Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.
Berend Smit, an international authority on molecular simulations who holds joint appointments with Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and UC Berkeley, led a computational study that found several promising candidates for methane capture in zeolites, porous minerals widely used as alkane-cracking catalysts in oil refinement.
The NREL researchers evaluated the operational impacts of CSP systems with thermal energy storage within the California electric grid managed by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). NREL used a commercial production cost model called PLEXOS to help plan system expansion, to evaluate aspects of system reliability, and to estimate fuel cost, emissions, and other operational factors within the CAISO system.
Scientists describe details of a low-cost, stable, effective catalyst that could replace costly platinum in the production of hydrogen. The catalyst, made from renewable soybeans and abundant molybdenum metal, produces hydrogen in an environmentally friendly, cost-effective manner, potentially increasing the use of this clean energy source.
A University of Illinois research group brought together aspects of condensed matter physics, semiconductor device engineering, and photochemistry to develop a new form of high-performance solar photocatalyst based on the combination of the TiO2 (titanium dioxide) and other "metallic" oxides that greatly enhance the visible light absorption and promote more efficient utilization of the solar spectrum for energy applications.
Artificial photosynthesis is a dream technology that mimics a natural leaf, converting water and carbon dioxide into fuels with sunlight. But before this technology can take flight, scientists will have to solve a fundamental plumbing problem: how to gather molecules of fuel from microscopic reaction sites to pipes that will pour it out by the gallon.
The EU-funded project, called SUPRAPOWER, is working on a more powerful, reliable and lightweight superconducting offshore wind turbine. The four-year project has the expertise of nine European partners from industry and science under the coordination of Tecnalia in Spain.