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Technology

Flow battery using organic molecules key for affordable renewable energy storage

A new battery model developed by a team of Harvard scientist and engineers could provide the answer to the question of how we can use renewable energy for our power needs even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. One of the biggest problems with incorporating energy from renewable resources into the grid is the mismatch between the times of availability of this power and peak...

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Inexpensive pretreatment liquid removes lignin, leaves behind sugars for biofuels

By mixing in inexpensive liquid salts into biomass materials being processed for biofuels, researchers at North Carolina State University have developed an easy way to remove lignin from the material. Lignin, the tough substance that makes up a plant’s cell wall, is an obstacle in the biofuel production process as it needs to be broken down in order to extract cellulosic sugars from biomass which...

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Treating air pollution like a garden, sprinkling water to reduce smog and haze

A new geoengineering method inspired by basic gardening techniques is being proposed to help solve China’s urban air pollution problem. Over the past 30 years, China’s cities have suffered from air pollution brought about by their rapid pace of economic and industrial development. Motor vehicles and industrial activities are being blamed for the heavy smog and pollution in these cities. The smog...

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New geothermal plant design enables emissions-free energy production and carbon storage

A research team from Ohio State University is proposing to expand the power generation capacity of geothermal projects ten-fold while locking away unwanted carbon dioxide at the same time. Geothermal power plants tap into hot water located deep underground, using the heat to generate power. The new design proposes to partially replace this heated water with carbon dioxide or anoth...

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Ceramic, crystalline material developed for better solar cells

A solar power design using ceramic material could prove to be the key to providing cheaper solar power. The new material is capable of harnessing energy from both visible and infrared light, allowing it to absorb six times more energy than conventional photovoltaic materials and transfer a photocurrent 50 times denser. The material was developed by a team of scientists at the University of...

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Copper nanowire film improves fuel cells

Researchers at Duke University are using the common metal copper to create cheaper and studier fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells can capture the power of the sun and use it to trigger a water splitting reaction to separate water into its component parts, producing hydrogen for fuel and emitting water vapor. Water splitting occurs naturally in nature, with plants doing so through photosynthesis...

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Genetically engineered algae produced more lipids for more biofuel

A genetically engineered strain of marine algae could increase the amount of fatty lipid oils needed for commercially viable algae biofuel production. Lipid oils, the fat molecules that algae use to store energy, can also be used to produce fuel such as biodiesel. Fuel produced using these algae-based oils are considered cleaner and more sustainable then fossil fuel. Currently, one of the pro...

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Pressure cooking improves lithium iron phosphate batteries

Battery technologies for electric cars are under a lot of pressure to be smaller, more powerful and more energy efficient. Now, a team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside are using pressure itself to improve key materials in current electric car batteries to develop the batteries of the future. The researchers, from the universities Bourns College of Engineering, have...

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The Future of Clean Boat Technology

For many years, electric marine vehicles struggled to grab a footing in the marine vehicle market. All that is changing. According to IDTechEx, the market for recreational electric marine vehicles is expected to climb from from its current value of $2.6 billion to $6.3 billion by 2023. Marine EV's have many benefits and advantages over their gas-powered cousins, and both manufacturers and cap...

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Global carbon emissions to hit 36 billion tonnes in 2013

The year 2013 will be record breaking for global carbon emissions, according to the Global Carbon Project, but it won’t be a good one. This year is set to break the record for high level of global carbon emissions with around 36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. This is a 2.1 percent rise from last year and a 61 percent rise above 1990 levels – the baseline...

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