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Energy Dense “Biobattery” Runs on Sugar

Energy Dense “Biobattery” Runs on Sugar

A research team at Virginia Tech university, led by Professor Y.H. Percival Zhang, has developed a sugar-powered fuel cell that stores ten times as much energy as the equivalent-size lithium-ion battery. The new sugar-powered cell has an energy density an order of magnitude higher than previous “”biobatteries” – allowing it to run longer before needing to […]  Read more »

Storing Energy in Silicon Cells

Storing Energy in Silicon Cells

Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville have devised a way to store electricity on a silicon-based supercapacitor that potentially would let mobile phones recharge in seconds and continue to operate for weeks without recharging. Whereas batteries store energy in chemical reactions, supercapacitors store electricity by assembling ions on the surface of a porous material. As […]  Read more »

More Efficient, Self-cleaning Solar Cells

More Efficient, Self-cleaning Solar Cells

Researchers from Changchun University of Science and Technology, Xi’an Technological University and Cardiff University have found that a patterned layer on top of the active part of a solar panel can avoid the energy losses due to reflection from the surface. They have devised an approach to the lithographic process used to “print” microelectronic circuits […]  Read more »

Mega Flow Batteries Promise Cheap Large-scale Storage

Mega Flow Batteries Promise Cheap Large-scale Storage

Flow batteries generate an electrical charge from the interaction of a liquid electrolyte flowing past either another liquid or a solid. The liquid electrolyte is stored in separate tanks until it is needed. Large flow batteries have the potential to be relatively cheap because you only need to add an extra tank to increase their […]  Read more »

Becoming “Water Neutral”

Becoming “Water Neutral”

A number of companies and other organisations around the world, including CocaCola and Sainsbury's, have announced that they are striving to achieve "water neutrality". But how can a company like Coca-Cola, whose business is selling water, be water neutral? The term "water neutral" seems to suggest that the company is seeking to have zero net […]  Read more »

Solar Power at Night?

Solar Power at Night?

Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, led by Federico Capasso, a world-renowned expert in semiconductor physics, photonics and solid-state electronics, have proposed a device that would harvest energy from Earth's infrared emissions into outer space. The device would consist of a "hot" plate at the temperature of the Earth and air, […]  Read more »

Using Viruses to Make Better Batteries

Using Viruses to Make Better Batteries

Lithium-air batteries hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight. However, achieving this requires solving a number of challenges, including the need to develop better, more durable materials for the batteries' electrodes and improving the number of charging-discharging cycles the batteries can withstand. MIT researchers believe that a combination of genetic engineering and […]  Read more »

Cleaning Water with Fruit Peels

Cleaning Water with Fruit Peels

Ramakrishna Mallampati, a research associate at the National University of Singapore has shown that you can purify groundwater using just fruit or vegetable peels and some some cheap isopropyl alcohol ("rubbing alcohol"). By soaking small segments of peel in a rubbing alcohol solution, drying them out and putting them in dirty groundwater for a couple […]  Read more »

Recycling Carbon Dioxide Using Gold Nanoparticles

Recycling Carbon Dioxide Using Gold Nanoparticles

By using gold nanoparticles of just the right size, researchers from Brown University in Rhode Island have developed a catalyst that selectively converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide which can be used to make alternative fuels and useful chemicals. The scientists already knew that cabon dioxide can be converted into carbon monoixde by the presence […]  Read more »

Lithium-Sulfur – The Next Generation of Batteries?

Lithium-Sulfur – The Next Generation of Batteries?

The most widely accepted technology for batteries today is lithium-ion, which is practical for consumer electronics but not for anything much bigger. For large-scale energy storage from vehicles to solar panels, wind turbines or the electricity grid, lithium-ion is too expensive. Since their discovery in the 1960s, it has been believed that lithium-sulfur batteries, which […]  Read more »