The University of New South Wales ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence says they have set a new standard by creating the first silicon solar cell to achieve 25 percent effiency, surpassing their previous record of 24.7 percent.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' (CALS) Bioenergy Feedstock Project, now in its second year, is the only project of its kind devoted to exploring the many species of field grass that grow in the Northeast and their potential as sources for biofuels.
The project has roughly 80 acres of different warm- and cool-season perennial grass varieties, otherwise known as "feedstocks," growing in 11 counties across New York. "Our ultimate goal is to maximize the economic benefit of bioenergy production as an alternative energy source," said Donald Viands, professor of plant breeding and genetics, who heads the project, speaking against a colorful backdrop of a field of blue, green, lavender and beige hues, where some plants were withering, but some were some thriving.
If bioethanol is going to make a major contribution to our fuel supplies, we will require using biomatter a lot more efficiently than we do now - but we may be able to get some assistance from tiny insect helpers, says Michael Scharf, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
In Biofuels, Bioproducts&Biorefining, Scharf and his colleague Aurélien Tartar describe how the enzymes produced by both termites and the micro-organisms that inhabit their gut – known as symbionts – could help to produce ethanol from non-edible plant material such as straw and wood.
Are you interested in Hydrogen Energy? Here is an opportunity to participate in a conference with your contributions on the subject. Scientists, engineers, decision makers, and policy experts are invited to attend the International Conference on Hydrogen Production ((ICH2P-09).
Using more coal won't solve greenhouse gas issues but it buys time for clean energy to become cost- and energy-effective. Our coal supply, unlike oil, will last for hundreds of years .
Scientists in Italy are reporting that a new process could eliminate key obstacles to the expanded use of coal gasification to transform that abundant domestic energy resource into synthetic liquid fuels for cars and trucks. The study is scheduled for the November 19 issue of Energy&Fuels.
Do we want people to have water or cleaner energy? As the search for new fuels intensifies, researchers in Texas report that switching to certain alternative fuels to power cars, trucks, and SUVs may require the use of much more water than conventional petroleum-based gasoline and diesel.
The findings suggest that producing alternative fuels could strain already limited water supplies in some regions of the country. Their study is scheduled for the October 15 issue of Environmental Science&Technology.
Lightning and gases from volcanic eruptions could have given rise to the first life on Earth, according to a new analysis of samples from a classic origin-of-life experiment by NASA and university researchers. The NASA-funded result is the subject of a paper in Science appearing October 16.
"Historically, you don't get many experiments that might be more famous than these; they re-defined our thoughts on the origin of life and showed unequivocally that the fundamental building blocks of life could be derived from natural processes," said lead author Adam Johnson, a graduate student with the NASA Astrobiology Institute team at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
From 1953 to 1954, Professor Stanley Miller, then at the University of Chicago, performed a series of experiments with a system of closed flasks containing water and a gas of simple molecules. At the time, the molecules used in the experiment (hydrogen, methane, and ammonia) were thought to be common in Earth's ancient atmosphere.
Sunlight contains the entire spectrum of colors that can be seen with the naked eye -- all the colors of the rainbow. What our eyes interpret as color are really different energy levels, or frequencies of light. Today's solar cell materials can only capture a small range of frequencies, so they can only capture a small fraction of the energy contained in sunlight.
Researchers have created a new material that overcomes two of the major obstacles to solar power: it absorbs all the energy contained in sunlight, and generates electrons in a way that makes them easier to capture.
Ohio State University chemists and their colleagues combined electrically conductive plastic with metals including molybdenum and titanium to create the hybrid material.
Simple. Have you heard that a National Biofuels Action Plan (NBAP) was released on 7 October 2008 in the midst of comparisons being made of the presidential-candidate positions on energy?
The NBAP was developed by the Biomass Research and Development Board (the Board)—co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)— to accelerate the development of a sustainable biofuels industry.*
The Board establishes that enhanced inter-agency collaboration is required among the senior decision makers from ten federal agencies and the White House. The NBAP identified key research challenges and critical inter-agency actions to make next-generation, cellulosic biofuels cost-effective.
Researchers in Greece report design of a new material that almost meets the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 2010 goals for hydrogen storage and could help eliminate a key roadblock to practical hydrogen-powered vehicles. Their study on a way of safely storing hydrogen, an explosive gas, is scheduled for the Oct. 8 issue of ACS' Nano Letters.
Georgios K. Dimitrakakis, Emmanuel Tylianakis, and George E. Froudakis note that researchers long have sought ways of using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to store hydrogen in fuel cell vehicles. CNTs are minute cylinders of carbon about 50,000 times thinner than the width of a human hair. Scientists hope to use CNTs as miniature storage tanks for hydrogen in the coming generation of fuel cell vehicles.