The least expensive way for the Western United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to help prevent the worst consequences of global warming is to replace coal with renewable and other sources of energy that may include nuclear power, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley researchers.
Many people are willing to pay a premium for ethanol, but not enough to justify the government mandate for the corn-based fuel, a Michigan State University economist argues. Soren Andersen studied the demand for ethanol, or E85, in the United States. He found that when ethanol prices rose 10 cents per gallon, demand for ethanol fell only 12% to 16% on average.
Researchers at Montana State University-Northern have developed a process to convert camelina oil to jet fuel and other high-value chemicals. Using a continuous-flow process at low temperature and pressure, the technology yields butane, pentane, gasoline, diesel, and other products.
According to researchers, the superconducting cables designed for the ITER fusion reactor in Switzerland are unable to withstand the planned 40,000 to 60,000 charge cycles of an upcoming fusion experiment in March. At team at the University of Twente in The Netherlands has engineered a new configuration they believe will solve the problem.
As the United States transitions away from a primarily petroleum-based transportation industry, a number of different alternative fuel sources—ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen—have each shown their own promise. Hoping to expand the pool even further, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have begun to investigate adding one more contender to the list of possible energy sources for light-duty cars and trucks: Compressed natural gas.
A new catalytic process discovered by the Cardiff Catalysis Institute could unleash a range of useful new byproducts from diesel fuel production. The team has reported the use of a mixed-metal catalyst to convert decane to a range of oxygenated aromatics.
A promising candidate for sustainable biofuel resources, Miscanthus x giganteus offers high biomass yield per acre for ethanol production while minimizing inputs and environmental damage. But until recent research at the University of Illinois, scant research has been performed on this plant’s growth and biomass yields in different environments in the United States.
Former Secretary of Defense William Perry lists biomass, plug-in hybrid cars, nuclear power, more natural gas, and energy efficiency as the only potential near-term answers to easing the United States' emissions of greenhouse gases and addiction to oil. Of these items, what is the most important?
For some time, researchers have explored flammable ice for low-carbon or alternative fuel or as a place to store carbon dioxide. Now, a computer analysis of the ice and gas compound, known as a gas hydrate, reveals key details of its structure. The results show that hydrates can hold hydrogen at an optimal capacity of 5 weight-percent, a value that meets the goal of a U.S. Department of Energy standard and makes gas hydrates practical and affordable.
Rather than releasing carbon dioxide into the air, it can be used to produce methanol—which is an excellent fuel for cars and airplanes—using solar energy. The technology already exists, and a major Nordic research initiative has now been launched that will make the process inexpensive and simple enough to be used on a large scale. Chalmers University of Technology is heading the initiative.
A transportation fuels expert from Sandia National Laboratories says policy makers should consider such practical issues as the number of gas stations selling ethanol and how long it takes to get new transportation technologies to market as they introduce aggressive federal and state energy policies.
Using a new microwave instrument based on the same principles as police radar guns, researchers from University of California, Los Angeles have finally observed very rapid changes in plasma turbulence in the DIII-D tokamak. These changes, which create and destroy surface flow eddies, are responsible for most of the heat losses in tokamak plasmas.
On Nov. 9, Alaska Airlines initiated the first regular commercial service in the United States powered by a blend of sustainable biofuels from used cooking oil and petroleum-based jet fuel. The flights from SeaTac Airport to Washington D.C. and Portland, Ore. are important steps in a long journey that will provide a more sustainable and lower carbon future for the aviation industry.
Among a number of findings announced at the 53rd meeting of the Advanced Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics, scientist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have learned a surprising a simple lesson about confining plasma in a fusion reactor. The more lithium coating that is used, the better the containment. The result could be smaller, cheaper reactors.
American energy use went back up in 2010 compared to 2009, when consumption was at a 12-year low. The United States used more fossil fuels in 2010 than in 2009, while renewable electricity remained approximately constant, with an increase in wind power offset by a modest decline in hydroelectricity. There also was a significant increase in biomass consumption, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Alaska Airlines will fly 75 commercial passenger flights in the United States powered by biofuel, starting this Wednesday. These flights signal aviation's next era, where sustainable biofuels can provide a viable alternative to conventional fuel and enable airlines to reduce their environmental impact.
Hybrid cars, powered by a mixture of gas and electricity, have become a practical way to "go green" on the roads. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University are applying the term "hybrid" to power plants as well.
The heavy-ion fusion research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, described in the R&D Daily last week, requires a host of supporting technologies to make these experiments happen. One is an induction accelerator, which can handle higher currents than radio frequency accelerator and can be used to create near-fusion conditions.
Imagine your car running on an abundant, environmentally friendly fuel generated from the surrounding atmosphere. Sounds like science fiction, but University of Texas at Dallas researchers recently published a paper detailing a breakthrough in understanding how such a fuel—in this case, hydrogen—can be stored in metals.
In part four of a continuing Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study on scalable energy candidates, researchers from the MIT Energy Initiative discuss how there are many sources that can make a contribution to our energy supply, but likely not at a major scale in the near future.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) issued a call to energy businesses of all sizes for proposals to collaborate with LLNL teams of experts in advancing energy technology through the use of high performance computing (HPC).
Researchers have long been interested in waste products as sources of biofuel. In Maine, those waste items could include treetops and limbs deemed by the forest products industry as unusable and often left behind in the woods. A University of Maine research team has, however, discovered a new chemical process can transform forest residues into a hydrocarbon fuel oil.
Not all parts of a corn stalk are equal, and they shouldn't be treated that way when creating cellulosic ethanol, say Purdue University researchers. When corn stover is processed to make cellulosic ethanol, everything is ground down and blended together. But a research team found that three distinct parts of the stover—the rind, pith, and leaves—break down in different ways.
With the world's energy needs growing rapidly, can zero-carbon energy options be scaled up enough to make a significant difference? How much of a dent can these alternative make in the world's total energy usage over the next half-century? Part two of this Massachusetts Institute of Technology five-part series explores how far wind power can go toward reducing global carbon emissions from electricity production.
A University of Minnesota team of researchers has overcome a major hurdle in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics, and various chemicals more cost effective and energy efficient. After more than a decade of research, the team devised a means for developing free-standing, ultra-thin zeolite nanosheets that as thin films can speed up the filtration process and require less energy.