• ASU team throws new light on photosynthetic supercomplex structure

    A team of scientists from Arizona State University has taken a significant step closer to unlocking the secrets of photosynthesis, by determining the structure of a very large photosynthetic supercomplex.
    This important discovery is laid out in their paper published today in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. The paper is titled “The structure of the stress induced photosystem I – IsiA antenna supercomplex.”Overall structure of the PSI-IsiA supercomplex.
    “Sup
  • Data science helps engineers discover new materials for solar cells and LEDs

    Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a high-throughput computational method to design new materials for next generation solar cells and LEDs. Their approach generated 13 new material candidates for solar cells and 23 new candidates for LEDs. Calculations predicted that these materials, called hybrid halide semiconductors, would be stable and exhibit excellent optoelectronic properties.
    The team published their findings on May 22, 2019 in the journal Energy &
  • ​3D Graphene/Carbon Nanotube Aerogels for Ultrahigh Volumetric-Energy-Density Li-S Batteries Developed

    A research group led by WU Zhongshuai from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed high volumetric-energy-density and long-life lithium sulfur (Li-S) batteries based on the free-standing, densely compact, and integrated cathode.
    These Li-S batteries are derived from three-dimensional (3D) interconnected porous graphene/CNT aerogels, simultaneously serving as sulfur host and interlayer. Their findings were published in Nano Energ
  • Superconductor films convert heat into electricity

    Films of a superconductor show excellent thermoelectric properties at very low film thicknessesWhen thinned down to a sheet a few atoms thick, the superconductor iron selenide (FeSe) can efficiently convert heat into electricity, researchers at RIKEN have discovered1. This opens up the possibility that similar multifunctionality may be lurking in other two-dimensional materials.
    Ultrathin films often behave quite differently from the same material in bulk form. For example, bulk FeSe superconduc
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  • High energy textile lithium battery is highly flexible for wearable electronics

    Researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have developed a highly flexible, high-energy Textile Lithium Battery that offers more stable, durable and safe energy supply for wearable electronics with a myriad of applications, such as in healthcare monitoring, intelligent textiles, smartphones, Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking and Internet of Things (IoT)..PolyU’s novel lightweight Textile Lithium Battery demonstrates high energy density of more than 450 Wh
  • Major step forward in the production of ‘green’ Hydrogen

    The first thermodynamically-reversible chemical reactor capable of producing hydrogen as a pure product stream represents a “transformational” step forward in the chemical industryThe novel reactor, described today in the prestigious academic journal Nature Chemistry, avoids mixing reactant gases by transferring oxygen between reactant streams via a solid state oxygen reservoir.
    This reservoir is designed to remain close to equilibrium with the reacting gas streams as they follo
  • Charging into the future–novel rock salt for use in rechargeable magnesium batteries

    Rechargeable, high-energy density magnesium batteries with a novel rock-salt cathode synthesized by researchers at Tokyo University of Science
    Life today depends heavily on electricity. However, the unrelenting demand for electricity calls for increasingly greener and “portable” sources of energy. Although windmills and solar panels are promising alternatives, the fluctuation in output levels depending on external factors renders them as unreliable. Thus, from the viewpoint of resour
  • Geothermal energy’s earthquake problem – and possible solutions

    A geothermal energy project triggered a damaging earthquake in 2017 in South Korea. A new analysis suggests flaws in some of the most common ways of trying to minimize the risk of such quakes when harnessing Earth’s heat for energy.
    On a November afternoon in 2017, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake shook Pohang, South Korea, injuring dozens and forcing more than 1,700 of the city’s residents into emergency housing. Research now shows that development of a geothermal energy project shoulders
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  • Australian rare-earth ore processor wants to build a plant in the US

    Rare-earth minerals are mostly processed in China, but a new project could change that
    This week, two rare-earth mineral-processing companies announced a new joint-venture whose aim will be to establish a rare-earth ore processing plant in Hondo, Texas..
    Construction takes place at the site of Lynas Corp.’s Advanced Materials Plant in the Gebeng Industrial Zone near Kuantan, Malaysia, on Thursday, April 19, 2012.
    .Lynas Corp., an Australian rare-earths processor, and Blue Line Corp., a che
  • Scientists Develop High-efficiency, Stable Thermoelectric Module Based on High-performance Liquid-like Materials

