• Robust and Inexpensive Catalysts for Hydrogen Production

    Teams of scientists from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Warwick were able to observe the smallest details of hydrogen production with the synthetic mineral pentlandite. This makes it possible to develop strategies for the design of robust and cost-effective catalysts for hydrogen production. The working groups of Prof Dr Wolfgang Schuhmann and Dr Ulf-Peter Apfel from the RUB and the team headed by Prof Dr Patrick R. Unwin from the University of Warwick report in the journal Angewandte Chemie of 9 March 2018.

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  • NUS Engineers Pioneer Greener and Cheaper Technique for Biofuel Production

    A team of engineers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) recently discovered that a naturally occurring bacterium, Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum TG57, isolated from waste generated after harvesting mushrooms, is capable of directly converting cellulose, a plant-based material, to biobutanol.

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  • Banking on Sunshine: World Added Far More Solar Than Fossil Fuel Power Generating Capacity in 2017

    Solar energy dominated global investment in new power generation like never before in 2017. 

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  • Energy Hogs: Can World’s Huge Data Centers Be Made More Efficient?

    The cloud is coming back to Earth with a bump. That ethereal place where we store our data, stream our movies, and email the world has a physical presence – in hundreds of giant data centers that are taking a growing toll on the planet.

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  • Power Sector Carbon Intensity Lower Than Ever

    Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) today announced the release of the 2018 Carnegie Mellon Power Sector Carbon Index, at CMU Energy Week, hosted by the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. The Index tracks the environmental performance of US power producers and compares current emissions to more than two decades of historical data collected nationwide. This release marks the one-year anniversary of the Index, developed as a new metric to track power sector carbon emissions performance trends. 

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  • Understanding how society will change as we move to renewable energy sources

    Imagine waking up tomorrow in a world that doesn’t depend on oil.

    That might seem far-fetched, but as engineers and scientists come up with new ways to harness renewable energy, those new sources of energy may soon shape the way our societies function and how we live our daily lives.

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  • China Has Met Its 2020 Carbon Target Three Years Early

    China met its 2020 carbon intensity target — the amount of carbon dioxide it produces per unit of economic growth — three years ahead of schedule, according to the country’s top climate official, Xie Zhenhua. In 2017, China cut its carbon intensity by 46 percent from 2005 levels, a drop of 5.1 percent from the previous year, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

    Xie announced the milestone at the country’s Green Carbon Summit on Monday.

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  • It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an electric airship!

    A proposal for an electric cargo airship has made it to the second round of a national contest to come up with “the next big thing” that will transform Canada. The brainchild of Dr. Barry Prentice, the proposal pitches the development of a cargo airship transport network that would do for the Canadian North what the railway did for Western Canada 140 years ago.

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  • U.S. Energy Market Has Become More Unpredictable in Recent Decades

    The energy market in the United States has become increasingly unpredictable and volatile in recent decades — posing a challenge to lawmakers and companies faced with making policy and investment decisions that “influence the cost” and “environmental and health impacts of the U.S. energy system for decades,” according to a new study published in the journal Nature Energy.

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  • Yuriy Roman: A chemical engineer pursuing renewable energy

    A couple of years into graduate school, Yuriy Roman had what he calls a “tipping point” in his career. He realized that all of the classes he had taken were leading him toward a deep understanding of the concepts he needed to design his own solutions to chemical problems.

    “All the classes I had taken suddenly came together, and that’s when I started understanding why I needed to know something about thermodynamics, kinetics, and transport. All of these concepts that I had seen as more theoretical things in my classes, I could now see being applied together to solve a problem. That really was what changed everything for me,” he says.

    As a newly tenured faculty member in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, Roman now tries to guide his students toward their own tipping points.

    “It’s amazing to see it happen with my students,” says Roman, noting that working with students is one of his favorite things about being an MIT professor. His students also make major contributions to his lab’s mission: coming up with new catalysts to produce fuels, plastics, and other useful substances in a more efficient, sustainable manner.

    “To me, the most rewarding aspect of my profession is to work with these extremely talented and bright students,” Roman says. “They really are great at coming up with outside-of-the-box concepts, and I love that. I think MIT’s biggest asset is precisely that, the students. To me it’s a pleasure to work with them and learn from them as well, and hopefully have the opportunity to teach them some of the things that I know.”

    Read more at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Photo Credit: M. Scott Brauer

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