The Energy Roadmap www.theenergyroadmap.com http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/users/recommendations/theenergyroadmap en-us Researchers Create Model for Synthetic Hydrogen Catalyst Using Low Cost Materials <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3824/hydrogenase.JPG" alt="wiki hydrogenase" style="float: right;" />Researchers at the <a href="http://illinois.edu/" target="_blank">University of Illinois</a> have <a href="http://news.illinois.edu/news/09/0518catalyst.html" target="_blank">created a synthetic catalyst model</a> of the active hydrogen producing site of a naturally occuring enzyme based on 'cheap and plentiful building blocks &ndash; iron, nickel and sulfur.'&nbsp;</p> <p>The results could achieve the catalytic performance seen in rare and expensive metals such as platinum, and further humankind's ability to use nanostructured systems to elegantly manipulate the interactions of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, electrons, photons and metals to enable new forms of energy production, storage and conversion. <br /><br />&ldquo;Nature relies on a very elaborate architecture to support its own &lsquo;hydrogen economy,&rsquo; &rdquo; said Chemistry Professor Thomas Rauchfuss, a professor of&nbsp; and corresponding author of the paper. &ldquo;We cracked that design by generating mock-ups of the catalytic site to include the substrate hydrogen atom.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Manipulating Natural Molecular Building Blocks<br /></strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enzyme" target="_blank">Enzymes</a> are proteins that facilitate chemical reactions via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalysis" target="_blank">catalysis</a>.&nbsp; Today, human beings know very little about the molecular magic of hydrogen producing enzymes (known as 'hydrogenase') and the complex reactions that occur inside the core reaction sites.</p> <p>Developing accurate models of these activation sites is the first step towards developing low cost synthetic catalysts that can break the bonds of oxygen and hydrogen or carbon and hydrogen. The Illinois team is the first to model a <a href="http://metallo.scripps.edu/promise/NIFE.html" target="_blank">nickel-iron structure</a> with the use of a key link or bridge (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydride" target="_blank">hydride</a> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligand" target="_blank">ligand)</a>.</p> <p><strong>Hydrogen's Hype vs Profitable Role of Chemical Storage &amp; Distributed Power Generation</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, hydrogen Garry Golden Tue, 02 Jun 2009 16:49:00 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1858 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1858 [Video] Oil 101: Geology Professor Reminds Us That Oil Does NOT Come From Dinosaurs <p>The <a href="http://www.artcenter.edu/" target="_blank">Art Center College of Design</a> in Pasadena&nbsp;should get bonus points for including an Energy 101 presenation at its recent 2009 Summit: <a href="http://www.artcenter.edu/summit/" target="_blank">Expanding the Vision of Sustainable Mobility</a>.&nbsp; Most energy-environment conferences skip science and go straight for emotion leaving their audiences ready to be opposed to something, but without a firm grounding in the fundamentals of energy science.&nbsp;</p> <p>Case in point? The popular misbelief that oil comes from dinosaurs. The '<em>fossil</em>' in 'fossil fuels' refers to a geological period, not the ancient remains of mammals. UC Davis Geology Professor <a href="https://www.geology.ucdavis.edu/faculty/verosub.html" target="_blank">Kenneth Verosub</a> reminds us that oil (a 'hydrocarbon') is the result of bioenergy.&nbsp; Ancient <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom" target="_blank">diatoms</a> (shelled algae) used light to bind carbon and hydrogen then died and fell to the ocean floor - where, with help of geological processes became a viable 'fuel' for humanity. <a href="http://www.artcenter.edu/summit/highlights09/day1-2KennethVerosub.php" target="_blank">[Video]</a><strong><a href="http://www.artcenter.edu/summit/highlights09/day1-2KennethVerosub.php" target="_blank"> </a><br /></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.artcenter.edu/summit/highlights09/day1-2KennethVerosub.php" target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3820/petroleum_101.JPG" alt="future of oil 101" /></a></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, oil, hydrocarbon, coal, carbon, hydrogen, 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mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3818/u_wash_platinum_catalyst_300.jpg" height="267" alt="nanostructured catalyst Washington U" style="float: right;" width="267" /></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">The nanoscale design of basic energy components is once again revealing new solutions to the historical problems of high cost alternative energy systems.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Materials scientists from <a href="http://news-info.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/14161.html" target="_blank">Washington University in St. Louis</a> &nbsp;and <a href="http://www.bnl.gov/world/" target="_blank">Brookhaven National Laboratory</a> have designed a nanostructured bimetallic (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum" target="_blank">platinum</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palladium" target="_blank">palladium</a>) fuel cell catalyst that is 'efficient, robust and two-to-five times more effective than existing commercial catalysts.'&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Fuel cells are important as 21st century 'power plants' that produce electricity on demand without a grid connection. Fuel cells can be designed as small as a AA battery (for portable gadgets), a breadbox (for electric vehicles), a small refrigerator (for home power) or the size of a small room (for utility power generation).&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Commercialization of fuel cells depends on our ability to lower the costs of core membranes (MEAs) that convert chemical energy into electricity.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">So what is the way forward?&nbsp; Nanostructured design of key membrane components.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Nanoscale Revolution: <br />Rethinking Surface Area &amp; Shape</strong><br />Team leader <a href="http://www.nanocages.com/index.shtml" target="_blank">Professor Younan Xia</a> explains the importance of the breakthrough:&nbsp; "There are two ways to make a more effective catalyst," Xia says. "One is to control the size, making it smaller, which gives the catalyst a higher specific surface area on a mass basis. Another is to change the arrangement of atoms on the surface. We did both. You can have a square or hexagonal arrangement for the surface atoms. We chose the hexagonal lattice because people have found that it's twice as good as the square one for the oxygen reduction reaction (which determines the electrical current generated)."</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">To reduce costs and improve performance the team experimented with new core and branching structures. The catalyst has a core made of palladium which branching arms (&lsquo;dendrites&rsquo;) of platinum that are seven nano-meters long.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Xia's team release: &lsquo;At room temperature operation the team&rsquo;s catalyst was two-and-a-half times more effective per platinum mass for this process than the state of the art commercial platinum catalyst and five times more active than the other popular commercial catalyst.&nbsp; At 60 degrees C (the typical operation temperature of a fuel cell), the performance almost meets the targets set by the U.S. Department of Energy.&rsquo;</p> <p>The next step for the team?&nbsp;</p> <p>Integrating gold as a third metal catalyst to deal with the problem of carbon molecules that reduces performance by binding and blocking valuable surface area.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, catalysts, carbon, electricity, fuelcells, fuel, cell, hydrogen Garry Golden Fri, 15 May 2009 19:00:00 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1808 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1808 Cellulosic Biofuel Startup Mascoma Announces Breakthough in Single Step Biomass Conversion <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3816/biomass_grendelkhan_FLICKR.jpg" alt="Mascoma biofuels" style="float: right;" />Cellulosic biofuels startup <a href="http://www.mascoma.com" target="_blank">Mascoma</a> has announced a breakthrough in <em>a single step</em> consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) method used in converting non-food biomass feedstocks into liqud cellulosic ethanol.</p> <p>By tapping the power of genetically engineered thermophilie (bacteria that grow at high temperatures) and yeast, the company has demonstrated a way to eliminate the need for multiple step processing using more expensive enzymes and additives typically needed in breaking down biomass material.</p> <p><strong>Breakthourgh Potential in Bioenergy</strong><br />&ldquo;This is a true breakthrough that takes us much, much closer to billions of gallons of low cost cellulosic biofuels,&rdquo; said Dr. Bruce Dale of Michigan State University&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.everythingbiomass.org/" target="_blank">Biomass Conversation Research Center</a> &ldquo;Many had thought that CBP was years or even decades away, but the future just arrived. Mascoma has permanently changed the biofuels landscape from here on.&rdquo;</p> <p>The ability to reduce the steps needed to convert carbon rich material into more hydrogen-rich fuels is key to lowering costs.</p> <p>&ldquo;These advances enable the reduction in operating and capital costs required for cost effective<br />commercial production of ethanol, bringing Mascoma substantially closer to commercialization,&rdquo; said Jim Flatt, Executive Vice President of Research, Development and Operations at Mascoma. &ldquo;Our results go a long way toward establishing the feasibility of the processing concept that we have built our company around - so this is a big day for us.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Thu, 14 May 2009 17:15:23 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1802 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1802 [Video] NY Times Features Electric Car Startups Fisker Karma and Aptera <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/R-U-xSjIyHs" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/R-U-xSjIyHs" /> </object> </p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells, fuelcells, cars Garry Golden Sun, 10 May 2009 01:59:20 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1797 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1797 [Video] Watch This Video of Andy Karsner Speaking at Art Center of Pasadena on the Future of Transportation <p>The <a href="http://www.artcenter.edu/" target="_blank">Art Center of Pasadena</a> has released video highlights from its recent Summit: <em>Expanding the Vision of Sustainable Mobility</em> held in March 2009.&nbsp; There are a number of energy related videos to share, but we'll start with one that gets the blood pumping!</p> <p>Former Assistant Secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy <a href="http://www2.artcenter.edu/summit/speakers/karsner.php" target="_blank">Andy Karsner</a>, is a fresh voice on long held but widely suppressed ideas that promote a holistic policy strategy towards transportation, energy and urban design.</p> <p>I'm impressed with Andy's ability to communicate!&nbsp; Of course, Karsner shares a few perspectives that I might challenge.&nbsp; Namely, looking back at the past with a critical lens.&nbsp; The problem was not our failure to build vehicles that get more miles per gallon, it's the entire supply chain and manufacturing footprint of the internal combustion engine.&nbsp; A Detroit version of the Prius would not have helped GM or Chrysler's flawed 'new car' sale business model.&nbsp;</p> <p>And, I agree with Karsner that our 'big plans' (e.g. FreedomCAR) were destined to fail. What we needed was an <strong><em>event</em></strong> - the Fall of 2008.</p> <p>The recent collapse of the auto industry was just what the doctor ordered- a well-timed crisis to force the accelerated death of a century old mobility platform. Tweaking the combustion engine around hybrids or flex fuels was never the solution.&nbsp; Sometimes the future needs a crisis, not a plan!</p> <p>Andy Karsner passionately describes the beginning of this transition from mechanical engines to electric drive trains powered by the integration of batteries, fuel cells and capacitors. He is someone who can frame this vision and rally the troops. And I agree it is time to push the acceleration button!&nbsp; <a href="http://www2.artcenter.edu/summit/highlights09/karsner.php" target="_blank"><br />Watch this Video</a>!!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www2.artcenter.edu/summit/highlights09/karsner.php" target="_self"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3812/andykarsner.JPG" alt="Andy Karsner" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells, fuelcells, cars Garry Golden Thu, 07 May 2009 14:20:36 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1783 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1783 Yale Researchers Build Nano-sized Cantilever that Bends with Light <p><span style="color: #551a8b; text-decoration: underline;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3810/300_nano.jpg" alt="Yale nano lever" style="float: right;" /></span>Creating devices that can manipulate and interact with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light" target="_blank">light</a> (photons) is not an easy feat, but the potential pay off is tremendous as we consider the wide-reaching applications of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanophotonics" target="_blank">nano-photonics</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Electronics to Photonics<br /></strong>The past fifty years of technological innovation have been shaped largely by our ability to manipulate the flow of electrons inside 'microscale' sized transistor chips based on the science of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microelectronics" target="_blank">micro-electronics</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>In the next fifty years we will open up new opportunities across a range of industries based on 'nanoscale' design of optical devices that use light instead of electrons! &nbsp;</p> <p>These nano-optical devices are likely to be applied to a range of energy related applications from low power consumption-high performance chips. new lighting and display systems, and solar cells.</p> <p>Nano-optical devices are also useful in the study of molecules involved in materials used in batteries and fuel cells as well as the study of biochemical systems around algae-based bioenergy systems.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>A Breakthrough in Bending with Photons</strong><br />In April,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eng.yale.edu/tanglab/index.htm" target="_blank">Yale University researchers</a>&nbsp;announced that they have built a silicon-based nanocantilever sensor that can detect as little deflection as 0.0001 Angstroms &mdash; one ten thousandth of the size of an atom.&nbsp;</p> <p>The team's work could lead to a wide range of low cost, low energy consuming, nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS)&nbsp;built around these tiny 'springboards' that "bend" when molecules "jump" on them and register a change that can be measured and calibrated.</p> <p>"The system we developed is the most sensitive available that works at room temperature. Previously this level of sensitivity could only be achieved at extreme low temperatures" said Assistant Professor&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seas.yale.edu/faculty-detail.php?id=114">Hong Tang&nbsp;</a>in the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seas.yale.edu/home.php">Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences</a>.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: nanoscale, nanotechnology, nano, energy, light, photons Garry Golden Mon, 04 May 2009 21:32:56 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1781 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1781 NPR's Interactive Map of US Electricity Grid and Solar-Wind Potential <p>NPR has released a fantastic <a href="http://www.npr.org/news/graphics/2009/apr/electric-grid/" target="_blank">interactive map</a> of the US Electrical Grid as part of its Series - <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103281114" target="_blank">Power Hungry: Re-Envisioning Electricity in the US</a>.&nbsp; The tool looks at grid connection points, major sources of power by region, power plant location as well as potential for solar and wind power.</p> <p><a href="http://www.npr.org/news/graphics/2009/apr/electric-grid/" target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3806/NPR_Grid.JPG" alt="NPR Energy Smart Grid" style="float: right;" /></a></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, electricity, solar, wind, smartgrid, smart Garry Golden Sun, 03 May 2009 17:31:33 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1777 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1777 [Video] 60 Minutes Clean Coal Program Misses Chance to Introduce Bio-based Carbon Solutions <p style="text-align: left;">60 Minutes recently <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4969906n%3fsource=search_video" target="_blank">aired</a> a program on the future of coal power featuring Duke Energy CEO <a href="http://www.duke-energy.com/about-us/leaders/jim-rogers.asp" target="_blank">Jim Rogers</a> (an advocate of longer term <a href="http://it.truveo.com/Building-Technology-Talent-and-Policy-Bridges-to-a/id/108086434329994961" target="_blank">'Cathedral Thinking'</a> carbon reduction) and leading climate scientist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen" target="_blank">James Hansen</a> (an advocate of a moratorium on building coal plants).&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The CBS report was solidly mainstream in framing coal as central to the conversation on energy, environment and global economic development- but it <em>failed </em>to move the conversation beyond ideas that have existed for several decades.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Time for Big Ideas, not Big Battles</strong><br />Coal is the world's <em>fastest growing source of energy</em> due largely to growth outside the United States.&nbsp; And despite all the rapid growth rates expected with wind and solar, coal is likely to gain global market share in the years ahead.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">So this is not just a conversation about US policy and US-based utilities! And there is no way to just 'wish' coal away.&nbsp; We must develop low cost carbon solutions that can be applied around the world within existing power plants.&nbsp; And everyone agrees - these <em>low cost solutions </em>do not exist today!</p> <p style="text-align: left;">CBS Producers missed an opportunity to introduce more advanced <em>non-geoengineering</em> strategies to carbon neutralization and left viewers stuck at ringside watching the same old 'pro' vs 'anti' battle.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Carbon's Molecular Dance between Oxygen and Hydrogen <br /></strong>Carbon is a 'sticky' molecule that interchangeably binds with oxygen and hydrogen based on its journey through biochemical pathways or via human induced energy conversion (e.g. power plants and combustion engine).&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Human beings have a choice to approach carbon solutions through geo-engineering (shoving it underground), or as bio-engineers who can bind carbon with hydrogen for use as a hydrocarbon fuel (for transportation or onsite electricity generation) or a bio-feestock for industrial applications.&nbsp;&nbsp; CBS viewers would have been better off understanding the long-term view of carbon rather than watch a debate without a viable solution.&nbsp; (<em>Continue Reading Below</em>).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.cbs.com/thunder/swf30can10cbsnews/rcpHolderCbs-3-4x3.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="324" width="425"> <param name="flashvars" value="link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecbsnews%2Ecom%2Fvideo%2Fwatch%2F%3Fid%3D4969906n%253fsource%3Dsearch%5Fvideo&amp;partner=news&amp;vert=News&amp;autoPlayVid=false&amp;releaseURL=http://release.theplatform.com/content.select?pid=U7Qjjqa9te4ztLE4Q5sq7E2EMFF_2mDV&amp;name=cbsPlayer&amp;allowScriptAccess=always&amp;wmode=transparent&amp;embedded=y&amp;scale=noscale&amp;rv=n&amp;salign=tl" /> <param name="src" value="http://www.cbs.com/thunder/swf30can10cbsnews/rcpHolderCbs-3-4x3.swf" /> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> </object> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Seeing Carbon through a Lens</strong> <strong>of Biology<br /></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, coal, electricity, cleancoal, clean, fuelcell, fuel, cell, hydrogen, carbon Garry Golden Wed, 29 Apr 2009 14:49:16 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1770 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1770 Obama Administration announces $777 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3767/46_EFRCs_Lead_Institutions.gif" alt="DoE " style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The Obama Administration is following through on a major campaign promise: funding basic energy science.&nbsp;</p> <p>Do you want <em>Hope</em>? <br />(Or maybe long term optimism!)</p> <p>Stop looking for 'short term' solutions and quick fixes to global energy challenges. We need disruptive breakthroughs that enable new energy systems and business models.