Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmentally friendly -- but it is also expensive because the process, as used today, needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market. Now a Danish/Iraqi collaboration presents a new technique that avoids the expensive enzymes. The production of second generation biofuels thus becomes cheaper, probably attracting many more producers and competition, and this may finally bring the price down.
Duckweed is a tiny floating plant that's been known to drive people daffy. It's one of the smallest and fastest-growing flowering plants that often becomes a hard-to-control weed in ponds and small lakes. But it's also been exploited to clean contaminated water and as a source to produce pharmaceuticals. Now, the genome of Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) has given this miniscule plant's potential as a biofuel source a big boost.
A new study says that the total impact of switching to natural gas depends heavily on leakage of methane (CH4) during the natural gas life cycle, and suggests that more can be done to reduce methane emissions and to improve measurement tools which help inform policy choices.
Researchers have developed a new type of low-temperature fuel cell that directly converts biomass to electricity with assistance from a catalyst activated by solar or thermal energy. The hybrid fuel cell can use a wide variety of biomass sources, including starch, cellulose, lignin - and even switchgrass, powdered wood, algae and waste from poultry processing.
What role does pre-existing vulnerabilities play for people who experience a climate shock? Does it amplify the effects of the climate shock or is effect negligible? Four Arizona State University archaeologists are looking into this as part of an international team examining how people can be most resilient to climate change when it comes to food security.
Grasping the concept of climate change and its impact on the environment can be difficult. Establishing common ground and using models, however, can break down barriers and present the concept in an easily understood manner.
In today's search for renewable energy sources, researchers are turning to the hi-tech, from solar and hydrogen fuel cells, and the very low-tech. The latest example of a low-tech alternative comes from an age-old industry: paper. A new study reveals a sustainable way to turn the huge amounts of waste from paper production into solid fuel with the added bonus of diverting the sludge from overflowing landfills.
To prevent e-vehicles from overloading power grids while charging, seamless connectivity is required. To help address this issue, Fraunhofer ESK is developing underlying communication methods for a uniform energy management system.
Parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power plants, despite different solar profiles, a new report by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found.
The Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB uses modern information technology to remotely measure the oscillatory pattern over the entire structure of the facility from several hundred meters away.