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Center for Energy: News of the Day
  1. Acetone plus light creates a green jet fuel additive
    Take biomass-derived acetone -- common nail polish remover -- use light to upgrade it to higher-mass hydrocarbons, and, voila, you have a domestically generated product that can be blended with conventional jet fuel to fly while providing environmental benefits, creating domestic jobs, securing the nation's global leadership in bioenergy technologies, and improving U.S. energy security.
    Unused stockpiles of nuclear waste could be more useful than we might think
    Chemists have found a new use for the waste product of nuclear power -- transforming an unused stockpile into a versatile compound which could be used to create valuable commodity chemicals as well as new energy sources.

  2. 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.
    Could every country have a Green New Deal? Report charts paths for 143 countries
    Researchers offer an updated vision of the steps that 143 countries around the world can take to attain 100% clean, renewable energy by the year 2050. The new roadmaps project that transitioning to clean, renewable energy could reduce worldwide energy needs by 57%, create 28.6 million more jobs than are lost, and reduce energy, health, and climate costs by 91% compared with a business-as-usual analysis.
    Consider marine life when implementing offshore renewable power
    With countries adopting green energy practices, renewable energy now accounts for a third of the world's power. As this trend continues, more countries are looking to offshore energy sources to produce this renewable energy. Researchers identify situations where green technology such as wind turbines, wave energy converters, and other marine renewable energy devices (MREDs) have had negative consequences on marine life.
    Big step in producing carbon-neutral fuel: Silver diphosphide
    A new chemical process does in the lab what trees do in nature -- it converts carbon dioxide into usable chemicals or fuels.

  3. Artificial intelligence may help scientists make spray-on solar cells
    Artificial Intelligence may be just the thing to accelerate spray-on solar cell technology, which could revolutionize how consumers use energy. A research team has used Machine Learning, aka Artificial Intelligence to optimize the materials used to make perovskite solar cells (PSC). The Organic-Inorganic halide perovskites material used in PSC converts photovoltaic power into consumable energy.

  4. Researchers perfect nanoscience tool for studies of nuclear waste storage
    Studying radiation chemistry and electronic structure of materials at scales smaller than nanometers, scientists prepared samples of clay in ultra-thin layers. Working at the TRIUMF particle accelerator, they bombarded the samples with antimatter subatomic particles. They found their system is a proven tool for radiation studies of material to be used to store nuclear waste -- important for Canadian nuclear industry looking to build its first geological repository.
    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 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.
    Punching holes in opaque solar cells turns them transparent
    Researchers in Korea have found an effective and inexpensive strategy to transform solar cells from opaque to transparent. Existing transparent solar cells tend to have a reddish hue and lower efficiency, but by punching tiny holes on crystalline silicon wafers, it allows light through without coloring. The holes are then strategically spaced, so the human eye is unable to 'see' the pattern.



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