Fusion energy milestone reported by California scientists “You kind of picture yourself climbing halfway up a mountain, but the top of the mountain is hidden in clouds,” said Omar Hurricane, the lead author of the Nature paper, in a teleconference with journalists. “And then someone calls you on your satellite phone and asks you, ‘How long is it going to take you to climb to the top of the mountain?’ You just don’t know.” Hurricane and other scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, home of the multi-billion-dollar National Ignition Facility, took pains to calibrate their claims of success. Fusion energy milestone reported by California scientists
Giant glass orb could replace the solar panel Giant glass orb could replace the solar panel This is part of a series of articles that looks at entrepreneurs hoping to get their ideas off the ground through crowdfunding. At the time of writing, each of these innovations is currently seeking funding. The solar energy industry is still in the process of exploring how to make photovoltaic panels more efficient and less intrusive, and researchers at Stanford have already pushed forward with peel-and-stick solar panels. However, for high power usage the devices must be large and in direct contact with the sun at all times, meaning they need to track its position in the sky using sensors and equipment that are expensive and susceptible to bad weather.
Brazilian sugarcane Humans and batteries--and indeed most other things in the natural world, operate on largely similar principals. Energy is generated somehow, stored, and expended for work. It's only the details that separate these processes, but the gap might shrink with the advent of biobatteries. As ExtremeTech reports, researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a working sugar-powered fuel cell with energy density greater than that of current lithium-ion batteries. Sugar, or more accurately glucose, is an excellent source of energy in biological beings, as it's energy-dense and easy for a plant or animal to process. Glucose-based battery has 10 times energy of lithium: researchers | The Car Tech blog Glucose-based battery has 10 times energy of lithium: researchers | The Car Tech blog
MIT researchers find messy batteries might be better | Science! As modern technology demands more and more power, lithium-ion batteries have been getting increasingly dense. There hasn’t been a true breakthrough in battery technology recently, so scientists have been working on ways to fit more components inside the same space. That means very precise work to keep everything neat and tidy. Now a team of researchers from MIT is pointing out some disorder could be a good thing in lithium-ion batteries. One of the issues engineers have had to contend with when layering battery components was that the materials might not hold up and could blend together. Lithium ions are less able to move through such muddled layers of cathode. MIT researchers find messy batteries might be better | Science!
Researchers Bioengineer Bacteria That Poops Out Gasoline Researchers Bioengineer Bacteria That Poops Out Gasoline Ok, so now they need some bacteria that produces glucose out of air and another that metabolizes the toxic wastes of the first two bacteria and you have a self sufficient, gasoline producing thing happening. Sounds promising, hope they don't shelve the tech! So lets see. there is GM bacteria that makes my B12 supplement. There is new GM bacteria that makes my hyularonic acid supplement. There is new GM bacteria that makes spider silk protein in Japan.
Chemist Hopes 'Artificial Leaf' Can Power Civilization Using Photosynthesis Imagine an artificial leaf that mimics photosynthesis, which lets plants harness energy from the sun. But this leaf would have the ability to power your homes and cars with clean energy using only sunlight and water. This is not some far-off idea of the future. It's reality, and the subject of a jury-prize-winning film in the GE Focus Forward Film Competition . Jared P. Chemist Hopes 'Artificial Leaf' Can Power Civilization Using Photosynthesis
Teen creates gadget that could charge your cellphone in 20 seconds  This futuristic gizmo developed by a California teen in her spare time could revolutionize cellphone technology. Esha Khare is being courted by Google and other tech giants after she wowed the world with a device that may soon be able to charge a phone in 20 seconds flat. The 18-year-old, from Saratoga, scooped a $50,000 prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix last week. By specializing in nanochemistry, Khare scaled down the size of her invention. Teen creates gadget that could charge your cellphone in 20 seconds 
Fuel Cell Makes Power from Charcoal Fires Fuel Cell Makes Power from Charcoal Fires The Voto uses a rugged and inexpensive fuel cell to charge a battery, cell phone, or power a light. Credit: Point Source Power. In trying to create a power source for off-grid villagers in Kenya, entrepreneur and scientist Craig Jacobson has picked a seemingly improbable technology–a fuel cell. Fuel cells have been in use for decades, but they are generally more expensive than grid power, even in the developed world. And despite many attempts, portable fuel cells have yet to catch on.
