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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Energy Department to award $100 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a proposed $100 million in FY2014 funding for Energy Frontier Research Centers to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a new 21st-century energy economy. Research supported by this initiative will enable fundamental advances in energy production and use.

Posted: Oct 2nd, 2013

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Carbon capture plant turns emissions into baking soda

The term 'carbon capture and storage' seems only to appear when shortly followed by 'not commercially proven' or 'in development'. But construction has now begun on what will be the world's first commercial carbon dioxide mineralisation plant, in which carbon dioxide greenhouse gas is transformed into baking soda.

Posted: Oct 2nd, 2013

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Solving ethanol's corrosion problem may help speed the biofuel to market

To meet a goal set by the US Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuels Standard to use 36 billion gallons of biofuels each year - mostly ethanol - the nation must expand its infrastructure for transporting and storing ethanol. Ethanol, however, is known for triggering stress corrosion cracking of steel. Researchers investigated the mechanism of how ethanol triggers stress corrosion cracking along with ways to circumvent this issue to prevent ethanol-related corrosion issues.

Posted: Oct 1st, 2013

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NREL releases new roadmap to reducing solar PV 'soft costs' by 2020

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently issued a new report, 'Non-Hardware ('Soft') Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013'. The report builds off NREL's ongoing soft-cost benchmarking analysis and charts a path to achieve SunShot soft-cost targets of $0.65/W for residential systems and $0.44/W for commercial systems by 2020.

Posted: Oct 1st, 2013

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Predicting the life expectancy of solar modules

Solar modules are exposed to many environmental influences that cause material to fatigue over the years. Researchers have developed a procedure to calculate effects of these influences over the long term. This allows reliable lifespan predictions.

Posted: Oct 1st, 2013

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Precise remote sounding for better climate models

The water budget of the troposphere, the bottom layer of the Earth's atmosphere, determines the weather and plays a central role in climate change. The isotope composition of water vapor, i.e. the ratio of light and heavy water molecules, provides insight into underlying mechanisms. Climate researchers gather the data required by in-situ measurements as well as by using remote sounding instruments, e.g. on board of satellites. In a recent campaign, they combined both methods and proved the precision of remote sounding measurements for the first time.

Posted: Sep 30th, 2013

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First gasoline produced by the bioliq biomass pilot plant

The synthesis stage of the bioliq pilot plant successfully started operation. Now, all stages of the bioliq process, i.e. flash pyrolysis, high-pressure entrained-flow gasification, and synthesis, have been realized. The project will now be completed by testing the entire process chain and optimizing it for the large industrial scale.

Posted: Sep 30th, 2013

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