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Thu07022015

Technology

New polymer creates electron pathways to improve solar cell efficiency

A new polymer developed by scientists at the University of Chicago’s chemistry department can improve the efficiency of solar cells. The new polymer, called PID2, causes the creation of polymer fibers which serve as pathways in which electrons can easily move from side to side in a polymer solar cell. “It’s like you’re generating a street and somebody that’s traveling along the street can find a way to go from this end to another,” said Luping Yu, a professor in chemi...

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Chewing produces power with new energy harvesting chin strap

The newest clean energy source could be your own jaw. According to a group of researchers in Canada, jaw movements – from eating, chewing and talking – have proven to be one of the most promising candidates for generating energy from human body movements. Chewing during meals is estimated to be able to generate an average of around 7 mW of power alone. To harness this energy, the researchers, from Sonomax-ÉTS Industrial Research Chair in In-ear Technologies at École...

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Charging and recharging lithium-ion batteries less damaging then believed

Rapid charging and discharging isn’t as damaging to lithium-ion batteries as originally thought, according to researchers from Stanford University. Lithium-ion batteries are prized for their high energy storage and their ability to charge and recharge. In a lithium-ion battery, the positive and negative electrodes swell and shrink as they absorb and release ions during charging and discharging. It was a commonly held belief that the swelling and...

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Solar desalination technology could solve India’s drinking water woes

A solar powered desalination technology known as electrodialysis could be the key to providing clean, palatable drinking water in rural India. Around 60 percent of India is underlain by salty ground water and, according to an analysis from researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, electrodialysis could make it available for human used. According to M.I.T. graduate student Natasha Wright and Amos Winter, the Robert N. Noyce...

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Carbon capture membrane developed at Kyoto University

Researchers in Japan have developed a special membrane that can catch greenhouse gases. Easan Sivaniah, an associate professor at Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Materials Sciences, led an international team of researchers to create a membrane referred to as PIM-1. PIM-1 is embedded with a network of channels and cavities less than 2 nanometers in diameter that can trap greenhouse gases once they enter. Greenhouse gases...

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Burning trash still major global contributor to air pollution

Around 40 percent of the world’s garbage is still being disposed of by burning, affecting both human health and climate change. According to a study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, unregulated trash burning across the globe is resulting in harmful greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. “Air pollution across the globe is significantly underestimated because...

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300 billion tons of carbon dioxide to continue to spew from existing power plants

Existing power plants around the world are expected to pump out more than 300 billion tons of carbon dioxide over their lifetime. According to University of California-Irvine and Princeton University scientists, existing power plants are and will continue to be a major cause of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Assuming these existing power plants will operate for 40 years, the power plants constructed globally in 2012 alone will produce...

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Waste tires produce better anode for lithium-ion batteries

Used tires could become a key component in lithium-ion batteries, according to researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. By modifying the microstructural characteristics of carbon black, a substance recovered from discarded tires, O.R.N.L. researchers led by Parans Paranthaman and Amit Naskar have developed a better anode for lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries, with their high energy storage capacity, are...

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Water “dirtying” the biofuel production process

Water is well known as a cleansing agent but – when it comes to biofuel production – too much water is dirtying up the process. Researchers from the United States Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found that water helps form an impurity which slows down key chemical reaction in the biofuel process. The study examined the conversion of biomass into bio-oil for transportation fuel. The researchers used computer simulations to...

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Solar with a view – transparent solar material developed at M.S.U.

A new transparent solar concentrator developed at Michigan State University is offering building owners the opportunity to enjoy solar power with a view. The transparent luminescent solar concentrator can be placed on any clear surface, such as the windows of buildings or even cellphone displays, to allow the creation of solar energy.While the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials is not new, previous...

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