Some 900 miles to the north, Bill Gates and another Microsoft veteran, Nathan Myhrvold, have poured millions into a company developing a fission reactor that could run on today’s nuclear waste. And on the far side of the world, China has seized on discarded American research to pursue a safer reactor based on an abundant element called thorium. Beyond the question of whether they will work, these ambitious schemes pose a larger issue: How much faith should we, as a society, put in the idea of a big technological fix to save the world from ? In Search of Energy Miracles In Search of Energy Miracles
More Good News About The 'Scientific Accident That May Change The World' | Science | ReWire More Good News About The 'Scientific Accident That May Change The World' | Science | ReWire Graphene supercapacitors | Photo: UCLA That battery life video that had gone viral due to a recent post on UpWorthy (and which we told you about Tuesday) now has an update. We told you that researchers at Ric Kaner's lab at UCLA had found a way to make a non-toxic, highly efficient energy storage medium out of pure carbon using absurdly simple technology. Today, we can report that the same team may well have found a way to make that process scale up to mass-production levels. The recap: Graphene, a very simple carbon polymer, can be used as the basic component of a "supercapacitor" -- an electrical power storage device that charges far more rapidly than chemical batteries. Unlike other supercapacitors, though, graphene's structure also offers a high "energy density," -- it can hold a lot of electrons, meaning that it could conceivably rival or outperform batteries in the amount of charge it can hold.
(Phys.org)—This month, Panasonic and Tokyo Gas announced the launch of their newest Ene-Farm home fuel cell, a product that residents can use to generate energy right from their homes. This is a smaller, cheaper, and efficient successor to the Ene-Farm products of the past; the new product can operate 20 percent longer than the previous model, for 60,000 hours. The developers, Tokyo Gas and Panasonic, said that this Ene-Farm home fuel cell achieves overall efficiency of 95 percent LHV, as the world's most efficient fuel cell. Panasonic trims Ene-Farm fuel cell size and price
A mix of perennial grasses and herbs might offer the best chance for the U.S. to produce a sustainable biofuel, according to the results of a new study. But making that dream a reality could harm local environments and would require developing new technology to harvest, process and convert such plant material into biofuels such as ethanol. Biofuels have become controversial for their impact on food production. Food versus Fuel: Native Plants Make Better Ethanol
Breakthrough iron-based superconductors set new performance records (Phys.org)—The road to a sustainably powered future may be paved with superconductors. When chilled to frigid temperatures hundreds of degrees Celsius below zero, these remarkable materials are singularly capable of perfectly conducting electric current. To meet growing global energy demands, the entire energy infrastructure would benefit tremendously from incorporating new electricity generation, storage, and delivery technologies that use superconducting wires. But strict limits on temperature, high manufacturing costs, and the dampening effects of high-magnetic fields currently impede widespread adoption. Now, a collaboration led by scientists at the U.S.
There is huge potential in solar power. The sun is a giant ball of burning hydrogen in the sky, and it’s going to be sticking around for at least a few more billion years. For all intents and purposes, it’s a free source of energy. Sadly, humanity hasn’t been very good at harnessing its power directly. Our current methods of capturing the sun’s energy are very inefficient. Princeton’s nanomesh nearly triples solar cell efficiency
Scientists design first all-carbon solar cell Scientists at California's Stanford University have managed to construct the first solar cell made entirely of carbon. If ultimately brought to market, a carbon-based solar cell could offer a potential alternative to the expensive materials currently used in photovoltaic devices. As Stanford's Professor Zhenan Bao notes, Carbon has the potential to deliver high performance at a low cost. "Unlike rigid silicon solar panels that adorn many rooftops, [our] thin film prototype is made of carbon materials that can be coated from solution," she explained.
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