how much nuclear fuel and radioactive power remain in the Earth's tank.
Sep 7, 2016: Industrial interest is expected in a vehicular fuel cell membrane able to excrete protons at the most effective temperature ranges, allowing electrons to form an unimpeded electric current.
Sep 6, 2016: Electronics integrated into textiles are gaining in popularity: Systems like smartphone displays in a sleeve or sensors to detect physical performance in athletic wear have already been produced. The main problem with these systems tends to be the lack of a comfortable, equally wearable source of power. Scientists are now aiming to obtain the necessary energy from body heat. They have now introduced a flexible, wearable thermocell based on two different gel electrolytes.
Sep 1, 2016: Engineers have led development of a laser-treatment process that allows them to use printed graphene for electric circuits and electrodes -- even on paper and other fragile surfaces. The technology could lead to many real-world, low-cost applications for printed graphene electronics, including sensors, fuel cells and medical devices.
Sep 1, 2016: Oxygen inhibits hydrogenases, a group of enzymes that are able to produce and split hydrogen. This degradation is fatal for possible biotechnological applications of these enzymes for the production of clean energy. Understanding the mechanisms of this process is hence essential. An international team of researchers have combined theory and experiment to characterize each chemical reaction step that results in the reduction of oxygen by the enzyme.
Aug 31, 2016: Scientists can now directly probe a previously hard-to-see layer of chemistry thanks to a unique X-ray toolkit. A key breakthrough enabling the latest experiment was in tailoring "tender" X-rays--which have an energy range tuned in a middle ground between the typical high-energy (or "hard") and low-energy (or "soft") X-rays used in research--to focus on chemistry within the double layer of a sample electrochemical system.
Aug 30, 2016: Two engineering professors have examined the use of flywheel technology to store energy generated when light rail transit trains decelerate and stop. Trains such as the LRT used in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, are designed with so-called dynamic braking. The deceleration generates electrical energy, which needs to go somewhere.A flywheel system could store it as mechanical energy. This energy could be converted to electrical energy when the train is ready to leave the station.
Aug 27, 2016: On May 5, 2015 I posted a blog named “Dude, Where’s My Hydrogen Fuel Cell Driverless Car?” A few months earlier Mercedes teased the public with its concept autonomous f 015 fuel cell vehicle (see photo at top) and this was the first indication that carmakers may want to combine high tech hydrogen fuel cell ……
Aug 26, 2016: A research group have developed an anode material for lithium (Li)-ion rechargeable batteries by forming nanoparticles made of silicon (Si)-metal composites on metal substrates. The resulting anode material had high capacity - almost twice as high as conventional materials - and a long cycle life. These results will lead to the development of higher-capacity, longer-life anode materials for Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
Aug 25, 2016: Every year, humans advance climate change and global warming by injecting about 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientists believe they've found a way to convert all these emissions into energy-rich fuel in a carbon-neutral cycle that uses a very abundant natural resource: silicon. Readily available in sand, it's the seventh most-abundant element in the universe and the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust.
Aug 25, 2016: Solar energy can be stored by converting it into hydrogen. But current methods are too expensive and don't last long. Using commercially available solar cells and none of the usual rare metals, researchers have now designed a device that outperforms in stability, efficiency and cost.
Aug 24, 2016: Researchers have new findings on the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions. New understanding of these mechanisms could lead the way to more energy-efficient glass manufacturing, and even glass supercapacitors that leapfrog the performance of batteries now used for electric cars and solar energy.
Aug 23, 2016: A new class of fuel cells based on a newly discovered polymer-based material could bridge the gap between the operating temperature ranges of two existing types of polymer fuel cells, a breakthrough with the potential to accelerate the commercialization of low-cost fuel cells for automotive and stationary applications.
Aug 23, 2016: Detailed lab experiments provide fresh insight into the physics of fluid-fluid displacement in porous media, crucial to applications like carbon dioxide sequestration or fuel cell operation.
Aug 23, 2016: Researchers have designed a thin plastic membrane that stops rechargeable batteries from discharging when not in use and allows for rapid recharging. It could find applications in high powered "supercapacitors" for electric cars and even help prevent the kinds of fires that plagued some models of hoverboards recently.
Aug 23, 2016: A future of soft robots or smart T-shirts may depend on the development of stretchy power sources. But traditional batteries are thick and rigid -- not ideal properties for materials that would be used in tiny malleable devices. In a step toward wearable electronics, a team of researchers has produced a stretchy micro-supercapacitor using ribbons of graphene.
Aug 22, 2016: Researchers have developed a novel nanomaterial that could improve the performance and lower the costs of fuel cells by using fewer precious metals like platinum or palladium.
Aug 19, 2016: Lowering costs and time to market are imperative if fuel cells are to succeed. With the advent of 3D printing, the production of fuel cells seems like a natural fit. In May 2014, I had talked about how DTU Energy Conversion had modified a HP 1000 ink jet printer to print fuel cells rapidly ……
Aug 16, 2016: Scientists have genetically modified a common soil bacteria to create electrical wires that not only conduct electricity, but are thousands of times thinner than a human hair.
