1) Nanoscale robots that can flow through blood may yet be a possibility. 2) Making Industry Part of the Climate Solution. 3) New band magnetism. 4) Clean energy production. 5) Thermochemical degradation of plant materials.
Researchers have discovered a way to capture energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters and cell phone networks. By scavenging this ambient energy from the air around us, the technique could provide a new way to power networks of wireless sensors or other devices.
University at Buffalo chemists have used synchrotron light sources to observe the electron clouds on the surface of graphene, producing a series of images that reveal how folds and ripples in the remarkable material can harm its conductivity.
A new model of the single-celled marine cyanobacterium Cyanothece could help researchers use blue-green algae to make renewable energy by predicting which of its genes are central to capturing energy from sunlight.
How does the power output from solar panels fluctuate when the clouds roll in? And can researchers predict these fluctuations? UC San Diego Professor Jan Kleissl and Matthew Lave, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Jacobs School, have found the answer to these questions. They also have developed a software program that allows power grid managers to easily predict fluctuations in the solar grid caused by changes in the cloud cover. The program uses a solar variability law Lave discovered.
Using barium oxide nanoparticles, researchers have developed a self-cleaning technique that could allow solid oxide fuel cells to be powered directly by coal gas at operating temperatures as low as 750 degrees Celsius. The technique could provide an alternative for generating electricity from the nation's vast coal reserves.
A first of its kind combination of experiment and simulation at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing a close-up look at the molecule that complicates next-generation biofuels.
By adding the right amount of heat, researchers have developed a method that improves the electrical capacity and recharging lifetime of sodium ion rechargeable batteries, which could be a cheaper alternative for large-scale uses such as storing energy on the electrical grid.
1) Researchers are working alongside state troopers to test and validate screening technologies that can automatically detect problems as a vehicle enters the weigh station; 2) High-resolution subsurface exploration could get a boost with innovative approaches that take advantage of the underlying dynamics of atomic force microscopy; 3) Climate models still provide useful information that should be considered by civil engineers and planners making decisions about infrastructure.
A team of Vanderbilt engineers have developed a rapid and low-cost imprinting process that can stamp out a variety of devices that have unique optical, electrical, chemical and mechanical properties.
A new system called EnerJ helps computer programmers go green, letting them cut a program's energy consumption by as much as 50 percent.
Researchers are making biobutanol from a sustainable resource: wood.
Sanya Carley, an assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, examines the state-level policies and assesses their effectiveness for meeting energy and policy goals in the current issue of Review of Policy Research.
Consumers may not be aware of the connection between water and energy consumption--or the greenhouse gases emitted as a byproduct. A new report offers steps industry and state leaders and consumers can take to reduce water consumption and save energy.
The production of wind energy in the U.S. over the next 30-50 years will be largely unaffected by upward changes in global temperature, say a pair of Indiana University Bloomington scientists who analyzed output from several regional climate models to assess future wind patterns in America's lower 48 states.
With the creation of a 3-D nanocone-based solar cell platform, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jun Xu has boosted the light-to-power conversion efficiency of photovoltaics by nearly 80 percent.
Ultraviolet light can safely sterilize food, water and medical equipment by disrupting the DNA and other reproductive molecules in harmful bacteria. Traditionally, mercury lamps have supplied this UV light, however mercury release from power generation and lamp disposal have generated discussion of harmful environmental impact. A potentially energy efficient and non-toxic alternative is the light-emitting diode, or LED, which can be made to emit at almost any desired wavelength.
A new polymer-based solar-thermal device is the first to generate power from both heat and visible sunlight - an advance that could shave the cost of heating a home by as much as 40 percent.
A dramatic and surprising magnetic effect of light discovered by University of Michigan researchers could lead to solar power without traditional semiconductor-based solar cells.
In tests of four different refrigerators, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers found that ice makers increased rated energy consumption by 12 to 20 percent, with most of that additional energy cost due to the electric heaters used to release ice from molds.
To reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings, computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego have come up with a way to use real-time occupancy sensors and computer algorithms to create 'smart' heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Based on early test results, the software- and sensor-based solution produced electrical energy savings of between 9.54 and 15.73 percent on their test deployment on one floor of a 5-floor campus building.
A new study shows that 17 percent of the United States' imported oil for transportation could be replaced by biofuel made from algae. Researchers also determined that the water needed to grow that algae could be substantially reduced by cultivating it in the nation's sunniest and most humid regions.
Extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale could do more to aggravate global warming than mining coal, according to a Cornell study. Ecologist Robert Howarth warns about methane leaking into the atmosphere during hydraulic fracturing.
The turmoil in oil-producing nations is triggering turmoil at home, as rising oil prices force Americans to pay more at the pump. Meanwhile, there's a growing industry that's promising jobs and access to cheaper energy resources on American soil, but it's not without its controversy. Deborah Kittner, a University of Cincinnati doctoral student in geography, presents, "What's the Fracking Problem? Extraction Industry's Neglect of the Locals in the Pennsylvania Marcellus Region," at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Kittner will be presenting April 14 at the meeting in Seattle.
A team of scientists from Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Granada in Spain have successfully reconstructed active enzymes from four-billion-year-old extinct organisms. By measuring the properties of these enzymes, they could examine the conditions in which the extinct organisms lived. The results shed new light on how life has adapted to changes in the environment from ancient to modern Earth.