Menu

Blog

Archive for the ‘energy’ category

Jun 1, 2020

An International Team of Scientists Uncovered Exotic Quantum Properties Hidden in Magnetite

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics

An international team of scientists uncovered exotic quantum properties hidden in magnetite, the oldest magnetic material known to mankind. The study reveals the existence of low-energy waves that indicate the important role of electronic interactions with the crystal lattice. This is another step to fully understand the metal-insulator phase transition mechanism in magnetite, and in particular to learn about the dynamical properties and critical behavior of this material in the vicinity of the transition temperature.

Magnetite (FeO4) is a common mineral, whose strong magnetic properties were already known in ancient Greece. Initially, it was used mainly in compasses, and later in many other devices, such as data recording tools. It is also widely applied to catalytic processes. Even animals benefit from the properties of magnetite in detecting magnetic fields – for example, birds are known to use it in navigation.

Physicists are also very interested in magnetite because around a temperature of 125 K it shows an exotic phase transition, named after the Dutch chemist Verwey. This Verwey transition was also the first phase metal-to-insulator transformation observed historically. During this extremely complex process, the electrical conductivity changes by as much as two orders of magnitude and a rearrangement of the crystal structure takes place. Verwey proposed a transformation mechanism based on the location of electrons on iron ions, which leads to the appearance of a periodic spatial distribution of Fe2+ and Fe3+ charges at low temperatures.

Continue reading “An International Team of Scientists Uncovered Exotic Quantum Properties Hidden in Magnetite” »

Jun 1, 2020

Extra salty sodium battery performs on par with lithium

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy

Batteries that use a sodium-ion chemistry rather than the commonplace lithium-ion could offer a number of advantages, owing to the cheap and abundant nature of the element. Scientists at Washington State University have come up with a design billed as a potential game changer in this area – a sodium-ion battery offering a comparable energy capacity and cycling ability to some lithium-ion batteries already on the market.

In a way, sodium-ion batteries function just like lithium-ion batteries, generating power by bouncing ions between a pair of electrodes in a liquid electrolyte. One of the problems with them in their current form, however, is that while this is going on inactive sodium crystals tend to build up on the surface of the negatively-charged electrode, the cathode, which winds up killing the battery. Additionally, sodium-ion batteries don’t hold as much energy as their lithium-ion counterparts.

“The key challenge is for the battery to have both high energy density and a good cycle life,” says Washington State University’s Junhua Song, lead author on the paper.

May 31, 2020

Making Quantum ‘Waves’ in Ultrathin Materials – Plasmons Could Power a New Class of Technologies

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology, quantum physics

Study co-led by Berkeley Lab reveals how wavelike plasmons could power up a new class of sensing and photochemical technologies at the nanoscale.

Wavelike, collective oscillations of electrons known as “plasmons” are very important for determining the optical and electronic properties of metals.

In atomically thin 2D materials, plasmons have an energy that is more useful for applications, including sensors and communication devices, than plasmons found in bulk metals. But determining how long plasmons live and whether their energy and other properties can be controlled at the nanoscale (billionths of a meter) has eluded many.

Continue reading “Making Quantum ‘Waves’ in Ultrathin Materials – Plasmons Could Power a New Class of Technologies” »

May 30, 2020

European R&D review finds lagging high-tech performance despite major science investment

Posted by in categories: business, energy, science, transportation

To encourage businesses to invest in new technologies, the European Union funds industrial research partnerships worth billions of euros in fields such as clean aviation and hydrogen fuel cells. It also offers direct grants to tech startups, and when Horizon Europe launches next year, it plans to offer them equity investments, too.


Report says scientific output is not translating into innovation.

Continue reading “European R&D review finds lagging high-tech performance despite major science investment” »

May 30, 2020

New 5G switches bring better battery life, higher bandwidth and speeds

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, military

As 5G hits the market, new U.S. Army-funded research has developed a radio-frequency switch that is over 50 times more energy efficient than what is used today.

May 30, 2020

Researchers Have Found a New Way to Convert Waste Heat Into Electricity to Power Small Devices

Posted by in categories: energy, physics, wearables

A thin, iron-based generator uses waste heat to provide small amounts of power.

Researchers have found a way to convert heat energy into electricity with a nontoxic material. The material is mostly iron which is extremely cheap given its relative abundance. A generator based on this material could power small devices such as remote sensors or wearable devices. The material can be thin so it could be shaped into various forms.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or free energy. But if your energy demands are low enough, say for example in the case of a small sensor of some kind, then there is a way to harness heat energy to supply your power without wires or batteries. Research Associate Akito Sakai and group members from his laboratory at the University of Tokyo Institute for Solid State Physics and Department of Physics, led by Professor Satoru Nakatsuji, and from the Department of Applied Physics, led by Professor Ryotaro Arita, have taken steps towards this goal with their innovative iron-based thermoelectric material.

Continue reading “Researchers Have Found a New Way to Convert Waste Heat Into Electricity to Power Small Devices” »

May 30, 2020

Why This Hydrogen-Powered Engine Could Be the Future of Flying

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell could be a game-changer for aircraft of all sizes.

May 29, 2020

Used Electric Car Batteries Could Be Recycled into New Life as Energy Storage for Solar Farms, Says New Study

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation

The MIT researchers say that the average used car battery could provide up to a decade of backup storage for solar grids.

May 29, 2020

Will a New Glass Battery Accelerate the End of Oil?

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, sustainability

Circa 2017


Electric car purchases have been on the rise lately, posting an estimated 60 percent growth rate last year. They’re poised for rapid adoption by 2022, when EVs are projected to cost the same as internal combustion cars. However, these estimates all presume the incumbent lithium-ion battery remains the go-to EV power source. So, when researchers this week at the University of Texas at Austin unveiled a new, promising lithium- or sodium–glass battery technology, it threatened to accelerate even rosy projections for battery-powered cars.

“I think we have the possibility of doing what we’ve been trying to do for the last 20 years,” says John Goodenough, coinventor of the now ubiquitous lithium-ion battery and emeritus professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. “That is, to get an electric car that will be competitive in cost and convenience with the internal combustion engine.” Goodenough added that this new battery technology could also store intermittent solar and wind power on the electric grid.

Continue reading “Will a New Glass Battery Accelerate the End of Oil?” »

May 29, 2020

Energy Scavengers: Static Electricity Could Power the World

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

By harvesting the everyday energy of static electricity, scientists may have found the world’s most plentiful source of renewable, sustainable power.

Page 1 of 12512345678Last