Energy and Resources

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

  • Scientists solve a magnesium mystery in rechargeable battery performance
    on October 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Scientists have discovered a surprising set of chemical reactions involving magnesium that degrade battery performance even before the battery can be charged up. The findings could steer the design of next-gen batteries. […]

  • New ways to achieve selectivity for biomarkers in bioelectronics
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Materials science and engineering researchers have experimentally verified the electrochemical processes that control charge transfer rate from an organic polymer to a biomarker molecule. Their findings may enhance selectivity for biomarkers in bioelectronic devices. […]

  • A mission to Mars could make its own oxygen thanks to plasma technology
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Plasma technology could hold the key to creating a sustainable oxygen supply on Mars, a new study has found. It suggests that Mars, with its 96 per cent carbon dioxide atmosphere, has nearly ideal conditions for creating oxygen from CO2 through a process known as decomposition. […]

  • Electrode materials from the microwave oven
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Power on the go is in demand: The higher the battery capacity, the larger the range of electric cars and the longer the operating time of cell phones and laptops. Researchers have now developed a process that allows a fast, simple, and cost-effective production of the promising cathode material lithium cobalt phosphate in high quality. […]

  • New membrane makes separating methane and carbon dioxide more efficient
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    To make natural gas and biogas suitable for use, the methane has to be separated from the carbon dioxide. This involves the use of membranes: filters that stop the methane and let the CO2 pass through. Researchers in Belgium have developed a new membrane that makes the separation process much more effective. […]

  • Loops of liquid metal can improve future fusion power plants, scientists say
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Researchers have proposed an innovative design to improve the ability of future fusion power plants to generate safe, clean and abundant energy in a steady state, or constant, manner. The design uses loops of liquid lithium to clean and recycle the tritium, the radioactive hydrogen isotope that fuels fusion reactions, and to protect the divertor plates from intense exhaust heat from the tokamak that contains the reactions. […]

  • A new way to harness wasted methane
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Scientists have identified a process that could be used to harness methane that is now wasted by being burned off at wellheads. […]

  • Scientists create most powerful micro-scale bio-solar cell yet
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Researchers have created a micro-scale biological solar cell that generates a higher power density for longer than any existing cell of its kind. […]

  • Purple power: Synthetic 'purple membranes' transform sunlight to hydrogen fuel
    on October 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    A new way has been found to produce solar fuels by developing “synthetic purple membranes.” These membranes involve an assembly of lipid nanodiscs, man-made proteins, and semiconducting nanoparticles that, when taken together, can transform sunlight into hydrogen fuel. […]

  • Direct Numerical Simulations enhance combustion efficiency, reduces pollution
    on October 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Researchers use Direct Numerical Simulations to enhance efficiency, reduce pollution in diesel engines. […]

  • Converting carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water, electricity
    on October 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Researchers have determined how electrocatalysts can convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water and electricity. The discovery can lead to the development of efficient electrocatalysts for large scale production of synthesis gas -- a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. […]

  • Understanding rare Earth emulsions
    on October 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Through a series of theoretical simulations, researchers discovered that surface polarization in mixed media increases attraction among elements. […]

  • A new miniature solution for storing renewable energy
    on October 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    In a first for metal-organic frameworks, scientists have demonstrated their metallic conductivity. […]

  • Electric cars can become more eco-friendly through life cycle assessment
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    It is time to stop discussing whether electric cars are good or bad. Instead industry, authorities and policy-makers need to work together to make them as eco-friendly as possible. One researcher now provides concrete advice and tools showing how life cycle assessment can assist in the development of electric cars. […]

  • Ceramic pump moves molten metal at a record 1,400 degrees Celsius
    on October 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    A ceramic-based mechanical pump able to operate at record temperatures of more than 1,400 degrees Celsius (1,673 Kelvin) can transfer high temperature liquids such as molten tin, enabling a new generation of energy conversion and storage systems. […]

  • Analysis: Metal supplies unlikely to seriously hamper battery use
    on October 11, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Researchers have found that supplies of raw materials are unlikely to limit increased production of lithium-ion batteries, although they could pose temporary bottlenecks. […]