</p> <p>Start with basic science.</p> <p><strong>A Good Day for Energy Science</strong><br />Today, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science announced that it will invest $777 million in&nbsp;Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs)&nbsp;over the next five years as we attempt to 'accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a new 21st-century energy economy'. &nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.er.doe.gov/bes/EFRC_Award_List.pdf">46 new multi-million-dollar EFRCs</a>&nbsp;[<a href="http://www.er.doe.gov/bes/EFRC_Award_List.pdf" target="_blank">PDF list</a>] will be established at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms across the United States with partnerships extending around the globe.&nbsp;</p> <p>The EFRCs will focus on a wide range of <a href="http://www.er.doe.gov/bes/EFRC_Synopses.pdf" target="_blank">projects (PDF</a>)&nbsp;'ranging from solar energy and electricity storage to materials sciences, biofuels, advanced nuclear systems, and carbon capture and sequestration' and will engage 'nearly 700 senior investigators and employ, on a full- or part-time basis, over 1,100 postdoctoral associates, graduate students, undergraduate students, and technical staff.' <br /><strong></strong></p> <p><strong>Getting Serious about CleanTech Industries <br /></strong><strong>Building a Bridge to Molecules: A Nano-Bio Energy Age</strong><br />The 'Cleantech' Industry vision promoted by entrepreneurs, activists and political leaders is not likely to be based on technologies and energy systems that exist today. (Translation: We are at the beginning of this new era of energy. And it is not likely to be an extension of the past or present!)<strong><span style="font-weight: normal;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"></span></strong></p> <p>How do you create cleantech industries?</p> <p>Be the economy that launches the Industrial Age of Nanoscale Molecular Engineering. &nbsp;</p> <p>Learn how to manipulate carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, light, enzymes and metals at the <em>nanoscale</em>&nbsp;(1 billionth of a meter)- and you have the new 21st century drivers of economic growth. &nbsp;</p> <p>Nanoscale materials science and Bio energy sciences are growing into giant new industry sectors that will dwarf today's major industry sectors. Science is the foundation for <em>real</em> green collar jobs of the future.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Smart Money - Right Time, Right Ideas, Right Teams<br />Funding Basic Science not Mystery Science- Nano is no Joke!&nbsp;<br /></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, research, nanoscale, carbon, hydrogen, obama Garry Golden Mon, 27 Apr 2009 20:55:20 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1762 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1762 Northeastern Researchers Use Coated Nanotubes to Improve Splitting of Water Into Hydrogen and Oxygen <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> 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font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3764/titanium_nanotubes_with_potassium_northeastern.jpg" alt="Northeastern splitting hydrogen from water" style="float: right;" />Researchers from <a href="http://www.physics.neu.edu/Department/Vtwo/faculty/menon.htm" target="_blank">Northeastern University</a> and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have improved the efficiency of clustered nanotubes used in solar cells to produce hydrogen by splitting water molecules.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">By layering <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium" target="_blank">potassium</a> on the surface of the nanotubes made of titanium dioxide and carbon, the photocatalyst can split hydrogen gas from water using &lsquo;about one-third the electrical energy to produce the same amount of hydrogen as an equivalent array of potassium-free nanotubes.&rsquo;</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Rethinking the Possibilities at the Nanoscale </strong><br /> Energy is about manipulating the interactions of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, metals, biological enzymes and sunlight.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">When we design core enabling energy systems (e.g. catalysts, membranes, cathodes/anodes, et al) at the <em>nanoscale</em> (billionth of a meter) we find performance that is fundamentally different from the same systems designed at the 'microscale' (millionth of a meter).&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Because <em>smaller is better </em>when it comes to manipulating molecules and light, the research teams used &lsquo;tightly packed arrays of titania nanotubes&rsquo; with carbon that &lsquo;helps titania absorb light in the visible spectrum.&rsquo; Arranging catalysts in the form of nanoscale-sized tubes increases the surface area of the catalyst which in turn increases the reactive area for splitting oxygen and hydrogen.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Hydrogen - Moving Beyond Hype and Skepticism</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, catalysts, carbon, electricity, solar, thinfilm, hydrogen, nanotubes Garry Golden Sat, 25 Apr 2009 21:46:53 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1761 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1761 Oregon Researchers Use Nano-shells of Algae to Trap Photons and Improve Solar Cell Efficiency <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> 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font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3762/Diatom_oregon_state.JPG" alt="Oregon Diatom Solar" style="float: right;" />The Future of Energy will be based on our ability to elegantly control the interactions of light, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and metals.&nbsp; And for all our engineering prowress of extracting and blowing up ancient bio-energy reserves (coal/oil), there is still so much to learn about basic energy systems from Mother Nature.</p> <p><strong>Laying Down Algae Shells for Solar Panels</strong><br /> Researchers from <a href="http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2009/Apr09/diatoms.html" target="_blank">Oregon State University</a> and Portland State University have developed a new way to make &ldquo;<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1163-record-efficiencies-around-low-cost-solar-cells" target="_blank">dye-sensitized</a>&rdquo; solar cells using a 'bottom up' biological assembly processes over traditional silicon chemical engineering.</p> <p>The teams are working with a type of solar cell that generates energy when 'photons bounce around like they were in a pinball machine, striking these <em>dyes</em> and producing electricity.'</p> <p>Rather than build the solar cells using traditional technqiues, the team is tapping the outer shells of single-celled algae, known as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom" target="_blank">diatoms</a>, to improve the electrical output. (Diatoms are believed to be the ancient bio-source of petroleum.)</p> <p>The team placed the algae on a transparent conductive glass surface, and then (removed) the living organic material, leaving behind the tiny skeletons of the diatoms to form a template that is integrated with nanoparticles of titanium dioxide to complete the solar cell design.</p> <p><strong>Biology's Nanostructured Shells &amp; Bouncing Photons?</strong><br />&ldquo;Conventional thin-film, photo-synthesizing dyes also take photons from sunlight and transfer it to titanium dioxide, creating electricity,&rdquo; said <a href="http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/%7Erorrergl/index.html" target="_blank">Greg Rorrer</a>, an OSU professor of chemical engineering &ldquo;But in this system the photons bounce around more inside the pores of the diatom shell, making it more efficient.&rdquo;</p> <p>The research team is still not clear how the process works, but 'the tiny holes in diatom shells appear to increase the interaction between photons and the dye to promote the conversion of light to electricity... potentially with a triple output of electricity.'&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the team, this is the '<a href="http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn800470x?cookieSet=1&amp;journalCode=ancac3" target="_blank">first reported study</a> of using a living organism to controllably fabricate semiconductor TiO<sub>2</sub> nanostructures by a bottom-up self-assembly process.'&nbsp; So, chalk up another early win for advanced bio-energy manufacturing strategies!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energ, solar, thinfilm, electricity, nanotechnology, bioenergy, bio, hydrogen, algae Garry Golden Sun, 19 Apr 2009 12:39:31 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1758 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1758 US Energy Secretary Steven Chu Announces $41 Million for Fuel Cells (Stationary, Micro-Power and Transportation) <p style="text-align: left;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3760/260_Fuel_Cell.jpg" alt="stationary fuel cell" style="float: right;" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has <a href="http://www.energy.gov/news2009/7262.htm" target="_blank">announced</a> $41 million to support the 'immediate deployment of nearly 1,000 fuel cell systems for emergency backup power and material handling applications (e.g., forklifts) that have emerged as key early markets in which fuel cells can compete with conventional power technologies.&nbsp; Additional systems will be used to accelerate the demonstration of stationary fuel cells for combined heat and power in the larger residential and commercial markets.'</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The funds will also support micro-power applications being advanced by innovative startups like <a href="http://www.jadoopower.com/" target="_blank">Jadoo</a>, <a href="http://www.plugpower.com/" target="_blank">Plug Power</a>, <a href="http://www.nuvera.com/" target="_blank">Nuvera</a>, <a href="http://www.mtimicrofuelcells.com/" target="_blank">MTI</a>, <a href="http://www.polyfuel.com/" target="_blank">PolyFuel</a>, and Delphi Automotive (auxillary power systems for trucks!).</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Fuel Cells (Power Stations) vs Batteries (Storage)</strong><br />Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electricity without having to be 'plugged into' the grid.&nbsp; As 'refuelable' power generators, they offer some key advantages to a pure energy storage offering of batteries (e.g. Batteries depend on 'grid access', while fuel cells need fuel and serve as a portable/stationary power station.&nbsp; You just need to add fuel!)</p> <p><strong>US Energy Visionaries Sense Global Opportunity</strong><br />The key to advancing fuel cells is to lower the costs of nanostructured catalysts (that release electric charges) and membranes (allow positive ions to pass) used in all applications (e.g. stationary, portable).&nbsp; It is a materials science strategy based on nanoscale science and engineering.&nbsp;</p> <p>While the battery supply chain has long been established, there is a unique opportunity for the US to <em>leap frog </em>into more commercially diverse applications based on fuel cell systems used in everything from distributed power, micro-power, transportation and utility scale power generation.</p> <p><strong>More posts on <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=fuel+cells&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Fuel cells</a> at The Energy Roadmap.com </strong><strong><br /></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, fuel, cells, fuelcells, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, methanol Garry Golden Thu, 16 Apr 2009 17:18:47 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1756 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1756 [Video] An Inside Look at the University of Texas-Austin Algae Species Collection <p>The Future of Algae has been a hot topic among energy and cleantech bloggers, but it is still way <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1693-video-baffled-cnn-reporters-clueless-to-biological-origins-of-oil-time-for-an-energy-101-literacy-campaign" target="_blank">off the radar of mainstream media</a>.&nbsp; This <a href="http://online.wsj.com/video/algae-from-curiousity-to-commodity/845CD6B7-A250-46D4-B436-2C0A12CFD61E.html" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal video</a> looks at one of the world's leading catalogs and wholesalers (US$75 per tube) of algae species based at the <a href="http://www.utex.org/" target="_blank">University of Texas-Austin</a>.</p> <p>Despite the hype, algae is more <em>history than science fiction</em>.&nbsp; In fact it is already the world's dominate source of energy.&nbsp; Petroleum is just chemical energy stored in the form of hydrogen-carbon bonds that were assembled by ancient sea-living microbes (diatoms).&nbsp; So, oil is in essence the result of ancient algae growth!</p> <p>So instead of extracting <em>reserves </em>of oil, we can '<em>grow energy</em>' using efficient biochemical pathways of algae (and bacteria) that <em>eat</em> carbon and, then using the power of light, bind it with hydrogen to produce <em>bio-oil </em>that can be used as a source of energy (via engine or fuel cell) or as a feedstock for biomaterials.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://s.wsj.net/media/swf/main.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="363" width="512"> <param name="name" value="flashPlayer" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="flashvars" value="videoGUID=845CD6B7-A250-46D4-B436-2C0A12CFD61E&amp;playerid=1000&amp;plyMediaEnabled=1&amp;configURL=http://wsj.vo.llnwd.net/o28/players/&amp;autoStart=false&rdquo; base=" /> <param name="src" value="http://s.wsj.net/media/swf/main.swf" /> </object> </p> <p>Related <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=algae&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Algae and Bioenergy</a> Posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, algae, biofuels, bioenergy, bacteria, fuelcell Garry Golden Tue, 14 Apr 2009 11:43:11 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1755 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1755 Virus Built Batteries? MIT Advances Bio-Industrial Manufacturing Technique to Assemble Electrodes <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3756/Bacteriophage.jpg" alt="MIT Virus Bacteriophage" style="float: right;" />MIT's <a href="http://belcher10.mit.edu/" target="_blank">Biomolecular Materials Group</a> has advanced a technique of using 'genetically engineered <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteriophage" target="_blank">viruses</a> that first coat themselves with iron phosphate, then grab hold of carbon nanotubes to create a network of highly conductive material.'</p> <p>This advanced 'bio-industrial' manufacturing process, which uses biological agents to assemble molecules, could help to evolve key energy material components (e.g. cathodes, anodes, membranes) used in batteries, fuel cells, solar cells and organic electronics (e.g. <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1557-quantum-mechanism-breakthrough-for-thin-film-solar-and-oled-lighting-displays" target="_blank">OLED</a>s).&nbsp;</p> <p>Professors <a href="http://dmse.mit.edu/faculty/faculty/belcher/" target="_blank">Angela Belcher </a>and <a href="http://web.mit.edu/stranogroup/" target="_blank">Michael Strano</a> led the breakthrough bio-engineering work which can now use bacteriophage 'to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery.' &nbsp; While the prototype was based on a typical 'coin cell battery', the team believes it can be adapted for 'thin film' organic electronic applications.</p> <p><strong>Energy = Interactions<br /></strong>Energy and Materials Science is about manipulating the assembly and interaction of molecules like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and metals.</p> <p>Today we are at the beginning of new eras of nanoscale materials science and bio-industrial processes that are certain to change the cost and efficiency equations within alternative energy and biomaterials.&nbsp; And we have a lot to learn about molecular assembly from Mother Nature's genetically driven virus/bacteria and plants. After all, the energy released from breaking the carbon-hydrogen bonds of coal (ancient ferns) and oil (ancient diatoms) was originally assembled by biology (with some help from geological pressures!).&nbsp; So why not tap this bio-industrial potential for building future energy components?</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, catalysts, carbon, electricity, batteries, nanotech Garry Golden Sun, 12 Apr 2009 14:43:54 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1754 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1754 [Video] GM Segway PUMA Cruising Through Brooklyn & New York City <p>GM &amp; Segway are hoping to commercialize a new category of smart micro-vehicles for urban environments by 2012 (<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1748-gm-segway-unveil-personal-urban-mobility-vehicle-demonstrate-disruptive-power-of-software-mobility-as-service" target="_blank">See previous post</a>).&nbsp; I love the application of Segway software, but am skeptical of a 'plug in' battery version.&nbsp;</p> <p>I'm not sure how many wall sockets are accessible to urban dwellers who don't have garages!&nbsp; So I love the idea, but think the real potential is the 'access' business model.&nbsp; Let's keep the PUMA owned and operated by mobility service companies, not urban dwellers themselves!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/qY4msj5Q05Q" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/qY4msj5Q05Q" /> </object> </p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, transportation, gm, segway, electric, hydrogen, fuelcells Garry Golden Tue, 07 Apr 2009 17:30:16 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1749 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1749 GM & Segway Unveil Personal Urban Mobility Vehicle, Demonstrate Disruptive Power of Software & Mobility as Service <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3752/EMBARGOGMSegwaybk.jpg" alt="GM PUMA Brooklyn" style="float: right;" /><a href="http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewpressreldetail.do?domain=827&amp;docid=53538" target="_blank">General Motors</a> and <a href="http://www.segway.com/puma" target="_blank">Segway</a> unveiled a new type of small electric motor vehicle with advanced software that could shift how we look at <em>mobility as a service</em>.</p> <p>In an effort to appeal to digitally connected urban audiences, GM describes Project <strong>P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility)</strong> as a low-cost mobility platform that 'enables design creativity, fashion, fun and social networking.' This protoype model travels up to 35 miles per hour (56 kph), with a range up to 35 miles (56 km) between recharges (though it's not clear how urban residents will access wall sockets!)</p> <p><strong>'Smart' is the Real Revolution</strong><br />The greatest opportunities to transform the human mobility experience in the next century are likely to emerge from <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1602-the-disruptive-side-of-auto-electrification-software-storage-sidewalks-parking-lots" target="_blank">&lsquo;smarter software&rsquo;</a>, not cleaner energy systems.&nbsp; It seems clear that the combustion engine will eventually struggle to keep <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1701-india-s-tata-unveils-electric-vehicle-for-european-market-another-blow-to-combustion-engine">cost and design competitive</a> against the lowering <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533-wall-street-journal-confirms-our-case-for-electric-cars-a-lower-barrier-to-manufacturing">'manufacturing footprint'</a> of electric motors powered by <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1302-what-powers-the-car-of-tomorrow-batteries-or-hydrogen-fuel-cells-hint-both-">the integration of batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.</a>&nbsp; The real question is: Can human drivers keep up with changes ahead in software of 'smart cars'.</p> <p>Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication systems that relay alerts and information to drivers to reduce congestion and prevent collisions are already being integrated into luxury vehicles. But within a decade or two we can expect low cost vehicles embedded with sensors and &lsquo;situation awareness&rsquo; detection systems that make cars 'smarter' than drivers.</p> <p><strong>Access and Ownership (and Potential Chaos)<br /></strong>A compelling vision of Personal Urban Vehicles is the emergence of personal '<em>mobility as service</em>' companies that connect outer hubs with urban destination points (offices, retail, recreation, et al).&nbsp; In addition to owning personal vehicles, we can imagine paying for 'access' to fleets of vehicles that we don't have to park.&nbsp; (Of course, adding fleets of small vehicles could mean chaos in urban areas for pedestrians! Not to mention pushback from the Cabbies in New York!)