Researchers studying more effective ways to convert woody plant matter into biofuels have identified fundamental forces that change plant structures during pretreatment processes used in the production of bioenergy.
Nature designed lignin, the tough woody polymer in the walls of plant cells, to bind and protect the cellulose sugars that plants use for energy. For this reason, lignin is a major challenge for those who would extract those same plant sugars and use them to make advanced biofuels. As part of their search for economic ways to overcome the lignin challenge, researchers have characterized the enzymatic activity of a rain forest microbe that breaks down lignin essentially by breathing it.
Thermal radiation from the sun is largely lost on most silicon solar cells. Up-converters transform the infrared radiation into usable light, however. Researchers have now for the first time successfully adapted this effect for use in generating power.
The DTOcean (Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays) initiative will allow a suite of design tools to be developed for the deployment of ocean energy arrays. These tools will be contributing towards open-sea demonstration in ocean energy arrays of the technologies for capturing ocean current energies and wave energies.
The Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is partnering with Astrium Services to deliver a new emissions measurement service to enable countries and cities to better quantify their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The WINDTRUST project kicked off in September 2013 with the objective of improving the competitiveness of the wind energy sector by developing and testing innovative components to further improve turbine reliability.
Researchers have documented that one of the key reasons the costs for wind energy remain high is because wind turbines have shorter lifespans compared to other energy-producing technologies, which can be directly linked to wear and tear caused by turbulence. Finding a solution to this problem is the aim of this new grant.
With support of a $3.5 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, the team will develop new ultra-thin silicon solar cells designed to increase the amount of electricity that can be produced through direct conversion of sunlight.
At the final conference of the EU project CO2CARE - CO2 Site Closure Assessment Research - more than 60 experts from academia, industry and regulatory authorities from 13 countries discussed technologies and procedures for a safe and sustainable closure of geological CO2 storage sites.
Solar energy is free, clean, and usually available in abundance. However, solar radiation is also less predictable than many kinds of fossilfuel. Researchers at the Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems have developed a model that allows a more accurate prediction of hourly solar radiation.