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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 7

Mar 19, 2022

Could we make cars out of petroleum residue?

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

As the world struggles to improve the efficiency of cars and other vehicles in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions and improve the range of electric vehicles, the search is on for ever-lighter materials that are strong enough to be used in the bodies of cars.

Lightweight materials made from carbon fiber, similar to the material used for some tennis rackets and bicycles, combine exceptional strength with low weight, but these have been more expensive to produce than comparable structural elements made of steel or aluminum. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have come up with a way of making these lightweight fibers out of an ultracheap feedstock: the heavy, gloppy waste material left over from the refining of petroleum, material that refineries today supply for low-value applications such as asphalt, or eventually treat as waste.

Not only is the new carbon fiber cheap to make, but it offers advantages over the traditional carbon fiber materials because it can have compressional strength, meaning it could be used for load-bearing applications. The new process is described in the journal Science Advances, in a paper by graduate student Asmita Jana, research scientist Nicola Ferralis, professor Jeffrey Grossman, and five others at MIT, Western Research Institute in Wyoming, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Mar 18, 2022

Toward a quantum computer that calculates molecular energy

Posted by in categories: chemistry, food, information science, quantum physics, robotics/AI, sustainability

Quantum computers are getting bigger, but there are still few practical ways to take advantage of their extra computing power. To get over this hurdle, researchers are designing algorithms to ease the transition from classical to quantum computers. In a new study in Nature, researchers unveil an algorithm that reduces the statistical errors, or noise, produced by quantum bits, or qubits, in crunching chemistry equations.

Developed by Columbia chemistry professor David Reichman and postdoc Joonho Lee with researchers at Google Quantum AI, the uses up to 16 qubits on Sycamore, Google’s 53- , to calculate ground state energy, the lowest energy state of a molecule. “These are the largest quantum chemistry calculations that have ever been done on a real quantum device,” Reichman said.

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Mar 18, 2022

Scientists figured out a way to clean dust off of solar panels without using water

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Dust on solar panels reduces their output significantly, so they need to be kept clean. But how? Scientists say they have a solution.

Mar 18, 2022

As Tesla Giga Texas goes live, Austin aims to become a hub for transit innovations

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas is about to start its operations, and when it does, it would be one of the United States’ most ambitious vehicle production facilities. The massive factory, which Elon Musk has noted will be almost a mile long when completed, is expected to hire thousands of workers in the area.

The arrival of Tesla in Texas and the influx of companies moving into the state will likely trigger an increase in the number of people residing in cities like Austin. With this in mind, Austin transit leaders recently stated that the city’s transportation network would play a critical role in aiding or hindering further development. After all, all those new workers need a way to get to and from their jobs.

The discussions were held during a South by Southwest panel on Thursday, where transportation startup leaders highlighted that Austin’s efforts to invest in new mass transit operations are steps in the right direction. Austin-based AI Fleet CEO Marc El Khoury noted that the city and its surrounding areas would be attractive for companies developing innovative transit technologies.

Mar 18, 2022

Conversion process turns carbon dioxide into cash

Posted by in categories: chemistry, climatology, economics, sustainability

Engineers at the University of Cincinnati have developed a promising electrochemical system to convert emissions from chemical and power plants into useful products while addressing climate change.

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science assistant professor Jingjie Wu and his students used a two-step cascade reaction to convert to and then into , a chemical used in everything from food packaging to tires.

“The world is in a transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbon dioxide is primarily emitted from energy and chemical industries. We convert carbon dioxide into ethylene to reduce the .” Wu said. “The research idea is inspired by the basic principle of the plug flow reactor. We borrowed the reactor design principle in our segmented electrodes design for the two-stage conversion.”

Mar 17, 2022

Battery technology and recycling alone will not save the electric mobility transition from future cobalt shortages

Posted by in categories: materials, sustainability

Mar 17, 2022

Tesla Raises Prices Again: It Won’t Be the Last Time

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

For the second time in less than a week, Tesla has raised the price of its vehicles. Only this time, we see a significant hike across the entire lineup. The Model 3, its most affordable EV, cost around $42k at the end of 2021 but now starts at $47,000.

Mar 17, 2022

An indium oxide-based transistor created using atomic layer deposition

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, solar power, sustainability

Over the past decades, engineers have created increasingly advanced and highly performing integrated circuits (ICs). The rising performance of these circuits in turn increased the speed and efficiency of the technology we use every day, including computers, smartphones and other smart devices.

To continue to improve the performance of integrated circuits in the future, engineers will need to create thinner transistors with shorter channels. Down-scaling existing silicon-based devices or creating smaller devices using alternative semiconducting materials that are compatible with existing fabrication processes, however, has proved to be challenging.

Researchers at Purdue University have recently developed new transistors based on indium oxide, a semiconductor that is often used to create touch screens, flatscreen TVs and solar panels. These transistors, introduced in a paper published in Nature Electronics, were fabricated using atomic layer deposition, a process that is often employed by transistor and electronics manufacturers.

Mar 17, 2022

An ultra-cheap electric car conversion kit is FINALLY here!

Posted by in categories: energy, government, sustainability, transportation

We’ve showcased plenty of EV conversions on the channel before, but up until now they’ve mostly been high-end, beautifully refurbished classics. In this episode, Jack heads to France to investigate the entry-level of EV conversion. For €5,000 after government subsidies, a company by the name of Transition One claims it can turn your old banger into a no fuss, no-emissions electric car. Is this the answer to overpriced new cars? Could this be the key to accelerating EV uptake? Check out the episode to find out.

00:00 Welcome to a crusty Fiat!
1:54 Welcome to Transition One.
3:35 One very charismatic founder.
5:30 How does it work?
7:37 The gearbox lives!
8:50 How much??
12:12 Range and specs.
13:39 Who fits it?
14:43 How many orders?
15:35 When can I buy one?
17:12 Final thoughts.

Continue reading “An ultra-cheap electric car conversion kit is FINALLY here!” »

Mar 17, 2022

Australian researchers claim ‘giant leap’ in technology to produce affordable renewable hydrogen

Posted by in categories: energy, government, sustainability

The achievement, published in the peer-reviewed Nature Communication journal today, could see the Morrison government’s so-called hydrogen stretch goal of $2 a kilogram to make the fuel competitive reached as soon as 2025, the Hysata chief executive, Paul Barrett, said.

“We’ve gone from 75% [efficiency] to 95% – it’s really a giant leap for the electrolysis industry,” Barrett said.

Renewable energy from sources such as wind and solar is making big inroads into the power sector, supplying more than a third of eastern Australia’s electricity in the final three months of 2021. However, decarbonising industry and some transport, such as trucking, is likely to be tougher unless fuels such as hydrogen become much cheaper.

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