An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce the number of our last remaining large free-flowing rivers by about 20 percent and pose a serious threat to freshwater biodiversity.
Major leaks from oil and gas pipelines have led to home evacuations, explosions, millions of...
New research will help batteries resist overcharging, improving the safety of electronics from...
Using 3-D printing and novel semiconductors, researchers have created a power inverter that could make electric vehicles lighter, more powerful and more efficient. At the core of this development is wide band gap material made of silicon carbide with qualities superior to standard semiconductor materials.
A university is playing a key role in an international project to develop a radical new type of nuclear power station that is safer, more cost-effective, more compact and much quicker and less disruptive to build than any previously constructed. Researchers are exploring whether the element thorium could help to meet the new design’s fuel needs.
Scientists have developed ultra-fast-charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 percent in only two minutes. The new generation batteries also have a long lifespan of over 20 years, more than 10 times compared to existing lithium-ion batteries.
Scientists have developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that gives ample warning before it overheats and bursts into flames. The new technology is designed for conventional lithium-ion batteries now used in billions of cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices, as well as a growing number of cars and airplanes.
A new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells. Researchers have developed a new method for harvesting the energy carried by particles known as dark spin-triplet excitons with close to 100 percent efficiency, clearing the way for hybrid solar cells that could far surpass current efficiency limits.
Engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.
Increasing the oil content of plant biomass could help fulfill the nation's increasing demand for renewable energy feedstocks. Now, a series of detailed genetic studies has revealed new ways to increase the accumulation of oil in leaves, an abundant source of biomass for fuel production.
New research has challenged one of the key axioms in biology— that enzymes need water to function. The breakthrough could eventually lead to the development of new industrial catalysts for processing biodiesel.
Researchers have found that crumpling a piece of graphene “paper”— a material formed by bonding together layers of the two-dimensional form of carbon— can yield new properties that could be useful for creating extremely stretchable supercapacitors to store energy for flexible electronic devices.
The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right. It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun— but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that would increase the energy that is reradiated by the material, and thus lost to the conversion process.
Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Now, using materials from alfalfa and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, researchers have come up with an interesting alternative.
By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral called perovskite and low cost electrodes, scientists have obtained a 12.3 percent conversion efficiency from solar energy to hydrogen, a record using earth-abundant materials as opposed to rare metals.
Penn State Univ. says that General Electric Co. will give the school up to $10 million to create a new center for natural gas industry research.
Abundant supplies of natural gas will do little to reduce harmful U.S. emissions causing climate change, according to researchers. They found that inexpensive gas boosts electricity consumption and hinders expansion of cleaner energy sources, such as wind and solar.
The Univ. of California says it has made one of the largest ever solar energy purchases by a university system in the U.S. The UC system says the deal will provide enough solar power to offset 60 percent of the electricity use at five of the state's 10 campuses, as well as some university medical centers.
Four companies are proposing an $8 billion project to supply the Los Angeles area with large amounts of electricity from a wind farm in Wyoming via an energy storage facility in Utah.
Scientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine.
Researchers have created a small-scale hydrogen generator that uses light and a two-dimensional graphene platform to boost production of the hard-to-make element. The research also unveiled a previously unknown property of graphene. The two-dimensional chain of carbon atoms not only gives and receives electrons, but can also transfer them into another substance.
The California State Teachers' Retirement System says it plans to increase its investments in clean energy and technology to $3.7 billion, from $1.4 billion, over the next five years.
Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale announced today.
The price of solar energy in the U.S. continues to fall substantially, according to the latest editions of two annual reports. A third report shows that local permitting and other regulatory procedures can significantly impact residential photovoltaic prices.
A fevered search for the next great high-energy, rechargeable battery technology is on. Scientists are reporting they have overcome key obstacles toward making lithium-sulfur batteries, which have the potential to leave today’s lithium-ion technology in the dust.
A study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing, and it’s not the source many people may have feared. What’s more, the problem may be fixable with improved construction standards for cement well linings and casings at hydraulic fracturing sites.
A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought– and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated.
Chemists have reported a new form of hydrogen production that is 30 times faster than the current state-of-the-art method. This is a major step forward in the production of hydrogen from water, which could lead to a new era of cheap, clean and renewable energy.
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