Energy

Dispersants Improved Air Quality for Responders at Deepwater Horizon
August 28, 2017 03:32 PM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A study published Aug. 28, 2017, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesadds a new dimension to the controversial decision to inject large amounts of chemical dispersants immediately above the crippled oil well at the seafloor during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The dispersants likely reduced the amount of harmful gases in the air at the sea surface—diminishing health risks for emergency responders and allowing them to keep working to stop the uncontrolled spill and clean up the spilled oil sooner.

Recipe for Safer Batteries — Just Add Diamonds
August 25, 2017 01:01 PM - Drexel University

While lithium-ion batteries, widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops, have one of the longest lifespans of commercial batteries today, they also have been behind a number of recent meltdowns and fires due to short-circuiting in mobile devices. In hopes of preventing more of these hazardous malfunctions researchers at Drexel University have developed a recipe that can turn electrolyte solution — a key component of most batteries — into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to battery-related disasters. 

Recipe for Safer Batteries — Just Add Diamonds
August 25, 2017 01:01 PM - Drexel University

While lithium-ion batteries, widely used in mobile devices from cell phones to laptops, have one of the longest lifespans of commercial batteries today, they also have been behind a number of recent meltdowns and fires due to short-circuiting in mobile devices. In hopes of preventing more of these hazardous malfunctions researchers at Drexel University have developed a recipe that can turn electrolyte solution — a key component of most batteries — into a safeguard against the chemical process that leads to battery-related disasters. 

Researchers identify cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalyst
August 25, 2017 11:11 AM - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Fuels that are produced from nonpetroleum-based biological sources may become greener and more affordable, thanks to research performed at the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institutethat examines the use of a processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria.

Researchers Report Breakthrough in Magnesium Batteries
August 24, 2017 10:08 AM - University of Houston

Magnesium batteries offer promise for safely powering modern life – unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, they are not flammable or subject to exploding – but their ability to store energy has been limited.

Researchers reported Aug. 24 in the journal Nature Communications the discovery of a new design for the battery cathode, drastically increasing the storage capacity and upending conventional wisdom that the magnesium-chloride bond must be broken before inserting magnesium into the host.

Researchers Report Breakthrough in Magnesium Batteries
August 24, 2017 10:08 AM - University of Houston

Magnesium batteries offer promise for safely powering modern life – unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, they are not flammable or subject to exploding – but their ability to store energy has been limited.

Researchers reported Aug. 24 in the journal Nature Communications the discovery of a new design for the battery cathode, drastically increasing the storage capacity and upending conventional wisdom that the magnesium-chloride bond must be broken before inserting magnesium into the host.

The World Eyes Yet Another Unconventional Source of Fossil Fuels
August 21, 2017 08:02 AM - Yale Environment 360

In May of this year, China claimed a breakthrough in tapping an obscure fossil fuel resource: Researchers there managed to suck a steady flow of methane gas out of frozen mud on the seafloor. That same month, Japan did the same. And in the United States, researchers pulled a core of muddy, methane-soaked ice from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

The idea of exploiting this quirky fuel source would have been considered madness a couple of decades ago — both wildly expensive and dangerous. Until recently, methane-soaked ice was considered explosively unstable. In the Gulf of Mexico, traditional oil rigs have been tiptoeing around these icy deposits for years, trying to avoid them.

The World Eyes Yet Another Unconventional Source of Fossil Fuels
August 21, 2017 08:02 AM - Yale Environment 360

In May of this year, China claimed a breakthrough in tapping an obscure fossil fuel resource: Researchers there managed to suck a steady flow of methane gas out of frozen mud on the seafloor. That same month, Japan did the same. And in the United States, researchers pulled a core of muddy, methane-soaked ice from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

The idea of exploiting this quirky fuel source would have been considered madness a couple of decades ago — both wildly expensive and dangerous. Until recently, methane-soaked ice was considered explosively unstable. In the Gulf of Mexico, traditional oil rigs have been tiptoeing around these icy deposits for years, trying to avoid them.

The Power of Perovskite
August 18, 2017 10:53 AM - Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

Originally a mineral, the perovskite used in today’s technology is quite different from the rock found in the Earth mantle. A “perovskite structure” uses a different combination of atoms but keep the general 3-dimensional structure originally observed in the mineral, which possesses superb optoelectronic properties such as strong light absorption and facilitated charge transport. These advantages qualify the perovskite structure as particularly suited for the design of electronic devices, from solar cells to lights.

The accelerating progress in perovskite technology over the past few years suggest new perovskite-based devices will soon outperform current technology in the energy sector. The Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit at OIST led by Prof. Yabing Qi is at the forefront of this development, with now two new scientific publications focusing on the improvement of perovskite solar cells and a cheaper and smarter way to produce emerging perovskite-based LED lights.

The Power of Perovskite
August 18, 2017 10:53 AM - Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology

Originally a mineral, the perovskite used in today’s technology is quite different from the rock found in the Earth mantle. A “perovskite structure” uses a different combination of atoms but keep the general 3-dimensional structure originally observed in the mineral, which possesses superb optoelectronic properties such as strong light absorption and facilitated charge transport. These advantages qualify the perovskite structure as particularly suited for the design of electronic devices, from solar cells to lights.

The accelerating progress in perovskite technology over the past few years suggest new perovskite-based devices will soon outperform current technology in the energy sector. The Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit at OIST led by Prof. Yabing Qi is at the forefront of this development, with now two new scientific publications focusing on the improvement of perovskite solar cells and a cheaper and smarter way to produce emerging perovskite-based LED lights.

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