</p> <p><strong>More Images and Related Posts on The Future of Auto Industry<br /></strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, transportation, gm, segway, electric, hydrogen, fuelcells Garry Golden Tue, 07 Apr 2009 13:34:01 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1748 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1748 Energy Efficiency Grants: Coming to Your State Soon <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3750/240_EnergyHog_AdultHomePg_08.jpg" alt="240_EnergyHog_AdultHomePg_08.jpg" style="float: right;" />By <a href="public_blog_post/amisampat">Ami Sampat</a></p> <p>$3.2 million dollars budgeted by the Obama administration as a part of the economic stimulus package is close to hitting your neighborhood. <br /><br />The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant will use the money to fund and promote the use of home energy audits, energy efficiency upgrades, replacement for outdated appliances, and so on. The Department of Energy describes main goal of the grant as to "support energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, the development and implementation of advanced building codes and inspections, and the creation of financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements." <br /><br />The grant will also help transportation services work on efficiently using energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to also work on energy efficient stop lights and street lights, while also adding renewable energy installments to government buildings. <br /><br />As noted by the Department of Energy, the economic stimulus money will benefit homeowners by $6,500 in home improvements related to energy conservation. <br /><br />The programs created by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant are different for each state and city. There are a few criterion cities and states must undergo before they can actually receive the funding. Firstly, cities with a population over 35,000 are eligible for funding. Secondly, states and cities must apply. The applications are due on May 26 and June 25, respectively. Lastly, the state and city governments must have a plan on where to use the money within eighteen months of receiving the grant. If after eighteen months, no solid plan is set in place, then the money is lost. <br /><br />To see how the money will help your state, visit energy.gov/recovery.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2009 amisampat Mon, 06 Apr 2009 22:53:09 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1746 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1746 UK Researchers Advance Room Temperature Superconductivity Using Carbon 'Buckyballs' <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> 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mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3746/285_ghutchis_nanotube.jpg" height="153" alt="quantum wire carbon nanotube" style="float: right;" width="270" />Scientists at the <a href="http://www.liv.ac.uk/" target="_blank">University of Liverpool</a> and <a href="http://www.dur.ac.uk/" target="_blank">Durham University</a> have <a href="http://www.liv.ac.uk/news/press_releases/2009/03/superconductors.htm" target="_blank">developed</a> a new carbon nanotube material that might evolve as a room temperature <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconductivity" target="_blank">superconductor</a> used to transmit electricity with no resistance or energy loss.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">The use of football-shaped 'Carbon 60' <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullerene" target="_blank">fullerene</a> molecules, or 'Bucky Balls', could change how we look at the quantum flow of electricity over long distance transmission lines as well as within medical equipment and 'molecular electronics'.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">The idea of carbon-based electron transmission was widely promoted by carbon fullerene co-founder <a href="http://www.media.rice.edu/media/NewsBot.asp?MODE=VIEW&amp;ID=7890" target="_blank">Rick Smalley</a> (d. 2005) more than a decade ago as the '<a href="http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=16718" target="_blank">quantum armchair wire</a>'.&nbsp; The UK-based research suggests nanostructured carbon materials could evolve as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_temperature_superconductor" target="_blank">room temperature superconductors</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Shape Matters</strong>: <strong>Carbon Buckyballs 'Squeezing' Electrons</strong>&nbsp; <br />Liverpool Professor <a href="http://www.liv.ac.uk/chemistry/Staff/rosseinsky.html" target="_blank">Matt Rosseinsky</a> explains: "Superconductivity is a phenomenon we are still trying to understand and particularly how it functions at high temperatures. Superconductors have a very complex atomic structure and are full of disorder. We made a material in powder form that was a non-conductor at room temperature and had a much simpler atomic structure, to allow us to control how freely electrons moved and test how we could manipulate the material to super-conduct."</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Professor <a href="http://www.dur.ac.uk/chemistry/staff/profile/?id=2393" target="_blank">Kosmas Prassides</a>, from Durham University, said: "At room pressure the electrons in the material were too far apart to super-conduct and so we 'squeezed' them together using equipment that increases the pressure inside the structure. We found that the change in the material was instantaneous &ndash; altering from a non-conductor to a superconductor. This allowed us to see the exact atomic structure at the point at which superconductivity occurred."</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, catalysts, carbon, electricity Garry Golden Sun, 05 Apr 2009 20:50:56 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1745 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1745 Chinese Automaker SAIC, Taps US-based Battery Startup A123 for Coming Electric and Hybrid Vehicles <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3744/A123vertical.jpg" alt="A123 battery car" style="float: right;" />The <a href="http://online.wsj.com/" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a> is <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123861479503479353.html?ru=yahoo&amp;mod=yahoo_hs">reporting</a> that Chinese car maker <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Automotive_Industry_Corporation" target="_blank">SAIC</a> is planning to use lithium ion battery technology from promising startup <a href="http://www.a123systems.com/" target="_blank">A123 Systems</a> of Watertown, MA.</p> <p>This is not game-changing news, but certainly worth noting since expectations are that Asian energy storage manufacturers (not US-based) are likely to dominate the first generation battery-power vehicles.</p> <p>This news arrived close to a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/business/global/02electric.html" target="_blank">NY Times</a> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/business/global/02electric.html" target="_blank">front page article</a> covering China's aspirations to lead the world in electric vehicles by 2011.</p> <p>It is an obvious win for <a href="http://www.a123systems.com/" target="_blank">A123 Systems</a>, which was <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1101-gm-picks-korean-lg-chem-unit-to-supply-volt-batteries-bad-news-for-startup-a123-systems" target="_blank">passed up by General Motors</a> for Korea's LG last Fall, for GM's Volt battery pack.&nbsp; But it is still unclear how the battle over energy storage will play out in the long term.</p> <p><strong>EVs are Going Global and Batteries are Not the End Game!<br /></strong>We have written for months about the globalization of the electric vehicle age, and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1026-could-china-help-the-world-move-beyond-the-combustion-engine-" target="_blank">the role Asia</a> is likely&nbsp; to play in the decades-long transition to electric vehicles powered by a <a href="show/1302-what-powers-the-car-of-tomorrow-batteries-or-hydrogen-fuel-cells-hint-both-" target="_blank">combination of batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and capacitors</a>.</p> <p>Today's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion_battery" target="_blank">lithium ion battery</a> batteries are better thanks to nanostructured components and membranes, but I'm doubtful that they will be the only power system in next generation electric vehicles.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Fuel cells and capacitors will eventually have their day as pieces to the complex engineering puzzle of powering cars. So let's not waste too much money extending 20th century wall socket cords to 21st century vehicles!&nbsp; We should <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1589-delaware-exploring-vehicle-to-grid-v2g-infrastructure-why-i-am-skeptical-of-wall-sockets-" target="_blank">decouple transportation fueling from the grid</a>, not add excess strain to an aging grid with no storage mechanism!</p> <p>The real opportunity for Asian automakers might be becoming the first company who can crack the <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1623-is-india-s-electric-vehicle-maker-reva-plotting-low-end-disruptive-path-to-future-" target="_blank">'low end' disruptive</a> potential of electric vehicles and their lower <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533-wall-street-journal-confirms-our-case-for-electric-cars-a-lower-barrier-to-manufacturing" target="_blank">'manufacturing footprint</a>' in terms of capital costs.</p> <p><strong>How Should US Automakers Respond? </strong><br />I am a big fan of A123 Systems, but would rather see their nano-enhanced products used in non-automotive applications.&nbsp; Let's get Li-ion batteries right for laptops before we head into automotive applications!&nbsp;</p> <p>I've <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1648-10-future-focused-ideas-for-obama-s-car-czar-imagining-life-after-the-combustion-engine" target="_blank">advocated</a> for the US to 'go global' in its push for electric platforms and avoid competing in the battery market, and instead focusing on next generation <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1729-brown-university-researchers-design-nanoparticle-palladium-catalysts-for-fuel-cells" target="_blank">fuel cells</a> and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1712-how-many-hydrogen-or-carbon-atoms-can-you-fit-on-a-football-field-how-many-football-" target="_blank">solid hydrogen storage</a>.&nbsp; Beyond power systems the real money is likely to come from <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1602-the-disruptive-side-of-auto-electrification-software-storage-sidewalks-parking-lots" target="_blank">'smart vehicle' software control systems</a>, and electric wheel based motors.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>So congratulations to A123 Systems, but let's not race to the bottom of commoditizing batteries!&nbsp; Focus on the next generation systems!</p> <p><strong>Related posts on the Future of Electric Vehicles</strong>:</p><br />Category: Technology<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, transportation, china, electric, fuelcells, fuel, cells, cars, hydrogen, batteries Garry Golden Fri, 03 Apr 2009 21:28:22 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1743 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1743 Fuel Cells for Cleaner Coal? Key Milestone Achieved in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Energy Systems <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3742/260_Fuel_Cell.jpg" alt="future of energy fuel cell" style="float: right;" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=coal&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Coal</a> is the world's <a href="http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/06/global-energy-c.html" target="_blank">fastest growing source</a> of energy, and at the center of the debate over advancing our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions even as we attempt to meet the demands of a global doubling of energy consumption in the decades ahead. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>'Clean' vs 'Cleaner' <br /></strong>While one side of the debate spectrum <a href="../show/1392-eco-groups-form-reality-coalition-to-fight-clean-coal-setting-stage-for-battle-over-different-versions-of-reality-" target="_blank">ridicules</a> the concept of 'Clean Coal', the other side is pushing forward down the road to '<em>Cleaner</em>' ways to convert coal energy into electricity that goes far beyond today's 'coal fire' combustion power plants.</p> <p>Via a process known as '<a href="http://fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/gasification/index.html" target="_blank">gasification</a>' we can remove much of the carbon from coal to create a cleaner hydrogen-rich synthetic gas (<em>syngas</em>). Industrial scale fuel cells can then convert this syngas chemical energy into electricity. The challenge is scaling up fuel cells to meet the challenge!</p> <p><strong>Key Milestone for SOFCs<br /></strong>The U.S. Department of Energy's <a href="http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/coalpower/fuelcells/seca/" target="_blank">Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance</a> (SECA) has high hopes for <a href="http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/fuelcells/index.html" target="_blank">fuel cell</a> based energy conversion and has just <a href="http://www.fossil.energy.gov/news/techlines/2009/09018-Fuel_Cell_Exceeds_Goals.html" target="_blank">announced</a> a key 5,000 hour operation and performance milestone based on two stacks developed by <a href="http://www.fuelcellenergy.com/" target="_blank">FuelCell Energy (FCE)</a> in partnership with <a href="http://www.versa-power.com/" target="_blank">Versa Power Systems</a>.</p> <p>The milestone marks a key step towards non-combustion based conversion using 'low-cost <a href="http://www.versa-power.com/technology.htm" target="_blank">Solid Oxide Fuel Cells</a> (SOFC) technology for coal-based power plants and other power generation applications' using carbon heavy feedstocks such as <em>syngas</em>, natural gas and biofuels.</p> <p>Integrated gasification fuel cell plants are expected 'to achieve an overall operating efficiency of greater than 50 percent&mdash;15 percentage points higher than today&rsquo;s average U.S.-based coal-fired power plant&mdash;while separating at least 90 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions for capture and environmentally secure storage.'</p> <p>The US Department of Energy hoopes to have a a 250-kilowatt to 1-megawatt fuel cell module demonstration by 2012; a 5-megawatt proof-of-concept fuel cell system to demonstrate system integration, heat recovery turbines, and power electronics by 2015; and then a full-scale demonstration of a 250- to 500-megawatt integrated gasification fuel cell power plant by 2020.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, coal, electricity, cleancoal, clean, fuelcell, fuel, cell, hydrogen, carbon Garry Golden Mon, 30 Mar 2009 15:58:31 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1742 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1742 'Self-Cleaning' Surface Coating Improves Solar Cell Performance <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3738/GT_solar_coating.JPG" alt="gt" style="float: right;" />Researchers at the <a href="http://www.mse.gatech.edu/FacultyStaff/MSE_Faculty_researchbios/Wong/wong.html" target="_blank">Georgia Institute of Technology</a> have <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/giot-slt032309.php" target="_blank">developed</a> a unique super-'hydrophobic' (water repelling) surface coating that 'boosts the light absorption of silicon photovoltaic cells both by trapping light in three-dimensional structures, and by making the surfaces self-cleaning allowing rain or dew to wash away the dust and dirt that can accumulate on photovoltaic arrays'.</p> <p>The 'self cleaning' design mimics the water repelling surface of a lotus leaf, 'which uses surface roughness at two different size scales to create high contact angles that encourage water from rain or (desert dew) condensation to bead up and run off. As the water runs off, it carries with it any surface dust or dirt &ndash; which also doesn't adhere because of the unique surface properties'.</p> <p>"The more sunlight that goes into the photovoltaic cells and the less that reflects back, the higher the efficiency can be," said <a href="http://www.mse.gatech.edu/FacultyStaff/MSE_Faculty_researchbios/Wong/wong.html" target="_blank">C.P. Wong</a>, Regents' professor in Georgia Tech's <a href="http://www.mse.gatech.edu/" target="_blank">School of Materials Science and Engineering</a>. "Our simulations show that we can potentially increase the final efficiency of the cells by as much as two percent with this surface structure."</p> <p>"A normal silicon surface reflects a lot of the light that comes in, but by doing this texturing, the reflection is reduced to less than five percent," said <a href="http://www.che.gatech.edu/fac_staff/faculty/hess.php" target="_blank">Dennis Hess</a>, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "As much as 10 percent of the light that hits the cells is scattered because of dust and dirt of the surface. If you can keep the cells clean, in principle you can increase the efficiency. Even if you only improve this by a few percent, that could make a big difference."</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, solar, electricity, photovoltaics, thinfilm Garry Golden Fri, 27 Mar 2009 18:33:44 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1737 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1737 Researchers Develop Rapid Testing Method for Bacteria Metabolism Used in Biofuel Production <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3732/wikimedia_metabolism.JPG" height="179" alt="wikimedia metabolism" style="float: right;" width="263" /></p> <p>Reasearchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) <a href="http://www.jbei.org/" target="_blank">Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI)</a> have developed an innovative method for assessing the metabolism of biofuel producing bacteria, that could help to speed up future research efforts in this emerging field of bioenergy.</p> <p>The key to the future of advanced bioenergy solutions based on <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=bacteria&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">bacteria</a> and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=algae&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">algae</a> is to find the right type of molecular systems within a <a href="http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/metabolism.html" target="_blank">wide range of metabolic pathways </a>inside microbes.</p> <p>Typical metabolic studies for newly discovered bacteria can take 'months or even years to complete' using traditional methods.&nbsp; The new method being tested by JBEI researchers is based on <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro" target="_blank"><em>in vitro</em></a> enzyme assays and a unique metabolic flux analysis that could complete <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolism" target="_blank">metabolic studies</a> in several weeks.<br /><br /><strong>Taking a Lesson from Mother Nature<br />Learning to Manipuate Chemical Bonds</strong>, <strong>Not Just Blow Up Our Reserves</strong><br />Mother Nature does not have batteries to store the energy from the sun, it has chemical bonds. To assemble these bonds nature turns to plants, bacteria and algae that grab photons from the sun, carbon from the air and hydrogen from water to assemble carbon-hydrogen chains that humans eventually blow up for energy.</p> <p>Every time you eat a piece of food (plant or meat) you are chewing up sunlight stored by Mother Nature.&nbsp; Every time you drive your car, you are blowing up carbon-hydrogen chemical bonds formed by ancient algae (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom" target="_blank">diatoms</a>).&nbsp; And the electricity that powers your lights?&nbsp; That electron energy likely started as a photon captured by an ancient fern that became coal used in your lcoal power plant.&nbsp;</p> <p>Our economy already runs on (ancient) 'bioenergy', so why not look towards the future for creating new vast reserves by <em>growing energy</em>?</p> <p><strong>How Biology Can Teach Us Methods of Growing Energy By Binding Carbon with Hydrogen <br /></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, biofuels, bioenergy, cellulosic, algae, synthetic, biology Garry Golden Thu, 26 Mar 2009 21:37:03 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1736 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1736 Suncor-Petro Merger Signal of Canada’s Expanding Global Role And Plans For Tar Sands <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> 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mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">The combined company will have &lsquo;approximately 7.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of proved (developed and undeveloped) and probable reserves, on top of an estimated contingent resource base of approximately 19 billion boe.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>It will also have significant refining capacity of 433,000 barrels per day (b/d) and a strong Canadian retail brand in Suncor.'</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Preempting the Inevitable Contraction of the Hydrocarbon Sector<br /></strong>Energy analysts expect a wave of mergers as companies find it difficult to grow reserve assets through traditional exploration and development.&nbsp; Cash rich companies might find it easier to expand reserve totals by acquisition.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Future sucess might also be based on an ability to develop non-conventional resources like carbon-heavy 'tar sands' and deep water reserves. So for Canada's leading energy companies it was important to merge before being acquired.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">According to Suncor CEO Rick George "The combined portfolio boasts the largest oil sands resource position, a strong Canadian downstream brand, solid conventional exploration and production assets, and low-cost production from Canada's east coast and internationally."