Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Using materials from alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, researchers have now come up with a highly interesting alternative.
The 'Internet of Energy' is defined as the networking of relatively autonomous electricity producers and consumers, who determine and cover the energy demand among themselves. Such an infrastructure will become necessary when large numbers of electric vehicles have to be supplied with energy in the future.
Researchers have developed a modular device based on paraffins that allows thermal energy to be stored, thus reducing the total volume of the system by 50 percent with respect to storage by means of water, traditionally used in buildings.
Scientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine, researchers report.
Climate change is a fact, and most of the warming is caused by human activity. The Arctic is now so warm that the extent of sea ice has decreased by about 30 percent in summer and in winter, sea ice is getting thinner. New research has shown that sea ice removes CO2 from the atmosphere. If Arctic sea ice is reduced, we may therefore be facing an increase of atmospheric concentration of CO2, researchers warn.
Researchers identified a new polymer that improved the efficiency of solar cells. They also determined the method by which the polymer improved the cells' efficiency. The polymer allows electrical charges to move more easily throughout the cell, boosting the production of electricity - a mechanism never before demonstrated in such devices.
ARPA-E has awarded $2,540,000 to develop dual-junction solar cells that can operate efficiently at extreme temperatures above 750 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to converting a portion of the sunlight directly into electricity, the solar cells will use the remainder of the light to heat high-temperature fluids that can drive a steam turbine or be stored for later use.
Traffic experts warn that the current safety standards of the L7E vehicle class ('quad class') are not sufficient for wide-scale deployment in traffic. Researchers of the Visio.M consortium's Safety subproject have accepted this challenge and are now demonstrating how even light and efficient electric vehicles can achieve an acceptable level of safety.
Researchers have developed a unique method to use microbes buried in pond sediment to power waste cleanup in rural areas. The first microbe-powered, self-sustaining wastewater treatment system could lead to an inexpensive and quick way to clean up waste from large farming operations and rural sewage treatment plants while reducing pollution.
A comprehensive peer-reviewed study released today provides the most detailed analysis to date of the impact of bird fatalities at wind energy facilities in North America, and is the first to measure the relative impact of those fatalities on populations of small passerines, including songbirds.
Researchers have opened a pilot plant that converts CO2 and slag, the by-product of steel manufacturing, into a valuable mineral product. The product, Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC), is used in e.g. plastics, papers, rubbers and paints.
The commissioning of the fully automated unit marks the first time in Europe that a stand-alone battery is stabilizing fluctuations in grid frequency, thus helping to safely integrate wind and solar energy into the existing grid.