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Dec 6, 2021

New cost-efficient semisolid flow battery for wind, solar energy storage

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

An energy-storage solution that flows like soft-serve ice cream.

Dec 4, 2021

Pythagoras’ Revenge: Humans Didn’t Invent Mathematics, It’s What the Physical World Is Made Of

Posted by in categories: mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, sustainability

Graphene consists of a planar structure, with carbon atoms connected in a hexagonal shape that resembles a beehive. When graphene is reduced to several nanometers (nm) in size, it becomes a graphene quantum dot that exhibits fluorescent and semiconductor properties. Graphene quantum dots can be used in various applications as a novel material, including display screens, solar cells, secondary batteries, bioimaging, lighting, photocatalysis, and sensors. Interest in graphene quantum dots is growing, because recent research has demonstrated that controlling the proportion of heteroatoms (such as nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorous) within the carbon structures of certain materials enhances their optical, electrical, and catalytic properties.

Dec 4, 2021

Development of a single-process platform for the manufacture of graphene quantum dots

Posted by in categories: chemistry, nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics, solar power, space, sustainability

Graphene consists of a planar structure, with carbon atoms connected in a hexagonal shape that resembles a beehive. When graphene is reduced to several nanometers (nm) in size, it becomes a graphene quantum dot that exhibits fluorescent and semiconductor properties. Graphene quantum dots can be used in various applications as a novel material, including display screens, solar cells, secondary batteries, bioimaging, lighting, photocatalysis, and sensors. Interest in graphene quantum dots is growing, because recent research has demonstrated that controlling the proportion of heteroatoms (such as nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorous) within the carbon structures of certain materials enhances their optical, electrical, and catalytic properties.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, President Seok-Jin Yoon) reported that the research team led by Dr. Byung-Joon Moon and Dr. Sukang Bae of the Functional Composite Materials Research Center have developed a technique to precisely control the bonding structure of single heteroatoms in the graphene quantum dot, which is a zero-dimensional carbon nanomaterial, through simple chemical reaction control; and that they identified the relevant reaction mechanisms.

With the aim of controlling heteroatom incorporation within the graphene quantum dot, researchers have previously investigated using additives that introduce the heteroatom into the dot after the dot itself has already been synthesized. The dot then had to be purified further, so this method added several steps to the overall fabrication process. Another method that was studied involved the simultaneous use of multiple organic precursors (which are the main ingredients for dot synthesis), along with the additives that contain the heteroatom. However, these methods had significant disadvantages, including reduced crystallinity in the final product and lower overall reaction yield, since several additional purification steps had to be implemented. Furthermore, in order to obtain quantum dots with the chemical compositions desired by manufacturers, various reaction conditions, such as the proportion of additives, would have to be optimized.

Dec 4, 2021

Tiny Crystal of Energy Is a Promising Future Source of Power on the Moon

Posted by in categories: solar power, space, sustainability

This crystal of iron pyrite, just four hundredths of a millimeter in size, could function as the light absorbing layer of a tiny solar cell – potentially a promising future source of power on the Moon.

Working with Estonia’s Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), ESA has studied the production of sandpaper-like rolls of such microcrystals as the basis of monograin-layer solar cells.

“We’re looking at these microcrystals in the context of future lunar settlement,” explains ESA advanced manufacturing engineer Advenit Makaya. “Future Moon bases will need to ‘live off the land’ in order to be sustainable, and the iron and sulfur needed to produce pyrite could be retrieved from the lunar surface.”

Continue reading “Tiny Crystal of Energy Is a Promising Future Source of Power on the Moon” »

Dec 4, 2021

Novel solar cells produce a thousand times more power

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

New innovation can increase the photovoltaic effect of ferroelectric crystals in solar cells by a factor of 1,000.

Dec 2, 2021

A Gun Company Is Now Selling a Handheld Semi-Automatic Railgun

Posted by in categories: chemistry, military, solar power, sustainability

With Gauss Rifles [military squads] could pitch a solar panel, charge their guns’ batteries, and fire nuts and bolts off the ground as ammunition.


