Energy and Resources

Energy and Resources News -- ScienceDaily Latest news on energy and resources.

  • Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments
    on January 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    More than seven years after Pennsylvania officials requested that the disposal of radium-laden fracking wastewater into surface waters be restricted, a new study finds that high levels of radioactivity persist in stream sediments at three disposal sites. Radioactivity at these sites is 650 times higher than at unaffected sites upstream. The contamination comes from conventional, or non-fracked, oil and gas wastewater, which, under current state regulations, can still be treated and discharged into streams. […]

  • Coupling experiments to theory to build a better battery
    on January 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles. […]

  • Lifespan of fuel cells maximized using small amount of metals
    on January 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Researchers have described a new technique to improve chemical stability of electrode materials which can extend the lifespan by employing a very little amount of metals. Using computational chemistry and experimental data, the team observed that local compressive states around the Sr atoms in a perovskite electrode lattice weakened the Sr-O bond strength, which in turn promote strontium segregation. […]

  • Ultrathin black phosphorus for solar-driven hydrogen economy
    on January 17, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Researchers combined two different types of 2-D materials -- black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate -- to form a biologically inspired water-splitting catalyst. Normal sunlight could drive the reactions and careful design of the catalyst enabled the expected ratio of hydrogen and oxygen production. […]

  • New process could slash energy demands of fertilizer, nitrogen-based chemicals
    on January 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizer forms the backbone of the world food supply, but its manufacture requires a tremendous amount of energy. Now, computer modeling points to a method that could drastically cut the energy needed by using sunlight in the manufacturing process. […]

  • New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel
    on January 16, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    A nanostructured composite material has shown impressive performance as a catalyst for the electrochemical splitting of water to produce hydrogen. An efficient, low-cost catalyst is essential for realizing the promise of hydrogen as a clean, environmentally friendly fuel. […]

  • High performance CNT catalyst relating to its electroconductivity
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Biofuels were obtained from Jatropha Oil using carbon nanotube (CNT) catalyst, which showed efficient cracking activity. The performance was activated by the high stability, metal sites, acid sites, electroconductivity, and coking tolerance of CNT. Two cracking circulations were found in the hydroprocessing. Meanwhile, the sulphur-free process was eco-friendly. […]

  • Shale gas is one of the least sustainable ways to produce electricity, research finds
    on January 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Shale gas is one of least sustainable options for producing electricity, according to new research. […]

  • Slow 'hot electrons' could improve solar cell efficiency
    on January 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Photons with energy higher than the 'band gap' of the semiconductor absorbing them give rise to what are known as hot electrons. The extra energy is lost very fast, as it is converted into heat so it does not contribute to the voltage. Researchers have now found a material in which these hot electrons retain their high energy levels for much longer. […]

  • Solar fuels: better efficiency using microwires
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Researchers have made significant efficiency improvements to the technology used to generate solar fuels. This involves the direct conversion of energy from sunlight into a usable fuel (in this case, hydrogen). Using only earth-abundant materials, they developed the most efficient conversion method to date. The trick was to decouple the site where sunlight is captured from the site where the conversion reaction takes place. […]

  • Harnessing the power of algae: New, greener fuel cells move step closer to reality
    on January 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    A new design of algae-powered fuel cells that is five times more efficient than existing plant and algal models, as well as being potentially more cost-effective to produce and practical to use, has been developed. […]

  • New materials being developed to prevent wind turbine damage
    on January 9, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Researchers in Spain are developing new materials that will make wind turbines more resistant to the extreme climate conditions they have to withstand. […]

  • Sun, wind, and power trading
    on January 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    The use of renewables like the sun and wind can cause fluctuations in power grids. But what impact do these fluctuations have on security of supply? To answer this question, scientists analyzed different types of fluctuations in several power grids in Europe, Japan, and the USA -- and came to surprising conclusions. […]

  • Less chewing the cud, more greening the fuel
    on January 8, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Plant biomass contains considerable calorific value but most of it makes up robust cell walls, an unappetizing evolutionary advantage that helped grasses to survive foragers and prosper for more than 60 million years. The trouble is that this robustness still makes them less digestible in the rumen of cows and sheep and difficult to process in bioenergy refineries for ethanol fuel. Until now, with the discovery of a gene that controls that robustness. […]

