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Energy Dense “Biobattery” Runs on Sugar

Written by , on March 18, 2014

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

Written by , on March 17, 2014

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

Written by , on March 17, 2014

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

Written by , on March 14, 2014

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 »

Solar Power at Night?

Written by , on March 11, 2014

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 »

Cold-tolerant, Oil-Producing Sugarcane

Written by , on February 26, 2014

A team led by researchers at the University of Illinois is using recent advances in plant biotechnology to increase sugarcane's geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. The team introduced genes into the sugarcane that boost natural oil production in the plant's stems to about 1.5%.  […]  Read more »

Drones to Collect Solar and Wind Energy

Written by , on February 12, 2014

New Wave Energy, an English company, has plans to build a high altitude aerial power plant, consisting of networks of unmanned drones that can harvest solar and wind energy and transmit it wirelessly to receiving stations on the ground. As sunlight radiates down to the Earth's surface some of its energy is absorbed into the […]  Read more »

Power from a “Wave Carpet”

Written by , on February 7, 2014

University of California Berkeley professor Reza Alam and his team have developed a "wave carpet" which can extract the energy of ocean waves and turn it into electricity or fresh water The "wave carpet" is a rubber mat which sit on top of a grid of hydraulic actuators, cylinders and pumps, on a muddy ocean […]  Read more »

Low Cost Hydrogen from Water

Written by , on January 14, 2014

Stanford University scientists have developed a low coat, corrosion free silicon-based water splitter comprising a silicon semiconductor coated with an ultrathin layer of nickel. The researchers believe that this could pave the way for large-scale production of clean hydrogen fuel from sunlight. In a water splitter, two semiconducting electrodes are connected and placed in water. […]  Read more »

Jet Fuel from Seawater

Written by , on December 15, 2013

The US Navy is developing a technology that it expects will allow it to produce jet fuel out of seawater. Carbon is abundant in seawater, with the concentration in the ocean being about 140 times greater than in air. Most of the carbon is in the form of bicarbonates with about 1% being carbonates. The […]  Read more »