Enough water will come from the ground as a byproduct of oil production from unconventional reservoirs during the coming decades to theoretically counter the need to use fresh water for hydraulic fracturing operations in many of the nation's large oil-producing areas. While other industries might want to recycle some of that water for their own needs, water quality issues and the potential costs involved may be prohibitive.
Climate change, with more and more storms and heat waves, also has consequences for our energy supply. An international research team has now developed a new method for calculating how extreme weather affects energy systems.
A catalyst is needed for a chemical process that releases hydrogen from an H2O molecule. It can be made, for example, from platinum, or from molybdenum. But these are quite expensive materials. Therefore, the output energy is expensive too.
Researchers led by Prof. WANG Feng at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have reported that photocatalytic decarboxylation is an efficient alternate pathway for converting biomass-derived fatty acids into alkanes under mild conditions of ambient temperature and pressure.
Researchers at Northern Illinois University and the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory are reporting today (Feb. 19) in the journal Nature on a potential breakthrough in the development of hybrid perovskite solar cells. The scientists developed a technique to sequester the lead used to make perovskite solar cells and minimize potential toxic leakage.
New machine learning method from Stanford, with Toyota and MIT researchers, has slashed battery testing times -- a key barrier to longer-lasting, faster-charging batteries for electric vehicles -- by nearly fifteenfold.
Perennial grasses can be converted into everything from ethanol to bioplastics, but it's unclear which bioproducts hold the greatest potential. BioSTEAM, a new open-source simulation software package in Python developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, gives scientists, engineers, biotechnology companies, and funding agencies a fast, flexible tool to analyze the economics of producing different biofuels and bioproducts -- in a matter of seconds.
In ancient Greek mythology, Icarus' wax wings melted when he dared to fly too close to the sun. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have made artificial wings that are actually powered by the sun. The tiny wings, which can flap even faster than those of butterflies, could someday be used in robots or devices for solar energy harvesting, the researchers say.
Seasonally pumped hydropower storage could provide an affordable way to store renewable energy over the long-term, filling a much needed gap to support the transition to renewable energy, according to a new study from IIASA scientists.
Greater use of electric vehicles might be good for the environment, but further growth hinges on continued availability of critical battery components such as cobalt. Cell phones and other electronics also depend on the element's availability. Supplies of the metal are adequate in the short term, but shortages could develop down the road if refining and recycling aren't ramped up or made more efficient, according to research published in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology.