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
New, Inexpensive Catalyst Boosts Oxygen Production for Home Energy Systems

The era of personalized energy systems — in which individual homes and small businesses produce their own energy for heating, cooling, and powering cars — took another step toward forward as MIT scientists have discovered a powerful new catalyst that is a key element...

Briefs : Energy
Microwave Plasma Hydrogen Recovery System
A microwave plasma reactor was developed for the recovery of hydrogen contained within waste methane produced by Carbon Dioxide Reduction Assembly (CRA), which reclaims oxygen from carbon dioxide. NASA can incorporate the innovation into flight hardware systems for deployment in support of future...
Articles : Energy
Generating Energy Innovation: Disrupting the Alternatives

In just the last few years, innovation in alternative-energy technologies have gained significant footholds in product development lifecycles and are rapidly changing our individual roles as energy consumers and producers. Out of the box thinking and breakthrough discoveries are on the...

News : Energy
Making Hydrogen From Waste Vegetable Oil

Researchers at the University of Leeds have found an energy-efficient way to make hydrogen out of used vegetable oils discarded by restaurants and other establishments. The process generates some of the energy needed to make the hydrogen gas itself and is also essentially carbon-neutral.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Bio-Based Process for Producing Fuel Additive

A new bio-based method for producing a much-used fuel additive and industrial chemical, which is currently made from petroleum products, has been developed by an Iowa State University researcher.

News : Energy
Producing Biofuels from Woody Plants With No Waste

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a more efficient technique for producing biofuels from woody plants that significantly reduces the waste that results from conventional biofuel production techniques.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Promise for Hydrogen-Fueled Cars

A new process for storing and generating hydrogen to run fuel cells in cars has been invented by chemical engineers at Purdue University. The process uses a powdered chemical called ammonia borane, which has one of the highest hydrogen contents of all solid materials.

News : Energy
Microbial Genetic System Dissects Biomass to Biofuel Conversion

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers, working with the DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), has made a critical step in the development of cost-effective cellulosic biofuels.

News : Energy
Manipulating Plant Growth Hormones Key for Biofuel Future

Auxin is a powerful plant growth hormone that tells plants how to grow, where to lay down roots, how to make tissues, and how to respond to light and gravity. Knowing how to manipulate auxin could have enormous implications for the production of biofuel - making plants grow faster and...

News : Energy
$33 Million in Funding for Biomass R&D

The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) jointly announced up to $33 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products - subject to annual appropriations.

News : Energy
Genetically Engineering Algae for Biodiesel

John Morgan, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University, is leading a portion of a federally funded effort based at Iowa State University aimed at creating genetically engineered algae for biodiesel production.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Generating Hydrogen from Water

Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley have discovered an inexpensive metal catalyst that can effectively generate hydrogen gas from water.

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
Revolution in Fasteners Helps Bridge the Gap 
to Greener Vehicles

With auto sales down as much as 40 percent, it can feel to some like the industry is coming apart. But a "revolution in fasteners" may soon help bridge the gap to greener vehicles, while increasing sales and lowering recall and warranty rates.

News : Energy
Process Yields High-Energy-Density Plant-Based Transportation Fuel

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a highly efficient, environmentally friendly process that selectively converts gamma-valerolactone - a biomass derivative - into the chemical equivalent of jet fuel. The process preserves about 95 percent of the...

Products : Green Design & Manufacturing
"Powder to Power"

Today, Bloom Energy Corporation (Sunnyvale, CA) announced the availability of the Bloom Energy Server™, a patented solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology that provides clean, affordable, and continuous onsite electricity from renewable or traditional fuel sources.

News : Energy
Crystals for Carbon Dioxide Capture

UCLA chemists have created three-dimensional synthetic DNA-like crystals that have a sequence of information which is believed to code for carbon capture. The discovery could result in a new way to capture heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions and could lead to cleaner energy.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
External Electric Fields and Hydrogen Storage

It has been difficult to find materials that can efficiently and safely store and release hydrogen with fast kinetics under ambient temperature and pressure, but an international research team has developed a process using an electric field.

News : Energy
Engineers Concerned About Algae-Based Biofuel

DOE recently announced that it is awarding $78 million in stimulus money for research and development of algae-based biofuel. Yet researchers from the University of Virginia have found there are significant environmental hurdles to overcome, and propose using wastewater as a solution to some of these...

News : Energy
Study on Superconducting Hydrogen Offers Promise in Field

Researchers from Carnegie Institute for Science have modeled three hydrogen-dense metal alloys and found there are pressure and temperature trends associated with the superconducting state — a big boost in the understanding of how the material could be harnessed.

News : Electronics & Computers
Enhanced Lithium Ion Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratories will use $4.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to modify and enhance its existing Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory (BATLab), with the goal of developing low-cost batteries for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Articles : Government
Development of a Centrifugal Hydrogen Pipeline Gas Compressor
DOE has prepared a Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan to provide hydrogen as a viable fuel for transportation after 2020, and commissioned Concepts NREC (CN) with the project of developing a centrifugal hydrogen pipeline gas compressor. Phase I of this project has...
News : Energy
Engineered Tobacco Plants Up Biofuel Potential

Researchers from the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University have found a way to increase the oil in tobacco plant leaves, which may be the next step in using the plants for biofuel.

Briefs : Green Design & Manufacturing
Fuel-Cell-Powered Vehicle With Hybrid Power Management
Briefs : Energy
Fuel-Cell Water Separator
NASA Glenn Research Center has designed, built, and tested an innovative fuel-cell water separator that not only removes liquid water from a fuel cell’s exhaust ports, but does so with no moving parts or other power-consuming components. The separator employs the potential and kinetic energies already present in the...
News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Bacteria Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel

Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which has great potential as a gasoline alternative. The reaction is powered directly by energy from...

News : Electronics & Computers
First Night Flight Using Solar Energy On the Horizon

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA - the first airplane designed to fly day and night without fuel - left the ground yesterday for the first time. Recent results from ground tests had verified the prototype's controllability, acceleration, braking paths, and engine power.

News : Transportation
Hydrogen-Powered Fuel Cell UAV Sets Record

The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger - a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV) - flew for 26 hours and 1 minute carrying a 5-pound payload, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight. The test flight took place November 16-17.

Videos : Energy
Electrochemical Energy Storage Technologies and the Automotive Industry

A lecture from Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division covers some promising materials research efforts that are expected to lead to improved battery technology. Mark Verbrugge, the director of the Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Lab at General...

News : Energy
New Pathway to Forming Hydrogen Storage Compounds

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution for Science have found that high pressure can be used to make a unique hydrogen-storage material. The researchers found that the normally unreactive, noble gas xenon combines with molecular hydrogen under pressure to form a previously unknown solid with...

News : Energy
NASA's Algae Bioreactor Licensed to Algae Systems, LLC

Earlier this year, NASA introduced an algae photo-bioreactor that grows algae in municipal wastewater to produce biofuel and a variety of other products. The NASA bioreactor is an Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae (OMEGA), which won't compete with agriculture for land,...