Green Technology News

MIT Engineers Program Yeast to Convert Plant Sugars Into Oils

January 16, 2017

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MIT Engineers Program Yeast to Convert Plant Sugars Into Oils

By modifying the metabolic pathways of yeast, chemical engineers from MIT are able to convert plant sugars into oils. MIT engineers have genetically reprogrammed a strain of yeast so that it converts sugars to fats much more efficiently, an advance that could make possible the renewable production of high-energy fuels such as diesel. The researchers, […]

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New Catalyst Promotes Carbon Dioxide Conversion into Fuels

November 15, 2016

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Turning Greenhouse Gas Into Gasoline

Scientists at MIT have developed a new catalyst material that provides design principles for producing fuels from carbon dioxide emissions. The findings suggest a route toward using the world’s existing infrastructure for fuel storage and distribution, without adding net greenhouse emissions to the atmosphere. The new catalyst takes the process only through its first stage […]

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Electricity-Powered Molecular Catalysts May Improve Fuel Cells

November 14, 2016

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Better Catalysts Make Better Fuel Cells

A team of chemists from Yale University have developed a framework for designing electricity-powered molecular catalysts that may prove vital for a new generation of fuel cells. Also called electrocatalysts, these substances boost the rate of a chemical reaction by decreasing the energy input along the way. In fuel cells, electrocatalysts can be used to […]

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Heme Molecule May Be The Key To More Effficient Batteries

October 19, 2016

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Lithium-Oxygen (Li-O2) Batteries

New research from Yale University shows that a molecule that transports oxygen in blood could be key to developing the next generation of batteries. Lithium-oxygen (Li-O2) batteries have emerged in recent years as a possible successor to lithium-ion batteries — the industry standard for consumer electronics — due to their potential for holding a charge […]

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MIT’s Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Nuclear Fusion Reactor Sets World Record

October 14, 2016

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Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Nuclear Fusion Reactor Sets World Record

MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor set a new world record, achieving over 2 atmospheres of pressure for the first time. On Friday, September 30, at 9:25 p.m. EDT, scientists and engineers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center made a leap forward in the pursuit of clean energy. The team set a new […]

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Engineers Design a New Solar Cell That is More Efficient and Costs Less

August 31, 2016

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New More Efficient Solar Cell

Engineers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have developed a new solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy. The cost of solar power is beginning to reach price parity with cheaper fossil fuel-based electricity in many parts of the […]

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New Material Can Store Solar Energy During the Day and Release it Later as Heat

January 13, 2016

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A New Way to Store Solar Heat

Engineers from MIT have developed a new material could harvest sunlight by day and release heat on demand hours or days later. Imagine if your clothing could, on demand, release just enough heat to keep you warm and cozy, allowing you to dial back on your thermostat settings and stay comfortable in a cooler room. […]

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Scientists Reveal New Lithium-Oxygen Battery Design

October 30, 2015

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New Design May Lead to the Ultimate Battery

Using a highly porous graphene electrode, scientists have developed a lab-based demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has higher capacity, increased energy efficiency and improved stability over previous designs. Scientists have developed a working laboratory demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has very high energy density, is more than 90% efficient, and, to date, can […]

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New Graphene Based Catalyst Shows Promise for Clean, Inexpensive Hydrogen Production

October 21, 2015

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New Catalyst Holds Promise for Clean, Inexpensive Hydrogen Production

New research from Rice University reveals that graphene doped with nitrogen and augmented with cobalt atoms has proven to be an effective, durable catalyst for the production of hydrogen from water. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the […]

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Nanoscientists Improve the Stability of Perovskite Solar Cells

October 19, 2015

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Engineers Develop Next-Generation Perovskite Solar Cells

UCLA researchers have taken a step towards next-generation perovskite solar cells by using a metal oxide “sandwich.” The new design extends the cell’s effective life in air by more than 10 times, with only a marginal loss of efficiency converting sunlight to electricity. UCLA professor Yang Yang, member of the California NanoSystems Institute, is a […]

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New Fabrication Method Improves Efficiency of Perovskite Solar Cells

October 5, 2015

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Researchers Improve Efficiency of Perovskite Solar Cells

Scientists from Brown University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a method for making perovskite cells larger while maintaining efficiency. Using a newly developed fabrication method, a research team has attained better than a 15-percent energy conversion efficiency from perovskite solar cells larger than one square centimeter area. The researchers, from Brown University […]

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Organic Photovoltaic Material Offers Great Promise for Solar Energy

October 2, 2015

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Modeling Electron Excitation in Organic Photovoltaic Materials

Scientists at MIT believe modeling electron excitation in organic photovoltaic material could change the future of solar energy. The semi-conducting plastic is lightweight, flexible, relatively inexpensive, and easy to make. The problem is that, unlike inorganic photovoltaic material, it is not very efficient or stable. But work by Adam Willard, an assistant professor in the […]

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NASA Thrusters Propelled by New Green Propellants Complete Milestones

September 15, 2015

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NASA Testing Thrusters Propelled by Green Propellants

NASA is testing thrusters propelled by green propellants that can provide better performance without the toxicity while helping to lower costs by eliminating infrastructure needed for handling toxic fuels. To stay in the proper orbit, many satellites have thrusters–small rocket engines–that fire to change altitude or orientation in space. On Earth where gravity dominates, 5 […]

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High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Thought

September 8, 2015

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High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Previously Thought

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry show that large wind farms with a high density of installed capacity slow down the wind and generate less electricity than previously thought. Less energy can be withdrawn from wind than was assumed up to now. For example, a previous prediction from a 2013 study by the […]

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Berkeley Lab Uses Solar Energy and Renewable Hydrogen to Produce Methane

August 26, 2015

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Researchers Use Solar Energy and Renewable Hydrogen to Produce Methane

A team of scientists has developed a hybrid artificial photosynthesis system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane. A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) developing a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have achieved another milestone. Having […]

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SEAS Engineers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

August 12, 2015

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SEAS Researchers Develop More Efficient Solar Cells

Using a technique that mimics how plants use solar energy and forcing two otherwise incompatible molecules to work together to cover the full color spectrum, engineers from Yale University have significantly increased the efficiency of polymer solar cells. The researchers, in Dr. Andre Taylor’s Transformative Materials & Devices Lab, developed a solar cell that performed […]

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Light-Capturing Nanomaterials to Boost Efficiency of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

July 23, 2015

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Light-Capturing Nanomaterials Boost Efficiency and Reduce Costs of Photovoltaic Solar Cells

A new method to incorporate light-capturing nanomaterials into future solar-panel designs could make it easier for engineers to boost the efficiency and reduce the costs of photovoltaic solar cells. Although the domestic solar-energy industry grew by 34 percent in 2014, fundamental technical breakthroughs are needed if the U.S. is to meet its national goal of […]

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Graphene Helps Turn Engine Heat Into Electricity to Boost Gas Mileage

July 22, 2015

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Turning Engine Heat Into Electricity to Boost Gas Mileage

Using strontium titanium dioxide and graphene, scientists have developed of a material that can convert engine heat into electrical energy to reduce the need for fuels. It could also have applications in aerospace, manufacturing and other sectors. In 2012, the Obama administration announced fuel-efficiency standards that would require U.S. vehicles to average 54.5 miles per […]

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