Aug 16, 2016: A new lithium-ion battery made entirely of solid material has been developed by scientists. They report that it contains neither liquids nor gels. The battery cannot ignite, even at very high temperatures, giving it a safety advantage over conventional batteries.
Aug 9, 2016: Using a unique combination of advanced computational methods, chemical engineers have demystified some of the complex catalytic chemistry in fuel cells -- an advance that brings cost-effective fuel cells closer to reality.
Aug 9, 2016: Solutions including electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, vehicle connectivity, and automation are examined.
Aug 9, 2016: Synthetic biology is an emerging and rapidly evolving engineering discipline. Now scientists have engineered a chemically switchable version of the light-driven proton pump proteorhodopsin -- an essential tool for efficiently powering molecular factories and synthetic cells.
Aug 8, 2016: Applying nanotechnology to fuel cells gives them more oomph, report researchers. The project is part of a $13 million program to advance fuel cell performance and durability and hydrogen storage technologies announced last month.
Aug 8, 2016: The capacity of lithium-ion batteries might be increased by six times by using anodes made of silicon instead of graphite. Researchers have observed for the first time in detail how lithium ions migrate into thin films of silicon. It was shown that extremely thin layers of silicon would be sufficient to achieve the maximal load of lithium.
Aug 4, 2016: Scientists have developed an oxygen-assisted aluminum/carbon dioxide power cell that uses electrochemical reactions to both sequester the carbon dioxide and produce electricity.
Aug 4, 2016: Scientists have developed a working battery that self-destructs in water. It's part of a field of study called 'transient electronics.' The battery project presented many challenges, including a complex structure and difficulties in fabrication.
Aug 3, 2016: Researchers have created a new silicon-tin nanocomposite anode that could lead to lithium-ion batteries that can be charged and discharged more times before they reach the end of their useful lives. The longer-lasting batteries could be used in everything from handheld electronic devices to electric vehicles.
Aug 3, 2016: Hydrogen is widely regarded as a promising and clean alternative energy source. The traditional source of hydrogen for fuel cell use is water, which is split into hydrogen and oxygen. But oxygen is a low-value product. So, this week, researchers report a new approach and a new catalyst that can produce not just hydrogen but also valuable chemicals, including the most common ingredient in nail polish.
Aug 3, 2016: A team chemists has created a battery that stores energy in a biologically derived unit, paving the way for cheaper consumer electronics that are easier on the environment.The battery is similar to many commercially-available high-energy lithium-ion batteries with one important difference. It uses flavin from vitamin B2 as the cathode: the part that stores the electricity that is released when connected to a device.
Aug 2, 2016: Thanks to a reaction that resembles a sort of proton pinball game, a thin layer of moisture on the surface of a catalysts can improve the efficiency of fuel cells, devices used to transform chemical energy (a fuel like hydrogen, for example) directly into electricity without releasing greenhouse gases in emissions.
Jul 28, 2016: Researchers have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel, using only sunlight for energy.
Jul 27, 2016: A new wrinkle on an old technology -- solid-state thermophotovoltaics (TPV) -- could provide a high-efficiency alternative for directly converting high-temperature heat from concentrated solar thermal to utility-scale electricity.
Jul 26, 2016: In 2009, I talked about how naturally occurring hydrogen is being leaked from the earth’s crust in Russia (see image at top), Europe and a few other places. I posited that one day this free hydrogen gas could one day be used to fuel cars. In 2011, I asked the rhetorical question of whether or ……
Jul 26, 2016: Silicon-air batteries are viewed as a promising and cost-effective alternative to current energy storage technology. However, they have thus far only achieved relatively short running times. Researchers have now discovered why.
Jul 25, 2016: Scientists has developed a novel way to produce two-dimensional nanosheets by separating bulk materials with nontoxic liquid nitrogen. The environmentally friendly process generates a 20-fold increase in surface area per sheet, which could expand the nanomaterials' commercial applications.
Jul 25, 2016: A new kind of lithium-oxygen battery, using glass nanoparticles of lithium oxides, could provide more energy, and much better stability and energy efficiency, report scientists.
Jul 22, 2016: Scientists have revealed temperature-dependent energy conversion of molecular hydrogen on ice surfaces, suggesting the need for a reconsideration of molecular evolution theory.
Jul 20, 2016: A garnet-type, fast ionic conducting oxide has been created by scientists. The developed garnet-type oxide showed not only high ionic conductivity around 1 mS/cm at room temperature, but also high electrochemical stability. Using this material as a solid electrolyte, an all-solid-state lithium battery was fabricated and its reversible charge and discharge reaction was demonstrated successfully. This finding contributes to the realization of highly safe, rechargeable batteries for large-scale power sources.
Jul 18, 2016: Researchers have determined a key step in improving solid oxide fuel cells, a promising clean energy technology that has struggled to gain wide acceptance in the marketplace. The researchers determined a way to improve one of the primary failure points for the fuel cell, overcoming key issues that have hindered its acceptance.
Jul 13, 2016: Auto industry experts predict that more than 50 percent of cars on the road by 2020 will use a relatively new type of fuel-efficient engine. This transition, however, has raised questions about its ultimate effect on the climate. A new study has found that because the newer engines emit higher levels of the climate-warming pollutant black carbon than traditional engines, their impact on the climate is uncertain.