New Materials May Cut Energy Costs for Carbon Capture

A study of over four million absorbent minerals has determined that industrial minerals called zeolites could help electricity producers slash as much as 30 percent of the parasitic energy costs associated with removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions. The research was done by scientists at Rice University, UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Electric Power Research Institute.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies


Generating Electricity From Viruses?

Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity. Their generator is the first to produce electricity by harnessing the piezoelectric properties of a biological material.

Posted in: News, News, Power Management, Energy Harvesting, Displays/Monitors/HMIs


Sensor System Spurs Biofuel Production

University of California, Berkeley researchers have developed a genetic sensor that enables bacteria to adjust their gene expression in response to varying levels of key intermediates for making biodiesel. As a result, the microbes produced three times as much fuel. The sensor-regulator system could eventually make advanced biofuels cheaper.

Posted in: News, News, Biomass, Renewable Energy, Sensors


Technology Awarded for Improving Submarine Air Quality

Creators of a nanotech-based system that captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere within a submarine while providing a more environmentally friendly removal process have won the Federal Laboratory Consortium Interagency Partnership Award for 2012. The technology — Self Assembled Monolayers on Mesoporous Supports, or SAMMS — is destined for incorporation into future submarines.

Posted in: News, News, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies


Copper-Gold Nanoparticles Efficiently Convert Carbon Dioxide

Copper is one of the few metals that can turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels with relatively little energy, but it is temperamental and easily oxidized. MIT researchers have engineered nanoparticles of copper mixed with gold - which is resistant to corrosion and oxidation - making the copper much more stable. They coated electrodes with the hybrid nanoparticles and found that much less energy was needed for conversion.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies, Metals


Boosting Nanowires for Better Batteries and Solar Cells

Stanford University engineers have found a novel method for "decorating" nanowires with chains of tiny particles to increase their electrical and catalytic performance. The technique is simpler and faster than earlier methods and could lead to better lithium-ion batteries, more efficient thin-film solar cells, and improved catalysts that yield new synthetic fuels.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Alternative Fuels


Tailoring Metal Oxides for Green Technological Applications

Harnessing solar energy can be as simple as tuning the optical and electronic properties of metal oxides at the atomic level by making an artificial crystal or super-lattice ‘sandwich.’ "Metal oxides can be tailored to meet all sorts of needs, which is good news for technological applications, specifically in energy generation and flat screen displays,” said Louis Piper, assistant professor of physics at Binghamton University.

Posted in: News, News, Batteries, Power Management, Energy Harvesting, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Metals