    Two Articles:
    Scientists Develop High-efficiency, Stable Thermoelectric Module Based on High-performance Liquid-like Materials
    Based on high-performance liquid-like materials, scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Northwestern University in US innovatively fabricated a Cu2Se/Yb0.3Co4Sb12 thermoelectric module with eight n-type Ni/Ti/Yb0.3Co4Sb12 legs and eight p-type Ni/Mo/Cu2Se legs.
    Their strategy goes beyond the normal design of TE
  • Waste not want not; empowered by heat: converting waste heat into electricity

    [This article from 2014 is about the thermoelectric material magnesium silicide. An RG article from January 2018 was about a similar use for ytterbium silicide. While both studies come from Japan, they are independent: one is from Osaka University and the other is from the Tokyo University of Science. Professor Iida from TUS was hoping for implementation of his technology for automotive applications by 2020, when tighter EU regulations for CO2 emissions take effect. His website currently states:
  • PixelGreen: A hybrid, green media wall for existing high-rise buildings

    Researchers at Deakin University and the University of Hong Kong have recently designed a hybrid green architectural wall system for high-rise buildings that integrates a vertical micro-farm and a media screen. They presented this wall, called PixelGreen, in a paper published on Research Gate. PIXEL GREEN is designed for integration into the wall surfaces of existing buildings, turning them into analogue media screens.
    “In this research, we explore the opportunity for new design possi
  • Need for rigorous procedures within electrochemical production of ammonia

    Many experimental studies of electrochemical synthesis of ammonia are flawed—a new study in Nature highlights the need for rigorous protocols moving forwardAmmonia (NH3) is one of the most widely produced chemicals, with a global output of 170 megatons per year. It is the key ingredient in the production of fertilizers and thus plays a critical role in sustaining the world’s population. However, more than 1 per cent of global energy is consumed by the production of ammonia
  • Learning magnets could lead to energy-efficient data processing

    The power consumption of data centres around the world is increasing. This creates a high demand for new technologies that could lead to energy-efficient computers. In a new study, physicists at Radboud University have demonstrated that this could also be achieved by using chips whose operation is inspired by that of the human brain. The study was published in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters on 16 May.
    Compared to our current computers, the human brain uses a fraction of
  • Threat or promise? E-auto boom could cost industry jobs

    Over 115 years the auto industry in the east German town of Zwickau has lived through wrenching upheavals including World War II and the collapse of communism. Now the city’s 90,000 people are plunging headlong into another era of change: top employer Volkswagen’s total shift into electric cars at the local plant.
    The world’s largest carmaker is creating its first all-electric plant and phasing out production of the internal combustion-engine cars built by generations of local
  • Strain Enables New Applications of 2D Materials

    Superconductors’ never-ending flow of electrical current could provide new options for energy storage and superefficient electrical transmission and generation, to name just a few benefits. But the signature zero electrical resistance of superconductors is reached only below a certain critical temperature, hundreds of degrees Celsius below freezing, and is very expensive to achieve.
    Physicists from the University of Belgrade in Serbia believe they’ve found a way to manipulate superth
  • Zero-carbon electric transport is already in reach for small islands

    At a recent talk on the UK’s energy sector, the head of an electric utility company claimed that “the problem of decarbonising our electricity sector is fixed”. Eyebrows were raised at this, but his point quickly became clear. The technologies needed to decarbonise the UK’s electricity system now exist, he explained. Indeed, grid operators in the UK expect a zero carbon electricity system by 2025.
    But far greater challenges remain in the heat and transport secto
  • In-car technology: are we being sold a false sense of security?

    The retired football star David Beckham recently received a six-month driving ban after being photographed using his hand-held phone while driving. Unfortunately, Beckham is not alone in apparently thinking that time spent driving can also be usefully spent doing something else.
    But it isn’t just phones that can distract us while driving. Increasingly, vehicles come pre-installed with technology that promises to improve our lives and let us get that little bit more productivity o
  • Mathematically-designed graphene has improved electrocatalytic activity

    An international research group has improved graphene’s ability to catalyse the ‘hydrogen evolution reaction’, which releases hydrogen as a result of passing an electronic current through water. They designed a mathematically-predicted graphene electrocatalyst, and confirmed its performance using high resolution electrochemical microscopy and computational modelling. The findings were published in the journal Advanced Science.
    Akichika Kumatani of Tohoku University’s Adva
  • Why EU-funded E-ferry is set to electrify the passenger ship sector

    Danish operator Ærø Kommune’s all-electric ferry Ellen breaks several barriers: with its route covering a 22-nautical mile crossing, it will travel a greater distance than any other all-electric ferry and will have the largest battery pack installed at sea. It is also likely to be the first electric ferry to have no emergency back-up generator.
    Creating this E-ferry prototype Ellen, due for delivery in May, involved designing, building and demonstrating a f
  • Nearly 2D form of iron oxide with strong magnetic properties potentially useful for spintronic devices

