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Best Of Last Year: The Top Phys.org Articles Of 2021 by Bob Yirka

2021 was a good year for research of all kinds. The strongest coronal mass ejection in years made headlines this past May, prompting experts around the world to urge world leaders to take it as a warning. Future storms, many noted, could wreak havoc on electrical grids, satellites and the internet. The time to act […]

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Researchers Suggest Battery-Powered Trains Could Very Soon Be Economically Viable by Bob Yirka

A small team of researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California has found that battery-powered trains could become economical as soon as 2023. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, the group argues that improved battery technology and cheap, renewable energy could soon allow battery power to compete with […]

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Making Solar Energy Even More Sustainable With Light-Powered Technology by Newcastle University

Technology using a new generation of hybrid solar cells is one step closer to mass-production, thanks to Newcastle University-led research. An international team of scientists have identified a new process using coordination materials that can accelerate the use of low-cost, Earth-abundant materials with the potential to transform the energy sector by replacing silicone-based solar panels. […]

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New Nanocomposite Improves Solar Evaporation For Water Purification by Li Yuan

Global drinking water scarcity is a severe problem for humans. Water purification consumes a large amount of fossil energy and generates secondary pollution. Solar-thermal interfacial evaporation has been considered the most promising strategy for addressing this problem. However, developing an optimized material featuring both efficient solar-vapor conversion and good environmental tolerance still remains challenging. HoMS […]

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Universal Declaration For The Future Of Humanity by Hardwick Alliance for Real Ecology

Empowering The Sovereign Peoples Of The World To Stop Global Totalitarianism, Corporate-Driven Ecocide And Unlawful Debt-Slavery By Implementing Solutions That Embrace Truth, Freedom, Justice And Prosperity For All Whilst Engaging The Common Sense And Human-Scale Values Of Real Ecology To Protect Our Precious Home, The Earth. This Universal Declaration is for every sovereign human being […]

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This Compressed Air Grid ‘Battery’ Is An Energy Storage Game Changer by Caroline Delbert

Pumped hydropower is great. This method might be even better. Two new compressed air storage plants will soon rival the world’s largest non-hydroelectric facilities and hold up to 10 gigawatt hours of energy. But what is advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES), exactly, and why is the method about to have a moment? Compressed air […]

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Missing Piece In Solar Panel Puzzle Found, May Lead To More Efficient Technology by Loughborough University

Silicon-based solar modules dominate the current market. However, they are expensive and have a high carbon footprint. A new generation of modules is emerging made using a chemical compound known as cadmium telluride (CdTe) andover 25 GW has already been installed. Solar panel efficiency refers to a panel’s ability to convert energy from the sun […]

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Green Hydrogen: Focusing On The Catalyst Surface by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Using energy from solar modules and wind turbines, water can be split by electrolysis into its constituents hydrogen and oxygen without producing any dangerous emissions. As the availability of energy from renewable sources varies when producing green, i.e. CO2-neutral, hydrogen, it is very important to know the behavior of the catalysts under high loading and […]

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Renewables Generated More Electricity Than Coal Or Nuclear In The US For The First Time In 2020 by Lucy Jones

21 per cent of electricity generated across the United States last year came from renewable sources. A new report from the United States Energy Information Administration shows that renewable energy outperformed coal and nuclear for the first time ever in 2020. Approximately 21 per cent, or 834 billion kilowatt hours, of electricity generated in the […]

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Earth’s ‘Vital Signs’ Worsening As Humanity’s Impact Deepens by Patrick Galey

“Policies to combat the climate crisis or any other symptoms should address their root cause: human overexploitation of the planet.” They said increasing ocean deoxygenation and warming waters were threatening warm-water coral reefs, upon which half a billion people rely for food, income and storm protection. Both ocean heat and global sea levels set new […]

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Solar Cells: Layer Of Three Crystals Produces A Thousand Times More Power by Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

The photovoltaic effect of ferroelectric crystals can be increased by a factor of 1,000 if three different materials are arranged periodically in a lattice. This has been revealed in a study by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). They achieved this by creating crystalline layers of barium titanate, strontium titanate and calcium titanate which […]

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A High-Energy Density And Long-Life Initial-Anode-Free Lithium Battery by Ingrid Fadelli

Lithium-metal batteries (LMBs), an emerging type of rechargeable lithium-based batteries made of solid-state metal instead of lithium-ions, are among the most promising high-energy-density rechargeable battery technologies. Although they have some advantageous characteristics, these batteries have several limitations, including a poor energy density and safety-related issues. In recent years, researchers have tried to overcome these limitations […]

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Making Clean Hydrogen Is Hard, But Researchers Just Solved A Major Hurdle by University of Texas at Austin

For decades, researchers around the world have searched for ways to use solar power to generate the key reaction for producing hydrogen as a clean energy source—splitting water molecules to form hydrogen and oxygen. However, such efforts have mostly failed because doing it well was too costly, and trying to do it at a low […]

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First Nanoscale Look At A Reaction That Limits The Efficiency Of Generating Clean Hydrogen Fuel by Glennda Chu

Transitioning from fossil fuels to a clean hydrogen economy will require cheaper and more efficient ways to use renewable sources of electricity to break water into hydrogen and oxygen. But a key step in that process, known as the oxygen evolution reaction or OER, has proven to be a bottleneck. Today it’s only about 75% […]

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Better Solutions For Making Hydrogen May Lie Just At The Surface by Christina Nunez, Argonne National Laboratory

A clean energy future propelled by hydrogen fuel depends on figuring out how to reliably and efficiently split water. That’s because, even though hydrogen is abundant, it must be derived from another substance that contains it—and today, that substance is often methane gas. Scientists are seeking ways to isolate this energy-carrying element without using fossil […]