Renewable Energy News

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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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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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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New Biosensors Turn Bacteria Into a Source of Natural Energy

August 13, 2015

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Researchers Turn Engineered Bacteria into a Source of Natural Energy

New biosensors enable complex genetic reprogramming of common bacteria like E. coli. The process could be leveraged for sustainable biomanufacturing, using the metabolic processes of bacterial cells to generate valuable chemicals and fuels. Super-productive factories of the future could employ fleets of genetically engineered bacterial cells, such as common E. coli, to create valuable chemical […]

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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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New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

July 21, 2015

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This New Technology Could Transform Solar Energy Storage

Chemists at UCLA have developed a new technology that is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks — an advance that could change the way scientists think about designing solar cells. The materials in most of today’s residential rooftop solar panels can store energy from the sun for only a few microseconds […]

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New Statistical Technique to Help Evaluate Sites for Offshore Wind Farms

July 17, 2015

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New Statistical Technique Yields Better Wind-Speed Predictions

Scientists at MIT have developed a new statistical technique that yields better wind-speed predictions than existing techniques do, saving power companies’ time and money in the evaluation of sites for offshore wind farms. When a power company wants to build a new wind farm, it generally hires a consultant to make wind speed measurements at […]

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Deriving Power Directly from Evaporation

June 17, 2015

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Researchers Produce Renewable Energy from Evaporating Water

In a newly published study, researchers from Columbia University detail the development of two novel devices that derive power directly from evaporation – a floating, piston-driven engine that generates electricity causing a light to flash, and a rotary engine that drives a miniature car. Eva, the first evaporation-powered car, rolls along, thanks to a moisture […]

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New Shortcut Simplifies the Production of Solar Cells

May 14, 2015

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Researchers Develop a New Shortcut to Solar Cells

By using the top electrode as the catalyst that turns plain silicon into valuable black silicon, scientists from Rice University have developed a way to simplify the production of solar cells. The Rice lab of chemist Andrew Barron disclosed the research in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Black silicon is […]

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Manipulating Cell Division Will Help Grow Trees Bigger and Faster

April 16, 2015

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Wood Formation in Trees Is Increased by Manipulating PXY-Regulated Cell Division

A newly published study details how to make trees grow bigger and faster, which could increase supplies of renewable resources and help trees cope with the effects of climate change. In the study, published in Current Biology, researchers from the University of Manchester successfully manipulated two genes in poplar trees in order to make them […]

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New “Tandem” Solar Cell to Harnesses More Sunlight

March 24, 2015

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New Tandem Solar Cell Harnesses More Sunlight

By combining two types of photovoltaic material, researchers from MIT and Stanford have developed a new “tandem” solar cell that harnesses more sunlight. Researchers at MIT and Stanford University have developed a new kind of solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harvest a broader range of the sun’s […]

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New On-Site Fabrication Process Makes Taller Wind Turbines More Feasible

November 7, 2014

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New Fabrication Process Makes Taller Wind Turbines More Feasible

MIT engineers have developed a new fabrication system that adapts a traditional pipe-making technology to make wind turbines on location, at wind farms, making taller towers more economically feasible. Wind turbines across the globe are being made taller to capture more energy from the stronger winds that blow at greater heights. But it’s not easy, […]

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Researchers Investigated the Charge Transport Perovskite Solar Cells

October 1, 2014

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New Insights How Perovskite Solar Cells Can Be Further Optimized

New insights into the working mechanism of perovskite-based solar cells could help these solar cells play a prominent role among the renewable energy carriers in future. Conventional silicon solar cells could have an inexpensive competitor in the near future. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, together with scientists from Switzerland […]

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Scientists Generate Renewable Propane Using Bacteria

September 5, 2014

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Researchers Engineer Gut Bacteria to Generate Renewable Propane

Researchers used Escherichia coli to interrupt the biological process that turns fatty acids into cell membranes, channeling the fatty acids along a different biological pathway so that the bacteria made engine-ready renewable propane instead of cell membranes. The development is a step towards commercial production of a source of fuel that could one day provide […]

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New Type of CNT Solar Cell is Twice as Efficient as Its Predecessors

September 3, 2014

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New Type of CNT Solar Cell is Twice as Efficient as Past Models

Material scientists from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University have created a new type of carbon nanotubes solar cell that is twice as efficient as its predecessors. Lighter, more flexible, and cheaper than conventional solar-cell materials, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have long shown promise for photovoltaics. But research stalled when CNTs proved to be […]

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New Efficiency Record for Quantum-Dot Photovoltaics

May 29, 2014

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Quantum Dot Photovoltaics Set New Record for Efficiency

By engineering the band alignment of the quantum dot layers through the use of different ligand treatments, researchers at MIT set a new record for efficiency in quantum-dot photovoltaics. Solar-cell technology has advanced rapidly, as hundreds of groups around the world pursue more than two dozen approaches using different materials, technologies, and approaches to improve […]

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