Corn Stalks and Cobs Into Clean Hydrogen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Hydrogen has several demerits in coming to the energy market.  A primary issue for H2 critics – that hydrogen requires more energy to produce than it gives back – may have been answered by Dr. Percival Zhang of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering, which is in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering.  We’ve covered his work before, usually in terms of turning corn into biofuels or in finding biological ways to produce hydrogen with low energy input. Part of his exploratory mandate comes from his ECHo cycle.  “I wish to suggest constructing the electricity-carbohydrate-hydrogen (ECHo) cycle… could meet four basic needs of humans: air, water, food and energy, while minimizing environmental …

Giving Power Walking a Whole New Meaning

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a self-charging power cell that uses a piezoelectric membrane to convert mechanical energy to chemical energy, then stores that energy until it can be released as en electrical current. Combining the power generator with the energy storage device, this hybrid is claimed to be more efficient than systems with separate generators and batteries.  When the piezoelectric membrane is flexed, it moves lithium ions in the power cell from one side of the cell to the other. Membranes in shoe heels and soles could produce power when a person walked, powering small electronic devices such as calculators or cell phones. Zhong Lin Wang, a Regents professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering Georgia …