</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Canada's Vision as a Resource Giant</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, oil, canada, opec, tar, sands, tarsands, hydrogen, carbon, natural, gas Garry Golden Thu, 26 Mar 2009 19:30:52 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1735 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1735 Brown University Researchers Design Nanoparticle Palladium Catalysts For Fuel Cells <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML /> <o:AllowPNG 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margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3718/Palladium_Brown.jpg" alt="Palladium Brown University" style="float: right;" />Metals, like platinum, palladium and nickel, play a key role as catatysts that change the quality of reactions of gases like carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.</p> <p>Designing <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalysis" target="_blank">catalysts</a> at the nanoscale (billionth of a meter) will help to improve interactions within fuel cells that convert chemical energy into electricity.&nbsp; But achieving precise control over nano-sized particles has been difficult.</p> <p>Now Brown University <a href="http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2009/03/palladium" target="_blank">researchers</a> have designed fuel cell catalysts using palladium&nbsp; nanoparticles that have about 40 percent greater active surface area, and &lsquo;remain intact four times longer&rsquo;.</p> <p><strong>The innovations?&nbsp; <br />A New Binding Agent &amp; Surface Area</strong><br />The researchers have learned how to bind the 4.5 nanometer sized metal pieces to a carbon support platform using weak binding amino <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligand" target="_blank">ligands</a> that keep the nanoparticles separate.&nbsp; After they are set, the ligand links are &lsquo;washed away&rsquo; without negatively changing the catalysts.</p> <p>&ldquo;This approach is very novel. It works,&rdquo; said Vismadeb Mazumder, a graduate researcher who joined chemistry professor <a href="http://www.chem.brown.edu/research/sun/" target="_blank">Shouheng Sun</a> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s two times as active, meaning you need half the energy to catalyze. And it&rsquo;s four times as stable.&nbsp; It just works better.&rdquo;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, catalysts, hydrogen, nanoparticles, fuel, cells, fuelcells, carbon, platinum Garry Golden Mon, 23 Mar 2009 08:55:16 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1729 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1729 [Video] Digital Gaia or 'Big Blue'? IBM Unveils 'Smart' Water Systems, and Breakthrough Membrane <p>Decades ago IBM earned the nickname '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM" target="_blank">Big Blue</a>' for the color of its corporate logo and mainframes (<a href="http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/145710" target="_blank">*</a>), but maybe it was really a sneak peak at its role in <em>digitizing</em> Planet Earth?&nbsp;</p> <p>There is tremendous growth ahead around<em> 'instrumenting</em>' ecosystems and <em>built environments</em> with sensors, and creating the software systems to make sense of what's actually happening on the planet.</p> <p>How long before the mainstream world catches onto the idea of a '<a href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.01/forward.html" target="_blank">Digital Gaia</a>'?&nbsp; How long before&nbsp; companies like <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=IBM&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">IBM</a>, <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=Cisco&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Cisco</a>, <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=johnson+controls&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Johnson Controls</a> and Honeywell can fully instrument the world and <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1699-cisco-partners-with-nasa-on-planetary-skin-project-previews-massive-web-collaboration-platform" target="_blank">create massive computer simulations</a> that give birth to a <em>mirror world</em> Digital Earth image that suddenly seems alive because we humans can measure it and visualize the changes? I imagine we'll see changes within a decade or two.</p> <p><strong>IBM Helps to Elevate the Issue of Water</strong><a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=IBM&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank"><br />IBM</a> continues to evolve its commercial applications for its <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1235-ibm-s-vision-of-smart-planet-expects-sensors-and-software-to-launch-era-of-smart-infrastructure" target="_blank">widely promoted</a> ' <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1235-ibm-s-vision-of-smart-planet-expects-sensors-and-software-to-launch-era-of-smart-infrastructure" title="IBM Smart Planet">Smart Planet</a>' portfolio of services that includes <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1367-ibm-expands-partnerships-for-smart-grid-software-sensors-storage-can-transform-utility-sector" target="_blank">Smart Electrical Grids</a>, Smart Health Records, Smart Transportation, and other <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1601-ibm-ceo-addresses-obama-advocates-intelligent-infrastructure" target="_blank">Intelligent Infrastructure</a>.</p> <p>This week IBM unveiled its new Strategic Water Management Solutions to help governments, water utilities, and companies monitor and manage water more effectively.&nbsp; IBM also released its <a href="http://www.ibm.com/ibm/gio/water.html" target="_blank">Global Innovations Outlook</a> devoted to Water [<a href="http://www.ibm.com/ibm/gio/media/pdf/ibm_gio_water_report.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>].&nbsp; Below is a video clip higlighting <em>Big Blue</em>'s <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/26922.wss">SmartBay</a> sensor system, which monitors wave conditions, marine life and pollution levels in and around Galway Bay, Ireland</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/n2XakurQCgU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/n2XakurQCgU" /> </object> </p> <p><strong>Announcement #2 Novel Water Desalination Membrane</strong> [Including Video]</p><br />Category: Information<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, water, desalination, ibm, sensors Garry Golden Wed, 18 Mar 2009 00:22:29 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1723 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1723 [Video] Earth Hour Gaining Momentum March 28th 8:30 pm Local Time, Lights Out! <p>Can you get 1 billion people to turn off their lights at the same time?* Maybe.</p> <p>It's a powerful idea that seems to be gaining momentum city by city.&nbsp; The <a href="http://www.worldwildlife.org/" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> is <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qr8QXWzT9U" target="_blank">asking</a> individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour&nbsp; <a href="http://www.earthhourus.org/main.php" target="_blank"><strong>Earth Hour</strong></a> to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.</p> <p>Last year, an estimated 15 million people in cities around the world voluntarily turned off their lights, and organizers hope for a billion in 2009 to raise awareness about the link between our energy consumption and environmental impact.</p> <p><strong>What's after Consuming Green?</strong><br />'Continue reading below' for my take on the need to balance these 'consuming green' efforts with a global strategy centered on industry level change based on new energy science.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/1CRs-7lRlPo" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/1CRs-7lRlPo" /> </object> </p> <p>More information at <a href="http://www.earthhourus.org/main.php" target="_blank">Earth Hour US</a> (or Follow on <a href="http://twitter.com/earthhourUS" target="_blank">Twitter</a>)</p> <p><strong>Why we need to stop treating people like 'consumers' and talk to them about science:</strong></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2009<br />Tags: energy, climate, carbon, lighting, activism, electricity Garry Golden Tue, 17 Mar 2009 22:21:10 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1720 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1720 Argonne Lab Researchers Take Us Another Step Closer to Greener Chemistry and Materials <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3716/090313_platinum-hirez_Argonne_Lab_Propone.jpg" height="322" alt="Argonne Platinum Catalyst" style="float: right;" width="251" /></p> <p><strong>Rethinking the Problem: Think Small, not Big</strong><br />Our current '<em>crisis</em>' around energy and climate change has less to do with our relationship with the Planet, than it does our relationship with molecules.&nbsp;</p> <p>To change our <em>footprint</em> on the Planet, we have to change our relationship with nature at the molecular level.</p> <p>We are still living in an Industrial Age where we extract carbon-hydrogen bonds assembled by ancient plants and algae to power our world and to make plastic-based products.&nbsp; To stay within the Planet's carrying capacity, we have to change this relationship with molecules.</p> <p>This is the next, yet to be written, chapter: <br /><em>The Nanoscale Era of Materials Engineering.</em></p> <p><strong>Industrial Age Part Two: Green Chemistry</strong><br />Why be hopeful?&nbsp; Scientists continue to move us closer to a new era of Industrial manufacturing based on a vision of '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_chemistry" target="_blank">Green Chemisty</a>' in which we create the basic components used in making materials, energy, food and pharmaceuticals using more sustainable practices, often without the use of petroleum based feedstocks. Now we have another step forward.</p> <p><a href="http://www.anl.gov/" target="_blank">Argonne National Lab</a> researchers have <a href="http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2009/news090313.html" target="_blank">developed</a> a clustered <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum" target="_blank">platinum</a> catalyst to reduce the amount of energy needed in converting <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propane" target="_blank">propane</a> (via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehydrogenation" target="_blank">oxidative dehydrogenation</a>) into a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene" target="_blank">propene</a> feedstocks used in a wide variety of materials.&nbsp; (<em>I know these words seem strange, but they all related to different arrangements of carbon and hydrogen with oxygen</em> to stir things up a bit.)</p> <p>&ldquo;Using platinum clusters, we have devised a way to catalyze propane not only in a more environmentally friendly way, but also using far less energy than previous methods,&rdquo; said Argonne scientist <a href="http://nano.anl.gov/docs/people/vajda.pdf" target="_blank">Stefan Vajda</a>.</p> <p>Researchers believe that this 'new class of catalysts may lead to energy-efficient and environmentally friendly synthesis strategies and the possible replacement of petrochemical feedstocks by abundant <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkanes" target="_blank">small alkanes</a>.'&nbsp;</p> <p>(<em>Alkane?&nbsp; There's another funny word.&nbsp; But honestly, it's just a different arrangement of carbon and hydrogen</em>! <em>Whether you say 'ethelyne', 'human being' or 'breathing' it is just another funny way of saying carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.</em>)</p> <p><strong>Related posts on <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=green+chemistry&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Green Chemistry</a> on The Energy Roadmap.com </strong></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, greenchemistry, green, chemistry, nanoscale, carbon, platinum, hydrogen, materials Garry Golden Sun, 15 Mar 2009 05:18:45 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1717 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1717 [Video] Johnson Controls Pushes 'Efficiency Now', But Street Interviews Reveal Long Road Ahead With Consumers <p><a href="http://www.johnsoncontrols.com" target="_blank">Johnson Controls</a> continues to make itself one of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-">the most relevant 'green' companies of the future</a>.&nbsp; But it might have to spend some serious cash on educating consumers if it expects a 'bottom up' change in the marketplace.&nbsp;</p> <p>Everyone agrees that <em>efficiency</em> is our 'lowest hanging fruit' for improving the energy sector, and JC is hoping to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOqXi8yo3Ko" target="_blank">expand its brand</a> through the message of <a href="http://www.johnsoncontrols.com/publish/us/en/products/building_efficiency/efficiencynow.html?WT.mc_id=123566" target="_blank">'Efficiency Now</a>'.&nbsp; But a recent '<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_GVBBVBi88" target="_blank">Man on the Street</a>' style video experiment in Chicago revealed <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1703-reports-highlight-role-of-basic-energy-science-not-buying-green-as-key-enabler-of-change" target="_blank">a huge gap in energy literacy</a> on core concepts like Sustainability, Carbon Footprint and Efficiency.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/q_GVBBVBi88" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/q_GVBBVBi88" /> </object> </p> <p><a href="http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2009/03/13/johnson-controls-youtube" target="_blank">Via Greenbiz</a></p> <p>Also Watch JC's Video: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOqXi8yo3Ko" target="_blank">What is Green?</a> (Embedded below)</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, johnson, controls, efficiency Garry Golden Sat, 14 Mar 2009 17:54:22 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1716 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1716 How Many Hydrogen Or Carbon Atoms Can You Fit On A Football Field? 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mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3714/footballfieldcommosn.jpg" alt="MOF Football Field" style="float: right;" />Human beings have mastered the brute-force era of &lsquo;energy by engineering&rsquo; where we&rsquo;ve pulled stored energy from the Earth locked up as coal, oil and natural gas.&nbsp; But we are just beginning to achieve a more Zen-like ability to manipulate molecules that we harness and store ourselves.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;">Energy is about the interaction of molecules.&nbsp; And the way human beings can create cleaner energy interactions is by designing materials at the nanoscale to achieve unprecedented performance.&nbsp; Surface area is a key piece to this puzzle.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><strong>One Gram = One Football Field = How many molecules? </strong><br />Now, imagine holding a material in your hand that was made up of tiny nano-sized &lsquo;cages&rsquo; that could hold gas molecules like hydrogen and carbon.&nbsp; Now imagine a gram of this material having the surface area of a football field.&nbsp; How many hydrogen or carbon molecules could you fit in that space? &nbsp; We don't yet know what practical storage systems might yield. This is a big question for energy researchers.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;">A research team led by University of Michigan&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.umich.edu/~michchem/faculty/matzger/" target="_blank">Adam Matzger</a> has <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/uom-nnm030909.php" target="_blank">created</a> a novel nanoporous material known as UMCM-2 (University of Michigan Crystalline Material-2) that could claim the world record for surface area with more than 5,000 square meters per gram.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;">"Surface area is an important, intrinsic property that can affect the behavior of materials in processes ranging from the activity of catalysts to water detoxification to purification of hydrocarbons," Matzger said. &nbsp;&nbsp;That means we can design high surface area materials to scrub carbon leaving cleaner hydrogen bonds, or desalinate water using less energy.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;">Until recently the threshold for surface area was 3,000 square meters per gram. Then in 2004, a U-M team that included Matzger reported development of a material known as MOF-177 (metal-organic frameworks) that has the surface area of a football field.</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;">"Pushing beyond that point has been difficult," Matzger said, but apparently not impossible using a new method of coordination copolymerization.&nbsp; If it's hard to get your head around, just think: Building Legos wth Molecules! That's a Big Idea!</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, mof, mofs, hydrogen, carbon, nanoscale, nanotechnology, nano, electricity, fuel, cells, fuelcells Garry Golden Fri, 13 Mar 2009 00:13:14 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1712 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1712 [Video] Charlie Rose interviews US Energy Secretary Steven Chu 'Green Revolution' is Possible <p><span>Charlie Rose recently hosted a <a href="http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10138" target="_blank">conversation</a> [35 min.] with United States Secretary of Energy </span><span><a href="http://www.energy.gov/organization/dr_steven_chu.htm" target="_blank">Steven Chu</a>.</span><span>&nbsp; The conversation covered a wide spectrum of ideas being explored from the 'low hanging fruit' with energy efficiency and new building design tools, to evolution of Smart Grid and anticipatory management of energy flows, new tranmission lines for renewables, emerging carbon pricing markets, cleaner coal systems, regulatory framework for nuclear, and next generation liquid fuels.&nbsp; </span></p> <p><span>And ended with Rose stating '<em>that the convergence/merger of our scientific know-how</em> <em>and energy</em>' will determine our future.&nbsp; On that note, I wish Chu would have uttered something about 'nanoscale' engineering, and bioenergy (algae/bacteria, and synthetic biology) just to seed these emerging concepts with Rose's audience.&nbsp; But baby steps, I guess! <br /><br /><strong>Energy Revolution Rises from Materials Science and Bio-science, not Geo-Engineering</strong><br />Chu arrived at the right time!&nbsp; The first half of this Industrial Age was based on us being smart geo-engineers, not necessarily smart energy materials scientists.&nbsp; And that is our future- growing and storing our own energy supplies!&nbsp; I am just very thankful that we have a DOE Secretary who recognizes that <a href="../show/1703-reports-highlight-role-of-basic-energy-science-not-buying-green-as-key-enabler-of-change" target="_blank">the 'green revolution' will arise from science, not shopping!</a> <em>Oh, the places we'll go</em>! <br /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?showShareButtons=true&amp;docId=-8696557984325524065%3A1246000%3A2115000&amp;hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="392" width="420"> <param name="src" value="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?showShareButtons=true&amp;docId=-8696557984325524065%3A1246000%3A2115000&amp;hl=en" /> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> </object> </p> <p style="text-align: left;">Embedded video from <a href="http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10138" target="_blank">Charlie Rose </a></p><br />Category: Government<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, politics, carbon, hydrogen, storage, interview Garry Golden Tue, 10 Mar 2009 15:28:17 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1707 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1707 Lux Research Report: Thin Film Batteries Could Grow to $250 million by 2014 <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3700/luxresearch_lg.gif" height="85" alt="lux" style="float: right;" width="228" />Next generation <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=storage&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">energy storage</a> solutions (e.g. batteries, fuel cells, capacitors) continue to gain attention from investors and energy forecasters who see significant growth ahead beyond typical production side investments.</p> <p>A new report from <a href="http://www.luxresearchinc.com" target="_blank">Lux Research</a>, titled <a href="http://www.luxresearchinc.com/info/smr?power_smr" target="_blank">Thin Batteries: Novel Storage Powering Novel Devices</a>,<a href="http://www.luxresearchinc.com/info/smr?power_smr" target="_blank">&nbsp; </a>believes that this low cost battery platform could have 'enough juice to grow from a $19 million market in 2008 to a market of over $250 million in 2014.'</p> <p>The report updates Lux Research's analyses of eight <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1113-thin-film-battery-startup-raises-money" target="_blank">thin battery manufacturers</a> and draws on nine additional interviews with application developers downstream to assemble a comprehensive perspective on thin battery technologies, companies, and markets.</p> <p>Thin batteries appear to be following a classic '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1623-is-india-s-electric-vehicle-maker-reva-plotting-low-end-disruptive-path-to-future-" target="_blank">low end disruption</a>' growth strategy of avoiding direct head to head competition with current 'coin cell' batteries in favor of growing around new applications.&nbsp; Lux describes potential growth across a range of sectors including healthcare (e.g. drug delivery patches), media (e.g. video displays), and information systems (e.g. RFIDs/Sensors)&nbsp;</p> <p>Lux expects opportunities for investors able to find opportunities in later stage funding rounds but stress the inevitability of shake out in emerging markets. "By 2014, there simply won't be enough space in this market for ten thin battery companies to sustain a healthy business," said Jacob Grose, an Analyst at Lux Research and the report's lead author "Anyone interested in getting a seat at the table will need to identify the winners, and identify them early."