Energy

Recruiting Manganese to Upgrade Carbon Dioxide
July 7, 2017 09:26 AM - Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is known as a greenhouse gas and plays an essential role in climate change; it is no wonder scientists have been looking for solutions to prevent its release in the environment. However, as a cheap, readily available and non-toxic carbon source, in the past few years there have been efforts to turn carbon dioxide into valuable wares, or ‘value-added’ products.

First battery-free cellphone makes calls by harvesting ambient power
July 6, 2017 05:36 PM - University of Washington

University of Washington researchers have invented a cellphone that requires no batteries — a major leap forward in moving beyond chargers, cords and dying phones. Instead, the phone harvests the few microwatts of power it requires from either ambient radio signals or light.

The team also made Skype calls using its battery-free phone, demonstrating that the prototype made of commercial, off-the-shelf components can receive and transmit speech and communicate with a base station.

Surveying sea floor animals for offshore renewable energy
July 6, 2017 05:10 PM - Oregon State University

There is growing interest in developing offshore wind and wave energy facilities in the Pacific Northwest. But not much is known about the sediment and animal life along the sea floor in the region.

Cellulosic Biofuels Can Benefit Environment if Managed Correctly
July 5, 2017 04:57 PM - Michigan State University

Could cellulosic biofuels – or liquid energy derived from grasses and wood – become a green fuel of the future, providing an environmentally sustainable way of meeting energy needs? In Science, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy-funded Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center say yes, but with a few important caveats.

CAS Researchers Develop Selective Electrocatalysts to Boost Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Performance
July 5, 2017 04:18 PM - Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

A research group from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently reported the development of a new technology to boost performance of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) using high-concentration methanol as fuel, shedding some light on the design of clean and affordable alternative energy sources for portable electric devices. 

When methanol, the fuel of DMFCs, crosses over from the anode to the cathode through the proton exchange membrane (PEM), fuel cell performance is significantly degraded, creating a major problem for the commercialization of DMFCs. Commonly, scientists use various strategies to improve DMFC performance at high concentrations of methanol. These include improving the fuel-feed system, membrane development, modification of electrodes, and water management. 

Cutting the Cost of Ethanol, Other Biofuels and Gasoline
July 5, 2017 03:13 PM - Rutgers University

Biofuels like the ethanol in U.S. gasoline could get cheaper thanks to experts at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Michigan State University.

 

Solving a sweet problem for renewable biofuels and chemicals
July 4, 2017 04:22 PM - Arizona State University

ASU scientists harness the trial-and-error power of evolution to coax nature into revealing answer to energy challenge

Whether or not society shakes its addiction to oil and gasoline will depend on a number of profound environmental, geopolitical and societal factors.

Solving a sweet problem for renewable biofuels and chemicals
July 4, 2017 04:22 PM - Arizona State University

ASU scientists harness the trial-and-error power of evolution to coax nature into revealing answer to energy challenge

Whether or not society shakes its addiction to oil and gasoline will depend on a number of profound environmental, geopolitical and societal factors.

Computer system predicts products of chemical reactions
July 4, 2017 02:26 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

When organic chemists identify a useful chemical compound — a new drug, for instance — it’s up to chemical engineers to determine how to mass-produce it.

There could be 100 different sequences of reactions that yield the same end product. But some of them use cheaper reagents and lower temperatures than others, and perhaps most importantly, some are much easier to run continuously, with technicians occasionally topping up reagents in different reaction chambers.

Gas hydrate younger than previously thought
July 4, 2017 02:01 PM - GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Dr. Ewa Burwicz-Galerne from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel has been awarded during the ninth International Gas Hydrate Conference (ICGH9) in Denver (Colorado, USA) for the world's best PhD thesis in the field of natural gas hydrate research in the past three years. For her thesis, the geologist has developed some of the most complex numerical models of gas hydrates and has gained new insights into their development. The latest study recently was published in the international journal Geochemistry Geophysics, Geosystems.

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