A new discovery should make the alternative fuel butanol more attractive to the biofuel industry. University of Illinois scientist Hao Feng has found a way around the bottleneck that has frustrated producers in the past and could significantly reduce the cost of the energy involved in making it as well.
Engineers at Oregon State University have made a breakthrough in the performance of microbial fuel cells that can produce electricity directly from wastewater, opening the door to a future in which waste treatment plants not only will power themselves, but will sell excess electricity.
European researchers initiated the 'Flexible ecological multipurpose advanced generator' (FEMAG) project to develop a novel energy generator. The design integrated a fuel cell with supercapacitors to handle power peaks and thus enable a durable and flexible power supply for small, portable non-automotive devices.
The Endurance Bioenergy Reactor (EBR) is a simple, easy-to-use portable system that uses bacteria to produce fuel that can go directly into engines and generators. By eliminating the need for refining, users can produce fuel onsite without complicated logistics.
Airfields for ultra-light aircraft are typically constructed on level ground – and so are wind farms. However, do wind power plantsgenerate turbulence that could endanger lightweight planes? A simulation can compute how these power plants influence aircraft at various wind speeds and wind directions.
Many homeowners dream of being able to wash a load of laundry when the photovoltaic panels on the roof are delivering a maximum of electricity, even when they are not at home. A new Internet-enabled power outlet will soon allow users to control household appliances via their smartphone, and reduce their energy costs into the bargain.