</p><br />Category: Gadgets<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, energystorage, storage, batteries, electricity, fuelcells, fuel, cells, hydrogen, mofs, thinfilm, thin, film Garry Golden Tue, 10 Mar 2009 14:25:57 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1706 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1706 Bellona Foundation releases Interactve Tool to Understand Carbon Capture and Storage <p>Environmental and Energy advocacy group <a href="http://www.bellona.org/" target="_blank">Bellona</a> has <a href="http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2009/Bellonas_CCS_Web">released</a> an <a href="http://www.bellona.org/ccs/index_html" target="_blank">interactive tool</a> for understanding <span><span id="newsarticle_bodytext">geo-engineering based CO<sub>2</sub> capture and storage (CCS) technology designed to reduce power plant based emissions.&nbsp; The tool describes the engineering solutions for carbon capture, as well as point source carbon emissions based around the world. <br /></span></span></p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3698/CO2Ballenro.JPG" alt="BellonaCCS" /></p> <p><span><span>Via <a href="http://www.bellona.org/ccs/index_html" target="_blank">Bellona</a><br /></span></span></p><br />Category: Information<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, carbon, algae, nanotechnology Garry Golden Mon, 09 Mar 2009 01:23:54 -0400 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1704 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1704 India's First Solar City <p style="text-align: left;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3694/240_iStock.jpg" height="348" alt="240_iStock.jpg" style="float: right;" width="232" />By <a href="public_blog_post/amisampat">Ami Sampat</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The <a href="http://mnes.nic.in/">Ministry of New and Renewable Energy</a>&nbsp; recently announced that the city of<a href="http://nagpuronline.com"> Nagpur, Maharashtra</a> will become the country's first solar city by the year 2012. Nagpur will receive ten percent of its energy consumption through renewable energy sources and will also create a foundation for a future Smart Electrical Grid.</p> <div style="text-align: left;"> <div class="im"> <p>Nagpur is the first of sixty solar cities to be developed over the course of five years.</p> <p>The Ministry explains its reasons for wanting to create a solar city, "To meet the peak electricity demand of cities, to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and expensive oil and gas for energy and to promote increased use of renewable energy, this scheme has been developed."</p> <p>The ministry will fund half of the total costs, 190 million rupees ($3.7 million), with the state government paying the rest.&nbsp;</p> <p>Creating a solar city will result in the major restructuring with the use of multiple solar applications. The street lights, traffic lights, and so on will be based on solar energy system. Solar water heaters will also be installed.</p> </div> </div> <div> <p><a href="http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News-By-Industry/Energy/Nagpur-to-become-Indias-first-solar-city/articleshow/4149714.cms">Article Source</a></p> </div><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2012 amisampat Fri, 06 Mar 2009 18:02:34 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1702 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1702 Reports Highlight Role of Basic Energy Science, Not 'Buying Green', As Key Enabler of Change <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3696/NSSSEF_xlg.jpg" height="302" alt="Basic Energy Science" style="float: right;" width="233" /></p> <p>All over the web, new 'green-themed' eco blogs are sprouting up like mushrooms with low impact solutions for affluent consumers.</p> <p>So many new sites and products, yet there is no way to 'buy' ourselves into a 'green economy'.</p> <p>Organic yoga mats, reusable water bottles, 'green weddings', telecommuting, hybrids and EVs, carbon neutral rock concerts, (et al) are all perfectly legitimate steps forward. But they do little to solve long-term problems, and they fall helplessly short of really educating people about the tremendous challenges ahead with energy.</p> <p>Our strategy should not be to make consumers more 'green', but to make sure people know that we cannot 'buy' our way into sustainability.</p> <p>The message that should really be pushed on the web, is that the energy systems that could actually change the world do not currently exist today. &nbsp; And that they will only emerge from advances in <em>basic energy sciences </em>that destroy all our current notions of what is technically possible today with regards to how we produce, store, transmit and deliver energy.</p> <p>So please, no more new 'eco' blogs! Let's focus on people's minds, not wallets.</p> <p>We need to <em>learn, </em>not buy,<em> </em>our way into a sustainable economy.&nbsp; And the learning starts with asking questions that are beyond our current energy knowledge base.&nbsp; Let's empower scientists, not marketing agencies to ask the right questions about 'going green'.</p> <p>The good news is that researchers now know, what we don't know!</p> <p><strong>Basic Energy Science Reports<br /></strong>The <a href="http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/BES.html" target="_blank">Office of US Basic Energy Science</a> has spent the past five years engaging scientist around the world in a conversation about '<em>what we do not know about energy systems</em>'.&nbsp; What new knowledge about molecules and electrons could enable new solutions?&nbsp;</p> <p>Rather than seek <em>quick fixes that fail</em>, the program attempted to outline the <a href="http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/abstracts.html#GC" target="_blank">Grand Challenges</a> of energy systems that are beyond our current notions of what is technically possible.&nbsp;</p> <p>Their conclusion?&nbsp; <em>What we currently 'have' and 'know' about energy is not enough.&nbsp;</em> [<a href="http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/files/NSSSEF_rpt_print.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>]</p> <p>"The magnitude of the challenge is so immense that existing energy approaches&mdash;even with improvements from advanced engineering and improved technology based on known concepts&mdash;will not be enough to secure our energy future.&nbsp; Instead, meeting the challenge will require new technologies for producing, storing and using energy with performance levels far beyond what is now possible."</p> <p>The Summary findings and Full reports can be found <a href="http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/abstracts.html#NSSSEF" target="_blank">here</a>.</p><br />Category: Education<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, science, research, nanoscale, nanotechnology, hydroge, batteries Garry Golden Sat, 07 Mar 2009 20:29:41 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1703 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1703 India's Tata Unveils Electric Vehicle for European Market, Another Blow to Combustion Engine <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3692/TATA_EVe.jpg" height="166" alt="Tata EV" style="float: right;" width="274" /></p> <p>The future of building cars based on <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1689-why-general-motors-should-draw-attention-to-its-vision-of-the-future-to-counter-its-30-billion-losses-in-2008" target="_blank">the combustion engine</a> does not look bright!</p> <p>While auto giants like <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1689-why-general-motors-should-draw-attention-to-its-vision-of-the-future-to-counter-its-30-billion-losses-in-2008" target="_blank">GM</a> &amp; Toyota continue to stumble their way into the future, companies based in China and India are plotting their <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1623-is-india-s-electric-vehicle-maker-reva-plotting-low-end-disruptive-path-to-future-" target="_blank">low cost electric vehicle path</a> into global markets.</p> <p><strong>TATA's EV Strategy</strong><br /> This week, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=India&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">India</a>'s Tata Motor Company <a href="http://www.tatamotors.com/our_world/press_releases.php?ID=419&amp;action=Pull" target="_blank">unveiled</a> its European version of its Nano vehicle at the <a href="http://www.salon-auto.ch/en/" target="_blank">Geneva Motor Show</a>.</p> <p>But the product that has the most <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1623-is-india-s-electric-vehicle-maker-reva-plotting-low-end-disruptive-path-to-future-" target="_blank">disruptive potential</a> might be its latest version of the Indica Vista EV (Electric Vehicle). (<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1040-india-s-tata-motors-will-produce-electric-vehicle-in-2009-for-europeans-" target="_blank">Earlier post</a>)</p> <p>While it's unlikely that the four seat compact car will move global markets anytime soon, it is India's 3rd and 4th Generation EV platforms that integrate <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1302-what-powers-the-car-of-tomorrow-batteries-or-hydrogen-fuel-cells-hint-both-">batteries, fuel cells and capacitors</a> that matter most to giants like GM and Toyota.&nbsp; Without a legacy of combustion engine supply chains and factories, Chinese and Indian companies might be able to deliver low cost, high quality EV vehicles to global markets</p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: General Garry Golden Fri, 06 Mar 2009 16:34:04 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1701 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1701 Cisco Partners with NASA on Planetary Skin Project, Previews Massive Web Collaboration Platform <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3690/Code_tunnel-1.jpg" height="243" alt="MemeboxDigital" style="float: right;" width="243" />Planet Earth is about to get its own version of the Web!</p> <p><a href="http://www.cisco.com/" target="_blank">Cisco Systems </a>is <a href="http://www.planetaryskin.org/media/press/launchPressRelease.pdf" target="_blank">partnering</a> with <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/" target="_blank">NASA</a> to create a massive online collaborative global monitoring platform called the "<a href="http://www.planetaryskin.org/" target="_blank">Planetary Skin</a>" to <em>capture, collect, analyze and report data on environmental conditions around the world, </em>while also providing researchers social web services for collaboration.&nbsp;</p> <p>This type of platform is essential for Climate and Ecosystem researchers, but it also might be a sneak peak at the future of the Internet.<br /><br /><strong>'Smart Planet': Age of Sensors &amp; Structured Data<br /></strong>If life in the past few decades has been forever altered by complex microprocessor chips, the next century could see the same social disruption via simple, low cost networked sensors and 'embedded objects' that <em>mirror</em> a digital signal of our analog world. But making this disconnected data relevant is a challenge. <br /><br />The 'Planetary Skin' platform [<a href="http://www.planetaryskin.org/content/resources.php#videos" target="_blank">video</a>] will stitch together 'petabytes' of <em>unstructured data </em>collected by sensors (land, sea, air, space) reporting on changing environmental conditions.&nbsp; The platform will also allow for 'streamlining of decision making' and '<em>collaborative swarming</em>' on analysis of relevant data.&nbsp; The project's first layer, &ldquo;Rainforest Skin,&rdquo; will be prototyped during 2009. <strong><br /><br />Good for NASA, Great for Cisco, and Wonderful for 'Mirror World' Metaverse Enthusiasts</strong><br />The benefits to NASA and Planetary system researchers is clear.&nbsp; Forget about Facebook, these scientists are looking for a functional digital research simulation '<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Mirror-Worlds-Software-Universe-Shoebox-How/dp/019507906X" target="_blank">Mirror World</a>' (as envisioned by <a href="http://www.cs.yale.edu/people/gelernter.html" target="_blank">David Gelertner</a>).</p> <p>Meanwhile, Cisco is working diligently to make itself the most relevant web company in the next era of Internet architecture where collaboration, video, 3D simulations and structured data change the nature of our interactions.&nbsp; 'Planetary Skin' might be Cisco Systems <em>under the radar, but out in the open </em>effort of essentially building its own Internet of Tomorrow.</p><br />Category: Metaverse<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, environment, simulation, 3d, nasa, cisco, virtual, worlds Garry Golden Thu, 05 Mar 2009 13:41:13 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1699 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1699 Yucca Mountain Nuclear Storage on Ice. Now What? <p>By <a href="http://theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/public_blog_post/joelg">Joel Greenberg</a><br /><br /><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3680/Yucca_small.jpg" alt="Yucca Mountain" style="float: right;" />The Obama administration recently announced their proposed budget with an interesting nuclear wrinkle:&nbsp; they are <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&amp;sid=a8vjuGJCg4ao&amp;refer=home">no longer funding Yucca Mountain</a>, the underground repository for nuclear wastes in Nevada, 90 miles Northwest of Las Vegas.&nbsp; "Unfunding" effectively kills the project.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Energyandenvironment/bg2131.cfm">Supporters</a> view Yucca Mountain as a reasonable solution to storing nuclear waste for the long term.&nbsp; <a href="http://reid.senate.gov/issues/yucca.cfm">Critics</a> call it a boondoggle based upon flawed science. <br /><br />Nuclear waste is a byproduct of generating electricity in the 104 nuclear reactors currently running in the US.&nbsp; It's highly toxic with some elements remaining dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. It's currently being stored on-site at each reactor, which are running out of room to store the waste.&nbsp; While Yucca Mountain had room for the existing waste from these 104 reactors, it did not have room for the future waste from the reactors that are now planned as a result of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Policy_Act_of_2005">Energy Policy Act of 2005</a>, which has kicked off a renaissance of nuclear power in the US after 30 years of dormancy.<br /><br />Surprised?<br /><br />"No," says Dr. Mike Kotschenreuther, a senior research scientist at the<a href="http://w3fusion.ph.utexas.edu/ifs/"> Institute for Fusion Studies</a> at the University of Texas, "We've known that President Obama said he was going to discontinue Yucca Mountain for some time.&nbsp; We're still going to need a solution to nuclear waste, even if Yucca Mountain is no longer a viable project, so we've been doing our best to come up with a solution."</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2009<br />Tags: nuclear, energy, fussion, fission, hybrid, reactor joelg Wed, 04 Mar 2009 04:50:04 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1696 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1696 Boston College Researchers Demonstrate Titanium Nanostructure for Electron Hydrogen Production <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3682/titanium_boston.jpg" alt="Boston College titanium" style="float: right;" /></p> <p><strong>Titanium 'Nanostructures' - Electrons &amp; Hydrogen&nbsp; </strong><a href="http://www2.bc.edu/~dwang/Wang_Lab/Dunwei_Wang.html"><br />Boston College researchers</a> have demonstrated a novel <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium" target="_blank">titanium</a> nanostructure with <em>expanded surface area </em>for greater efficiency in the transport of electrons that could be tapped to split water to store solar energy in the form of hydrogen.</p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> 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mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p>The team led by Professor <a href="http://www2.bc.edu/~dwang/Wang_Lab/Dunwei_Wang.html" target="_blank">Dunwei Wang</a> will continue to improve overall efficiencies, but there is no doubt that they have advanced the 'relatively new science of <em>water splitting' </em>using semiconductor catalysts to separate and store hydrogen and oxygen.&nbsp;</p> <p>The 'nanostructure' combined <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium(IV)_silicide" target="_blank">titanium disilicide</a> (TiSi2) to absorb a wider spectrum of solar light, with a coating of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium_dioxide" target="_blank">titanium dioxide</a> which is known to split water using ultraviolet light.</p> <p>"The current challenge in splitting water involves how best to capture photons within the semiconductor material and then grab and transport them to produce hydrogen," Wang says. "For practical water splitting, you want to generate oxygen and hydrogen separately. For this, good electrical conductivity is of great importance because it allows you to collect electrons in the oxygen-generation region and transport them to the hydrogen-generation chamber for hydrogen production."</p> <p><strong>Why Nanoscale Matters: Remembering this is a Transition, not a Crisis</strong><br />I think it is important to recognize that we have not run out of options in creating and storing clean forms of energy.&nbsp; It's just that the old set of solutions cannot get us to to where we need to go!</p> <p>We don't need to go to the <em>mall</em>. Trying to appeal to consumers to<em> 'buy green</em>' will not get us there. It is a superficial strategy that falls flat against global realities of expanding demand for energy.</p> <p>We don't need to go to oil and coal fields.&nbsp; Continuing to extract energy from the Earth won't get us there.&nbsp; We are seeing limits to growth with conventional oil production, leaving only carbon heavy alternatives.</p> <p>Where <em>we need to go </em>is down to the molecular ('nano') level of energy interactions, and then reimagine new ways to capture and store energy based on a new understanding of what is really happening!</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, electricity, fuelcells, capacitors, batteries, hydrogen, solar, titanium Garry Golden Wed, 04 Mar 2009 05:33:11 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1698 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1698 Welcome to the Age of Energy 'Packets', Viaspace Delivers Methanol Fuel Cell Cartridges to Samsung <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3676/Viaspace.JPG" height="151" alt="Methanol Fuel cells" style="float: right;" width="247" /></span></p> <p>VIASPACE's fuel cell subsidiary <a href="http://www.viaspace.com/dmfcc.php" target="_blank">Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Corporation (DMFCC)</a> will deliver <a href="http://www.viaspace.com/press_article.php?id=1250" target="_blank">disposable methanol fuel cartridges to Samsung</a> for integration into portable electronics like notebook computers, mobile phones and small portable power stations.</p> <p>The agreement is an early indicator of a new category for the energy sector based on a simple, but disruptive alternative to 'plugging in' - <em>Refillable Packets</em> sold over retail shelves that offer a real cost and performance alternative to the grid.</p> <p><strong>The Disruptive Power of High Density Storage </strong><br /><strong>Electron Economy via 'Streams vs Packets'</strong><br />In the years ahead, we could see the emergence of a new form of 'packet' based energy distribution that could undercut the grid's last mile, and the notion of '<em>plugging in</em>' objects to a wall socket connected to a '<em>stream</em>' of electricity.&nbsp;</p> <p>The future of electricity depends on chemical storage.&nbsp; Batteries require us to 'plug in' and recharge.&nbsp; Fuel cells keep the 'fuel' (e.g. hydrogen/methanol) and <em>oxidant</em> separate offering a 'refill' platform.&nbsp; One is a storage device dependent on the wall socket, the other is its own 'power plant' that requires businesses to supply 'fuel' rather than direct access to the grid.</p> <p>High density refillable <em>packets </em>based on advanced chemical storage (e.g. methanol, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=hydrogen&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">solid hydrogen</a>) represent a classic '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology" target="_blank">low end disruption</a>' strategy popularized by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clayton_M._Christensen" target="_blank">Clayton Christensen</a>.</p> <p>Instead of massive market populations around the world waiting for the electrical grid to arrive via a wall socket, why not sell them <em>power packs</em> next to bars of soap at the retail level.&nbsp; Imagine disposable batteries on steroids.</p> <p>It is a simple but disruptive idea to the notion of <em>end point</em> grid access. What if Walmart could sell you a 20-pack of energy cartridges to fuel all of your home appliances and gadgets?&nbsp; Or electric vehicles (via solid hydrogen bricks)? &nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>Why push for energy Packets?&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Learn from 'Streams' of Water vs 'Packets' of Bottled Water</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, fuel, cells, fuelcells, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, methanol, mofs Garry Golden Mon, 02 Mar 2009 21:53:08 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1695 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1695 [Video] CNN Reporters Clueless to Biological Origins of Oil, Time For An Energy 101 Literacy Campaign <p>[<em>Ok, this is a snarky post, but I'm leaving it up.