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Technology

Ribbons of material create better cathode for lithium-ion batteries

Combining vanadium oxide with graphene could create a superior cathode for high-power lithium-ion batteries. Rice University materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan worked with hybrid ribbons of the two materials that – though they are thinner than a sheet of paper – have a potential that far outweighs current cathode materials. The cathodes built at Rice for testing could fully charge and discharge in 20 seconds...

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Quantum dots and nanowires improve solar cells efficiency – M.I.T.

When looking for next-generation solar power generating technologies, incorporating nanoparticles of material known as quantum dots are seen to offer several potential advantages to future solar cells. Photovoltaics based on quantum dots are made from abundant, inexpensive materials. They can be manufactured at room temperature, can be applied to inexpensive and flexible substrates materials, and can be tuned to absorb...

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Microorganism absorbs atmospheric carbon to create industrial chemicals

A modified microorganism developed by researchers at the University of Georgia could help solve the big problem of atmospheric carbon. They manipulated the genetic material of the Pyrococcus furiosus or “rushing fireball,” a microorganism that lives in the super-heated ocean waters near geothermal vents to feed on carbon dioxide. “Basically, what we have done is create a microorganism that does with carbon dioxide exactly...

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Trees key to greener solar cell

Now this is a real green idea, a solar cell made from tree material. Researchers for the Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University have developed a way to create renewable energy from the sun while eliminating the problem of solar cells becoming waste. They use natural substrates derived from plants such as trees for a solar cell that can be dissolved in water at the end of its lifecycle. The organic solar cells have a...

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DOCOMO to test “green” base stations during summer

DOCOMO is set to field test solar-powered green base stations this coming summer. Starting April, the Japanese mobile operator and integrated service provider intends to deploy 10 conventional mobile network base stations in the Kanto-Koshinetsu region of Japan, with the first three in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures. Following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, DOCOMO began developing disaster-proof,...

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Singaporean scientists develop nanomaterial producing energy, water and hydrogen

Ever thought of a material capable of producing hydrogen, generating clean water and creating energy all at the same time? While this may seem too good to be true, Singaporean scientists from Nanyang Technological University proved that such material could actually exist. Dubbed as Multi-use Titanium Dioxide, the groundbreaking nanomaterial is formed by turning titanium dioxide crystals into nanofibers, which can then be...

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New Energy, N.R.E.L. cooperate for solar-power generating windows

New Energy Technologies and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have entered into a second technology development agreement to commercialize SolarWindow technology. SolarWindow technologies allow for solar-powered generating windows. New Energy has developed and patented electricity-generating coatings that can be sprayed on glass surfaces. These sprays contain the world’s smallest...

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Specially designed antennas for increased solar harvesting and production

Researchers from the University of Connecticut have developed nanosized antennas that could allow a solar cell to harvest and convert more solar energy from sunlight. Scientists have long theorized that small nanosized antenna arrays could harvest and convert more than 70 percent of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation; a vast improvement over current silicon solar panels which collect only about 20 percent...

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Satellites and lasers to deliver solar power from space - Russia

Russian scientists have proposed building a giant orbiting power station capable of harnessing solar energy and beaming it to Earth. According to a The Voice of Russia report, the idea has been suggested by Central Scientific Research institute for Engineering, a subsidiary of the Russian Space Agency, Roskosmos. Solar power would be collected in space using a solar power satellite or satellite power system that would orbit the...

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Copper oxide and sunlight converts carbon dioxide to methanol

Copper oxide nanowires and sunlight are the key to transforming carbon dioxide into liquid methanol fuel. Researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington have developed a way to convert greenhouse gasses associated with climate change into a useful product. They have coated the walls of copper oxide (CuO) nanowires with crystallites made from another form of copper oxide, Cu2O . The nanowires...

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