Archive for the ‘energy’ category

Jul 20, 2022

Chiral molecules beat magnets when it comes to boosting water splitting

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology

New electrocatalysis electrodes have been created that are simpler and cheaper than conventional ones, and can substantially increase the efficiency of water splitting. Decorated with chiral molecules like helicenes, these devices double the activity of the oxygen evolution reaction, the bottleneck of the process, and improve its selectivity.

‘With electrocatalysis, we [can] use electrons from renewable sources [like solar and wind] to produce clean chemicals and fuels,’ explains Magalí Lingenfelder from the Max Planck–EPFL laboratory for molecular nanoscience and technology, in Switzerland, who led the study. In this work, her team focused on the oxygen evolution reaction. ‘It’s the bottleneck of water splitting,’ she says. ‘We wanted to increase its performance with cheap, simple solutions.’

Jul 20, 2022

New semiconductor laser delivers high power at a single frequency

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Physics World

To get around this problem, Kanté and colleagues utilized photonic crystals. These are periodic structures, which, like electronic semiconductors, have “band gaps” – frequencies at which they are opaque. Like graphene in electronics, photonic crystals generally contain Dirac cones in their band structures. At the vertex of such a cone is the Dirac point, where the band gap closes.

Jul 19, 2022

A hybrid triplane design could provide airfares cheaper than rail

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

Jul 19, 2022

A chemical breakthrough could unlock the true potential of powdered hydrogen as a fuel

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

Jul 19, 2022

Mechanochemical breakthrough unlocks cheap, safe, powdered hydrogen

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology

Australian scientists say they’ve made a “eureka moment” breakthrough in gas separation and storage that could radically reduce energy use in the petrochemical industry, while making hydrogen much easier and safer to store and transport in a powder.

Nanotechnology researchers, based at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, claim to have found a super-efficient way to mechanochemically trap and hold gases in powders, with potentially enormous and wide-ranging industrial implications.

Mechanochemistry is a relatively recently coined term, referring to chemical reactions that are triggered by mechanical forces as opposed to heat, light, or electric potential differences. In this case, the mechanical force is supplied by ball milling – a low-energy grinding process in which a cylinder containing steel balls is rotated such that the balls roll up the side, then drop back down again, crushing and rolling over the material inside.

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Jul 19, 2022

Goodbye, Oil: US Navy Cracks New Renewable Energy Technology To Turn Seawater Into Fuel, Allowing Ships To Stay At Sea Longer

Posted by in categories: energy, military, sustainability

Circa 2014

After decades of experiments, U.S. Navy scientists believe they may have solved one of the world’s great challenges: how to turn seawater into fuel.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel could one day relieve the military’s dependence on oil-based fuels and is being heralded as a “game changer” because it could allow military ships to develop their own fuel and stay operational 100 percent of the time, rather than having to refuel at sea.

Continue reading “Goodbye, Oil: US Navy Cracks New Renewable Energy Technology To Turn Seawater Into Fuel, Allowing Ships To Stay At Sea Longer” »

Jul 19, 2022

Asteroid impacts create diamond materials with exceptionally complex structures

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, energy, engineering, existential risks

Shockwaves caused by asteroids colliding with Earth create materials with a range of complex carbon structures, which could be used for advancing future engineering applications, according to an international study led by UCL and Hungarian scientists.

Published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team of researchers has found that formed during a high-energy shock wave from an around 50,000 years ago have unique and exceptional properties, caused by the short-term high temperatures and extreme pressure.

The researchers say that these structures can be targeted for advanced mechanical and electronic applications, giving us the ability to design materials that are not only ultra-hard but also malleable with tunable electronic properties.

Jul 19, 2022

QuantumScape: Solid-State Batteries Will Likely Change The World Forever

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics

Commercial scale solid-state batteries for EVs are a few years away. QuantumScape’s valuation has historically been detached from reality but has declined 92% from all-time highs.

Jul 17, 2022

Lockheed Martin gets $59 million order for Stryker cyber and electronic warfare suite

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, military, space

Lockheed Martin has been busy this year. In April of 2022, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and its U.S. Air Force partner announced that they had completed a free flight test of the Lockheed Martin version of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC).

Then just last month, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded the company a contract to construct the nation’s first megawatt-scale long-duration energy storage system. Under the direction of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), the new system, called “GridStar Flow,” will be set up at Fort Carson, Colorado.

In the same time frame, General Motors and the firm announced their plans to produce a series of electric moon rovers for future commercial space missions. The companies said they plan aim to test the batteries developed by GM, in space later this year. They also set the ambitious goal of testing a prototype vehicle on the moon by 2025.

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Jul 17, 2022

Vertical farms could take over the world

Posted by in categories: energy, food, space, sustainability

Vertical farming saves water, land, and energy — and it could be how we grow food on Mars.

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