BESC Researchers Tap Into Genetic Reservoir of Heat-Loving Bacteria

The identification of key proteins in a group of heat-loving bacteria by researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center could help light a fire under next-generation biofuel production.

Plasma Startup Creates High-Energy Light to Make Smaller Microchips

A pair of scientists working on fusion energy -- harnessing the energy-generating mechanism of the sun -- may have found a way to etch the next generation of microchips.

ORNL/UTK Team Maps the Nuclear Landscape

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee team has used the Department of Energy's Jaguar supercomputer to calculate the number of isotopes allowed by the laws of physics.

Bringing Down the Cost of Fuel Cells

A new catalyst material developed at UW-Milwaukee could dramatically reduce the cost of producing microbial fuel cells.

Modeling Biofuel Fitness for the Sea

With the help of a $2 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, mechanical engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop a tool to characterize the performance of a new class of alternative fuels that could be used in maritime vehicles such as submarines and aircraft carriers.

Everyone Knows It's Windy . . .

And now they have the data to prove it. The middle of Lake Michigan is a vast, untapped reservoir of wind energy. The next step will be to find out if it can be harvested economically without harming the environment.

University of Tennessee Professors Take Big Step to Develop Nuclear Fusion Power

University of Tennessee researchers have successfully developed a key technology in developing an experimental reactor that can demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for the power grid. Nuclear fusion promises to supply more energy than the nuclear fission used today but with far fewer risks.

New Twist on Old Chemical Process Could Boost Energy Efficiency

An unappreciated aspect of chemical reactions on the surface of metal oxides could be key in developing more efficient energy systems, including more productive solar cells or hydrogen fuel cells efficient enough for automobiles.

New Small Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Reaches Record Efficiency

A new solid oxide fuel cell system developed by PNNL can achieve a record of up to 57 percent efficiency and is designed to be scaled up to generate electricity for individual homes or neighborhoods.

High-Speed Method to Aid Search for Solar Energy Storage Catalysts

Writing this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie, a Wisconsin group describes a new high-throughput method to identify electrocatalysts for water oxidation.

New Model of Geological Strata May Aid Oil Extraction, Water Recovery and Earth History Studies

Sandia modeling study contradicts a long-held belief of geologists that pore sizes and chemical compositions are uniform throughout a given strata, which are horizontal slices of sedimentary rock. By understanding the variety of pore sizes and spatial patterns in strata, geologists can help achieve more production from underground oil reservoirs and water aquifers. Better understanding also means more efficient use of potential underground carbon storage sites, and better evaluations of the possible movement of radionuclides in nuclear waste depositories to determine how well the waste will be isolated.

Discovery of Plant Proteins May Boost Agricultural Yields and Biofuel Production

Salk and Iowa State researchers identify three proteins involved in plant fatty acids, the key components of seed oils.

Gas Development Linked to Wildlife Habitat Loss

A study by the Wildlife Conservation Society documents that intense development of the two largest natural gas fields in the continental U.S. are driving away some wildlife from their traditional wintering grounds.

Graphene Boosts Efficiency of Next-Gen Solar Cells

Scientists found that incorporating graphene increased the cell's conductivity, bringing 52.4 percent more current into the circuit.

Chemists Explain the Molecular Workings of Promising Fuel Cell Electrolyte

Researchers from New York University and the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart reveal how protons move in phosphoric acid in a Nature Chemistry study that sheds new light on the workings of a promising fuel cell electrolyte.

Metal Oxides Hold the Key to Cheap, Green Energy

Harnessing the energy of sunlight can be as simple as tuning the optical and electronic properties of metal oxides at the atomic level to make an artificial crystal or super-lattice 'sandwich,' says a Binghamton University researcher in a new study published in the journal Physical Review B.

Energy: The Tipping point for U.S. - China Relations, Study Finds

Energy could very well become the tipping point that sours or improves relations between the Chinese and the United States, according to recent research in the Asian Politics and Policy journal this month. The study, which examines strategies employed by the Chinese to procure energy from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, signals that while the United States should not fear China's actions, it's best to keep a close watch on what the Chinese are doing.

ORNL Process Improves Catalytic Rate of Enzymes by 3,000 Percent

Light of specific wavelengths can be used to boost an enzyme's function by as much as 30 fold, potentially establishing a path to less expensive biofuels, detergents and a host of other products.

Technique Reveals Structure of Printable Electronics

An innovative X-ray technique has given North Carolina State University researchers and their collaborators new insight into how organic polymers can be used in printable electronics such as transistors and solar cells.

Research Finds Bright Future for Alternative Energy with Greener Solar Cells

Research to green alternative energy technologies has led to a dye-sensitized solar cell that uses a bacteria and dye to generate energy. It is also friendlier to the environment and living organisms.

Study Helps Assess Nanotech Impact on Sustainable Growth

Georgia Tech researchers are helping assess the economic impact of nanotechnology on green and sustainable growth. Their work will help evaluate the multi-billion-dollar public and private investment being made each year in research and development on nanotechnology.

Butterfly Wings' "Art of Blackness" Could Boost Production of Green Fuels

Butterfly wings may rank among the most delicate structures in nature, but they have given researchers powerful inspiration for new technology that doubles production of hydrogen gas -- a green fuel of the future -- from water and sunlight. The researchers presented their findings here today at the American Chemical Society's (ACS') 243rd National Meeting & Exposition.

Nuclear Power Plants Can Produce Hydrogen to Fuel the "Hydrogen Economy"

The long-sought technology for enabling the fabled "hydrogen economy" -- an era based on hydrogen fuel that replaces gasoline, diesel and other fossil fuels, easing concerns about foreign oil and air pollution -- has been available for decades and could begin commercial production of hydrogen in this decade, a scientist reported here today at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

Polycrystalline Diamond Drill Bits Open Up Options for Geothermal Energy

Nearly two-thirds of the oil we use comes from wells drilled using polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits, originally developed nearly 30 years ago to lower the cost of geothermal drilling. Sandia and the U.S. Navy recently brought the technology fullcircle, showing how geothermal drillers might use the original PDC technology, incorporating decades of subsequent improvements by the oil and gas industry.

Implanted Biofuel Cell Operating in Living Snail

Researchers at Clarkson University have implanted a biofuel cell in a living snail. This is the first incidence of an implanted biofuel cell continuously operating in a snail and producing electrical power over a long period of time using the snail's physiologically produced glucose as a fuel.