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, Materials, Metals, Nanotechnology


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, Nanotechnology


Using Electricity to Generate Alternative Fuel

Electrical energy generated by various methods can be difficult to store efficiently. Chemical batteries, hydraulic pumping, and water splitting suffer from low energy-density storage or incompatibility with current transportation infrastructure. UCLA researchers have demonstrated a method for storing electrical energy as chemical energy in higher alcohols, which can be used as liquid transportation fuels.

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


Sandwich-Like Structures for Efficient Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Making hydrogen fuel cells practical on a large scale requires them to be more efficient and cost effective, and a research team from the University of Central Florida may have found a way around both hurdles.

Posted in: News, News, Alternative Fuels, Materials, Metals


Nanotrees Turn Sunshine into Hydrogen Fuel

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. Nanowires, which are made from abundant natural materials like silicon and zinc oxide, offer a cheap way to deliver hydrogen fuel on a mass scale.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Alternative Fuels, Greenhouse Gases, Nanotechnology


Insect Biochemistry & Generating Electricity

Touted as possible first responders, insect cyborgs could be the research community's next big breakthrough. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have discovered that an insect's internal chemicals can be converted to electricity - potentially providing power to sensors and recording devices.

Posted in: News, News, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Monitoring, Sensors, Transducers


Identifying Effective Carbon Capture Technologies

Approximately 75 percent of electricity used in the U.S. is produced by coal-burning power plants that expel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Berkeley Lab researchers are searching for porous materials to filter out the CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere, but identifying these materials is easier said than done.

Posted in: News, News, Greenhouse Gases, Remediation Technologies, Materials, Mathematical/Scientific Software


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