• Siting Solar, Sparing Prime Agricultural Lands

    Unconventional spaces could be put to use generating renewable energy while sparing lands that could be better used to grow food, sequester carbon and protect wildlife and watersheds, says a study led by the University of California, Davis.

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  • Scientists Discover Unexpected Side Effect to Cleaning Up Urban Air

    An imbalance between the trends in two common air pollutants is unexpectedly triggering the creation of a class of airborne organic compounds not usually found in the atmosphere over urban areas of North America, according to a new study from Caltech.

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  • Technique Could Help the Nation's Coal Plants Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Carbon capture could help the nation’s coal plants reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet economic challenges are part of the reason the technology isn’t widely used today. That could change if power plants could turn captured carbon into a usable product.

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  • North Sea Water and Recycled Metal Combined to Help Reduce Global Warming

    Scientists at the University of York have used sea water collected from Whitby in North Yorkshire, and scrap metal to develop a technology that could help capture more than 850 million tonnes of unwanted carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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  • NREL Develops Novel Method to Produce Renewable Acrylonitrile

    A new study from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) establishes a novel catalytic method to produce renewable acrylonitrile using 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP), which can be biologically produced from sugars. This hybrid biological-catalytic process offers an alternative to the conventional petrochemical production method and achieves unprecedented acrylonitrile yields.

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  • Battery research could triple range of electric vehicles

    New research at the University of Waterloo could lead to the development of batteries that triple the range of electric vehicles.

    The breakthrough involves the use of negative electrodes made of lithium metal, a material with the potential to dramatically increase battery storage capacity.

    “This will mean cheap, safe, long-lasting batteries that give people much more range in their electric vehicles,” said Quanquan Pang, who led the research while he was a PhD candidate in chemistry at Waterloo.

    The increased storage capacity, or energy density, could boost the distance electric vehicles are able to travel on a single charge, from about 200 kilometres to 600 kilometres.

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  • Green infrastructure: New tool by University of Toronto researchers to help construction industry reduce carbon footprint

    A team of researchers from the University of Toronto is partnering with the construction industry to help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, bridges, public transit and other major infrastructure projects.

    “What we’re building is a decision-support tool that can be used in the early stages of design and planning,” says Heather MacLean, a professor in the department of civil engineering who is one of five Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering professors involved in the project. “Ultimately, the goal is to produce infrastructure with much lower greenhouse gas impact.”

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  • Transformation to wind and solar could be achieved with low indirect greenhouse gas emissions

    Different low carbon technologies from wind or solar energy to fossil carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) differ greatly when it comes to indirect greenhouse gas emissions in their life cycle. This is the result of a comprehensive new study conducted by an international team of scientists that is now published in the journal Nature Energy. Unlike what some critics argue, the researchers not only found that wind and solar energy belong to the more favorable when it comes to life-cycle emissions. They also show that a full decarbonization of the global power sector by scaling up these technologies would induce only modest indirect greenhouse gas emissions – and hence not impede the transformation towards a climate-friendly power system.

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  • Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency

    With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market’s next generation of photovoltaics. In particular, organic-inorganic lead halide perovskites offer manufacturing versatility that can potentially translate into much higher efficiency: studies have already shown photovoltaic performances above 20% across different solar cell architectures built with simple and low-cost processes.

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  • Device makes power conversion more efficient

    Power electronics, which do things like modify voltages or convert between direct and alternating current, are everywhere. They’re in the power bricks we use to charge our portable devices; they’re in the battery packs of electric cars; and they’re in the power grid itself, where they mediate between high-voltage transmission lines and the lower voltages of household electrical sockets.

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