    Rice University researchers have simplified the synthesis of a unique, nearly two-dimensional form of iron oxide with strong magnetic properties that is easy to stack atop other 2D materials.
    The material, epsilon iron(III) oxide, shows promise as a building block for exotic nanoscale structures that could be useful for spintronic devices, electronic or storage applications that take advantage of not only the charge of electrons but also their spin states.A microscope image s
  • Adding a carbon atom transforms 2D semiconducting material

    A technique that introduces carbon-hydrogen molecules into a single atomic layer of the semiconducting material tungsten disulfide dramatically changes the electronic properties of the material, according to Penn State researchers at Penn State who say they can create new types of components for energy-efficient photoelectric devices and electronic circuits with this material.
    “We have successfully introduced the carbon species into the monolayer of the semiconducting material,” said
  • Would you eat lab-created fish? This San Diego startup is carving new path in ‘alt-meat’ industry

    Two Articles
    Would you eat lab-created fish? This San Diego startup is carving new path in ‘alt-meat’ industry
    Local startup BlueNalu is developing seafood products like fish, crustaceans and mollusks — all designed in labs and grown in bioreactors
    It’s official: alternative meat has gone mainstream.
    Vegetarian creations like the Impossible Burger — which look and taste like real meat — are the big headliners, with companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foo
  • Finding the Cause of Capacity Loss in a Metal-Oxide Battery Material

    Scientists studying a lithium-ion battery with an iron-oxide electrode as it charged and discharged over 100 cycles found that the loss is due to a buildup of lithium oxide and decomposition of the medium through which lithium ions flow
    Because of their high energy-storage density, materials such as metal oxides, sulfides, and fluorides are promising electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and other technologies. However, their capacity fades very rapidly. Now, scienti
  • Engineered bacteria could be missing link in energy storage

    One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that’s generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable energy at a low financial and environmental cost.
    Engineered electroactive microbes could be part of the solution; these microbes are capable of borrowing an electron from solar or wind electricity and using the energy to break apart carbon dioxide molecules from th
  • Building a better salt trap: IU researchers synthesize a molecular ‘cage’ to trap chloride

    New molecule could help reduce growing level of salt contaminants flowing into freshwater streams and lakes across the U.S.
    Indiana University researchers have created a powerful new molecule for the extraction of salt from liquid. The work has the potential to help increase the amount of drinkable water on Earth.Yun Liu holds a 3D-printed model of the chloride-capture molecule. Photo by Fred Zwicky, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Built using chemical bonds previously regarded as too
  • 100% renewables doesn’t equal zero-carbon energy, and the difference is growing

    While 160 companies around the world have committed to use “100 percent renewable energy,” that does not mean “100 percent carbon-free energy.” The difference will grow as power grids become less reliant on fossil power, according to a new Stanford study published today in Joule. Entities committed to fighting climate change can and should measure the environmental benefits of their renewable strategies accurately, the authors write.Credit: CC0 Public Domain
    Current
  • Latest UMD Wood Technology Could Make Homes Cooler and More Energy Efficient

    Researchers at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado Boulder show in new research that the same tiny internal structures that trees use to carry water and nutrients can be used to create super-strong wood building materials able to passively take heat out of homes or offices.
    Published today in the journal Science, the research is the latest from UMD materials science and engineering Associate Professor Liangbing Hu and his team to exploit the natural properties of wood to create
  • Electrified methane reformer produces far less carbon dioxide

    A team of researchers from several institutions in Denmark, along with colleagues from Sintex and Haldor Topsoe, has developed an electrified methane reformer that produces far less CO2 than conventional steam-methane reformers. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their new technology and how well it works. Kevin Van Geem, Vladimir Galvita and Guy Marin with the Laboratory for Chemical Technology and Center for Sustainable Chemistry in Ghent have publis
  • Building next gen smart materials with the power of sound

    Researchers have used sound waves to precisely manipulate atoms and molecules, accelerating the sustainable production of breakthrough smart materials
    Metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs, are incredibly versatile and super porous nanomaterials that can be used to store, separate, release or protect almost anything.
    Predicted to be the defining material of the 21st century, MOFs are ideal for sensing and trapping substances at minute concentrations, to purify water or air, and can also hold large a
  • Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels

