Report Identifies Materials Technologies That Address Critical Energy and Economic Challenges

Second phase of a study commissioned by the DOE Industrial Technologies Program (ITP), funded through Oak Ridge National Laboratory and convened by TMS will be used to formulate a core MSE development portfolio focused on meeting current and future energy challenges, while also opening opportunities for job creation and economic growth.

'Tall Order' Sunlight-to-Hydrogen System Works, Neutron Analysis Confirms

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a biohybrid photoconversion system -- based on the interaction of photosynthetic plant proteins with synthetic polymers -- that can convert visible light into hydrogen fuel.

Analyzing Long-Term Impacts of Biofuel on the Land

Scientists analyzed five classical long term experiments using a process-based carbon balance model. They simulated experiments to predict the potential of no tillage management to maintain soil organic carbon.

Researchers Draft "Genetic Road Map" of Biofuels Crop

The first rough draft of a "genetic road map" of the biomass crop, prairie cordgrass, is giving scientists an inside look at the genes of one of the crops that may help produce the next generation of biofuels.

No Longer Pining for Organic Molecules to Make Particles in the Air

Pine's fresh scent has helped scientists find missing sources of organic molecules in the air -- which, it might turn out, aren't missing after all. In work appearing in this week's PNAS Online, researchers found that particles containing compounds such as those given off by pine trees evaporate more than 100 times slower than expected by current air-quality models.

Study Yields Better Turbine Spacing for Large Wind Farms

For more efficient power generation, operators of large wind farms should space their turbines farther apart.

Report Examines Potential of Energy Storage Technologies for Next-Generation Electrical Grid

TM-DOE report shows material science advances could improve performance and lower costs of electrical energy storage devices for the future electrical grid.

New Method for Reporting Solar Data

A straightforward new way to calculate, compile, and graphically present solar radiation measurements in a format that is accessible to decision makers and the general public has been developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and is described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Trapped Sunlight Cleans Water

High energy costs are one drawback of making clean water from waste effluents. According to an article in the journal Biomicrofluidics, a new system that combines two different technologies proposes to break down contaminants using the cheapest possible energy source, sunlight.

Report: Policies to Spur Renewable Energy Can Lower Energy Costs

The South could pay less for its electricity in 20 years than is currently projected if strong public policies are enacted to spur renewable energy production and use, according to a report released today by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Duke University.

"Green Genes" in Yeast May Boost Biofuel Production

An effort to increase biofuel production has led scientists to discover genes in yeast that improve their tolerance to ethanol, allowing the production of more ethanol from the same amount of nutrients. This study shows how genetically altered yeast cells survive higher ethanol concentrations, addressing a bottleneck in the production of ethanol from cellulosic material (nonfood plant sources) in quantities that could compete economically with fossil fuels.

Champion Hydrogen-Producing Microbe

The cyanobacteria are famous for releasing the oxygen that made Earth the hospitable planet we know today, but some strains also have hidden talent for producing hydrogen gas. Washington University in St. Louis currently holds the gas-producing record for these versatile microbes.

The Challenges of Investing in Sustainable Energy

A USC Marshall MBA research team finds that global investment is being restricted by a range of factors, from policy to affordability.

World's Smallest Battery Created at CINT Nanotechnology Center

Realtime view of single nanowire anode offers information to improve lithium batteries.

Assessing the Seismic Hazard of the Central-Eastern United States

As the U.S. policy makers renew emphasis on the use of nuclear energy in their efforts to reduce the country's oil dependence, other factors come into play. One concern of paramount importance is the seismic hazard at the site where nuclear reactors are located.

Students Advise INdiana Sustainability Alliance on Green Economic Development

Mirroring an approach that Indiana has taken to the life sciences industry, the state's economic development efforts could capitalize on existing clusters of wind energy and automotive-related companies to foster a more sustainable and profitable business environment. That's the lead finding by a panel of second-year MBA students at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, who were asked to participate in a competitive project for the INdiana Sustainability Alliance (INSA).

Researchers Engineer New Methane-Production Pathway in Microorganism

A University of Arkansas researcher and his colleagues have created the first methane-producing microorganism that can metabolize complex carbon structures, which could lead to microbial recycling of waste products and their transformation into natural gas.

Researchers Fabricate More Efficient Polymer Solar Cells

Researchers from Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory have developed a process for fabricating more efficient polymer solar cells. The result is a polymer solar cell that captures more light and produces more power.

Great Balls of Evolution! Bacteria Cooperate in New Way

Microbiologists Derek Lovley, Zarath Summers and colleagues report in the Dec. 2 issue of Science that they've discovered a surprising new cooperative behavior in bacteria known as interspecies electron transfer. It could have important implications for the global carbon cycle and bioenergy.

Study Assesses Nuclear Power Assumptions

A broad review of current research on nuclear power economics has been published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. The report concludes that nuclear power will continue to be a viable power source but that the current fuel cycle is not sustainable.

A High-Yield Biomass Alternative for Making Chemicals

With a new process, chemical engineers can make valuable chemicals such as benzene, toluene and xylenes from pyrolytic oils, the cheapest liquid fuels available today from biomass. This could reduce or eliminate reliance on fossil fuels to make industrial chemicals worth an estimated $400 billion.

Study Reveals More About Biology of Energy Crop Insect

Scientists are learning more about the life stages and biology of an insect that may compete with humans for the energy crops of the future -- the insect some scientists are calling the switchgrass moth.

Optimizing Large Wind Farms

Researchers in Baltimore, MD and Belgium have developed a model to calculate the optimal spacing of wind turbines for the very large wind farms of the future. They will present their work today at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in Long Beach, CA.

Whale-Inspired Ocean Turbine Blades

Lessons learned from the ocean's largest mammals have inspired United States Naval Academy researchers to tackle one of the serious design challenges facing a technology that uses underwater turbines to convert ocean tides into electricity -- work present today at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting in Long Beach, CA.

Enhancing the Efficiency of Wind Turbines

New ideas for enhancing the efficiency of wind turbines are being presented today at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in Long Beach, CA. These include a new type intelligent system for turbines operating under many different wind conditions and a way to reduce drag on turbine blades by covering them with tiny grooves.