  • Storage is renewable energy's greatest challenge -- this low-cost sulfur battery may help
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Motivated by the challenge to drastically reduce the cost of storing renewable energy on the grid while capturing more of it, a group of scientists has developed a battery powered by sulfur, air, water, and salt -- all readily available materials -- that is nearly 100 times less expensive to produce than batteries currently on the market and can store twice as much energy as a lead-acid battery. The inventors present their prototype in Joule. […]

  • Batteries of the future: Low-cost battery from waste graphite
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Lithium ion batteries are flammable and the price of the raw material is rising. Are there alternatives? Yes: researchers have discovered promising approaches as to how we might produce batteries out waste graphite and scrap metal. […]

  • Organic/inorganic sulfur may be key for safe rechargeable lithium batteries
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    We have come a long way from leaky sulfur-acid automobile batteries, but modern lithium batteries still have some down sides. Now a team of engineers has a different type of lithium sulfur battery that could be more efficient, less expensive and safer. […]

  • Mimicking two natural energy processes with a single catalyst
    on October 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Researchers take inspiration from natural chemical processes based on hydrogenase and photosystem II, to produce a single metal catalyst with both fuel cell and solar cell functionalities. The combination of these two processes into one system suggests great potential for biologically inspired energy generation technologies. […]

  • The costs of transporting petroleum products by pipelines and rail
    on October 10, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    While the policy debate surrounding crude oil transportation costs has emphasized accidents and spills, a new study indicates the debate is overlooking a far more serious external cost -- air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. […]

  • Huge energy potential in open ocean wind farms in the North Atlantic
    on October 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Because wind speeds are higher on average over ocean than over land, wind turbines in the open ocean could in theory intercept more than five times as much energy as wind turbines over land. This presents an enticing opportunity for generating renewable energy through wind turbines. But it was unknown whether the faster ocean winds could actually be converted to increased amounts of electricity. […]

  • Breakthrough in direct activation of CO2 and CH4 into liquid fuels and chemicals
    on October 6, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Researchers have made a significant breakthrough in the direct conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) into liquid fuels and chemicals which could help industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions whilst producing valuable chemical feedstocks. […]

  • New test opens path for better 2-D catalysts
    on October 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Scientists have developed technology for rapid screening of two-dimensional materials for electrocatalysis of hydrogen. The method could accelerate the development of 2-D materials for energy applications. […]

  • Paper-based supercapacitor uses metal nanoparticles to boost energy density
    on October 5, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Using a simple layer-by-layer coating technique, researchers have developed a paper-based flexible supercapacitor that could be used to help power wearable devices. The device uses metallic nanoparticles to coat cellulose fibers in the paper, creating supercapacitor electrodes with high energy and power densities -- and the best performance so far in a textile-based supercapacitor. […]

  • New 'molecular trap' cleans more radioactive waste from nuclear fuel rods
    on October 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    A new method for capturing radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is cheaper and more effective than current methods, a potential boon for the energy industry, according to new research. […]

  • Using elastomer films to generate electricity
    on October 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Water is still the most important source of renewable energy in Bavaria, Germany, accounting for some 33 percent of all renewable energy produced in the region, as showed by the Bavarian Energy Map. But conventional hydroelectric plants, especially micro hydro generators, are a subject of controversy due to their low output volumes and their interference with the ecosystem. Researchers are working on an environmentally friendly alternative: in the future, innovative elastomer materials are set to convert the mechanical energy produced by flowing water in small rivers directly into electrical energy. […]

  • New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater
    on October 4, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    A new hybrid nanomaterial harvests solar energy and uses it to extract hydrogen from seawater, cheaply and efficiently. Future commercialization could mean a new source of environmentally friendly fuel and less dependence on fossil fuels. […]

  • A new way to produce clean hydrogen fuel from water using sunlight
    on October 4, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Researchers combined graphitic carbon nitride and black phosphorous to make a new metal-free composite photocatalyst capable of producing hydrogen from water. The photocatalyst featured good photocatalytic production of hydrogen, even when powered by low-energy near infrared light. […]

  • Surrounded by potential: New science in converting biomass
    on October 4, 2017 at 12:29 am

    To take full advantage of biomass, lignin needs to be processed into usable components along with the plant cellulose. Currently, that process requires an acid plus high heat, or pyrolysis -- treating with high heat in the absence of oxygen. Besides being energy-consuming processing methods, the results are less than optimal. Scientists are now working to develop a method to deconstruct lignin in a way that is economically feasible and into stable, readily useful components. […]