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.

Study Shows Stability and Utility of Floating Wind Turbines

Wind turbines may be one of the best renewable energy solutions, but as turbines get larger they also get noisier, become more of an eyesore, and require increasingly larger expanses of land. One solution: ocean-based wind turbines. While offshore turbines already have been constructed, they've traditionally been situated in shallow waters, where the tower extends directly into the seabed. That restricts the turbines to near-shore waters with depths no greater than 50 meters -- and precludes their use in deeper waters, where winds generally gust at higher speeds.

Molecules Typically Found in Blue Jean and Ink Dyes May Lead to More Efficient Solar Cells

Making better solar cells: Cornell University researchers have discovered a simple process - employing molecules typically used in blue jean and ink dyes - for building an organic framework that could lead to economical, flexible and versatile solar cells.

Researcher Develops Green, Bio-Based Process for Producing Fuel Additive

A new green, bio-based method for producing a much-used fuel additive and industrial chemical that is currently made from petroleum products has been developed by Iowa State University researcher Thomas Bobik.

Motorcycle Engines Powered by Compressed Air

Two scientists in India have conceptually designed a new, cleaner motorcycle engine that uses compressed air to turn a small air turbine, generating enough power to run a motorcycle for up to 40 minutes. Their design is described in a recent issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Researchers Develop New Method for Mass-Producing Graphene

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a simple new method for producing large quantities of the promising nanomaterial graphene. The new technique works at room temperature, needs little processing, and paves the way for cost-effective mass production of graphene.

Blue-Green Microbe Converts Sunlight to Electricity, Pollution-Free

University of Maryland, Baltimore researchers discovered that cyanobacteria possess a natural light-dependent electrogenic activity. The bacteria can generate and transfer high-energy electrons--generate electricity--to the external environment under illumination.

New Microbial Genetic System Dissects Biomass to Biofuel Conversion

A research team at the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) has developed a powerful new tool that promises to unlock the secrets of biomass degradation, a critical step in the development of cost-effective cellulosic biofuels. The details of this method were published online on June 11 in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Oil from Spill Could Have Powered 38,000 Cars (And More) for a Year

As of today (Wednesday, June 9), if all the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico had been used for fuel, it could have powered 38,000 cars, and 3,400 trucks, and 1,800 ships for a full year, according to University of Delaware Prof. James J. Corbett. He has launched a website (http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/getinvolved/oilSpill.aspx) that reports the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in terms of lost uses of the lost fuel on a daily basis.