Energy

Alternative Fuels

Find the latest technologies and applications being used in alternative fuels that impact design engineering in the commercial and government, aviation, and automotive sectors.

News : Energy
Algae as a High-Temperature Hydrogen Source

A team of researchers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found that the inner machinery of photosynthesis can be isolated from certain algae and, when coupled with a platinum catalyst, is able to produce a steady supply of hydrogen when exposed to light.

News : Transportation
Japan Wins Australia's Global Green Challenge

The "Tokai Challenger" solar car from Japan's Tokai University won the 3,000 kilometer Global Green Challenge race down the center of Australia. The Tokai Challenger maintained an average speed of over 100 kilometers per hour, or about 62 miles per hour, besting the winner of the previous four races...

News : Energy
Engineers Envision Cheaper Algae Oil Production

Compared to soybeans that produce 50 gallons of oil an acre a year, some algae can average 6,000 gallons - but it's not cheap to produce. Two Kansas State University engineers are assessing systematic production methods that could lower the costs of algae oil production. They plan to grow algae in...

News : Energy
Sequenced Genome Could Enable More Efficient Biofuel Production

A strain of yeast, which thrives on turning sugar cane and other tough grasses into ethanol and might be used as biofuel, has had its genome completely sequenced by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

News : Lighting
People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3)

The EPA has awarded 43 grants to teams of university students who will design technologies addressing sustainability challenges in the developed and developing world. The People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) competition asks students to design and build technologies that improve quality of life,...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Making Renewable Hydrogen From Wastewater At California Winery

Penn State researchers are demonstrating a renewable method for hydrogen production from wastewater at the Napa Wine Company in Oakville, CA. The refrigerator-sized hydrogen generator will take winery wastewater and - using bacteria and a small amount of electrical energy - convert...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Lowering Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cost

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new ceramic material that could help expand the applications for solid oxide fuel cells – devices that generate electricity directly from a wide range of liquid or gaseous fuels without the need to separate hydrogen.

News : Transportation
Hydrogen Storage Competition

DOE has launched the H-Prize competition, offering a $1 million award to an individual or team that creates the most advanced materials for hydrogen storage in vehicles.

News : Transportation
"Chemical Fuel Tank" Gives Hydrogen Storage New Hope

Los Alamos National Laboratory and University of Alabama researchers have come up with a new method for recycling hydrogen-containing fuel materials, which could open the door to economically viable hydrogen-based vehicles. The researchers worked within DOE’s Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center...

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
Fuel Cell/Battery-Powered UAV Takes Flight

EnergyOr Technologies Inc., of Montreal, Canada, has designed, constructed, and tested an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform to demonstrate its fuel cell hybrid technology. EnergyOr's system will achieve 8 hours flight endurance in the near future.

News : Energy
Doubling Butanol Production

An Ohio State University team led by Shang-Tian Yang, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has found a way to double the production of the biofuel butanol - which might someday replace gasoline in automobiles.

News : Transportation
Ethanol Funding Opportunity

DOE announced the availability of up to $5.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase the use of higher ethanol blends up to E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) by expanding refueling infrastructure.

News : Transportation
Green Aircraft Contest Takes Off

Today, the NASA Innovative Partnerships Program and the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation officially announced the Green Flight Challenge. The flight efficiency competition is for aircraft that can average at least 100 mph on a 200-mile flight, while achieving greater than 200 passenger...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
New Supercomputer Ready to Tackle Earth's Problems

Chinook – a $21.4 million supercomputer built by HP - has been commissioned for use by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. It's primed to take on problems in areas such as climate science and hydrogen storage.

News : Energy
Algae Biofuel Monitor

BaySpec, Inc. (Fremont, CA) introduces a Raman-specific 1064nm spectrometer designed for measuring microalgae, a promising future source of biofuels. Using the NunavutTM spectrometer, researchers were able to overcome issues with fluorescence seen at lower wavelengths.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Funding for Algal and Advanced Biofuels

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the availability of up to $85 million toward the development of algae-based biofuels and advanced, infrastructure-compatible biofuels. DOE seeks to bring together leading scientists and engineers from universities, private industry, and government to develop new...

News : Energy
Feather Fibers Fluff Up Hydrogen Storage Capacity

Scientists have developed a new hydrogen storage method - carbonized chicken feather fibers - that can hold vast amounts of hydrogen, and do it at a far lower cost than other hydrogen storage systems. The research could help overcome some of the hurdles to using hydrogen fuel in cars, trucks, and...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
A Step Toward Producing Plastic from Biomass

Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have discovered a mild and relatively inexpensive procedure for removing oxygen from biomass. This procedure, if it can be effectively industrialized, could allow many of today’s petrochemical products, including plastics,...

Briefs : Energy
Chemochromic Hydrogen Leak Detectors
Because hydrogen is odorless and colorless and poses an explosion hazard, there is an emerging need for sensors to quickly and accurately detect low levels of leaking hydrogen in fuel cells and other advanced energy-generating systems in which hydrogen is used as fuel. Simple, color-changing sensors have been...