Study Uses Neutron Scattering, Supercomputing to Demystify Forces at Play in Biofuel Production

Researchers studying more effective ways to convert woody plant matter into biofuels have identified fundamental forces that change plant structures during pretreatment processes used in the production of bioenergy.

Structure of Bacterial Nanowire Protein Hints at Secrets of Conduction

Tiny electrical wires protrude from some bacteria and contribute to rock and dirt formation. Researchers studying the protein that makes up one such wire have determined the protein's structure. The finding is important to such diverse fields as producing energy, recycling Earth's carbon and miniaturizing computers.

Methane-Munching Microorganisms Meddle with Metals

A pair of microbes on the ocean floor "eats" methane in a unique way, and a new study provides insights into their surprising nutritional requirements. Learning how these methane-munching organisms make a living in these extreme environments could provide clues about how the deep-sea environment might change in a warming world.

New Aluminum Alloy Stores Hydrogen

We use aluminum to make planes lightweight, store sodas in recyclable containers, keep the walls of our homes energy efficient and ensure that the Thanksgiving turkey is cooked to perfection. Now, thanks to a group of Japanese researchers, there may soon be a new application for the versatile metal: hydrogen storage for fuel cells.

Crafting a Better Enzyme Cocktail to Turn Plants Into Fuel Faster

Scientists looking to create a potent blend of enzymes to transform materials like corn stalks and wood chips into fuels have developed a test that should turbocharge their efforts. Efforts revolve around the fungus Trichoderma reesei, which churns out enzymes that chew through molecules like complex sugars.

Geoengineering the Climate Could Reduce Vital Rains

Although a significant build-up in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would alter worldwide precipitation patterns, geoengineering would also interfere with rainfall and snowfall. An international study, led by NCAR scientists, finds that "geoengineering" could result in monsoonal rains in North America, East Asia, and other regions dropping by 5-7 percent compared to preindustrial conditions because of less evaporation and reduced plant emissions of water.

Staggering Turbines Improves Performance 33%

Researchers at the University of Delaware found staggering and spacing out turbines in an offshore wind farm can improve performance by as much as 33 percent.

Extracting Energy from Bacteria

Microbial electrode catalysts that turn wastewater into watts presented at AVS Meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

Neutrons, Electrons and Theory Reveal Secrets of Natural Gas Reserves

Gas and oil deposits in shale have no place to hide from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory technique that provides an inside look at pores and reveals structural information potentially vital to the nation's energy needs.

Making the Light at the End of the Tunnel More Efficient

Nanoscale engineering boosts performance of quantum dot light emitting diodes

ASU, Georgia Tech Create Breakthrough for Solar Cell Efficiency

In an article recently published in the journal Applied Physics Letters, Arizona State University researchers, in collaboration with a scientific team led by Professor Alan Doolittle at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have just revealed the fundamental aspect of a new approach to growing InGaN crystals for diodes, which promises to move photovoltaic solar cell technology toward record-breaking efficiencies.

Researcher Is Optimistic About Meeting 'Grand Challenge' of Global Prosperity

With ecological viability threatened, world resources draining and population burgeoning, the end is nigh. Or not, says Lawrence M. Cathles, Cornell professor of earth and atmospheric sciences in his article, "Future Rx: Optimism, Preparation, Acceptance of Risk," in a special publication of The Journal of the Geological Society.

New Device Stores Electricity on Silicon Chips

Solar cells that produce electricity 24/7. Cell phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges: These are just two of the possibilities raised by a novel supercapacitor design invented by material scientists at Vanderbilt University.

Low-Priced Plastic Photovoltaics

Photovoltaic devices offer a green -- and potentially unlimited -- alternative to fossil fuel use. So why haven't solar technologies been more widely adopted? Quite simply, "they're too expensive," says Ji-Seon Kim, a scientist at Imperial College London, who, along with her colleagues, has come up with a technology that might help bring the prices down. They describe their new approach to making cheaper, more efficient solar panels in The Journal of Chemical Physics.

Wrangling Flow to Quiet Cars and Aircraft

With the use of high voltage equipment, very small plasmas can be used to manipulate fluid flows. In recent years, the development of devices known as plasma actuators has advanced the promise of controlling flows in new ways that increase lift, reduce drag and improve aerodynamic efficiencies -- advances that may lead to safer, more efficient and more quiet land and air vehicles in the near future.

Scientists Identify Key Genes for Increasing Oil Content in Plant Leaves

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified the key genes required for oil production and accumulation in plant leaves and other vegetative plant tissues. Enhancing expression of these genes resulted in vastly increased oil content in leaves, the most abundant sources of plant biomass-a finding that could have important implications for increasing the energy content of plant-based foods and renewable biofuel feedstocks.

3D Printing: The Greener Choice

A new study shows it takes less energy to print many household items at home than to manufacture them en masse.

Solar Power's Future Brawl

A trio of researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo and the University of South Dakota have turned to computer modeling to help decide which of two competing materials should get its day in the sun as the nanoscale energy-harvesting technology of future solar panels -- quantum dots or nanowires.

3-D Models of Electrical Streamers

As recently reported in the Journal of Applied Physics, a team of researchers at MIT have developed an accurate 3-D model of streamer propagation that qualitatively and quantitatively describes the streamer development, an advance that may impact applications such as medical imaging, aerospace engineering, power transmission, atmospheric sensing, natural sciences, sensing technologies and large-scale industry.

Researchers Find New Energy Storage Capabilities Between Layers of Two-Dimensional Materials

Drexel University researchers are continuing to expand the capabilities and functionalities of a family of two-dimensional materials they discovered that are as thin as a single atom, but have the potential to store massive amounts of energy. Their latest achievement has pushed the materials storage capacities to new levels while also allowing for their use in flexible devices.

Diesel or Electric? Study Offers Advice for Owners of Urban Delivery Truck Fleets

Researchers are offering advice for owners of urban delivery truck fleets who may be considering diesel versus electric vehicles.

Blue-Green Algae a Five-Tool Player in Converting Waste to Fuel

There is a current superstar species of blue-green algae that, through its powers of photosynthesis and carbon dioxide fixation, or uptake, can produce ethanol, hydrogen, butanol, isobutanol and potentially biodiesel. Now that's some five-tool player.

Fusion, Anyone?

The dream of igniting a self-sustained fusion reaction with high yields of energy, a feat likened to creating a miniature star on Earth, is getting closer to becoming reality, according the authors of a new review article in the journal Physics of Plasmas.

Time to Rethink Misguided Policies That Promote Biofuels to Protect Climate

Policymakers need to rethink the idea of promoting biofuels to protect the climate because the methods used to justify such policies are inherently flawed, according to a University of Michigan energy researcher.

Nanocrystal Catalyst Transforms Impure Hydrogen into Electricity

Brookhaven Lab scientists use simple, 'green' process to create novel core-shell catalyst that tolerates carbon monoxide in fuel cells and opens new, inexpensive pathways for zero-emission vehicles