The transformation of the energy system in Germany is a long-term challenge facing society. A number of political and economic aspects have to be considered. The new research program SCI of the Helmholtz Association aims at developing the technologies required for this purpose. The budget for the project period of five years totals about EUR 310 million.
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is launching two National Research Programmes to explore scientific and technological as well as social and economic aspects of implementing Energy Strategy 2050.
A team of chemical engineering researchers has developed a technique that uses a new catalyst to convert methane and water into hydrogen and a fuel feedstock called syngas with the assistance of solar power. The catalytic material is more than three times more efficient at converting water into hydrogen gas than previous thermal water-splitting methods.
In order to make plastic more impervious, engineers apply wafer-thin layers on surfaces. This would not only increase the shelf life of food in plastic packaging, but would also prevent the migration of substances from the plastic into the food.
A new analysis suggests that large-scale wave energy systems developed in the Pacific Northwest should be comparatively steady, dependable and able to be integrated into the overall energy grid at lower costs than some other forms of alternative energy, including wind power.
New research shows that the natural reactions taking place in some of the underground reservoirs used to store carbon dioxide may prevent carbon emissions from being transported to greater depths, where it may be less likely to leak into the atmosphere.
Carbon and glass fibers reinforce synthetics so that they can be used for vehicle body construction. But in this regard, there is an abundance of potential found in natural fibers - obtained from hemp, cotton, or wood. If you combined bio-based textile and carbon fibers, you can obtain extremely light yet very sturdy components.
To make ships more eco-efficient, engineers have been working with alternative fuels. A Norwegian engineer is currently pursuing a new approach: With Vindskip, he has designed a cargo ship that is powered by wind and gas.
Traditionally, plastic recycling processes involve using a lot of water. In order to avoid this waste, researchers developed a new green technology that doesn't require liquids, and has the capacity to process materials such as styrofoam, polystyrene and ABS using the same type of customizable machinery.
The 45% fall in oil prices is being portrayed as a big blow to clean energy deployment. In fact, its impact will vary by sector and region, but will be modest in major electricity markets where renewables compete with gas and coal, and benefit from stable policy support.