• 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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  • How Much Energy Can You Store in a Rubber Band?

    How much energy can you store in a rubber band? Obviously, the answer depends on the size of the rubber band.

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  • Most Ships Follow the New Sulphur Regulations in Northern Europe

    Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have shown that between 87 and 98 percent of ships comply with the tougher regulations for sulphur emissions that were introduced in northern Europe in 2015. The lowest levels of compliance were observed in the western part of the English Channel and in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

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  • Radar Images Show Large Swath of Texas Oil Patch is Heaving and Sinking at Alarming Rates

    Analysis indicates decades of oil production activity have destabilized localities in an area of about 4,000 square miles populated by small towns, roadways and a vast network of oil and gas pipelines and storage tanks

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  • The Uneven Gains of Energy Efficiency

    On a rainy day in New Orleans, people file into a beige one-story building on Jefferson Davis Parkway to sign up for the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal grant that helps people keep up with their utility bills. New Orleans has one of the highest energy burdens in the country, meaning that people must dedicate a large portion of their income to their monthly energy bills. This is due in part to it being one of the least energy-efficient cities in the country.

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  • India and France pledge billions of dollars on solar-energy

    India and France have committed more than US$2 billion to fund solar-energy projects in developing countries. Renewable-energy analysts say that the money has the potential to dramatically expand solar technology in these nations, but others argue that governments should instead focus on removing barriers that slow the growth of renewable energy.

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  • Land Under Water: Estimating Hydropower’s Land Use Impacts

    One of the key ways to combat global climate change is to boost the world’s use of renewable energy. But even green energy has its environmental costs. A new approach describes just how hydropower measures up when it comes to land use effects.

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  • Digging for Geothermal Energy with Hypersonic Projectiles

    Geothermal energy might be the most appealing of all renewables. Unlike wind, solar, or even wave or tidal energy, it produces constant and reliable long-term power. Iceland has got this all figured out, but they have it easy. The entire country is (luckily) perched on top of an active volcano. For the rest of us, tapping into geothermal power is harder, because you have to dig for it: About 5 kilometers down, you can find rock hot enough to turn water into steam.

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  • Manure Could Heat Your Home

    Farm manure could be a viable source of renewable energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

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