Energy

Deceleration of runaway electrons paves the way for fusion power
June 21, 2017 09:32 AM - Chalmers University of Technology

Fusion power has the potential to provide clean and safe energy that is free from carbon dioxide emissions. However, imitating the solar energy process is a difficult task to achieve. Two young plasma physicists at Chalmers University of Technology have now taken us one step closer to a functional fusion reactor. Their model could lead to better methods for decelerating the runaway electrons, which could destroy a future reactor without warning.

Stanford discovery could lead to sustainable source of the fuel additive ethanol
June 20, 2017 04:54 PM - Stanford University

Most cars and trucks in the United States run on a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol, a renewable fuel made primarily from fermented corn. But producing the 14 billion gallons of ethanol consumed annually by American drivers requires millions of acres of farmland.

A recent discovery by Stanford University scientists could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst. The results are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Stanford discovery could lead to sustainable source of the fuel additive ethanol
June 20, 2017 04:54 PM - Stanford University

Most cars and trucks in the United States run on a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol, a renewable fuel made primarily from fermented corn. But producing the 14 billion gallons of ethanol consumed annually by American drivers requires millions of acres of farmland.

A recent discovery by Stanford University scientists could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops. This technology has three basic components: water, carbon dioxide and electricity delivered through a copper catalyst. The results are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Solar heating could cover more than 80% of domestic heating requirements in Nordic countries
June 20, 2017 04:27 PM - Aalto University

According to researchers at Aalto University, by using suitable systems, more than 80% of heating energy for Finnish households could be produced using solar energy. As the price of heating energy obtained from solar heating systems needed to be competitive with the currently used heating alternatives, calculations made by researchers showed that renewable energy could be used to cover 53–81% of annual domestic heating energy consumption depending on the technical implementation method.

'In principle, this result is also valid for Sweden, Norway and other locations at the same latitudes. Of course, local conditions have some effect on this,' says Hassam ur Rehman, a doctoral candidate at Aalto University.

Solar heating could cover more than 80% of domestic heating requirements in Nordic countries
June 20, 2017 04:27 PM - Aalto University

According to researchers at Aalto University, by using suitable systems, more than 80% of heating energy for Finnish households could be produced using solar energy. As the price of heating energy obtained from solar heating systems needed to be competitive with the currently used heating alternatives, calculations made by researchers showed that renewable energy could be used to cover 53–81% of annual domestic heating energy consumption depending on the technical implementation method.

'In principle, this result is also valid for Sweden, Norway and other locations at the same latitudes. Of course, local conditions have some effect on this,' says Hassam ur Rehman, a doctoral candidate at Aalto University.

Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds
June 20, 2017 02:06 PM - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.

Researchers produce new biodiesel
June 19, 2017 04:33 PM - Ruhr University Bochum

In the EU, automotive diesel contains only seven per cent biodiesel. Conventional diesel engines cannot sustain more than that. Until now.

Scientists from the universities of Kaiserslautern, Bochum and Rostock have developed a new method for producing biodiesel. The researchers chemically treated a mixture of plant oils to generate, at zero energy cost, a biofuel that can be added undiluted in modern diesel engines. Their trick: Use bioethylene to cleave the commercial rapeseed oil esters. Currently, European biofuel companies mainly produce biodiesel from rapeseed oil and methanol.

Researchers produce new biodiesel
June 19, 2017 04:33 PM - Ruhr University Bochum

In the EU, automotive diesel contains only seven per cent biodiesel. Conventional diesel engines cannot sustain more than that. Until now.

Scientists from the universities of Kaiserslautern, Bochum and Rostock have developed a new method for producing biodiesel. The researchers chemically treated a mixture of plant oils to generate, at zero energy cost, a biofuel that can be added undiluted in modern diesel engines. Their trick: Use bioethylene to cleave the commercial rapeseed oil esters. Currently, European biofuel companies mainly produce biodiesel from rapeseed oil and methanol.

Could renewable 'power-by-wire' help fix China's air pollution problems?
June 19, 2017 04:26 PM - IOP Publishing

Bringing renewable power ‘by wire’ from western China to its power-hungry Eastern cities could have benefits for both local air quality and global climate change, new research has found.

The study, published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, examined if ongoing power transmission capacity investment in China – driven largely by concerns over air pollution – could also reduce local adverse health impacts from air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Keeping California's Natural Gas System Safe
June 19, 2017 04:09 PM - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The massive natural gas leak at Aliso Canyon shined a light on California’s aging natural gas infrastructure. And five years of extreme drought also exacted its toll on transmission pipelines. Now the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has been awarded $4.6 million by the California Energy Commission for two projects aimed at improving the safety and reliability of the state’s natural gas system.

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