    Chemists at the University of Illinois have successfully produced fuels using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. By converting carbon dioxide into more complex molecules like propane, green energy technology is now one step closer to using excess CO2 to store solar energy – in the form of chemical bonds – for use when the sun is not shining and in times of peak demand.
    Plants use sunlight to drive chemical reactions between water and CO2 to cr
  • Quantum rebar: Quantum dots enhance stability of solar-harvesting perovskite crystals

    U of T Engineering researchers have combined two emerging technologies for next-generation solar power — and discovered that each one helps stabilize the other. The resulting hybrid material is a major step toward reducing the cost of solar power while multiplying the ways it can be used.
    Today virtually all solar cells are made of high-purity silicon. It’s a well-established technology, and in recent years the manufacturing cost has dropped significantly due to economies of scale. N
  • UrFU Scientists Develop New Technology for Extracting Non-ferrous and Noble Metals

    This will allow for extraction of valuable metals from refractory polymetallic ores
    UrFU scientists are working on solving the problem of extracting non-ferrous and noble metals which are located in hard-to-process ores. Currently, there are many deposits where it is technically difficult to extract valuable components. This may be due to the presence of nanoscale gold and platinum group metals, their dissemination into the minerals’ sulfide matrix, the presence of such high-toxic compound
  • Seeking energy independence, Palestinians open solar plant

    Palestinian officials say they have inaugurated their first solar panel plant as part of a plan to reduce their dependence on Israeli power sources.May 21, 2019 photo shows solar panels at the newly inaugurated Nour Jericho solar plant, in the ancient West Bank city of Jericho. Mohammed Mustafa, head of the government’s investment fund, said Wednesday that the plant is one of four planned plants. He said the Palestinians rely almost entirely on power imported from Israel and the new plants
  • How ‘doping’ boosts next-gen solar cells towards commercialisation

    New research takes thin-film solar technology a step closer to commercialisation… Research reveals how sunlight triggers a ‘healing process’ of defects in potassium-doped perovskite solar cells
    An international team of researchers has brought a new generation of solar cells a step closer to commercialisation, by showing how sunlight can trigger a ‘healing process’ in the cells to improve their efficiency and stability.
    The new research – led by Swinburne in c
  • Researchers gain key insight into solar material’s soaring efficiency

    The rows of blue solar panels that dot landscapes and rooftops are typically made out of crystalline silicon, the workhorse semiconductor found in virtually every electronic device.
    Over the last decade, Colorado State University researchers have led pioneering studies into improving the performance and cost of solar energy by fabricating and testing new materials that extend beyond the capabilities of silicon. They have focused on a material that shows promise for replacing silicon, called cadm
  • Rollout May 20, 2019 of revised SI measurement standards; no longer dependent on physical objects but on physical constants

    We measure stuff all the time – how long, how heavy, how hot, and so on – because we need to for things such as trade, health and knowledge. But making sure our measurements compare apples with apples has been a challenge: how to know if my kilogram weight or metre length is the same as yours..Attempts have been made to define the units of measurement over the years. But today – International Metrology Day – sees the complete revision of those standard
  • All base units of measurement now tied to defined constants rather than physical objects

    This graphic appears today, May 21, 2019, on the main page of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology):
    ..
    NIST is making available multimedia resources regarding the International System of Units (SI) makeover, at this link:https://www.nist.gov/si-redefinition/resources-reporters
    .
    NIST also posted this article:The ‘Gang of Five’ and the SI Revolution, by: Peter Mohr, May 20, 2019, at this link:https://www.nist.gov/blogs/taking-measure/gang-five-and-si-revolution
    &mdash
  • Expert: Low-speed electric vehicles could affect Chinese gasoline demand, oil prices

    Low-speed electric vehicles could reduce China’s demand for gasoline and, in turn, impact global oil prices, according to a new issue brief by an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
    “Low-Speed Electric Vehicles: An Underappreciated Threat to Gasoline Demand in China and Global Oil Prices?” is authored by Gabriel Collins, the Baker Botts Fellow in Energy and Environmental Regulatory Affairs at the B
  • Field Study Finds Pellet-Fed Stoves Cut Pollutant Emissions 90%, Nearing Gas-Stove Performance

    A study by North Carolina State University researchers finds that a new cookstove design, which makes use of compressed wood pellets, reduces air pollution by about 90% for a range of contaminants associated with health problems and climate change. The findings stem from a Rwanda field study designed to test the performance of the stoves in real-world conditions.
    “We wanted to evaluate these new, pellet-fueled stoves, and secured funding from the Clean Cooking Alliance and the Climate and
  • Safe, Blade-free Drone Propelled with Ultrasonic Vibrations

    NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced that it has developed a blimp-style drone that is propelled safely through the air with ultrasonic vibrations, offering promising applications in homes, concert halls and other indoor spaces.
    Unlike conventional drones that require propellers and sometimes wings, DOCOMO’s propellerless and wingless drone blimp simply requires helium to remain airborne. Moreover, it can travel forward, backward or up/down propelled via ultrasonic vibrations generated by several sm
  • AFC Energy Cracks Use of Ammonia in Alkaline Fuel Cell

    Successful Integration of Ammonia Fuel Offers Affordable, Clean Alternative for Off-Grid Power
    Surrey, United Kingdom- AFC Energy, the leading British fuel cell power company, today announced the first successful integration of alkaline fuel cells with an ammonia cracker for hydrogen production. The use of ammonia as an inexpensive and widely available liquid fuel enables a reliable, clean solution to the growing demand for off-grid electricity. It also has the potential to provide a highly cost
  • New invention may extend the life of bridges

    A new anchoring system for carbon fibre reinforcement which is five times stronger than steel reinforcement will be able to extend the service life and carrying capacity of concrete structures.Associate Professor Jacob Wittrup-Schmidt—DTU Civil Engineering—is the researcher behind a new anchoring system for carbon fibre reinforcement which can be used to reinforce and extend the service life of bridges, silos and other structures. The system can provide tensile strengths five times h
  • Super-efficient computer memory has almost no energy dissipation

    Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and their colleagues from Germany and the Netherlands have achieved material magnetization switching on the shortest timescales, at a minimal energy cost. They have thus developed a prototype of energy-efficient data storage devices. The paper was published in the journal Nature.
    The rapid development of information technology calls for data storage devices controlled by quantum mechanisms without energy losses. Maint
  • Xi’s Trip to Rare-Earths Plant Stokes Talk of Trade Retaliation

    President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths facility fueled speculation that the strategic materials could be weaponized in China’s tit-for-tat with the U.S. on trade.
    Shares in JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. surged by their daily limit Monday after state news agency Xinhua said the Chinese president had stopped by the company in Jiangxi. Official news outlets give regular updates on the whereabouts of top leaders, sometimes leading to share spikes on the belie
  • How plant viruses can be used to ward off pests and keep plants healthy

    Imagine a technology that could target pesticides to treat specific spots deep within the soil, making them more effective at controlling infestations while limiting their toxicity to the environment.
    Researchers at the University of California San Diego and Case Western Reserve University have taken a step toward that goal. They discovered that a biological nanoparticle—a plant virus—is capable of delivering pesticide molecules deeper below the ground, to places that are normally be
  • Converting methane to CO2: a remedy for climate change?

    A seemingly counterintuitive approach – converting one greenhouse gas into another – holds promise for returning the atmosphere to pre-industrial concentrations of methane, a powerful driver of global warming
    A relatively simple process could help turn the tide of climate change while also turning a healthy profit. That’s one of the hopeful visions outlined in a new Stanford-led paper that highlights a seemingly counterintuitive solution: converting one greenhouse gas into anot
  • High-speed directed transport of water droplets at the nanoscale

    …without expending any energy but simply through the patterning of graphene… potential applications include high-efficiency electricity generation
    In a new study, researchers have propelled water nanodroplets across a graphene surface at speeds of up to 250 km (155 miles) per hour—which, for comparison, is about twice as fast as a sprinting cheetah. The water droplets’ ultrafast velocities don’t require any pump, but instead occur simply due to the geometric patte
  • Transition from nanowires to nanosheets to boost computing power and energy efficiency

    “The nanometer process deals with the space between the transistors mounted on a substrate at a nanometer level,” said Pulse.
    “The narrower the distance, the more chips can be squeezed in to boost computing power and energy efficiency. One nanometer corresponds to one ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair.”Credit: Samsung
    At the Samsung Foundry Forum in Santa Clara, California, the company recently sought to impress advancements it has made in 3nm gate-all
  • Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam

    New method could be useful for building quantum sensors and computers
    The ultimate degree of control for engineering would be the ability to create and manipulate materials at the most basic level, fabricating devices atom by atom with precise control.Microscope images are paired with diagrams illustrating the controlled movement of atoms within a graphite lattice, using an electron beam to manipulate the positions of atoms one a time. Courtesy of the researchers
    Now, scientists at MIT, the
17 Nov 2019

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