Deforestation Long Overlooked as Contributor to Climate Change

When it comes to tackling climate change, the focus often falls on reducing the use of fossil fuels and developing sustainable energy sources. But a new Cornell University study shows that deforestation and subsequent use of lands for agriculture or pasture, especially in tropical regions, contribute more to climate change than previously thought.

Engineers Develop Tools to Share Power From Renewable Energy Sources During Outages

A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego developed algorithms that would allow homes to use and share power from their renewable energy sources during outages by strategically disconnecting these devices, called solar inverters, from the grid. The algorithms work with existing technology and would improve systems' reliability by 25 to 35 percent.

Carbon in Floodplain Unlikely to Cycle into the Atmosphere

Microbes leave a large fraction of carbon in anoxic sediments untouched, a key finding for understanding how watersheds influence Earth's ecosystem.

X-Ray Footprinting Solves Mystery of Metal-Breathing Protein

Berkeley Lab scientists have discovered the details of an unconventional coupling between a bacterial protein and a mineral that allows the bacterium to breathe when oxygen is not available.

Artificial Intelligence Analyzes Gravitational Lenses 10 Million Times Faster

Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have for the first time shown that neural networks - a form of artificial intelligence - can accurately analyze the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods.

Two for the Price of One: Exceeding 100 Percent Efficiency in Solar Fuel Production

Scientists capture excess light energy to produce fuel, essentially storing sunlight's energy for a rainy day.

The Tricky Trifecta of Solar Cells

The quest for solar cell materials that are inexpensive, stable, and efficient leads to a breakthrough in thin film organic-inorganic perovskites.

Discovery Suggests New Significance of Unheralded Chemical Reactions

Argonne and Columbia researchers reveal new significance to a decades-old chemical reaction theory, increasing our understanding of the interaction of gases, relevant to combustion and planetary atmospheres.

Ames Laboratory Scientists Move Graphene Closer to Transistor Applications

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory were able to successfully manipulate the electronic structure of graphene, which may enable the fabrication of graphene transistors-- faster and more reliable than existing silicon-based transistors.

High-Tech Electronics Made from Autumn Leaves

Northern China's roadsides are peppered with deciduous phoenix trees, producing an abundance of fallen leaves in autumn. These leaves are generally burned in the colder season, exacerbating the country's air pollution problem. Investigators in Shandong, China, recently discovered a new method to convert this organic waste matter into a porous carbon material that can be used to produce high-tech electronics. The advance is reported in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Photosynthesis Discovery Could Help Design More Efficient Artificial Solar Cells

A natural process that occurs during photosynthesis could lead to the design of more efficient artificial solar cells, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

New X-Ray Laser Technique Reveals Magnetic Skyrmion Fluctuations

A new way of operating the powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has enabled researchers to detect and measure fluctuations in magnetic structures being considered for new data storage and computing technologies.

The Outsized Role of Soil Microbes

Three scientists have proposed a new approach to better understand the role of soil organic matter in long-term carbon storage and its response to changes in global climate and atmospheric chemistry.

New Results Reveal High Tunability of 2-D Material

A science team at Berkeley Lab has precisely measured some previously obscured properties of a 2-D semiconducting material known as moly sulfide, which opens up a new avenue to applications. "That provides very important guidance to all of the optoelectronic device engineers. They need to know what the band gap is" in orderly to properly connect the 2-D material with other materials and components in a device, Yao said. Obtaining the direct band gap measurement is challenged by the so-called "exciton effect" in 2-D materials that is produced by a strong pairing between electrons and electron "holes" ­- vacant positions around an atom where an electron can exist. The strength of this effect can mask measurements of the band gap. Nicholas Borys, a project scientist at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry who also participated in the study, said the study also resolves how to tune optical and electronic properties in a 2-D material. "The real power of our technique, and an importa

A Low-Cost Method for Solar-Thermal Conversion That's Simpler and Greener

Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a simple, low-cost, and environmentally sound method for fabricating a highly-efficient selective solar absorber (SSA) to convert sunlight into heat for energy-related applications. The team used a "dip and dry" approach whereby strips coated with a reactive metal are dipped into a solution containing ions of a less reactive metal to create plasmonic-nanoparticle-coated foils that perform as well or better than existing SSAs, regardless of the sun's angle.

Trash to Treasure: The Benefits of Waste-to-Energy Technologies

Using landfill waste to produce energy generates less greenhouse gases than simply letting the waste decompose. The study highlights the benefits of food waste as a potential source of energy.

UNLV Preps to Again Shine at International Solar Homebuilding Contest

Team Las Vegas readying 'Sinatra', its aging-in-place solar home for the prestigious U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.

PPPL Physicist Discovers That Some Plasma Instabilities Can Extinguish Themselves

PPPL physicist Fatima Ebrahimi has for the first time used advanced models to accurately simulate key characteristics of the cyclic behavior of edge-localized modes, a particular type of plasma instability. The findings could help physicists more fully comprehend the behavior of plasma, the hot, charged gas that fuels fusion reactions in doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called tokamaks, and more reliably produce plasmas for fusion reactions.

Carbon Nanotubes Worth Their Salt

Lawrence Livermore scientists, in collaboration with researchers at Northeastern University, have developed carbon nanotube pores that can exclude salt from seawater. The team also found that water permeability in carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with diameters smaller than a nanometer (0.8 nm) exceeds that of wider carbon nanotubes by an order of magnitude.

Radiological Crimes Investigation

The results of the fifth and latest Collaborative Materials Exercise of the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group, a global network of nuclear forensics experts, will be discussed at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in Washington D.C. on August. 24.

High-Resolution Modeling Assesses Impact of Cities on River Ecosystems

New mapping methods developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help urban planners minimize the environmental impacts of cities' water and energy demands on surrounding stream ecologies.

Avoiding Disruptions that Halt Fusion Reactions

New supercomputing capabilities help understand how to cope with large-scale instabilities in tokamaks.

New WVU Study Provides Roadmap to Lower Methane Emissions for Future Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Vehicle Fleet

A new study published today (August 23) in the Journal of Air and Waste Management Association builds upon recent heavy-duty natural gas vehicle methane emission measurements to model methane emissions from a future, much larger vehicle fleet. This study, conducted by researchers at West Virginia University's Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions, comes as the price of natural gas has decreased, leading to interest in natural gas as a cleaner replacement for diesel in heavy-duty vehicles.

Stretchable Biofuel Cells Extract Energy From Sweat to Power Wearable Devices

A team of engineers has developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. The biofuel cells generate 10 times more power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The devices could be used to power a range of wearable devices.

ShAPEing the Future of Magnesium Car Parts

Magnesium -- the lightest of all structural metals -- has a lot going for it in the quest to make ever lighter cars and trucks that go farther on a tank of fuel or battery charge.Magnesium is 75 percent lighter than steel, 33 percent lighter than aluminum and is the fourth most common element on earth behind iron, silicon and oxygen.