Energy and Resources

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

  • Liquid metal discovery to make toxic water safe and drinkable
    on September 25, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Researchers have discovered a revolutionary and cheap way to make filters that can turn water contaminated with heavy metals into safe drinking water in a matter of minutes. […]

  • Transforming carbon dioxide
    on September 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    A new technique to increase the efficiency of carbon dioxide (CO2) electrolysis that may lead to the production of new chemicals and fuels. […]

  • Funded by new tax credits, US carbon-capture network could double global CO2 headed underground
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Researchers have proposed a US pipeline network that would capture, transport and store underground up to 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year -- an amount equal to removing 6.5 million cars from the road. The authors found that the network infrastructure would only be possible if tax credits passed by Congress in 2018 to encourage investment in carbon capture-and-storage technology are coupled with low-interest government financing. […]

  • Ready-to-use recipe for turning plant waste into gasoline
    on September 24, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Bioscience engineers already knew how to make gasoline in the laboratory from plant waste such as sawdust. Now researchers have developed a roadmap, as it were, for industrial cellulose gasoline. […]

  • New battery gobbles up carbon dioxide
    on September 21, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    New technology could use carbon dioxide captured from power plants to make a new kind of lithium battery. […]

  • Hidden costs of cobalt mining in DR Congo
    on September 20, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Cobalt mining comes at a great cost to public health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. New research reveals that children are particularly vulnerable: their urine and blood samples contain high concentrations of cobalt and other metals. […]

  • Super cheap earth element to advance new battery tech to the industry
    on September 19, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Worldwide efforts to make sodium-ion batteries just as functional as lithium-ion batteries have long since controlled sodium's tendency to explode, but not yet resolved how to prevent sodium-ions from 'getting lost' during the first few times a battery charges and discharges. Now, researchers made a sodium powder version that fixes this problem and holds a charge properly. […]

  • Origami inspires highly efficient solar steam generator
    on September 19, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Water covers most of the globe, yet many regions still suffer from a lack of clean drinking water. If scientists could efficiently and sustainably turn seawater into clean water, a looming global water crisis might be averted. Now, inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, researchers have devised a solar steam generator that approaches 100 percent efficiency for the production of clean water. […]

  • How slick water and black shale in fracking combine to produce radioactive waste
    on September 18, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Study explains how radioactive radium transfers to wastewater in the widely-used method to extract oil and gas. […]

  • Cash, carbon, crude: How to make oil fields bury emissions
    on September 18, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    A new analysis looks at what it would take for oil companies to start pumping millions of tons of carbon dioxide into their wells to boost crude production -- and what it would mean for the climate. […]

  • After 150 years, a breakthrough in understanding the conversion of carbon dioxide to electrofuels
    on September 17, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, engineers have observed how carbon dioxide is activated at the electrode-electrolyte interface. Their finding shifts the catalyst design from trial-and-error paradigm to a rational approach and could lead to alternative, cheaper, and safer renewable energy storage. […]

  • Photosynthesis: Discovery of a photobase so strong, it merits moniker of 'super'
    on September 17, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    A new discovery of a light-induced super photobase is revealing some of photosynthesis' desirable traits. The interdisciplinary team of scientists was able to document the ultrafast dynamics of the super photobase that is 10 million times stronger than anything previously discovered. […]

  • Knowing your neighbor cares about the environment encourages people to use less energy
    on September 17, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Giving people information about how much gas or electricity their neighbors use encourages them to use less energy, research shows. […]

  • A protective shield for sensitive enzymes in biofuel cells
    on September 17, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Researchers have developed a new mechanism to protect enzymes from oxygen as biocatalysts in fuel cells. The enzymes, known as hydrogenases, are just as efficient as precious metal catalysts, but unstable when they come into contact with oxygen. They are therefore not yet suitable for technological applications. The new protective mechanism is based on oxygen-consuming enzymes that draw their energy from sugar. […]

  • A novel approach of improving battery performance
    on September 17, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    A team of researchers has introduced a novel technology that promises to significantly boost the performance of lithium metal batteries. […]