&nbsp; It seems reasonable to assume that CNN would have a Producer, Writer or Intern make a stronger connection between 'hydrocarbons' like coal and oil that originated from biomass (plants and diatoms).&nbsp; Instead CNN frames algae like a space alien recipe.]<br /></em></p> <p><a href="http://gas2.org/2009/03/02/mainstream-media-discovers-algae-biofuel-and-its-a-good-chuckle/" target="_blank">Gas 2.0 writer Nick Chambers</a> has featured a <a href="http://gas2.org/2009/03/02/mainstream-media-discovers-algae-biofuel-and-its-a-good-chuckle/" target="_blank">CNN video clip</a> of baffled reporters who 'have just discovered algae' based energy systems via a look at <a href="http://www.originoil.com/" target="_blank">Origin Oil</a>'s helix bioreactor.&nbsp;</p> <p>The CNN correspondents are clueless to the biological origins of oil and the basics of energy science- namely that everytime we drive our car we are breaking apart hydrogen-carbon bonds formed by ancient algae.&nbsp; So tapping the power of algae to bind molecules for energy feedstocks is not '<em>science fiction</em>', it is Mother Nature.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>[<em>Peaking in snarky tone right there...</em>] The clip shows how disconnected we are from understanding even the basics of energy systems and where energy comes from.&nbsp; (It's scary how many people I meet that still think 'fossil fuels' are ancient dinosaurs.)&nbsp; And it is not a surprise that shallow 'consuming green' strategies dominate public conversations, despite falling flat in terms of offering global solutions.</p> <p>Could we get science back into the conversaton? How about teaching our children and news reporters the most basic '101' energy science. Oil is not pixie dust, it comes from somewhere.</p> <p>CNN should educate its reporter on what they fill up in their gas tank.&nbsp; Because it's ancient algae.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/6VO4XwhqmzI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/6VO4XwhqmzI" /> </object> </p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=algae&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Related algae posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</a></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen, biomaterials, greenchemistry, green, chemistry, cnn Garry Golden Mon, 02 Mar 2009 19:21:20 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1693 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1693 Japanese Researchers Advance High Surface Area MOFs For Biofuels and Solid 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mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.riken.jp/engn/r-world/research/lab/harima/st-material/index.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3674/MOFs2.jpg" alt="MOFs Rikken" style="float: right;" />Researchers</a>&nbsp;from <a href="http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/" target="_blank">RIKEN&rsquo;s Harima Institute</a> have <a href="http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/653/" target="_blank">designed</a> a unique version of a high surface area material known as <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8634cover.html">Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)</a>.&nbsp; Their version of these &lsquo;lego-like&rsquo; scaffolding have two different size pores useful in manipulating metals to interact with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The larger pores could be helpful in separating alcohol gases from water in creation of fuels from biomass, while the smaller pores can be used to store hydrogen as a solid.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">We have <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/975-might-solid-hydrogen-power-our-future-new-advances-pave-the-way" target="_blank">featured</a> a number of stories <em>(below)</em> on MOFs, and believe they are on a solid development path towards commercialization in a wide range of energy applications.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">First synthesized in the mid 1990s, MOFs have the highest surface area of any known material.&nbsp; They can be used for 'separating (carbon-hydrogen rich) gases, acting as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions, and for storing gases as solids.'&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The future of energy will be based on our mastering of interactions between basic units like light, molecules, and metals. MOFs provide human beings with a platform of unprecedented surface area that increase our ability to manipulate these interactions.&nbsp; They might play a critical role in enabling a new era of energy systems that go beyond 'extraction' of hydrocarbon reserves.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Why Science, Not Consumerism, is Needed to Move beyond the &lsquo;Extraction&rsquo; Era of Energy </strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, mofs, mof, hydrogen, carbon, biofuels, electricity, chemistry, transportation, gases Garry Golden Sun, 01 Mar 2009 18:49:08 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1690 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1690 General Motors Can Still Reinvent the Auto Industry <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3672/240_autonomyfuelcell.jpg" alt="Kill the Combustion Engine" style="float: right;" /><strong>Vision: Skateboard = 21st Platform for Mobility</strong><br />Last week, GM announced <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&amp;sid=aln3GQz8vKTk&amp;refer=us" target="_blank">$30.9 billion loses </a>in 2008, yet it hasn't lost its '<a href="http://www.howstuffworks.com/hy-wire.htm/printable" target="_blank">Autonomy</a>' vision of re-engineering <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1400-video-gm-s-larry-burns-explains-why-the-future-of-the-car-looks-like-a-skateboard">how cars are built via modular components</a> and its ability to grow new revenue streams around 'after market' upgrades and mobility services (e.g. OnStar).</p> <p>The catch?</p> <p>It needs a decade or two to make it happen!</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>21st Century Growth Platforms </strong><br />Growth has nothing to do with moving beyond oil, or finding better ways to sell 'new' cars.&nbsp; In fact, we must get over this notion of a 'new' car industry model.&nbsp;&nbsp; What other industry manufactures a $20,000-60,000 product without a pre-arranged buyer?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Growth has everything to do with:<br /> <br />1) <strong>Reducing 'Manufacturing Footprint'</strong><br />Lowering costs by moving beyond the combustion engine manufacturing platform towards modular electric drive trains powered by the integration of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1302-what-powers-the-car-of-tomorrow-batteries-or-hydrogen-fuel-cells-hint-both-">batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.</a>&nbsp; <br /> <br />2) <strong>Software Services &amp;&nbsp; After Market <br /></strong>Shifting revenues towards&nbsp;the software-service side of the <em>driving experience</em>, and physical 'after market' design upgrades. GM should profit 'per mile', not 'per vehicle'.&nbsp; Dealerships need customers that buy some new upgrade every month, not one vehicle every few years. <br /><br />3) <strong>Rebranding as a Mobility Service Company</strong><br />Why should GM be limited to a brand for personal vehicle ownership?&nbsp; Develop new categories of mobilty products (e.g. personal urban vehicles).&nbsp; Integrate products and services into a broader 'mobility services' sector that blends private and public transit options. (Realize you aren't in the 'new car' business, but in mobility services)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Many of GM's leaders like Sr VP <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1400-video-gm-s-larry-burns-explains-why-the-future-of-the-car-looks-like-a-skateboard" target="_blank">Larry Burns</a>, (Mr. 'Skateboard kills Car') understand this new reality, and I wish they'd be more public about a new vision for mobility and jumpstart <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1648-10-future-focused-ideas-for-obama-s-car-czar-imagining-life-after-the-combustion-engine" target="_blank">this multi-decade long transition</a>.&nbsp; I'm not talking about an 'ad campaign', but a clearly stated vision that inspires the next generation of mobility industry entrepreneurs.&nbsp; <!--[endif]--></p> <p><strong>Fixated on Building better 'Buggy Whips'</strong><em> (and Related Posts)</em></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells, fuelcells, cars Garry Golden Sat, 28 Feb 2009 17:36:45 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1689 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1689 Sony unveils new micro fuel cell products for portable power solutions <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3670/sonyfuelcellcharger.jpg" height="202" alt="SonyFuelCell" style="float: right;" width="309" /></p> <p>Sony product managers must be loving the <a href="http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/02/sony-shows-new.html" target="_blank">blogosphere buzz</a> around its demonstration of three unique fuel cell products at Japan's 5th Annual <a href="http://www.fcexpo.jp/2009_eng/index.phtml" target="_blank">Hydrogen and Fuel cell Expo.</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/sony-unveils-3-unusual-concept-fuel-cells-20090226/" target="_blank">Geek.com</a> has a nice snapshot of the three fuel cell models including a hybrid lithium ion battery charger. <br /><br />Many 'gadget' bloggers love to hate fuel cells because of missed 'hype' expectations.&nbsp; But the appeal of hydrogen's 'clean molecules' is hard to escape.&nbsp; And business leaders with foresight see a nice path to growth around micro-fuel cells and packet-based refueling sales.</p> <p>Ironically the first commercial applications for micro <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=fuel+cells&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">fuel cells</a> are likely to be 'battery rechargers'!&nbsp; A number of startups have early products already on the market, and analysts expect <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1609-are-micro-fuel-cells-coming-out-of-hype-cycle-toshiba-s-micro-fuel-cell-battery-recharger" target="_blank">Toshiba to release its first generation product</a> this year.</p> <p><strong><br />Portable Power Systems: Enabling a 21st Century Energy Solution<br /></strong></p><br />Category: Technology<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, fuel, cells, fuelcells, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, methanol Garry Golden Fri, 27 Feb 2009 01:55:57 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1687 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1687 Canadian Researchers Advance Key Enabling 'Green Chemistry' Process, Then Open Source It For the World <p><a href="http://cjli.mcgill.ca/" target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3668/peptidewikimedia.png" height="334" alt="wikipeptide" style="float: right;" width="149" /></a></p> <p>The vision of '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_chemistry" target="_blank">Green Chemisty</a>' is to create the basic components used in making materials, energy, food and pharmaceuticals using sustainable practices, often without the use of petroleum based feedstocks.</p> <p><a href="http://cjli.mcgill.ca/" target="_blank">Researchers</a> from <a href="http://www.mcgill.ca/" target="_blank">McGilll University</a> have <a href="http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/news/item/?item_id=104730" target="_blank">announced</a> a breakthrough in a key enabling <em>building block</em> technology for '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=green+chemistry&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">green chemistry</a>' that could not previously be explained by 'classical chemistry'.</p> <p>The team led by Chemistry professor <a href="http://cjli.mcgill.ca/" target="_blank">Chao-Jun (C.J.) Li</a> discovered an entirely new way of synthesizing <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peptide" target="_blank">peptides</a> by using simple reagents that will enable a lower cost method for building larger molecules.&nbsp;</p> <p>Peptides are short polymer chains that <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochemistry" target="_blank">Mother Nature</a> uses as a foundation for building proteins and other bio-materials. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Creating a Simple, Low Cost Process</strong><br />&ldquo;Currently, to generate peptides you must use a peptide synthesizer, an expensive piece of high-tech equipment,&rdquo; explained Li, Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry. &ldquo;You need to purchase every single separate amino acid unit that makes up the peptide, and feed them into the machine one by one, which then assembles them. Every time you need a new peptide, you need to synthesize it individually from scratch.&rdquo;</p> <p>The team's process is based on 'a single, simple &ldquo;skeleton&rdquo; peptide which can be modified into any other peptide needed with the addition of a simple reagent.'</p> <p><strong>Open Innovation, Access to All <br /></strong>Not only has the team announced the process breakthrough, but it is taking the high road to advancing global efforts by opening the information to anyone.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is really an enabling new technology,&rdquo; he added, &ldquo;and since McGill has decided not to patent it, we&rsquo;re making our method available to everyone. We are paying the journal&rsquo;s open access fee, so anyone in the world can access the paper.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Related <em>Green Chemistry </em>Posts: </strong></p><br />Category: Biotechnology<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen, biomaterials, greenchemistry, green, chemistry Garry Golden Wed, 25 Feb 2009 16:47:25 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1685 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1685 Algae startup Bionavitas unveils Light Immersion Technology <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3664/Bionavitas_-_LIT_Flask.jpg" alt="Bionavitas" style="float: right;" />Bioenergy startup <a href="http://www.bionavitas.com/" target="_blank">Bionavitas</a> [<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1617-video-the-takeaway-looks-inside-algae-bioeenergy-startup-bionavitas" target="_blank">Video</a>] has <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&amp;newsId=20090224006295&amp;newsLang=en">unveiled</a> a new lighting system, designed for both open pond and closed bioreactors, that the company believes could make algae-based biofuels price competitive with petroleum products.</p> <p><strong>Why algae?<br /></strong>The premise of Algae bioenergy is elegant and transformational in our effort to close the carbon loop. To understand the future of algae, you have to understand the past.</p> <p>Oil is just chemical energy stored in the form of hydrogen-carbon bonds that were assembled by ancient sea-living microbes.&nbsp; So, oil is the result of ancient algae growth!</p> <p>But instead of extracting <em>reserves </em>of oil, we can '<em>grow energy</em>' using efficient biochemical pathways of algae (and bacteria) that <em>eat</em> carbon and, then using the power of light, bind it with hydrogen to produce <em>bio-oil </em>that can be used as a source of energy or as a feedstock for biomaterials.&nbsp;</p> <p>But in order to scale algae production, we need to solve a few problems including adequate lighting.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Let there be Light</em><br /></strong>The Bionavitas <em>Light Immersion Technology </em>addresses one of the main barriers to scaling algae systems- giving the rapidly growing algae enough light to keep <em>eating carbon</em> and producing hydrocarbon chains.&nbsp; As the algae grow, they block the light of the fellow neighbors.&nbsp; Bionavitas hopes to bring '<em>photons to biomass</em>' through an innovative lighting system.</p> <p>Within open pond systems, the Light Immersion Technology enables 'the algae growth layer in open ponds to be up to a meter deep... representing a 10 to 12 time increase in yield over previous methods that produced only 3-5 centimeters of growth.'</p> <p>For closed bioreactors 'the rods evenly distribute more readily absorbed red and blue spectrum light from high efficiency LEDs.'</p> <p><strong>Related <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=algae&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">algae </a>posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Tue, 24 Feb 2009 22:15:47 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1683 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1683 Dow & Global Solar Continue Push For Distributed Power Generation Around Roof Shingle Solar Cells <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3666/globalsolar2.JPG" height="374" alt="Global Solar" style="float: right;" width="248" />The future where buildings integrate energy generation systems like 'thin film' solar rooftops might be closer than you think. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Instead of designing expensive, bulky and <em>ugly</em> glass based solar panels, solar start ups are pushing down costs of plastic-substrate based '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=thin+film&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">thin film</a>' solar cells that resemble today's roof shingles.&nbsp; The field also includes '<em>Big Chemistry</em>' players like Dow and DuPont who hope to drop the costs of advanced solar materials.</p> <p>PV Tech is <a href="http://www.pv-tech.org/news/_a/dow_producing_solar_power_roof_shingles/?utm_source=Feeds&amp;utm_campaign=News+Feed&amp;utm_medium=rss" target="_blank">reporting</a> on the continued push by Dow Chemical to expand mainstream construction use power-generating roof shingles by 2011.&nbsp; Dow has already committed more than <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1456-dow-corning-adds-fuel-to-growing-solar-industry-invests-3-billion-in-polysilicon-materials" target="_blank">$3 billion towards polysilicon production</a> that will help lower the global costs of solar cells. <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1456-dow-corning-adds-fuel-to-growing-solar-industry-invests-3-billion-in-polysilicon-materials" target="_blank"><br /></a></p> <p>One of Dow's key partnerships is with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_indium_gallium_selenide" target="_blank">CIGS</a> solar producer <a href="http://www.globalsolar.com/index.php" target="_blank">Global Solar</a> (<em>Image</em>).&nbsp; The two companies <a href="http://www.pv-tech.org/chip_shots/_a/dow_invites_cigs_leader_global_solar_to_sai_dance_leaving_miasoles_prospect/" target="_blank">agreed in 2008</a> to join the <a href="http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/solar_america/" target="_blank">US Department of Energy Solar America Initiative (SAI)</a> project to develop building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) that makes solar energy cost competitive with 'grid' electricity by 2015.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2011<br />Tags: energy, solar, electricity, photovoltaics, thinfilm, thin, film Garry Golden Mon, 23 Feb 2009 16:08:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1682 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1682 Growing Recognition of Peak Oil Production Could Accelerate Death of Combustion Engine <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3564/Figure_13.previewOilDepletion.jpg" alt="peakoil" /></p> <p>[Note: Sadly, this is a Production chart focused on alternative 'decline rates', and does not include Global Demand forecasts.&nbsp; Only know that there is a gap in any scenario!]</p> <p>The upside of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1598-video-why-peak-oil-production-might-be-the-paramount-energy-issue-of-our-time">'Peak Oil Production'</a> is that it might be a more effective message than Climate Change in spurring dramatic changes to our transportation sector.&nbsp; The worst case 'peak production' scenario is that it might remain marginalized among mainstream audiences and political leaders just long enough to really matter. What if confusion reigns?</p> <p>People might confuse the idea of '<em>running out of oil</em>' (not true) with the reality that <em>global production</em> is not keeping up with increasing demand.&nbsp; People might place misguided hope into potential 'solutions' like solar or nuclear that have nothing to do with liquid fuel markets.&nbsp; You cannot put electricity into a gas tank!</p> <p><strong>Why Data Has Replaced 'Assumptions' &amp; Why 'Peak and Plateau' Matters</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, oil, peakoil, peak, electricity, hydrogen Garry Golden Sun, 22 Feb 2009 21:56:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1679 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1679 Northwestern Researchers Develop Novel Membrane for Hydrogen CO2 Separation <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> 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mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://chemgroups.northwestern.edu/kanatzidis/research.html " target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3562/kanatzidis-gasNorthwester.jpg" alt="hydrogen gas separation" style="float: right;" />Researchers</a>&nbsp;from Northwestern University have <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2009/02/hydrogen.html" target="_blank">developed</a> a new class of &lsquo;honeycomb&rsquo; gas separation materials to purify hydrogen rich mixtures like methane (natural gas) for generating electricity via fuel cells.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Traditional methods of gas 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Armatas are using a method of polarization.