Energy

Transforming restaurant waste into fuel
February 22, 2017 08:16 AM - University of Saskatchewan

When most people look at discarded vegetable oil—browned and gritty from frying food—they likely see nothing more than waste.

But to Ajay Dalai, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, the cooking process creates a byproduct that has newfound potential as a source of fuel and biolubricant.

 

Offshore Wind Push
February 21, 2017 03:28 PM - University of Delaware

Injecting large amounts of offshore wind power into the U.S. electrical grid is manageable, will cut electricity costs, and will reduce pollution compared to current fossil fuel sources, according to researchers from the University of Delaware and Princeton University who have completed a first-of-its-kind simulation with the electric power industry.

Looking for the next leap in rechargeable batteries
February 17, 2017 03:14 PM - USC - University of Southern California

USC researchers may have just found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the next wave of rechargeable batteries — small enough for cellphones and powerful enough for cars.

Four-Stroke Engine Cycle Produces Hydrogen from Methane and Captures CO2
February 17, 2017 10:46 AM - Georgia Institute of Technology

When is an internal combustion engine not an internal combustion engine? When it’s been transformed into a modular reforming reactor that could make hydrogen available to power fuel cells wherever there’s a natural gas supply available.

By adding a catalyst, a hydrogen separating membrane and carbon dioxide sorbent to the century-old four-stroke engine cycle, researchers have demonstrated a laboratory-scale hydrogen reforming system that produces the green fuel at relatively low temperature in a process that can be scaled up or down to meet specific needs. The process could provide hydrogen at the point of use for residential fuel cells or neighborhood power plants, electricity and power production in natural-gas powered vehicles, fueling of municipal buses or other hydrogen-based vehicles, and supplementing intermittent renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics.

How much biomass grows in the savannah?
February 16, 2017 09:49 AM - Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

Savannahs form one of the largest habitats in the world, covering around one-fifth of the Earth's land area. They are mainly to be found in sub-Saharan Africa. Savannahs are home not only to unique wildlife, including the 'Big Five' - the African elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, leopard and lion - but also to thousands of endemic plant species such as the baobab, or monkey bread tree.

Newly engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption
February 15, 2017 04:24 PM - Trent Knoss via University of Colorado at Boulder

A team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers has developed a scalable manufactured metamaterial — an engineered material with extraordinary properties not found in nature — to act as a kind of air conditioning system for structures. It has the ability to cool objects even under direct sunlight with zero energy and water consumption.

When applied to a surface, the metamaterial film cools the object underneath by efficiently reflecting incoming solar energy back into space while simultaneously allowing the surface to shed its own heat in the form of infrared thermal radiation.

Long-lasting flow battery could run for more than a decade with minimum upkeep
February 14, 2017 03:44 PM - Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new flow battery that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production.

Wind Surpasses Hydroelectric as Top U.S. Renewable Energy Source
February 10, 2017 02:57 PM - Yale E360

For decades, hydroelectric dams served as the United States’ top source of renewable energy. But last year, wind power took the top spot, according to a new report by the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group. It is now the fourth largest source of energy in the U.S., behind natural gas, coal, and nuclear.

Newly engineered material can cool roofs, structures with zero energy consumption
February 9, 2017 03:03 PM - University of Colorado

A team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers has developed a scalable manufactured metamaterial — an engineered material with extraordinary properties not found in nature — to act as a kind of air conditioning system for structures. It has the ability to cool objects even under direct sunlight with zero energy and water consumption.

Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
February 9, 2017 09:33 AM - University of Bonn

Those who take long showers use a great deal of water and energy. Yet people who enjoy taking long showers do not usually realize to what extent they are damaging the environment. However, if a clever measuring system shows current consumption, this immediately leads to increased efficiency. The consumption information available on the display is incentive enough to reduce water and energy consumption when showering on average by 22 per cent. This was shown by a study conducted by the Universities of Bonn and Bamberg, as well as ETH Zurich. The results have initially been published online in the journal Management Science. The print edition will be published soon.

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