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

Study Determines Best Arrangement of Tidal Sails Device

In the long sprint to find new sources of clean, low-cost power, slow and steady might win the race -- the slow-moving water of currents and tides, that is. Just as wind turbines tap into the energy of flowing air to generate electricity, hydrokinetic devices produce power from moving masses of water.

Sandia Labs Harnessing the Sun's Energy with Tiny Particles

Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, along with partner institutions Georgia Tech, Bucknell University, King Saud University and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), are using a falling particle receiver to more efficiently convert the sun's energy to electricity in large-scale, concentrating solar power plants.

Fracking May Drive Down Real Estate Values, Survey Finds

Fracking for natural gas may negatively impact the value of homes near the drill site, according to a survey to be reported in a forthcoming issue of The Journal of Real Estate Literature.

U-M Technical Reports Examine Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan

University of Michigan researchers today released seven technical reports that together form the most comprehensive Michigan-focused resource on hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.

Indy 500 Race Cars Showcase Green Fuels

Mention cars that get barely 3 miles to a gallon and are built for speed rather than cleanliness, and images of gas-guzzling, pollution-belching menaces burning leaded gasoline or nitro may spring to mind. But experts today described how ethanol blends used as fuel in the race cars of the Indianapolis 500 actually make those emissions cleaner than cars on the street. They spoke at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

State E-Waste Disposal Bans Have Been Largely Ineffective

One of the first analyses of laws banning disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in landfills has found that state e-waste recycling bans have been mostly ineffective, although California's Cell Phone Recycling Act had a positive impact. However, e-waste recycling rates remain "dismally low," and many demographic groups remain unaware of their alternatives, according to the study, which was presented today at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

General in the Solar Army to High School and College Students: 'We Are Recruiting'

High school and college students got a recruiting call today to join the Solar Army and help solve one of the 21st century's greatest scientific challenges: finding the dirt-cheap ingredients that would make sunlight a practical alternative to oil, coal and other traditional sources of energy. Harry B. Gray, Ph.D., described the army's mission during the "Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry Lecture" at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Reverse Combustion? Turning Carbon Dioxide From Burning Fossil Fuel Back Into Fuel

With almost 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) released each year from burning coal, gasoline, diesel and other fossil fuels in the United States alone, scientists are seeking ways to turn the tables on the No. 1 greenhouse gas and convert it back into fuel. Those efforts are the topic of a symposium in Indianapolis today at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Scientific Symposium on the Toxicology of Alternate Fuels

"Biofuel" is a global buzzword, with cars and trucks powered by fuel made from corn, switchgrass and waste cooking oil, envisioned as a way to stretch out supplies of crude oil and cope with global warming. A symposium being held here today at the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society considers: What are the health and environmental effects of alternative fuels, and how do they compare with conventional fuels?

3D Graphene: Solar Power's Next Platinum?

A scientist at Michigan Tech has developed a new, inexpensive material that could replace the platinum in solar cells without degrading their efficiency.

Microbial Team Turns Corn Stalks and Leaves Into Better Biofuel

A fungus and E. coli bacteria have joined forces to turn tough, waste plant material into isobutanol, a biofuel that matches gasoline's properties better than ethanol.

Can Solar Energy Help Save Greece?

What happens to renewable energy programs in a country in a full-scale debt crisis -- do the programs whither and die in the winds of austerity? How do people view such programs when many of them can't afford to heat their houses? The answers to these two questions are actually linked, according to a new analysis in the JRSE.

Wireless Devices Go Battery-Free with New Communication Technique

University of Washington engineers have created a new wireless communication system that allows devices to interact with each other without relying on batteries or wires for power. The technology could enable a network of devices and sensors to communicate with no power source or human attention needed.

Regulating Electron 'Spin' May Be Key to Making Organic Solar Cells Competitive

Organic solar cells that use carbon-based molecules to convert light to electricity have not been able to match the efficiency silicon-based cells. Now, researchers have discovered a synthetic, high-performance polymer that could make inexpensive, highly efficient organic solar panels a reality.

Self-Healing Solar Cells 'Channel' Natural Processes

To understand how solar cells heal themselves, look no further than the nearest tree leaf or the back of your hand. NC State University researchers have developed a regenerative solar cell that uses branching channels to best mimic natural processes.

Localized Wind Power Blowing More Near Homes, Farms & Factories

A new report details how more Americans are installing wind turbines near their homes, businesses and farms to generate their own energy as part of a growing field of wind power called distributed wind.

Interface Superconductivity Withstands Variations in Atomic Configuration

Brookhaven Lab scientists discover that critical temperature remains constant across interface superconductors regardless of changes in electron doping levels, challenging leading theories.