Energy Supply and Demand to June 2012
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STANFORD (US) — Carbon nanotubes with imperfections could replace the pricey catalysts that have kept fuel cells from widespread use. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes riddled with defects and impurities on the outside could eventually replace some of the expensive platinum catalysts used in fuel cells and metal-air batteries, such as those used in fuel-cell cars, according to Stanford University scientists.
Engineers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to convert 95% of the energy of cellulosic biomass into jet fuel using stable, inexpensive catalysts, basic equipment and minimal processing. The end hydrocarbon product is so similar to jet fuel that it is ready for application by present internal engine designs. The team's previous research had focused on processes that convert plant-based sugars into transportation fuels, however they found that sugar molecules commonly degrade to form levulinic acid and formic acid which don't readily transform into high-energy liquid fuels. Adopting a new approach they decided instead to exploit this process and began with the two products levulinic acid and formic acid as their platform. They found that in the presence of metal catalysts the two acids react to form a product called gamma-valerolactone (GVL).
The blue areas in this thale cress plant indicate where the fatty-acid-binding protein one gene is expressed and also correspond to regions where high fatty acids would be synthesized by the plant.
† Department of Geoscience, and Materials Science Program
Hydrogen is a fuel that has seemingly limitless potential, but scientists have only been able to produce it from fossil fuels, like natural gas. That is, until now. A doctoral student in mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware has designed a new type of reactor that produces hydrogen using nothing more than concentrated sunlight, zinc oxide, and water.
26 March 2012 Last updated at 00:54 ET The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station is not currently in operation Japan has shut down another nuclear power station, bringing it a step closer to suspending atomic energy, following the Fukushima disaster.
LONDON | Mon Mar 5, 2012 2:00pm GMT
12 May 2012 Last updated at 01:29 GMT By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News, Bergen, Norway University students can now study CCS; but when will it come fully out of the lab?
By Martin Banks - 19th March 2012 Ministers should take heed of parliament MEPs have voted for the first time in favour of setting a binding renewable energy target for 2030. Parliament's vote was part of a report on the 2050 low carbon economy roadmap which has been drafted by UK Alde member Chris Davies. Deputies also voted in favour of calling on the European commission to "correct the failings" of the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS), possibly through a "set-aside" of allowances. The ETS has been condemned by countries such as China and India, which claim they should not be subject to the same restrictions which apply for aircraft travelling within Europe.
22 March 2012 Last updated at 21:04 GMT BP has been exploring the deep waters west off Shetland since the 1970s Oil giant BP has been given consent to drill a controversial deep-water well west of Shetland.
21 March 2012 Last updated at 06:56 ET
21 March 2012 Last updated at 06:36 GMT "There is a fair amount of China-bashing taking place," says William Hess of China Analytics
23 March 2012 Last updated at 14:07 ET The government had said the subsidy cut would ensure the scheme carried on in the future The government has failed to get permission to appeal to the Supreme Court over its plan to cut subsidies for solar panels on homes.
A research team is working on turning carbon dioxide into methanol to use later as a green fuel.
Thanks to a little serendipity, researchers at Rice University have created a tiny coaxial cable that is about a thousand times smaller than a human hair and has higher capacitance than previously reported microcapacitors.