The study of a super-hydrophobic surface has led to discovery of a method for generating power from condensation. Condensing water droplets literally leap off the surface and produce an electric charge that can be harvested.
Microalgae-based biofuel not only has the potential to quench a sizable chunk of the world's energy demands, say Utah State University researchers. It's a potential game-changer.
"That's because microalgae produces much higher yields of fuel-producing biomass than other traditional fuel feedstocks and it doesn't compete with food crops," says USU mechanical engineering graduate student Jeff Moody.
With USU colleagues Chris McGinty and Jason Quinn, Moody published findings from an unprecedented worldwide microalgae productivity assessment in the May 26, 2014 Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team's research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Despite its promise as a biofuel source, the USU investigators questioned whether "pond scum" could be a silver bullet-solution to challenges posed by fossil fuel dependence.
"Our aim wasn't to debunk existing literature, but to produce a more exhaustive, accurate and realistic assessment of the current global yield of microalgae biomass and lipids," Moody says.
With Quinn, assistant professor in USU's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and McGinty, associate director of USU's Remote Sensing/Geographic Information Systems Laboratory in the Department of Wildland Resources, Moody leveraged a large-scale, outdoor microalgae growth model. Using meteorological data from 4,388 global locations, the team determined the current global productivity potential of microalgae.
Algae, he says, yields about 2,500 gallons of biofuel per acre per year. In contrast, soybeans yield approximately 48 gallons; corn about 18 gallons.
"In addition, soybeans and corn require arable land that detracts from food production," Quinn says. "Microalgae can be produced in non-arable areas unsuitable for agriculture."
The researchers estimate untillable land in Brazil, Canada, China and the U.S. could be used to produce enough algal biofuel to supplement more than 30 percent of those countries' fuel consumption.
Recharge Texas A&M gets $2.2 million state grant for wind energy research San Antonio Business Journal (blog) Texas A&M University's Wind Energy Center has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF).
RedOrbit New Way To Make Biodiesel Using Fat From Alligators And Other Animals RedOrbit Chicken fat, pork fat or beef fat –– none is the cornerstone of a healthful diet –– but animal fats, including those from alligators, could give an economical,...
(Phys.org) —Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves...
US researchers have unveiled a new compound which could reduce the number of materials used in solar cells. () Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University have demonstrated a new material that can both capture photons from visible light and get current to flow, paving the way for cheaper, more efficient solar PV cells.
While the mainstream media continues to push the idea that we are facing an energy crisis due to a lack of resources, more people are actually looking into alternative energy and discovering that there really is no energy crisis at at all.
With many developing nations rapidly industrialising, dependent on fossil fuels as their energy mainstay, CO2 concentrations show no signs of abating. What will the ramifications be for food production and health moving forward in to the 21st century if weather patterns become even more hostile than the previous decade?
Fortunately, scientists and engineers are working on ways to neutralise emissions in to, or actively reduce the carbon content of the atmosphere until the time arises when we can transition to cleaner energy solutions. In the interim phase we find ourselves however, there are no perfect solutions, but there are technologies and techniques that can help combat the climate catastrophe that will be unleashed if CO2 concentrations continue to rise unchecked. Here a four such technologies…
EarthTechling Wave Energy Carpet Needs Help To Roll Out EarthTechling The researchers are aiming to have a pilot project deployed in 2016, but to get there they first need to develop a scale prototype – a 1:25 model – and figure out exactly what...
Images: Xi Chen/Columbia University A new electric generator has a modest and unexpected energy source: A small strip of latex rubber coated with bacterial spores. The contraption makes use of the harmless soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which...
This Pixelated Chair Is Made From Sugar, Sake, And Plaster Co.Exist Widrig had lined up an industrial 3-D printer to manufacture the object using a stereolithography printing process, but then the printer pulled out of the project.
Scientists were pretty excited when they discovered you could convert light energy directly into electricity by capturing photons in semiconductors, exciting them into “excitons” (bound electron with negative charge and hole with positive), and capturing the resultant current through electrodes. Now a group of four chemists from the University of California, Riverside, has worked out a
Perry gives his Aggies a push with offshore wind farm grant Dallas Business Journal (blog) Perry, an Aggie alum, awarded the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to the Wind Energy Center at Texas A&M University Friday.
Protein Modification Could Push Cellulosic Biofuel Forward Farm Futures Production of cost-efficient cellulosic biofuels has been limited by lignin, which binds tightly to the cellulose found in plants' cell walls.
DigitalJournal.com China's artificial 'nuclear winter' wrecking havoc on agriculture DigitalJournal.com The professor has been able to demonstrate that air pollutants adhere to greenhouse surfaces, cutting the effects of sunlight inside by 50...
Treehugger Hydraulic seafloor carpet could harness the energy of ocean waves Treehugger Currently, Alam and the engineering team at UC Berkeley is using crowdfunding to develop their new Wave Energy Converter, with a campaign on Experiment.com...
One of the inconvenient truths about fuel cells for powering automobiles—a key to the establishment of the so-called hydrogen economy—is that it is extremely costly and energy intensive to isolate hydrogen gas.