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Beyond the lithium ion -- a significant step toward a better performing battery

Beyond the lithium ion -- a significant step toward a better performing battery | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have taken a significant step toward the development of a battery that could outperform the lithium-ion technology used in electric cars such as the Chevy Volt.

They have shown they can replace the lithium ions, each of which carries a single positive charge, with magnesium ions, which have a plus-two charge, in battery-like chemical reactions, using an electrode with a structure like those in many of today's devices.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have for years been saying that the key to the future is the development of better batteries so that renewable energy can be stored and used economically and safely. Hopefully, this is a real step towards that goal.

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Agricultural waste could be used as biofuel

Agricultural waste could be used as biofuel | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Straw-powered cars could be a thing of the future thanks to new research from the University of East Anglia.

A new study pinpoints five strains of yeast capable of turning agricultural by-products, such as straw, sawdust and corncobs, into bioethanol -- a well-known alcohol-based biofuel.

It is estimated that more than 400 billion liters of bioethanol could be produced each year from crop wastage.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If we can find an efficient way to use what is now agricultural waste to generate power, that would be a great step forward.

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Electric cars have batteries. Why not power plants?

Electric cars have batteries. Why not power plants? | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A Southern California Edison wind-powered plant offers a peek at the potential for energy storage at power plants. Energy storage would allow utilities to bring more renewable energy power plants onto the grid.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If affordable methods for storing energy from renewable sources can be developed, this will mean a real change in the way we think about energy. Batteries are certainly going to be part of the solution as might some of the other methods mentioned in the article.

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How Cheap Oil Is Changing the World

How Cheap Oil Is Changing the World | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
From Russia to your local gas station, the consequences of low fuel prices are clear. But the consequences of those consequences are less apparent.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

One of my fears is that we Americans will go back to petroleum-guzzling ways instead of pushing for better mileage vehicles and renewable energy. 

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Germany's Revolution in Small Batch, Artisanal Energy

Germany's Revolution in Small Batch, Artisanal Energy | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The industrial engine of Europe is increasingly powered by backyard windmills and locally owned solar panels. And this complex, patchwork system just might be the future of sustainable energy.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The old model of economies of size which suggests that big industry is the better way to go for an economy may not be the right model after all. Germany seems to be getting a very efficient energy industry and one that protects the environment by allowing small, locally driven projects. Perhaps the U.S. should follow suit. 

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Energy Department Announces $28M In Funding For 7 Offshore Wind Projects

Energy Department Announces $28M In Funding For 7 Offshore Wind Projects | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday announced $28 million to fund America’s first 7 offshore wind projects around the country.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Renewable energy is great if they can come up with workable and economical methods. These are good beginnings.

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