  • Geopolitical risks to US oil supply lowest since the early 1970s
    on January 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    The geopolitical risks to the United States' oil supply are the lowest since the early 1970s, due to fracking, climate action and a more diverse global supply, according to a new paper. America's energy prosperity contrasts with a more fraught period for energy-exporting countries where geopolitical challenges have been compounded by fiscal stress and rising domestic energy demand, the authors said. […]

  • Study boosts hope for cheaper fuel cells
    on January 5, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Simulations by scientists show how carbon nanomaterials may be optimized to replace expensive platinum in cathodes for electricity-generating fuel cells. […]

  • One-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air
    on January 4, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Engineers have found a catalyst the cleans toxic nitrates from drinking water by converting them into air and water. […]

  • New lithium-rich battery could last much longer
    on January 4, 2018 at 12:46 am

    By using iron and oxygen to simultaneously drive the electrochemical reaction, a novel battery is less expensive and has a higher capacity. […]

  • New desalination method offers low energy alternative to purify salty water
    on January 2, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Providing safer drinking water to those in need may be a little easier. A new desalination technique is able to remove salt from water using less energy than previous methods. […]

  • A fossil fuel technology that doesn't pollute
    on January 2, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Engineers are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. […]

  • Exploring electrolysis for energy storage
    on January 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    A research team developed a flow-type polymer electrolyte cell for power storage. The cell reduces oxalic acid (OX) to glycolic acid, which has a higher volumetric energy-storage capacity than hydrogen gas. Newly fabricated TiO2 cathode enhanced the speed and efficiency of OX reduction. This competitive energy-storage device could be used to balance out the fluctuations in renewable power supplies. […]

  • New model considers an extra factor to improve our prediction of nuclear fission
    on December 27, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Researchers have proposed an improved model for predicting the generation of thermal energy from nuclear fission processes, by focusing on Uranium-236. This model can help improve efficiency in nuclear power generation. […]

  • A new strategy for efficient hydrogen production
    on December 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Scientists have introduced the Hybrid-SOEC system with highest reported electrochemical performance in hydrogen production. […]

  • Re-assessing Alaska's energy frontier
    on December 23, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    The new USGS assessment estimates 8.7 billion barrels of oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources. […]

  • Alaskan microgrids offer energy resilience and independence
    on December 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    The electrical grid in the contiguous United States is a behemoth of interconnected systems. If one section fails or is sabotaged, millions of citizens could be without power. Remote villages in Alaska provide an example of how safeguards could build resilience into a larger electrical grid. These communities rely on microgrids -- small, local power stations that operate autonomously. […]

  • A catalytic balancing act
    on December 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Scientists have recently used a new and counterintuitive approach to create a better catalyst that supports one of the reactions involved in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. By first creating an alloy of two of the densest naturally occurring elements and then removing one, the scientists reshaped the remaining material's structure so that it better balanced three important factors: activity, stability and conductivity. […]

  • Chemical industry can achieve a 36% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, study...
    on December 21, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    The chemical sector has a big role to play in tackling climate change and achieving EU energy targets. The wide scale use of existing and -- in particular -- emerging innovative energy technologies can bring big emissions savings to the sector. […]

  • Shutdown of coal-fired power plant results in significant fetal health improvement in downwind areas
    on December 21, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    First study to show fetal health improvement as a result of a coal-fired power plant shutdown due to direct federal level regulation on single pollution source finds 15 percent reduction in likelihood of having a low birth weight baby and 28 percent reduction in likelihood of a preterm birth in areas downwind of the power plant. […]

  • New catalyst meets challenge of cleaning exhaust from modern engines
    on December 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    As cars become more fuel-efficient, less heat is wasted in the exhaust, which makes it harder to clean up the pollutants being emitted. Researchers have created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at the lower temperatures expected in advanced engines. […]

  • Halogens can increase solar cell performance by 25 per cent
    on December 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    New research shows that using halogens -- a class of elements that include fluoride, bromine, chlorine and iodine -- in a dye-sensitized solar cell can increase conversion efficiency by 25 per cent. The discovery could set the stage for improved solar cell designs. […]