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Archive for the ‘energy’ category: Page 2

Jul 13, 2022

Sizing Up the Challenges in Extracting Lithium from Geothermal Brine

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

Berkeley Lab scientists assess the technology landscape for developing a domestic source of lithium.


If you had a jar of marbles of many different colors but wanted only the green ones, how could you efficiently pick them out? What if it wasn’t marbles but a jar of glitter, and there was sand, glue, and mud mixed in? That begins to describe the complexity of the brine pumped out from beneath California’s Salton Sea as part of geothermal energy production.

For geothermal fields around the world, produced geothermal brine has been simply injected back underground, but now it’s become clear that the brines produced at the Salton Sea geothermal field contain an immense amount of lithium, a critical resource need for low-carbon transportation and energy storage. Demand for lithium is skyrocketing, as it is an essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Currently there is very little lithium production in the U.S. and most lithium is imported; however, that may change in the near future.

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Jul 13, 2022

Tiny motors take a big step forward

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, energy, nanotechnology, transportation

Motors are everywhere in our day-to-day lives—from cars to washing machines. A futuristic scientific field is working on tiny motors that could power a network of nanomachines and replace some of the power sources we use in devices today.

In new research published recently in ACS Nano, researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin created the first ever optical . All previous versions of these light-driven motors reside in a solution of some sort, which held back their potential for most real-world applications.

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Jul 13, 2022

This Fish-Friendly Whirlpool Turbine Can Power Up to 60 Homes

Posted by in categories: energy, innovation

If you live near a river and want clean energy to power your home, we have great news for you. Belgian company Turbulent has created a fish-friendly whirlpool turbine that can be installed in only one week.

The innovative turbine can provide energy 24 hours a day for dozens of homes by being installed in most rivers and canals. It also delivers low-cost power as the generator just uses flowing water to produce energy.

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Jul 12, 2022

Antimatter Factories & Uses

Posted by in categories: energy, futurism

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Jul 12, 2022

UK’s first industrial-scale carbon capture and usage plant

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, food

The plant seen here will capture 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year – 100 times more than the UK’s current largest facility and equivalent to taking 20,000 cars off the roads. The £20 million investment has been completed by Northwich-based Tata Chemicals Europe, one of Europe’s leading producers of sodium carbonate, salt and sodium bicarbonate.

The project will help to unlock the future of carbon capture and utilisation, as it proves the viability of the technology at a large scale, removing CO2 from gas power plant emissions for use in high-end manufacturing applications.

In a world-first, the captured emissions are being purified to food and pharmaceutical grade, then used as raw material for a form of sodium bicarbonate that will be known as Ecokarb. This unique and innovative manufacturing process is patented in the UK, with further patents pending in key territories around the world. Ecokarb will be exported to more than 60 countries.

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Jul 11, 2022

Efficient, stable, and eco-friendly thermoelectric material discovered

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Waste heat is a promising source of energy conservation and reuse, by means of converting this heat into electricity—a process called thermoelectric conversion. Commercially available thermoelectric conversion devices are synthesized using rare metals. While these are quite efficient, they are expensive, and in the majority of cases, utilize toxic materials. Both these factors have led to these converters being of limited use. One of the alternatives is oxide-based thermoelectric materials, but the primary drawback these suffer from is a lack of evidence of their stability at high temperatures.

A team led by Professor Hiromichi Ohta at the Research Institute for Electronic Science at Hokkaido University has synthesized a barium cobalt oxide thermoelectric converter that is reproducibly stable and efficient at temperatures as high as 600°C. The team’s findings have been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Thermoelectric conversion is driven by the Seebeck effect: When there is a temperature difference across a conducting material, an electric current is generated. However, efficiency of is dependent on a figure called the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT. Historically, oxide-based converters had a low ZT, but recent research has revealed many candidates that have high ZT, but their stability at high temperatures was not well documented.

Jul 11, 2022

Future smart homes could be powered with electronics built on stones

Posted by in categories: energy, food

What if you could power the smart thermostats, speakers and lights in your home with a kitchen countertop? Stones, such as marble and granite, are natural, eco-friendly materials that many people building or renovating houses already use. Now, in a step toward integrating energy storage with these materials, researchers have fabricated microsupercapacitors onto the surface of stone tiles. The devices, reported in ACS Nano, are durable and easily scaled up for customizable 3D power supplies.

It would be convenient if the surfaces in rooms could charge or other small electronics without being connected to the electrical grid. And although stone is a widely used material for floors, countertops and decorative backsplashes, it hasn’t been integrated with devices, such as batteries and capacitors.

But , even those that are polished and seem smooth, have microscopic bumps and divots, making it difficult to adhere electrical components to them. Researchers have recently figured out how to place microsupercapacitors, which have fast charging and discharging rates and excellent power supply storage, onto irregular surfaces with lasers. So, Bongchul Kang and colleagues wanted to adapt this approach to build microsupercapacitors on marble.

Jul 10, 2022

Powerful Sand Batteries Are Literally Dirt Simple

Posted by in category: energy

A startup from Finland called Polar Night Energy has developed an energy storage system based on sand. The idea is to store excess energy generated from clean electricity sources such as Wind, Solar, etc., to be reused days or even months later.

If it works, it will help solve the primary pain point of intermittent clean energy sources by making their final energy output more predictable and, therefore, more reliable.

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Jul 10, 2022

Solar-plus-storage microgrid replaces diesel in remote Alaskan village

Posted by in category: energy

Blue Planet Energy has successfully deployed this first-of-its-kind project to support the residents of Shungnak, a remote community above the Arctic Circle in Alaska. The microgrid was designed to address the numerous challenges of operating in extreme conditions and break the community’s dependence on its expensive and polluting diesel generator power plant.

The resilient microgrid consists of a 225 kW solar array that can offset much of Shungnak’s energy needs. The system is integrated with 12 cabinets of 32 kWh Blue Ion LX battery systems, each storing excess energy for later use. In addition to reducing the village’s carbon footprint, the system also greatly decreases the high fuel and maintenance costs associated with running diesel generators in remote Alaska.

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Jul 9, 2022

Why Does Geothermal Get Missed in Conversations About Renewable Energy?

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Paul Woskov of MIT shows a sample of what a gyrotron can do to vaporize solid rock. The technology may soon help to harvest geothermal energy.


Geothermal renewable energy is the forgotten cousin of wind and solar. An old Soviet-era technology, the gyrotron, may soon change that.

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