&nbsp; As the gas mixture of (carbon dioxide and hydrogen) travels through the inner walls of the &lsquo;mesopourous&rsquo; membrane, the carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules are slowed down and pulled towards the wall as the hydrogen molecules pass through the holes.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Version>12.00</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> 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<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography" /> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading" /> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]-->One type of membrane consisting of heavy elements germanium, lead and tellurium showed to be approximately four times more selective at separating hydrogen than traditional methods using lighter elements such as silicon, oxygen and carbon.&nbsp; The process is reported to work at &ldquo;convenient temperature range&rdquo; -- between zero degrees Celsius and room temperature.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;We are taking advantage of what we call &lsquo;soft&rsquo; atoms, which form the membrane&rsquo;s walls,&rdquo; said Kanatzidis. &ldquo;These soft-wall atoms like to interact with other soft molecules passing by, slowing them down as they pass through the membrane. Hydrogen, the smallest element, is a &lsquo;hard&rsquo; molecule. It zips right through while softer molecules, like carbon dioxide and methane take more time.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, hydrogen, electricity, nanotechnology, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, electrons Garry Golden Sat, 21 Feb 2009 17:29:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1677 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1677 England, the Birthplace of Coal Power, Will Build Europe's First Gasification Plant <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3560/Hatfield_Coal_Mine.jpg" height="238" alt="Hatfield Mine" style="float: right;" width="243" /></p> <p>England, the Birthplace of Coal Power and the Industrial Revolution, will now build Europe's first advanced <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=coal&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">coal</a> power generation plant based on a gasification process that should provide 90 percent overall carbon capture.</p> <p>Honeywell's <a href="http://www.uop.com/" target="_blank">UOP</a> has been awarded a contract by UK-based <a href="http://www.powerfuel.plc.uk/" target="_blank">Powerfuel Power Ltd.</a> to construct a 900 MW plant that transforms coal into a much cleaner <em>syngas</em> which is used to generate electricity.</p> <p>The UOP Selexol(TM) process technology allows the operator to capture carbon (sulfur, et al) during the process of creating the hydrogen-rich syngas.</p> <p>The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant will be built adjacent to the Hatfield coal mining operation (<em>picture</em>) and should start operation in 2013.</p> <p><strong>Finding a way to talk about Coal</strong><br />Coal is not <em>the future of energy</em>, but it has a future.&nbsp; In recent years it has been the world's fastest growing source of energy, and is likely to gain market share in the years ahead even as renewables grow faster.&nbsp; We cannot just <em>wish</em> it away and there are no easy, short term solutions that satisfy either side of the coal conversation.</p> <p>If 'Clean Coal' is not possible, then 'Cleaner' coal might be the middle ground.&nbsp; Some <em>engineers </em>are betting on shoving carbon into the ground, and construction of future gasification plants.&nbsp; Other <em>biologists </em>are betting that we can retrofit existing plants with bioreactors of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=algae&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">algae/bacteria</a> that 'eat' carbon and produce a usuable hydrocarbon fuel that can be used onsite to generate electricity, or sold as a liquid fuel of biomaterial feedstock.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2013<br />Tags: energy, coal, electricity, cleancoal, algae, bacteria Garry Golden Sat, 21 Feb 2009 00:39:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1676 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1676 China Expanding Global Energy & Raw Resource Deals- Preparing for 2010 Recovery? or Next Century? <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3558/china_dragon_head.jpg" height="165" alt="FlckrDragonHead" style="float: right;" width="246" /></p> <p>While the world stumbles through this economic recession, China is not sleeping, it is spending.</p> <p>Its future success depends on very <em>old world </em>thinking about power and economic growth.</p> <p>The world economy does not grow only because of digital bytes. Molecules, metals and minerals still matter!</p> <p>China understands this reality and is taking full advantage of the economic downturn by paying low prices for access and control to much of the world's raw resources.</p> <p>In the past month, China has made major moves on the global stage including:</p> <p>- <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123507056191425019.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us_business" target="_blank">Potential $10 billion funding</a> of Brazil's deepwater reserves via Petrobras<br />- Adding pressure to <a href="http://news.mining.com/2009/02/20/rio-says-iron-ore-talks-with-china-uninterrupted-2/" target="_blank">negotiate</a> favorable iron ore prices (for steel production) with Rio Tinto, and potential <a href="http://news.mining.com/2009/02/19/hunan-valin-may-invest-a3-billion-in-fortescue-review-says/" target="_blank">$2 billion investment</a> in Australia's Fortescue Metals Group<br />- $25 billion deal with Russia's Rosneft for crude oil access via a East Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline by 2011<br />- <a href="http://www.genewscenter.com/Content/Detail.asp?ReleaseID=5864&amp;NewsAreaID=2&amp;MenuSearchCategoryID=" target="_blank">Talks</a> with General Electric on carbon gas reduction technologies to address its growth in coal emissions<br />- A <a href="http://www.energycurrent.com/?id=2&amp;storyid=16061">signed a memorandum</a>&nbsp; between Ukraine's Chernomornaftogaz and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to build a gas pipeline toward the Odessa gas deposit off the Black Sea<br />- Negotiating Chinese vehicles to be built inside <a href="http://www.gasgoo.com/auto-news/1009377/China-s-Changan-cars-to-be-made-in-Mexico.html" target="_blank">Mexico<br /></a>- China is also <a href="http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/02/drought-afflict.html" target="_blank">addressing domestic water issues</a> with an effort to decouple water use and GDP as it faces shortages in the years ahead.<br />- Working with Ecuador to provide funding on a new&nbsp; <a href="http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2009/02/15/Ecuador_says_China_to_finance_power_plant/UPI-77941234736413/" target="_blank">hydroelectric plant</a> as a diplomatic effort to gain access to other resources in the region.</p><br />Category: Economics<br />Year: General Garry Golden Fri, 20 Feb 2009 17:47:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1674 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1674 BP Forms Joint Venture with Verenium to Advance Cellulosic Ethanol <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3556/verenium.jpg" alt="Verenium" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>BP has <a href="http://news.prnewswire.com/ViewContent.aspx?ACCT=109&amp;STORY=/www/story/02-18-2009/0004974838&amp;EDATE=" target="_blank">announced a 50-50 joint venture </a>with <a href="http://www.verenium.com/" target="_blank">Verenium</a> to develop and commercialize cellulosic ethanol from non-food feedstocks.</p> <p>The companies have committed $45 million in funding and assets to progress the development of one of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facilities, located in Highlands County, Florida.&nbsp;</p> <p>Yes, it will take years to scale up cellulosic (and algae) energy systems, but the pace of breakthroughs and production focused investments remains one of the most compelling stories emerging in the energy sector.&nbsp; <strong><br /></strong></p> <p><strong>The Real Transition: <br />Growing Energy by Closing the Carbon Loop <br /></strong>The law of conservation of energy states that <em>energy may neither be created nor destroyed</em>.&nbsp; But the real question for those exploring the <em>futures</em> of energy is: Will our economy continue to be based on energy that is 'borrowed and wasted' or 'created and recycled'?&nbsp;</p> <p>We shifted from an Agricultural to Industrial society, by tapping 'stored energy' locked up in the chemical carbon-hydrogen bonds of coal, oil and natural gas.&nbsp; And this system is shamefully inefficient at every level from electric power generation to the mechanical engines that power our transportation sector.</p> <p>If the Industrial Age was based on a high value energy 'input', low value energy 'output' (<em>waste</em>), the 21st century could be shaped by our efforts to close the loop of chemical energy cycles using biology (chemistry, et al) to return to a high value energy product from that waste.</p> <p><strong>Looking at Biology is an Energy Tool </strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Thu, 19 Feb 2009 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1669 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1669 Rocky Mountain Institute Report and Interactive Map Highlight Electricity Sector Inefficiencies <p style="text-align: left;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3554/RMIefficiencymap.jpg" alt="RMI map" style="float: right;" />Efficiency is widely considered the 'low hanging fruit' for improving the energy sector.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">And while it is tempting to seek out gains via some mass market consumer push with hybrids and new lightbulbs, the greatest near term returns are to be found within the utility sector (electricity power generation) and among power hungry industrial clients.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.rmi.org/" target="_blank">Rocky Mountain Institute</a>'s consulting arm <a href="http://ert.rmi.org" target="_blank">RMI ERT</a> has identified US opportunities to 'close the electric productivity gap' around tremendous cost and carbon savings.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">To suport this vision of a more efficient power generation sector, RMI has released a new report: <a href="http://ert.rmi.org/files/documents/CGU.RMI.pdf">Assessing the Electric Productivity Gap and the U.S. Efficiency Opportunity</a> [<a href="http://ert.rmi.org/files/documents/CGU.RMI.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>] and <a href="http://ert.rmi.org/research/cgu.html" target="_blank">an interactive map</a> that ranks every state in the the US.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, electricity, efficiency, smartgrid Garry Golden Wed, 18 Feb 2009 23:32:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1668 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1668 Energy Startup to Watch: Carbon Sciences (Biocatalyst to 'grow' fuels) <p>Fortune may favor those who see carbon as a resource for <em>making things</em>, and not the demise of human civilization.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.carbonsciences.com/01/index.php" target="_blank">Carbon Sciences</a> (<em>Santa Barbara, CA</em>) is another company focused on 'growing energy' using bio-derived conversion processes.&nbsp; It is betting its future on bioenergy systems patterned from Mother Nature:&nbsp; Harness and 'protect' the 'biocatalysts' (enzymes) that have molecular pathways designed to eat carbon dioxide (CO2), bind it with hydrogen to form liquid hydrocarbons.&nbsp; Just like oil!</p> <p>The biofuel can be blown up in a combustion engine, converted into electricity via a fuel cell, or used to create bio-plastics.&nbsp; It will take a few years for CS to move from its March '09 demonstration to pilot to full scale production as they confront the challenges shared by all bioenergy startups: lowering costs, improving reliability and scaling.&nbsp;&nbsp; Let's not hype these advanced bio energy companies, but if society is going to invest in an energy system that has true disruptive potential - biology provides a compelling platform.&nbsp; We should be paying attention to startups like <a href="http://www.carbonsciences.com/01/index.php" target="_blank">Carbon Sciences</a>.</p> <p>Video clip from <a href="http://www.moneytv.net/frontpage.htm">MoneyTV</a> with new President, Byron Elton</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/8IpnbD9Zr9I" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/8IpnbD9Zr9I" /> </object> </p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=bioenergy&amp;searchType=articles">Related Posts on bioenergy on The Energy Roadmap.com</a></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Wed, 18 Feb 2009 22:19:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1666 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1666 [Video] Google Power Meter translates energy into information flows <p>One of the great efficiency opportunities for the next century is based on the convergence of information and energy flows. The notion of a 'smart grid' is a more reliable and efficient energy web based on the integration of software, sensors and energy storage.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are dozens of '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/972-the-future-of-electricity-a-guide-to-the-smart-grid" target="_blank">smart grid</a>' infrastructure <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1515-smart-grid-infrastructure-startups-to-watch-in-2009" target="_blank">startups</a> that service utility companies, as well as more commercial/industrial efforts being pushed by <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1235-ibm-s-vision-of-smart-planet-expects-sensors-and-software-to-launch-era-of-smart-infrastructure">IBM</a>, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-" target="_blank">Johnson Controls</a>, Honeywell, and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1599-cisco-offers-smart-energy-solutions-everything-connected-to-the-network-can-be-greener-" target="_blank">Cisco</a>.</p> <p>And for those homes with 'Smart Meters' or Smart Devices, solutions are coming online quickly. Google has now thrown its hat into the ring around the basic idea: '<em>if you can measure it, you can improve it</em>'.&nbsp; The <a href="http://www.google.org/powermeter/" target="_blank">Google Power Meter</a> is a software tool integrated into smart meters that helps consumers better understand how they use energy in order to reduce their costs and consumption.&nbsp; Google is a big name, in an expanding space of 'smart energy' startups, like<a href="[Video] An Inside Look at Sentilla's Vision of a Smarter Energy Future" target="_blank"> Sentilla</a> and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1624-energy-startup-regen-building-bee-swarm-model-for-smarter-appliances" target="_blank">REGEN</a>, who are trying to build demand in the residential market.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/6Dx38hzRWDQ" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/6Dx38hzRWDQ" /> </object> </p> <p><strong>Related Smart Grid posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, smartgrid, grid, electricity, obama, ibm, cisco, hydrogen, storage, sensors Garry Golden Wed, 18 Feb 2009 14:34:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1665 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1665 Clinton Foundation to fund LED Street Lamps for City of Los Angeles <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3548/stree.jpg" alt="ccbar street lamp" style="float: right;" />The Clinton Foundation has <a href="http://www.clintonfoundation.org/news/news-media/climate-initiatives-streetlight-retrofit-will-save-money-improve-light-in-l-a" target="_blank">announced a plan</a> to help the City of Los Angeles retrofit 140,000 street lamps with more efficient white-light LEDs that offer longer lifetime, lower energy use and less 'light polllution' that restricts night sky views.</p> <p>The Outdoor Lighting Program of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) will be the largest LED street lighting retrofit project ever undertaken by a city to date. The City expects to reduce its electricity use by approximately 40,500 tons a year equal to taking '6,700 passenger vehicles off the road every year.'&nbsp; The Foundation expects the city to save save a total of $48 million over a seven year period, and reduce carbon emissions by 197,000 tons.</p> <p><strong>A National Model for Saving Electricity &amp; Night Sky Views?</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, electricity, lighting Garry Golden Tue, 17 Feb 2009 20:33:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1656 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1656 Researchers design nano-crystals for high efficiency solar cells <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3544/ccphotographie.jpg" alt="ccphotographie" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Researchers at US <a href="http://www.lanl.gov/" target="_blank">Los Alamos National Laboratory (LLNL)</a> have confirmed a unique energy phenomena known as 'carrier multiplication' via nanoscale sized semiconductor crystals that could improve the efficiency of solar cells by squeezing more energy out of inbound photons.</p> <p>Traditional solar cells absorb a photon of light that releases an electron to generate an electrical current. Any excess energy from the photon reaction is wasted as heat or vibration.&nbsp; The notion of 'carrier multiplciation' rests on the idea that we can get multiple electrons released from a single photon by forcing electrons into a more confined space.</p> <p>Carrier multiplication was observed <a href="http://www.lanl.gov/orgs/tt/license/technologies/index.php?fuseaction=home.viewTechnology&amp;id=513" target="_blank">several years ago</a>, but has been criticized as a phantom phenomena via a process known as 'photoionization'.&nbsp; But now a research team led by <a href="http://www.lanl.gov/news/index.php/fuseaction/home.story/story_id/15709" target="_blank">Victor Klimov</a> has confirmed that semiconductor crystals designed at the nanoscale (billionth of a meter) can channel this excess photon energy into a group of tightly packed electrons, leading to a more efficient solar cell.</p> <p>The team did not release statements about commercialization or scalable efficiencies.&nbsp; &ldquo;Researchers still have a lot of work to do,&rdquo; Klimov cautioned. &ldquo;One important challenge is to figure out how to design a material in which the energetic cost to create an extra electron can approach the limit defined by a semiconductor band gap. Such a material could raise the fundamental power conversion limit of a solar cell from 31 percent to above 40 percent.&rdquo;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, solar, electricity, photovoltaics, thinfilm Garry Golden Tue, 17 Feb 2009 14:27:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1653 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1653 IEA Warns: Oil 'Supply Crunch' Will Return <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3542/oil_prayer_burning_man.jpg" alt="Burning Man" style="float: right;" /></p> <p><em><strong></strong></em></p> <p><strong>Oil Supply Crunch ahead</strong><br />The world's leading authority on oil markets is warning that these days of cheap ($40 barrel) oil are just a mirage and that the world is likely to experience 'an oil supply crunch' next year (2010) as markets begin to recover.</p> <p>Reuters <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE5197SI20090216?feedType=RSS&amp;feedName=businessNews&amp;pageNumber=2&amp;virtualBrandChannel=10112" target="_blank">reports</a> on IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka describing a potential short-term reality: "Currently the demand is very low due to the very bad economic situation, but when the economy starts growing, recovery comes again in 2010 and then onward, we may have another serious supply crunch if capital investment is not coming."</p> <p><strong>The Real Problem with Oil</strong> - <strong>No Alternative</strong><br />Oil's biggest problem is 'lack of substiitutability'.&nbsp; There is no other 'reserve' of liquid fuel that can compare to the energy locked up inside the hydrogen-carbon bonds of oil.</p> <p>If we talk about using oil as gasoline for the transportation sector there is no commercially viable alternative that offers the same volume and performance.&nbsp; Even 'Next Generation' biofuels from algae and cellulose-eating bacteria cannot provide the scale to fill even a tiny gap in global oil production vs demand.</p> <p>People who push 'solar', 'wind' or 'nuclear' (which produce electricity) as an 'alternative to oil' simply do not understand the combustion engine. You cannot put electricity inside your gas tank.&nbsp; We must either produce massive amounts of liquid fuel substitutes, or take a bolder step to <em>kill the combustion engine</em>.</p> <p><strong>Is the world ready to confront the real problem? The Combustion Engine</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2011<br />Tags: energy, oil, hydrocarbon, coal, carbon, hydrogen, bioenergy Garry Golden Mon, 16 Feb 2009 16:11:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1651 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1651 Japanese researchers create synthetic plug to link 'bio' system to gold electrode for solar energy capture <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3538/japanese_light_harvest.jpg" alt="japanesephotosyn" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The most disruptive energy technologies of the 21st century might not exist today. They must be imagined and built.