Archive | Alternative Energy Sources

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New photosynthesis-mimicking technology could enable round-the-clock solar power without batteries

Developed by chemists at UCLA, a new photosynthesis-like technology is capable of storing solar energy for up to several weeks without the use of batteries. The advance, detailed in the journal Science, could change the way we think about photovoltaic cells and energy storage. Sarah Tolbert, a senior researcher on the project, said the new […]

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Major advance in artificial photosynthesis uses sunshine to create fossil fuel analogs




A major breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis has been achieved with the development of a system that can capture carbon dioxide emissions and convert them into valuable chemical products, including biodegradable plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and even liquid fuels. Developed by scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California Berkeley, the system uses […]




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Solar toilet locks-in greenhouse gases, increases crop yields




Developed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a self-contained, waterless, solar-powered toilet heats human waste to a high enough temperature to sterilize it and create biochar, a highly porous charcoal used to both increase crop yields and sequester carbon dioxide. The inventors, from the University of Colorado Boulder, say the revolutionary thunderbox […]




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Rhubarb battery could finally free solar households from the electricity grid




Harvard scientists have developed a metal-free flow battery based on the electrochemistry of the naturally abundant, inexpensive, organic molecules that store energy in plants and animals. The new battery could provide the final piece in the renewable energy puzzle – storing energy from sources such as wind and solar economically and reliably. Flow batteries work […]




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Electrosmog harvested to produce electricity




Using inexpensive materials configured and tuned to capture ambient signals from the electromagnetic spectrum, Duke University researchers have designed a power-harvesting device with efficiency similar to that of modern solar panels. In a demonstration, the device wirelessly converted microwave signals to direct current voltage capable of recharging a cell phone battery or other electronic device, […]




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Panda poop could be biofuel bonanza




While ethanol made from corn is the most common alternative fuel in the U.S., concern continues to grow that the use of food crops for fuel production may lead to increased food prices or shortages. The use of non-edible corn stalks, corn cobs, and other plant material would be preferable, but these require special processing […]




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ionocraft

Ionic thrusters challenge jet engines for efficiency




Largely regarded as a scientific curiosity, a new investigation into electrohydrodynamic thrust has found that it may actually be more efficient than jet propulsion. Electrohydrodynamic thrust – sometimes referred to as “ionic wind” – was first identified in the 1960s. A basic ionic thruster consists of three parts: a very thin copper electrode, called an […]




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Biofuels could be made directly from excess CO2 in the atmosphere, say scientists




Researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to transform carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into a variety of useful industrial products. Their discovery may soon lead to the creation of biofuels made directly from carbon dioxide in the air – one of the major driving forces of global climate change. Details about […]




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