Researchers create unusually conductive hydrogel

Stanford University - Hydrogen Fuel Cells Research

Stanford researchers develop printable gel-like material Stanford University researchers, led by Professor Zhenan Bao, have developed a new gel-like material that is electrically conductive and can be molded to nearly any surface using an inkjet printer. Researchers note that the material is easy to make and the process of its manufacture is not time consuming. The material has shown unprecedented electrical performance, leading researchers to believe that it could be a valuable component in alternative energy systems in the future. Hydrogel shows remarkable conductive properties The material is a conducting…

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Blue Valley High School student creates innovative fuel cell system

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Problems with hydrogen fuel cells may have been solved by high school student Advances in the world of hydrogen fuel can come from unexpected places. For decades, scientists from various disciplines have worked to make hydrogen fuel and fuel cells a viable energy source. These efforts have been met with varying degrees of success, but none have yet brought hydrogen into the mainstream of energy. One high school senior in Kansas, however, may have managed to solve some of the fundamental problems with hydrogen fuel. The student’s technology may be…

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MIT study indicates that the U.S. can store a century of carbon dioxide emission in underground aquifers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Hydrogen Fuel Research

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have released a new study that suggests the U.S. can store a massive quantity of its CO2 emissions in underground saline aquifers. Carbon capture and storage is a technological pursuit which attempts to prevent the release of harmful emissions generated by fossil-fuel power plants. This method has been gaining popularity in the realms of alternative energy and environmentalism due to its implications in mitigating or halting the progress of climate change. According to the study, the U.S. has the…

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Virginia Tech researchers create a synthetic jellyfish powered by hydrogen energy

Robojelly Video

Researchers from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute have created a robotic jellyfish called Robojelly. The synthetic jellyfish was created using carbon nanotubes to grant it the same flexibility that its organic counterpart enjoys. The creation exhibits characteristics that make it a prime candidate for underwater search and rescue endeavors and may, one day, fulfill this purpose. One of the most intriguing aspects of Robojelly is that it may never run out of energy. The robotic jellyfish’s “skin” is coated in the same platinum catalyst material that is found in hydrogen fuel…

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory nanoscience researchers experiment with organic electronics, with successful results

Example of organic electronics

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been working at the Department of Energy’s nanoscience laboratory, the Molecular Foundry. These researchers have been experimenting with molecules and other organic material to determine how they can be used for electronic devices. This week, the team succeeded in providing the first ever experimental determination regarding electric charge transfer from molecule-to-molecule. Researchers believe that this development could be used to improve the performance of electronics. Organic electronics typically refers to the use of carbon-based materials in electrical devices. These can be anything…

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UCLA researchers develop new graphene supercapacitors that store massive amounts of energy

Hydrogen Research

Researchers from UCLA have developed a new way to produce supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are the common term referring to electrochemical capacitors. These technologies are capable of storing massive electrical charges and can discharge this energy more quickly than batteries. Supercapacitors are often considered the best form of energy storage currently available, but their production is costly and time consuming. UCLA researchers believe they have solved the problem of cost by using graphene, an allotrope of carbon. By using graphene, researchers have been able to construct affordable supercapacitors that are significantly more…

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California researchers use nanotechnology to make nanotrees

Hydrogen fuel research

Engineers from the University of California San Diego have been experimenting with nanotechnology. Their efforts are largely fueled by last year’s development of the world’s first artificial leaf from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The leaf is capable of perfectly replicating photosynthesis, producing electricity and hydrogen gas by absorbing sunlight. USC researchers are taking the concept of an artificial leaf a step further. They are working to create nanotrees. The artificial trees are meant to mimic plants in their natural environment. The trees are comprised of nanotubes and various other…

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British scientists used printed circuit boards to create fuel cells

Example of Printed circuit board

Scientists from the Imperial College London and the University College London have found a way to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel cells. Price has long been a detractor from hydrogen’s appeal as a form of energy. Fuel cells, the machines that turn hydrogen gas into usable electricity, are notoriously expensive. They require costly components in order to operate, none of which are as high-priced as platinum. London scientists believe that there is no need for fuel cells to be so expensive, thanks to printed circuit boards. Researchers believe that…

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Penn State researchers create microbial fuel cell that could bring clean water to impoverished communities around the world

fracking - contaminated water

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University have created a new fuel cell that could be a great boon for impoverished communities around the world. It is called the microbial reverse electrolysis cell (MRC), and is a kind of microbial fuel cell that generated electricity by consuming hydrogen gas. Penn State researchers believe that their new fuel cell serves a dual purpose of water-treatment and energy generation. As with other hydrogen fuel cells, the MRC creates clean water as a byproduct of energy production, though at much greater quantities than its…

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Microbial fuel cells and their role in sustainability

Fracking - Drinking Water Contamination

Microbial fuel cells are getting more attention in the world of alternative energy because of their ability to multitask. Conventional hydrogen fuel cells are capable of doing more than just generating electricity – they can also produce clean water – but their microbial cousins can draw upon a wider variety of resources to generate hydrogen gas. As such, these fuel cells have begun appearing at waste management and sewage treatment facilities around the world. They have been turning waste into electricity, leaving nothing more than clean water behind. While the…

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Scientists create fuel cell slime from atmospheric bacteria

Newcastle University in the United Kingdom

Scientists from the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have found a way to use bacteria from Earth’s atmosphere to create a filmy material that could make fuel cells more efficient. Researchers have isolated some 75 different strains of bacteria that inhabit the planet’s stratosphere. Two of these bacteria, called B. stratospheric and B. altitudinal, are able to improve the performance of microbial fuel cells. Using these bacteria could lower the cost of these energy systems and make them more powerful overall. Using these bacteria, researchers were able to produce…

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Accidental scientific breakthrough could unlock the future of alternative energy

Alterntive Energy

Two professors from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S. have accidently found a new way to generate electricity. Professors Kourosh kalantar-zadeh and Michael Strano have been experimenting with nanotechnology for several years. Recently, the duo’s research yielded startling results when set on fire. The fire itself was not the result of an accident or disaster; rather it was an experiment with carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes reacted to the blaze in an unexpected way, however, generating a large electrical current that the…

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10-year-old discovers molecule that could be used for energy storage

Science is a field fraught with complexity. Like a maze, science can be filled with dead ends that make it difficult for researchers to find the answers to some of the world’s most mysterious problems. Though science is, indeed, complicated, breakthroughs are sometimes in the places where they are least expected. In Missouri, 10-year-old Clara Lazen has proven this to be true. She discovered a molecule that scientists never though existed. The molecule can, potentially, store massive amounts of energy, or release this energy to cause explosions. Lazen discovered the…

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