Silicon wafers are the heart of solar cells. However, manufacturing them is not cheap. Over 50 percent of the pure silicon used is machined into dust. A new manufacturing technique puts an end to these material losses, with raw material savings of 50 percent along with an 80 percent reduction in energy costs.
To help develop a sustainable domestic supply of rare earth elements, researchers have developed a method of chemically separating these materials from the drive units of discarded electric and hybrid vehicles.
The scientific aims are bold, but the gains can be enormous. The new CADIAC research centre at Aarhus University will be the most ambitious venture in the world to date to find the best methods to convert CO2 into medicine, plastic and useful chemicals. Even on Mars.
Researchers have produced hydrogen under natural sunlight at an energy conversion efficiency of 24.4%, the highest ever achieved, using high efficiency solar cells to power water electrolysis. This is a significant step toward the substitution of fossil fuels with solar hydrogen.
A team of scientists and engineers has demonstrated a rechargeable battery that could make storing electricity from intermittently available energy sources, like sun and wind, safe and cost-effective for both residential and commercial use.
Fusion energy may soon be used in small-scale power stations. This means producing environmentally friendly heating and electricity at a low cost from fuel found in water. Both heating generators and generators for electricity could be developed within a few years.
More than 100 experts from around the world contributed to present findings and recommendations on current production and use of bioenergy, as well as growth potential, considering such aspects as land use, feedstocks, technologies, impacts and policies.
New research indicates that oranges could have potential far beyond the breakfast table. The chemicals in orange peel could be used as new building blocks in products ranging from plastics to paracetamol - helping to break our reliance on crude oil.
The mixed oxide catalyst could solve the longstanding problem of inhibition, in which nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons effectively clog the catalyst designed to cleanse a vehicle's exhaust stream.
Solar cells capture up to 40 percent more energy when they can track the sun across the sky, but conventional, motorized trackers are too heavy and bulky for pitched rooftops and vehicle surfaces. Now, by borrowing from kirigami, the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting, researchers have developed solar cells that can have it both ways.