How to Make it Easier to Turn Plant Waste into Biofuels

Researchers have developed a new process that could make it much cheaper to produce biofuels such as ethanol from plant waste and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Their approach, featuring an ammonia-salt based solvent that rapidly turns plant fibers into sugars needed to make ethanol, works well at close to room temperature, unlike conventional processes, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Green Chemistry.

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Tests Measure Solar Panel Performance Beyond Established Standards

In testing solar panels, the sun’s intensity, the spectral composition and the angle of light are important factors in understanding why certain panels are successful and others degrade more quickly. To address the knowledge gap in degradation mechanisms for various photovoltaic types, researchers performed tests over five years in which they collected weather data and panel performance information. The results are published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

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Supporting Structures of Wind Turbines Contribute to Wind Farm Blockage Effect

Much about the aerodynamic effects of larger wind farms remains poorly understood. New work in this week’s Journal of Renewable and Sustainably Energy looks to provide more insight in how the structures necessary for wind farms affect air flow. Using a two-scale coupled momentum balance method, researchers theoretically and computationally reconstructed conditions that large wind farms might face in the future, including the dampening effect that comes with spacing turbines close to one another.

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Saving Bats from Wind Turbine Death

Wind energy holds great promise as a source of renewable energy, but some have wondered addressing climate change has taken precedence over conservation of biodiversity. Wind turbines, for example, kill some birds, and the fatality rate for bats is even higher. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, scientists report the results of a survey of stakeholders in the wind energy field about attitudes toward the relative emphasis on climate change versus biodiversity issues.

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Go With the Flow: Scientists Design New Grid Batteries for Renewable Energy

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have designed an affordable ‘flow battery’ membrane that could accelerate renewable energy for the electrical grid.

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ECS President Congratulates 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Winners

Christina Bock, ECS Board president, congratulated John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino on receiving the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the development of lithium-ion batteries.” The long term Society members published important research papers in the ECS Journal. Goodenough and Whittingham are ECS Fellows.

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