Rural Mainstreet Index Nosedives: Drought Impacting Ethanol/Biodiesel Production

Latest results from the monthly Rural Mainstreet Index indicate the drought is taking its toll on famers and ethanol/biodiesel plants.

Amount Of "Green" Advertising Depends on Health of Economy

The volume of "green" advertising rises and falls in conjunction with key indicators of economic growth. That's the finding from a study of 30 years of environmental ads in National Geographic Magazine.

Hot Nuclear Matter Featured in Science

Prelude to new RHIC / LHC findings to be presented at Quark Matter 2012.

New Ultracapacitor Delivers a Jolt of Energy at a Constant Voltage

A researcher from the University of West Florida has designed an ultracapacitor that maintains a near steady voltage. The novel constant-voltage design may one day help ultracapacitors find new uses in low-voltage electric vehicle circuits and handheld electronics.

Making "Renewable" Viable: Drexel Engineers Develop New Technology for Grid-Level Electrical Energy Storage

A team of researchers from Drexel University's College of Engineering has developed a new method for quickly and efficiently storing and discharging large amounts of energy. Their "electrochemical flow capacitor," which is fully scalable, could be the key to a more efficient integration of renewable resources into the energy grid.

Natural Gas Is a Much-Needed Tool in the Battle to Slow Global Warming

No matter how you drill it, using natural gas as an energy source is a smart move in the battle against global climate change and a good transition step on the road toward low-carbon energy, according to a new study by Cornell Professor Lawrence M. Cathles published in the most recent edition of the peer-reviewed journal Geochemistry, Geophysics and Geosystems.

Smart Grid Technology May Help Sustain Vital Social Services During Blackouts

An analysis of the costs and benefits associated with implementing a distributed generation system to improve security and reduce a regional blackout's impacts finds key advantages.

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.