  • Designer enzyme conquers sulfite reduction, a bottleneck in environmental cleanup
    on September 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Researchers have cleared one hurdle toward environmental cleanup of certain contaminants with a newly designed synthetic enzyme that reduces the compound sulfite to sulfide -- a notoriously complex multistep chemical reaction that has eluded chemists for years. […]

  • New high-capacity sodium-ion could replace lithium in rechargeable batteries
    on September 12, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Scientists are paving the way to swap the lithium in lithium-ion batteries with sodium, according to newly published research. […]

  • Barriers and opportunities in renewable biofuels production
    on September 11, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Researchers have identified two main challenges for renewable biofuel production from cheap sources. First, lowering the cost of developing microbial cell factories, and second, establishing more efficient methods for hydrolysis of biomass to sugars for fermentation. […]

  • How caged molecules 'rattle and sing'
    on September 11, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    A team of energy researchers has discovered that molecular motion can be predicted with high accuracy when confining molecules in small nanocages. Their theoretical method is suitable for screening millions of possible nanomaterials and could improve production of fuels and chemicals. […]

  • Solar power: Golden sandwich could make the world more sustainable
    on September 10, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Scientists have developed a photoelectrode that can harvest 85 percent of visible light in a 30 nanometers-thin semiconductor layer between gold layers, converting light energy 11 times more efficiently than previous methods. […]

  • Cover the U.S. In 89 percent trees, or go solar
    on September 7, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Researchers found that using bio-sequestration to capture carbon produced by US coal-fired plants even after carbon capture and storage would require using 62 percent of the nation's arable land for that process, or 89 percent of all US land with average forest cover. In comparison, offsetting the amount of carbon produced by manufacturing solar panels is 13 times less land, making it a far more viable option. […]

  • Not too wet, not too dry: Plasma-treated fuel cell gets it just right
    on September 7, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Fuel cells hold promise as a clean, renewable source of energy. But keeping them dry has long been a challenge, as they produce water during the process of converting hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. Now researchers say they may have found a solution: pre-treating the electrode -- a key component of fuel cells -- with ionized oxygen gas, or plasma. […]

  • Cracking the code to soot formation
    on September 6, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    The longstanding mystery of soot formation, which combustion scientists have been trying to explain for decades, appears to be finally solved, thanks to new research. […]

  • Large wind and solar farms in the Sahara would increase heat, rain, vegetation
    on September 6, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Wind and solar farms are known to have local effects on heat, humidity and other factors that may be beneficial -- or detrimental -- to the regions in which they are situated. A new climate-modeling study finds that a massive wind and solar installation in the Sahara Desert and neighboring Sahel would increase local temperature, precipitation and vegetation. Overall, the researchers report, the effects would likely benefit the region. […]

  • Adding power choices reduces cost and risk of carbon-free electricity
    on September 6, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Researchers find that including a variety of zero-carbon power sources is a more cost effective way of lowering greenhouse gas emissions than relying solely on solar, wind, and batteries. […]

  • Renewable energy sources: All-in-one light-driven water splitting
    on September 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Solar-powered water splitting is a promising means of generating clean and storable energy. A novel catalyst based on semiconductor nanoparticles has now been shown to facilitate all the reactions needed for 'artificial photosynthesis'. […]

  • Pros and cons of hydropower
    on September 6, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Hydropower can generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases but can cause environmental and social harms, such as damaged wildlife habitat, impaired water quality, impeded fish migration, reduced sediment transport, and diminished cultural and recreation benefits of rivers. A new River Research and Applications study considers these issues as they relate to a hydropower project undergoing relicensing in California. […]

  • Physics model acts as an 'EKG' for solar panel health
    on September 5, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Researchers have created an algorithm using the physics of panel degradation that can analyze solar farm data from anywhere, essentially as a portable EKG for solar farms. […]

  • Wind turbines: How much power can they provide?
    on September 5, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Wind turbines could cover 40 percent of the current electricity consumption in Germany. […]

  • Methane to syngas catalyst: two for the price of one
    on September 5, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    An improvement to the catalyst that converts methane to syngas could lead to a more economical process. […]