This Material Will Power the Future — If Somebody Can Profit From It

BY LEE BRUNO   Dr. Rahul R. Nair from the University of Manchester shows a 1-micron-thick graphene oxide film. Photo: University of Manchester It was a Friday evening at the University of Manchester and scientists Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov were conducting the sort of playful experiment for which they’ve earned a reputation. In the […]

A Nanoparticle Sunlight-to-Hydrogen Generator – IEEE Spectrum

A Nanoparticle Sunlight-to-Hydrogen Generator – IEEE Spectrum.

Water-Splitting Catalyst Revealed – IEEE Spectrum

Water-Splitting Catalyst Revealed – IEEE Spectrum.

2012 Renewable Energy Recap: Renewables Reality Check – IEEE Spectrum

2012 Renewable Energy Recap: Renewables Reality Check – IEEE Spectrum.

High-efficiency solar energy tech turns water into steam

By Dario Borghino   Rice University graduate student Oara Neumann (left) and scientist Naomi Halas are co-authors of new research on a highly efficient method of turning sunlight into steam. A team of researchers at Rice University has developed a new technology that uses light-absorbing nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam. Even though it is […]

HydroICE project developing a solar-powered combustion engine

By Ben Coxworth November 22, 2012   A video of the prototype HydroICE engine, with cotton batten indicating how steam would be used to drive the piston down Image Gallery (4 images) OK, first things first – stop picturing a car with solar panels connected to its engine. What Missouri-based inventors Matt Bellue and Ben Cooper are […]

Nanoparticle Sunlight-to-Hydrogen Generator

Durable artificial-leaf scheme could be cheap By VIRAT MARKANDEYA  /  NOVEMBER 2012   Image: Ted Pawlicki/University of Rochester PARTICLE DANCE: A semiconductor nano particle [center] helps generate hydrogen from sunlight and water. Click on image to enlarge. 14 November 2012—Researchers at the University of Rochester have found an efficient way to  produce hydrogen fuel from water using sunlight. A light-powered hydrogen […]

‘Burning Picassos for heat’: the case for electrified transport

Burning oil is a one-time, irreversible act that leaves nothing of value behind and produces greenhouse gases and pollutants that harm us, Cobb writes. By Kurt Cobb, Guest blogger / November 7, 2012 Kurt Cobb is the author of the peak-oil-themed thriller, ‘Prelude,’ and a columnist for the Paris-based science news site Scitizen. He is a founding member of […]

Corn Ethanol Makers Weigh Switch to Butanol

NEARLY a decade after the adoption of federal renewable fuel standards led to a sharp increase in production of ethanol, some producers in the Corn Belt are considering making a different fuel. The fuel, butyl alcohol, or butanol, is worth more to refiners because it has more energy than ethanol, is easier to handle and more of […]

Manufacturing Method Promises Cheaper Silicon Solar

Ampulse combines low-cost thin-film fabrication with conventional crystalline silicon.   PHIL MCKENNA Thursday, March 15, 2012 The cost of solar panels has fallen dramatically in recent years, but it’ll need to drop further still if solar power is to compete with electricity from coal or natural gas. The industry needs to find something cheaper than […]

New Method Makes Solar-Cell Production Cheaper, Easier

Crystal Solar’s approach simplifies the manufacturing of silicon wafers and eliminates some expensive equipment. KEVIN BULLIS Tuesday, September 18, 2012 The Korean company Hanwha SolarOne has shown the first commercial-sized solar panel to use a novel technology for producing silicon wafers, which are the most expensive part of a solar cell. Developed by the Santa […]

Is Thin-Film Solar Dead?

Despite the business woes of many startups, the technology could have a surprisingly bright future. KEVIN BULLIS Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Cloudy days: Miasole, a leading maker of thin-film solar panels, manufactures its products at its plant in California. PR Newswire When the Chinese energy giant Hanergy decided last week to buy Miasole, a Silicon Valley-based […]