Clearing up the ‘dark side’ of artificial leaves

While artificial leaves hold promise as a way to take carbon dioxide — a potent greenhouse gas — out of the atmosphere, there is a ‘dark side to artificial leaves that has gone overlooked for more than a decade,’ according to a chemical engineer.

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Leap toward robust binder-less metal phosphide electrodes for Li-ion batteries

Researchers have successfully fabricated a binder-less tin phosphide (Sn4P3)/carbon (C) composite film electrode for lithium-ion batteries via aerosol deposition. The Sn4P3/C particles were directly solidified on a metal substrate via impact consolidation, without applying a binder. Charging and discharging cycling stabilities were improved by both complexed carbon and controlled electrical potential window for lithium extraction. This finding could help realize advanced lithium-ion batteries of higher capacity.

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3D printed rocket fuel comparison

Scientists in Australia are using 3D printing to create fuels for rockets, and using tailor-made rocket motors they’ve built to test the fuels.

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Energy from seawater

A new battery made from affordable and durable materials generates energy from places where salt and fresh waters mingle. The technology could make coastal wastewater treatment plants energy-independent and carbon neutral.

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A catalyst for sustainable methanol

Scientists have developed a new catalyst that converts CO2 and hydrogen into methanol. Offering realistic market potential, the technology paves the way for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals.

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Supercomputers use graphics processors to solve longstanding turbulence question

Advanced simulations have solved a problem in turbulent fluid flow that could lead to more efficient turbines and engines.

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Atomically precise models improve understanding of fuel cells

Simulations from researchers in Japan provide new insights into the reactions occurring in solid-oxide fuel cells by using realistic atomic-scale models of the electrode active site based on microscope observations instead of the simplified and idealized atomic structures employed in previous studies. This better understanding of how the structures in the cells affect the reactions could give clues on ways to improve performance and durability in future devices.

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Could the heat of the Earth’s crust become the ultimate energy source?

Scientists have developed a very stable battery cell that can directly convert heat into electricity, thus finally providing a way for exploiting geothermal energy in a sustainable way.

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A new material for the battery of the future

Researchers have discovered a new high performance and safe battery material (LTPS) capable of speeding up charge and discharge to a level never observed so far. Practically, if the first tests are confirmed, this new material could be used in the batteries of the future with better energy storage, faster charge and discharge and higher safety targeting many uses from smartphones, to electric bicycle and cars.

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Source of degradation in sodium batteries

Batteries power our lives: we rely on them to keep our cell phones and laptops buzzing and our hybrid and electric cars on the road. But ever-increasing adoption of the most commonly used lithium-ion batteries may actually lead to increased cost and potential shortages of lithium — which is why sodium-ion batteries are being researched intensely as a possible replacement. They perform well, and sodium, an alkali metal closely related to lithium, is cheap and abundant.

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