Rust and Sunshine Do Mix

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Chemists at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, “Have achieved a series of breakthroughs in their efforts to develop an economical means of harnessing artificial photosynthesis by narrowing the voltage gap between the two crucial processes of oxidation and reduction, according to their paper, “Hematite-Based Water Splitting with Low Turn-on Voltage,” published this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie.” With your editor wishing he’d paid more attention in high-school chemistry, a quick search came up with simple definitions of oxidation and reduction. Oxidation is gain of oxygen. Reduction is loss of oxygen. When reduction and oxidation take place simultaneously, this is known as a redox reaction. These types of reactions take place in leaves producing plant energy from sunlight, and researchers are closing in …

Wollongong Cites Battery Breakthrough

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Professor Zaiping Guo at the University of Wollongong’s Institute for Superconducting & Electronic Materials is working on improving lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles, as well as portable devices like mobile phones, and her school proclaims a breakthrough. Her team has developed a novel nanostructured Germanium (Ge)-based anode material for high-powered rechargeable lithium batteries. Professor Guo, an Australian Research Council (ARC) QEII Fellow, said the development of this inexpensive manufacturing technique is a breakthrough that will provide a significant improvement in battery technology, which can be used to power the next generation of clean-tech electric cars. “The novel anode materials are very simple to synthesize and cost-effective,” she said. “They can be fabricated in large-scale by industry, therefore have …

Hydrogen as a Biofuel?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

While we’ve written recently about “artificial leaves” that emulate the photosynthesis of their real counterparts, researchers have announced the discovery of a way to extract hydrogen from any plant, which “could help end our dependence on fossil fuels,” according to Y. H. Percival Zhang, associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). The school describes the process as a “breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source to the world.”  Zhang has been working on the problem for over seven years, and like many pioneers, has endured the critical appraisal of those not in tune …