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Nanostructures Trap Photons in Ultrathin Solar Cells

April 23, 2014 7:00 am | by Stanford Univ. | Videos | Comments

In the quest to make sun power more competitive, researchers are designing ultrathin solar cells that cut material costs. At the same time, they’re keeping these thin cells efficient by sculpting their surfaces with photovoltaic nanostructures that behave like a molecular hall of mirrors.

Material Coating Tech Mimics Lotus Effect

April 22, 2014 7:00 am | by Virginia Tech | Videos | Comments

Using a two-step technique, scientists have produced a low-cost and simple approach for coating...

Corn Biofuels No Better than Gas for Global Warming

April 21, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press, Dina Cappiello | News | Comments

Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global...

Book Aims to Guide Decisions on Shale Gas

April 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Cornell Univ. | News | Comments

A new book attempts to offer a reader-friendly, unbiased, scientific guide needed to make well-...

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Floating Nuclear Plants Could Eliminate Disasters

April 17, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | Videos | Comments

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid disasters in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.

Ceramic Materials Improve Hydrogen Storage

April 16, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

Engineers have created new ceramic materials that could be used to store hydrogen safely and efficiently. They also have demonstrated that the compounds could be manufactured using a simple, low-cost manufacturing method known as combustion synthesis.

Green, Low-cost, Efficient Forklifts Coming Soon

April 15, 2014 1:17 pm | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell systems soon could be powering the forklifts used in warehouses and other industrial settings at lower costs and with faster refueling times than ever before.


A Few 'Problem Wells' Source of Greenhouse Gas

April 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source, according to a study. The findings could have implications for the evaluation of the environmental impacts from natural gas production.

Quantum Dots Offer Solar Cells a Bright Future

April 15, 2014 7:00 am | by Los Alamos National Laboratory | News | Comments

A project has demonstrated that the superior light-emitting properties of quantum dots can be applied in solar energy by helping more efficiently harvest sunlight.

Material Stores Sun's Heat for Power When It's Cloudy

April 14, 2014 12:26 pm | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

The problem with solar power is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine. Now, scientists have come up with an ingenious workaround— a material that can absorb the sun’s heat and store that energy in chemical form, ready to be released again on demand.

Body Heat Charges Generator

April 11, 2014 12:00 pm | by KAIST | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a glass fabric-based thermoelectric generator that is extremely light and flexible and produces electricity from the heat of the human body.

Sunlight Generates Hydrogen in Silicon

April 11, 2014 7:00 am | by Penn State Univ. | News | Comments

Porous silicon, manufactured in a bottom up procedure using solar energy, can be used to generate hydrogen from water, according to mechanical engineers, who also see applications for batteries, biosensors and optical electronics as outlets for this new material.


Electron Behavior Find is Key to Next-gen Solar Cells, Catalysts

April 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Vienna Univ. of Technology | News | Comments

Experiments have explained the behavior of electrons at tiny step edges on titanium oxide surfaces. This is important for solar cell technology and novel, more effective catalysts.

Method Creates Ethanol Sans Corn, Plants

April 9, 2014 1:00 pm | by Stanford Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have created a copper-based catalyst that produces large quantities of ethanol from carbon monoxide gas at room temperature.

Method Turns Astronaut Waste into Fuel, Drinking Water

April 9, 2014 12:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

On the less glamorous side of space exploration, there’s the more practical problem of waste— in particular, what to do with astronaut urine. But rather than ejecting it into space, scientists are developing a new technique that can turn this waste burden into a boon by converting it into fuel and much-needed drinking water.

Solar Cells More Efficient When Molecules Face Each Other

April 8, 2014 7:00 am | by North Carolina State Univ. | News | Comments

Energy is transferred more efficiently inside of complex, three-dimensional organic solar cells when the donor molecules align face-on, rather than edge-on, relative to the acceptor. This find may aid in the design and manufacture of more efficient and economically viable organic solar cell technology.

Model WWII Craft Takes Flight With Seawater-based Fuel

April 7, 2014 12:00 pm | by U.S. Naval Research Laboratory | News | Comments

Navy researchers have demonstrated novel technologies, developed for the recovery of carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and conversion to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel, by fueling a radio-controlled replica of the historic WWII P-51 Mustang red-tail aircraft.


Find May Help Extend Solar Cells’ Lifetime

April 7, 2014 12:00 pm | by Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have made a surprising discovery about the degradation of solar cells that could help pave the way to creating a longer lifetime for these cells.

Method Uses Sun to Create Solar Energy Materials

April 4, 2014 7:00 am | by Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.

Researchers 'Design' Greener Trees

April 4, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of British Columbia. | News | Comments

Researchers have genetically engineered trees that will break down to produce paper and biofuel more easily. This breakthrough will mean using fewer chemicals, less energy and creating fewer environmental pollutants.

Fuel Cell Runs on Spit

April 3, 2014 12:27 pm | by Penn State Univ. | News | Comments

Saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications, according to an international team of engineers.

Analysis Probes Charge Transfer in Battery Electrodes

April 3, 2014 12:00 pm | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

The electrochemical reactions inside the porous electrodes of batteries and fuel cells have been described by theorists, but never measured directly. Now, a team has figured out a way to measure the fundamental charge transfer rate— finding some significant surprises.

Silicon, Sulfur Team for Better-performing Batteries

April 1, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Southern California | News | Comments

Researchers at have improved the performance and capacity of lithium batteries by developing better-performing, cheaper materials for use in anodes and cathodes.

Solar Cells Double as Lasers

March 31, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

New research has found that the trailblazing “perovskite” material used in solar cells can double up as a laser, strongly suggesting the astonishing efficiency levels already achieved in these cells is only part of the journey.

Carbon Coating Improves Electric Vehicle Batteries

March 28, 2014 12:00 pm | by Western Univ. | News | Comments

Research has shown that a carbon coating on electric car batteries not only affects conductivity and performance, but also alters the chemistry of the battery material’s interactive surface.

Scientists Watch Changes in Battery Material During Operation

March 28, 2014 7:00 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

The first 3-D nanoscale observations of microstructural degradation during charge-discharge cycles could point to new ways to engineer battery electrode materials for better performance.

Bacteria Produce Biofuel Alternative for Rocket Fuel

March 27, 2014 12:55 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Researchers have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications.

Study Compares Toxicity of Biofuels, Conventional Energies

March 27, 2014 7:00 am | by Society of Toxicology | News | Comments

With biofuels being used globally on a wider scale than ever before, scientists are discussing the implications of their use on human and environmental health.

Researchers Engineer Resistance to Ionic Liquids in Biofuel Microbes

March 27, 2014 7:00 am | by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | News | Comments

Researchers have identified the genetic origins of a microbial resistance to ionic liquids and successfully introduced this resistance into a strain of E. coli bacteria for the production of advanced biofuels.        

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