Computer Scientists Leverage Dark Silicon to Improve Smartphone Battery Life

A new smartphone chip prototype under development at the University of California, San Diego will improve smartphone efficiency by making use of "dark silicon" - the underused transistors in modern microprocessors. On August 23, UC San Diego computer scientists presented GreenDroid, the new smartphone chip prototype at the HotChips symposium in Palo Alto, CA.

Listen up! Experiment Records Ultrafast Chemical Reaction with Vibrational Echoes

To watch a magician transform a vase of flowers into a rabbit, it's best to have a front-row seat. Likewise, for chemical transformations in solution, the best view belongs to the molecular spectators closest to the action.

Off-the-Shelf Dyes Improve Solar Cells

In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, scientists in India report success in boosting the ability of zinc oxide solar cells to absorb visible light simply by applying a blended mixture of various off-the-shelf dyes commonly used in food and medical industries -- in a soak-then-dry procedure not unlike that used to color a tee-shirt in a home washing machine.

Electricity Collected from the Air Could Become the Newest Alternative Energy Source

Imagine devices that capture electricity from the air ― much like solar cells capture sunlight ― and using them to light a house or recharge an electric car. Imagine using similar panels on the rooftops of buildings to prevent lightning before it forms. Strange as it may sound, scientists already are in the early stages of developing such devices, according to a report presented here today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Juicing Up Laptops and Cell Phones with Soda Pop Or Vegetable Oil?

Scientists reported development of the first fuel cell designed to produce electricity with biochemical technology borrowed from the biological powerhouses that energize humans and other animals. This new type of fuel cell could be used to power a variety of electronics ranging from cell phones to stamp-sized explosives detectors, the scientists said. Their study is scheduled for presentation in August at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Boston.

LEDs Promise Brighter Future, Not Necessarily Greener

Cheaper light may encourage more use.

Can the World be Powered Mainly by Solar and Wind Energy?

Continuous research and development of alternative energy could soon lead to a new era in human history in which two renewable sources -- solar and wind -- will become Earth's dominant contributor of energy, a Nobel laureate said in Boston today at a special symposium at the American Chemical Society's 240th National Meeting.

Prof. Develops CO2-Free Method of Developing Iron

Using renewable solar energy and a process of solar conversion that he patented called Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo (STEP) energy conversion, Dr. Stuart Licht is able to easily extract pure metal iron from the two prevalent iron ores, hematite and magnetite, without emitting carbon dioxide.

A New Generation of Power: Hi-Tech Rechargeable Batteries Developed for Military

Scientists reported progress today in using a common virus to develop improved materials for high-performance, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that could be woven into clothing to power portable electronic devices. They discussed development of the new materials for the battery's cathode, or negative electrode, at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held here this week.

200-Fold Boost in Fuel Cell Efficiency Advances "Personalized Energy Systems"

The era of personalized energy systems -- in which individual homes and small businesses produce their own energy -- took another step toward reality today as scientists reported discovery of a powerful new catalyst that is a key element in such a system. Scientists will describe the advance -- which could end dependence on the electric company and gas station -- in August at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Boston.

Self-Cleaning Technology from Mars Can Keep Terrestrial Solar Panels Dust-Free

Find cleaning those tables and dressers a chore or a bore? Imagine dusting objects spread out over 50 footballs fields. That's the problem facing companies that deploy large-scale solar power installations, particularly in dust prone areas. One solution -- self-dusting solar panels -- could improve the efficiency of this emerging technology while making maintenance less costly and less cumbersome. These developments in self-cleaning solar panels were reported by scientists from Massachusetts here today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Major Hurdle Cleared for Organic Solar Cells

The basis for solar energy is absorbing light and then effectively disassociating electrical charges. University of Cambridge researchers report in the journal Applied Physics Letters that conjugated polymers are excellent materials for such a system, thanks to their light absorption and conduction properties.

Powering Australia with Waves

In a paper in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Australian researchers provide new estimates of the wave-energy potential of Australia's near-shore regions. They also calculate how much of Australia's energy needs could be obtained from wave energy alone.

New Method for Estimating Cost of Small Hydropower Projects

A scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, India has developed a method, described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, to assess the installation and operating costs of small hydroelectric power projects, which represent a potentially large but largely untapped source of energy for developing countries.

Courses Charge Up Future Electric-Vehicle Engineers

When Dr. Mehdi Ferdowsi and Ph.D. student Andrew Meintz offered the inaugural class on electric and hybrid vehicles last January at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), they made an instant connection with students from a variety of engineering disciplines.

The Salp: Nature's Near-Perfect Little Engine Just Got Better

What if trains, planes, and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move? Moreover, what if their exhaust and byproducts helped the environment? Well, such an energy-efficient, self-propelling mechanism already exists in nature. The salp, a smallish, barrel-shaped organism that resembles a kind of streamlined jellyfish, gets everything it needs from the ocean waters to feed and propel itself.

New Inexpensive Solar Cell Design

One of the most promising technologies for making inexpensive but reasonably efficient photovoltaic cells just got much cheaper. Scientists in Canada have shown that inexpensive nickel can work just as well as gold for one of the critical electrical contacts that gather the electrical current produced by colloidal quantum dot solar cells.

Generating Energy from Ocean Waters off Hawaii

Researchers in Hawaii say that the Leeward side of Hawaiian Islands may be ideal for future ocean-based renewable energy plants based on a technology referred to as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), which is described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Selenium Makes More Efficient Solar Ce

By embedding the element selenium in zinc oxide, a team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California has made a relatively inexpensive material that could be promising for solar power conversion by making more efficient use of the sun's energy. They describe their work in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

New Catalyst of Platinum Nanoparticles Could Lead to Conk-Out Free, Stable Fuel Cells

In the quest for efficient, cost-effective and commercially viable fuel cells, scientists at Cornell University's Energy Materials Center have discovered a catalyst and catalyst-support combination that could make fuel cells more stable, conk-out free, inexpensive and more resistant to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Researchers: EPA Should Recognize Impact of Protecting Foreign Oil

U.S. military operations to protect oil imports coming from the Middle East are creating larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than once thought, new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows.

Steam Could Remove CO2 to Regenerate Capture Materials

Researchers have demonstrated a relatively simple regeneration technique that could utilize waste steam to remove carbon dioxide from solid amine materials used to capture the greenhouse gas from the flue gases of coal-burning facilities. This steam-stripping technique could produce concentrated carbon dioxide ready for sequestration.

Yield Projections for Switchgrass as a Biofuel Crop

Scientists compile field studies across U.S. to identify influences on biomass yield.

Study Calls for Natural Gas Pricing Reform to Facilitate Carbon Tax Policy

As federal legislators and regulators consider taxing utility companies for carbon emissions, a new UC Berkeley study suggests a fixed pricing structure on natural gas service that would protect consumers and satisfy utility companies.

Cell Signaling Classification System Gives Researchers New Tool

Using ever-growing genome data, scientists with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee are tracing the evolution of the bacterial regulatory system that controls cellular motility, potentially giving researchers a method for predicting important cellular functions that will impact both medical and biotechnology research.