“You can hold far more energy in batteries than you can with gunpowder,” Wirth told Futurism. And a battery eliminates the need for “explosive chemical propellants.”

But it’s an entirely new type of armament that could have some potentially dangerous consequences, opening the doors to turn anything from metal rods to nuts and bolts into deadly projectiles. And its creators are already imagining military applications.

Continue reading “A Gun Company Is Now Selling a Handheld Semi-Automatic Railgun” »

Dec 1, 2021

NASA is Building a Nuclear Reactor to Power Lunar and Martian Exploration!

Posted by in categories: health, nuclear energy, solar power, space travel, sustainability

NASA and the U.S. Dept. of Energy have come together to solicit design proposals for a nuclear reactor that will power Lunar and Martian exploration!


Over the next fifteen years, multiple space agencies and their commercial partners intend to mount crewed missions to the Moon and Mars. In addition to placing “footprints and flags” on these celestial bodies, there are plans to establish the infrastructure to allow for a long-term human presence. To meet these mission requirements and ensure astronaut safety, several technologies are currently being researched and developed.

At their core, these technologies are all about achieving self-sufficiency in terms of resources, materials, and energy. To ensure that these missions have all the energy they need to conduct operations, NASA is developing a Fission Surface Power (FSP) system that will provide a safe, efficient, and reliable electricity supply. In conjunction with solar cells, batteries, and fuel cells, this technology will allow for long-term missions to the Moon and Mars in the near future.

Continue reading “NASA is Building a Nuclear Reactor to Power Lunar and Martian Exploration!” »

Dec 1, 2021

Can The Sun Power The Earth? Will Solar Energy Cope Or Will The Lights Go Out?

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

So can solar energy cut it?

Can we really move to a society not harnessed to the unsustainable practices of the old way.

Continue reading “Can The Sun Power The Earth? Will Solar Energy Cope Or Will The Lights Go Out?” »

Nov 27, 2021

Transparent Solar Windows: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

The idea of transparent solar windows almost sounds too good to be true, and it is, but not entirely. Researchers have been hammering away at the challenge of harnessing sunlight to generate electricity from see-through windows for years. The prize is acres upon acres of new sites for solar panels on buildings, without losing the energy-saving advantages of daylighting. Just look at any glass building and you can practically feel the blooming of the possibilities. The obstacles are many but it looks like a real breakthrough is finally at hand, so to speak.

Transparent Solar Windows, For Real

See-through solar cells have been bouncing around the CleanTechnica radar since at least 2010, when the possibility of creating a transparent solar window was beginning to emerge alongside thin film solar technology.

Nov 27, 2021

Doing photon upconversion a solid: Crystals that convert light to more useful wavelengths

Posted by in categories: chemistry, solar power, sustainability

Solid-solution organic crystals have been brought into the quest for superior photon upconversion materials, which transform presently wasted long-wavelength light into more useful shorter wavelength light. Scientists from Tokyo Institute of Technology have revisited a materials approach previously deemed lackluster—using a molecule originally developed for organic LEDs—and have achieved outstanding performance and efficiency. Their findings pave the way for many novel photonic technologies, such as better solar cells and photocatalysts for hydrogen and hydrocarbon productions.

Light is a powerful source of energy that can, if leveraged correctly, be used to drive stubborn chemical reactions, generate electricity, and run optoelectronic devices. However, in most applications, not all the wavelengths of can be used. This is because the energy that each photon carries is inversely proportional to its wavelength, and chemical and are triggered by light only when the energy provided by individual photons exceeds a certain threshold.

This means that devices like solar cells cannot benefit from all the color contained in sunlight, as it comprises a mixture of photons with both high and low energies. Scientists worldwide are actively exploring materials to realize upconversion (PUC), by which photons with lower energies (longer wavelengths) are captured and re-emitted as photons with higher energies (shorter wavelengths). One promising way to realize this is through triplet-triplet annihilation (TTA). This process requires the combination of a sensitizer material and an annihilator material. The sensitizer absorbs low energy photons (long-wavelength light) and transfers its excited energy to the annihilator, which emits higher photons (light of shorter wavelength) as a result of TTA.

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