</p> <p>Researchers are still working to evolve the basic science and applied engineering capacity to deliver low carbon solutions that can meet a doubling of global demand in the next three decades.</p> <p><strong>Bio-Synthetic Hybrids</strong><br />One area of cutting edge research deals with the integration of naturally occurring (or patterned) biocomponents into synthetic systems used in devices like solar cells and fuel cells.</p> <p>The vision is to build hybrids that blend what 'nature has perfected' at the molecular scale, with human engineering designs at an industrial scale.</p> <p>While modern solar cells struggle for low cost efficiency, plants and microbes have figured out a way to capture sunlight and store it as chemical energy at almost near perfect molecular efficiency where each photon causes the release of one electron. How? Because the parts in the photo-receptor systems fit perfectly.&nbsp; Researchers are now looking to create bio-hybrid systems that could inspire new forms of solar collectors.</p> <p>Japanese researchers have now developed a new process to capture light energy with nearly equal efficiency by creating a synthetic molecular wire "plug" that transfers electrons from a biological photosynthetic system to a gold electrode. (<a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-02/w-pim021209.php" target="_blank">Details here!</a>)&nbsp; There are no details about efficiency rates or how this system could scale, but it is a promising step forward!</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Fri, 13 Feb 2009 19:00:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1649 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1649 10 Future-focused Ideas for Obama's 'Car Czar', Imagining Life After the Combustion Engine <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> 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margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} p.MsoNoSpacing, li.MsoNoSpacing, div.MsoNoSpacing {mso-style-priority:1; mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3528/future_300x164.jpg" alt="The Future" style="float: right;" />President Obama is close to naming the &lsquo;Car Czar&rsquo; who will oversee a large portion of the federal auto loans and consult on the looming transformation of the US auto industry. Let's hope this person doesn't try to build a better buggy whip.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Most ideas out on the table are incremental (e.g. &lsquo;better mileage&rsquo;), or short-sighted (e.g. plug in batteries?) and fail to inspire disruptive changes that reflect a 21st century version of the transportation sector.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Here are Ten Ideas for the US Car Czar:&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>1) Lower the US Auto Industry I.C.E. 'Manufacturing Footprint' </strong><br /> The problem isn't oil, it's the <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533-wall-street-journal-confirms-our-case-for-electric-cars-a-lower-barrier-to-manufacturing" target="_blank"><span style="color: windowtext; text-decoration: none;">cost complexities</span></a> of building mechanical engines. Declare the Internal Combustion Engine &lsquo;Dead&rsquo; by 2025 (When more than 50% of new vehicles will be powered by electric motors) Have automakers share combustion engine plants and suppliers during the transition.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>2) Accelerate the Electricification of the World's Auto Fleet </strong><br /> At the same time expand the US manufacturing base around the 'next' generation platform for mobility: Electric Drive systems based on high performance motors, drive by wire systems, software and various energy storage devices.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>3) Explain &lsquo;Electrification&rsquo; clearly to the public</strong><br /> &lsquo;Electric&rsquo; refers to the motor, not just the battery.&nbsp; Next generation 'electric' vehicles will integrate batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.&nbsp; Fuel cells produce electricity.&nbsp; A hydrogen powered car is an electric car. Let&rsquo;s stop the confusion and battle between technologies.&nbsp; Cars are not iPods, and will need various systems to function.&nbsp; This is a multi-decade long transition.&nbsp; Don't pick short-term winners.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>4) Go Global - Expand our ties to Asian Manufacturers &amp; Markets <br /> </strong>Electric cars are not designed to be built as one unit, in one country. They are assembled systems of systems that can be constantly upgraded via a global value chain.&nbsp; The line of 'new' car vs 'old' car blurs when we shift to modular electric platforms.&nbsp; And all the real growth will happen outside of the US!&nbsp;&nbsp; 'Detroit' must participate in this global supply chain and be in a position to sell 21st century vehicle systems to Asian markets. (Hint: The high value auto industrial base will revolve around polymers, software and sensors, not metal frames.)</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>5) Software Side of Car Experience<br /></strong>The single greatest opportunity for the next century might be the &lsquo;software&rsquo; side of the automobile experience.&nbsp;&nbsp; Smarter vehicles embedded with sensors and &lsquo;situation awareness&rsquo; systems, customized driving experiences based on &lsquo;drive by wire&rsquo;, and mobility services (e.g. OnStar).&nbsp;&nbsp; The US can compete in this new growth market and benefit by getting 'more flow' out of our current roadway system as we make drivers and cars smarter.&nbsp; (PS - Mass Transit could use some software to create service transparency)</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Read on:<br /></strong>6) <strong>Build next generation energy systems</strong>; 7) <strong>Reinvent the Wheel</strong>; 8) <strong>Fleet only for Plug-ins</strong>; 9) <strong>Shift Revenue streams to After Market </strong>10) <strong>New 'types' of vehicle &amp; service</strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells Garry Golden Fri, 13 Feb 2009 14:20:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1648 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1648 'One Pot' cocktail of enzymes produces hydrogen from cellulose <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3526/enzyme2.jpg" alt="enzyme wikimedia" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Our economy grows because it captures stored energy released from the chemical bonds in <em>fossil fuels </em>formed by ancient plants and microbes that became coal and oil.</p> <p>Our power plants produce electricity by breaking up carbon-hydrogen chains from coal and natural gas, and our cars blow up ancient microbes that we call 'oil'.</p> <p>The value of a 'fuel' is based on its hydrogen to carbon ratio.&nbsp; The more hydrogen, the cleaner and better the fuel.</p> <p>Yes, it's confusing, but also very important for everyone to understand where we 'extract' energy from: chemical bonds.</p> <p><strong>An Era of Clean Electrons, Clean Molecules</strong><br />In addition to generating electricity via renewables (et al), a central piece of our 21st century energy strategy is to reduce the amount of carbon and increase the percentage of hydrogen to hydrogen bonds (e.g. 'Cleaner molecules' that store energy) that drive our economy.</p> <p>One alternative to fossil fuels, is the use of biomass waste materials that contain hydrogen molecules that can be freed (via biological enzymes) to be used in fuel cells to produce electricity.</p> <p><strong>An Elegant One Pot' Solution</strong><br />Researchers at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the University of Georgia have produced hydrogen gas by mixing 14 enzymes, one coenzyme, cellulosic materials from nonfood sources, and water heated to about 90 degrees (32 C).</p> <p>The researchers' novel combination of enzymes could equal natural hydrogen fermentation, and a chemical energy output greater than the chemical energy stored in sugars &ndash; the highest hydrogen yield reported from cellulosic materials.</p> <p><strong>Low Temperature: 'Prometheus Stealing Fire" </strong>(<em>Continue</em>)<strong><br /></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Thu, 12 Feb 2009 15:13:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1643 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1643 Forget about algae? Wisconsin researchers turn raw biomass into biofuels via two step chemistry <!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3524/chemistflickr.jpg" height="315" alt="ChemistFlickr" style="float: right;" width="236" />Bioenergy visionaries with algae and bacteria aren't the only players in town trying to corner the market on the 'future of biofuels'.&nbsp; We cannot forget the Chemists.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Biofuels are expanding along two paths- one is based on chemical engineering, the other on biological processes.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Chemistry vs Biology</strong><br />We can create biofuels by applying chemical engineering processes (e.g. ethanol via fermentation, or biodiesel via transesterfication) with high reliability and scale, but usually at a high cost. <span>&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Or we can let Mother Nature do the work. Biology taps the power of algae and bacteria that contain special enzymes that reorganize molecules into a format that can be used to make biofuels, or converted into electricity via a fuel cell.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Biology could offer lower cost and turn carbon emissions into a feedstock, but first we must overcome challenges of scaling up volume production, and the unpredictable nature of biomolecular systems.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Wisconsin Focuses on Path of Chemistry</strong><br />For now, chemical conversion is the more immediate opportunity and fits within the current paradigm of processing energy and materials feedstocks.<span>&nbsp; And engineers are working to overcome </span>the challenges to reduce the number of steps, and facilitate reactions at a lower temperature with non-toxic, abundant resources.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Now scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have<a href="http://www.news.wisc.edu/16250" target="_blank"> developed a two-step method</a> to convert cellulose into a biofuel called DMF.&nbsp; Professor <a href="http://www.biochem.wisc.edu/faculty/raines/">Ronald Raines</a> and graduate student Joseph Binder highlight the two step process:&nbsp; First, they convert the cellulose of untreated biomass into the "platform" chemical 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) which is used in 'a variety of valuable commodity chemicals'. Generally HMF is made using processed glucose or fructose rather than raw biomass.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>Step Two: Creating a New Biofuel with Gasoline Qualities</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2013<br />Tags: energy, biofuels, bioenergy, cellulosic, algae, chemistry Garry Golden Wed, 11 Feb 2009 22:54:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1642 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1642 Sandia Labs - General Motors Study: 75 Billion Gallons of Cellulosic Biofuel is Possible By 2030 <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3522/jurvetson_biofuels.jpg" alt="algae biofuel" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>A joint study by <a href=" http://www.sandia.gov/news/index.html" target="_blank">Sandia National Laboratories</a> and General Motors <a href="http://hitectransportation.org/news/" target="_blank">speculates</a> that non-food crop resources (with help from corn) 'could sustainably replace nearly a third of US gasoline use by the year 2030.'</p> <p><strong><em>The 90 Billion Gallon Study</em></strong> [<a href="http://hitectransportation.org/news/2009/Exec_Summary02-2009.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>], which focused only on starch-based and cellulosic ethanol, found that an increase to 90 billion gallons of ethanol could be sustainably achieved by 2030 within real-world economic and environmental parameters 'assuming technical and scientific progress continues at expected rates.'</p> <p>The Study assumes 75 billion gallons would be ethanol made from nonfood cellulosic feedstocks and 15 billion gallons from corn-based ethanol.</p> <p>The set of non-food crop resources explored include: agricultural residue, such as corn stover and wheat straw; forest residue; dedicated energy crops, including switchgrass; and short rotation woody crops, such as willow and poplar trees. Competitive pricing models include costs of producing, harvesting, storing and transporting these sources to newly built biorefineries.</p> <p><strong>Not forgetting the real problem: The Combustion Engine</strong><br />Tapping biological pathways to capture carbon and create usable forms of energy is a good idea.&nbsp; But we must not lose site of the real problem: our dependency on the combustion engine and its requirement for liquid fuels.&nbsp; Energy industry pundits are always quick to raise the problem with the oil market's lack of substitutability. &nbsp;</p> <p>As long as the combustion engine lives we cannot put electrons from solar, wind or nuclear inside the gas tank. It might not be the 'end game', but next generation biofuels are the only viable substitute liquid fuels on our our horizon.</p> <p><strong>Key Findings include:</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, biofuels, bioenergy, cellulosic, algae Garry Golden Wed, 11 Feb 2009 15:29:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1640 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1640 Brookings Institute proposes new R&D framework with Energy Discovery-Innovation Institutes <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3520/brookingbluprint.JPG" alt="brookings blueprint" style="vertical-align: top;" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.brookings.edu" target="_blank">The Brookings Institute</a> has <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/events/2009/0209_energy_innovation.aspx" target="_blank">released</a> a report: "<a href="ENERGY DISCOVERY-INNOVATION INSTITUTES: ASTEP TOWARD AMERICA&rsquo;S ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY" target="_blank">Energy Discovery-Innovation Institutes:<br />A Step Towards America's Energy Sustainability"[PDF]</a> that proposes a new structure for innovation around a national network of regionally based <strong>energy Discovery-Innovation Institutes</strong> (e-DIIs) 'to serve as the hubs of a distributed research network linking the nation&rsquo;s best scientists, engineers, and facilities.'</p> <p><strong>Committing Ourselves to Enabling Disruptive Science &amp; Technologies</strong><br />Given the dynamics of the global energy sector we can expect that nothing is going to change quickly, but when changes do happen - they could be potentially disruptive to how we produce, store and distributed energy. <br /><br />Incremental solutions are not going to solve US or Global energy and environmental challenges.&nbsp; We must enable disruptive science and technologies that can 'do more with less' in fundamentally new ways.&nbsp;&nbsp; While we cannot pick winners, it is clear that the cross-disciplinary nature of science at the nanoscale will be paramount in all areas of energy from making hydrocarbons cleaner, lowering the costs of renewables, scaling up next generation bioenergy solutions, managing 'smarter grids', and creating storage solutions.&nbsp; Maybe a new framework for research collaboration is what we need to enable the 'new energy economy'!</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, policy, politics, nanoscale Garry Golden Tue, 10 Feb 2009 19:33:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1637 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1637 Major step forward in non-platinum, carbon nanotube based catalyst for fuel cells <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3518/gutchis_nanotube.jpg" alt="Carbon Nanotube CC Gutchis " style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Becoming 'energy efficient' goes far beyond changing light bulbs.&nbsp; Our greatest gains will come from moving beyond today's 'combustion' energy systems that burn fuels in large power plants and under our hoods.</p> <p>Central to this 'post-combustion era' strategy is the fuel cell- which converts chemical energy of hydrogen or hydrogen rich fuels (e.g. natural gas, methanol) into electrical energy.&nbsp; Fuel cells are modular, have no moving parts, offer higher efficiencies, lower maintenance and are ideal for distributed applications.</p> <p>One of the major roadblocks has been the high costs of platinum catalysts that are peppered on fuel cell membranes (MEAs).&nbsp; To scale up in the decades ahead, fuel cell researchers need to find non-precious metal catalysts.</p> <p><strong>Can Carbon outperform Platinum?</strong><br />Now a research team from the <a href="http://academic.udayton.edu/LimingDai/" target="_blank">University of Dayton</a> has found a way to create a carbon nanotube based catalyst that might outperform platinum and dramatically drop the costs of fuel cells.</p> <p><strong>Shape helps speed up reactions</strong><br />The research team, led by <a href="http://academic.udayton.edu/LimingDai/" target="_blank">Dr Liming Dai</a>, synthesized carbon nanotubes using an iron base and doped nitrogen particles to change the shape (and properties) of the nanotube cathode, resulting in a faster reaction / higher efficiency.</p> <p>New Scientist <a href="http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16547-carbon-catalyst-could-herald-cutprice-fuel-cells.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&amp;nsref=online-news" target="_blank">reports</a> Dai's claim that "They are even better than platinum, long regarded as the best catalyst," as they avoid problems with carbon 'poisoning' that leads to lower performance.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have written extensively on the disruptive role of nanoscale science and engineering in all energy applications (old and new), and the importance of '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1590-researchers-change-shape-of-aluminum-nanoparticles-to-produce-hydrogen-at-room-temperature" target="_blank">shape</a>' in determining molecular system performance in catalysis.&nbsp; We cannot simply extrapolate our assumptions of <em>what is possible or impossible</em> with carbon or hydrogen based on a microscale era of scientific knowledge.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>Giving Carbon a New Image<br />(Nanotubes, Nanoparticles &amp; Graphene Sheets) </strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, fuel, cells, fuelcells, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, methanol, carbon, nanoscale, nanotubes Garry Golden Tue, 10 Feb 2009 17:09:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1636 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1636 Low temperature combustion could double diesel efficiencies, but manufacturing problems remain <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3510/ORNLCombustion.jpg" alt="ORNLCombustion" style="float: right;" />I see efforts to improve combustion engines as trying to 'build a better buggy whip' in an era of 'diminishing returns' on mechanical heat engine innovations.</p> <p>The problem is not their efficiencies, rather it is <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1576-fiat-chrysler-deal-confirms-problem-is-not-carbon-footprint-but-manufacturing-footprint-of-combustion-engines" target="_blank">the manufacturing costs and complexities of building mechanical engine vehicles</a>.</p> <p>The world economy would be better off to move beyond combustion conversion towards more efficient, non-mechanical, and modular electrochemical conversion devices like fuel cells. (This doesn't require pure hydrogen, since you can still use hydrocarbon fuels.)</p> <p>But I admit that diesel engines are not going away anytime soon, so efforts to improve efficiency for industrial applications could move us further down the road. &nbsp; <br /><br />Now scientists at <a href="http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/v42_1_09/article11.shtml" target="_blank">Oak Ridge National Laboratory</a> have created the first three-dimensional simulation that fully resolves flame features, such as chemical composition, temperature profile and flow characteristics in diesel engines.&nbsp; Their efforts could lead to new lower temperature engine designs that are more efficent.</p> <p><strong>3D Models / 120 Terabytes of Data Reveals Combustion Process Unfolding</strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells, india, china, combustion, nanoscale Garry Golden Mon, 09 Feb 2009 16:52:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1633 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1633 [Video] MIT Professor reminds us of how much there is yet to discover around energy science <p>What we don't know about the fundamental science of energy systems might actually help us!&nbsp; The problem is that most people assume we already know everything, and that we are running out of solution sets.&nbsp; In fact, we are only at the beginning of a new era of understanding nanoscale (molecular) energy systems engineering.</p> <p>MIT Chemistry Professor <a href="http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/dgn/www/" target="_blank">Dan Nocera</a>'s lecture <a href="http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/518" target="_blank">Whales to Wood, Wood to Coal/Oil to What's Next?</a> describes what we do not understand about solar energy conversion (photosynthesis) and effective energy storage in nature's form of chemical bonds.&nbsp; His focus is to uncover the science of nature's recipe for storing energy: Light + Water = Fuel.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://mitworld.mit.edu/flash/player/Main.swf?host=cp58255.edgefcs.net&amp;flv=mitw-00933-cgcs-earth-sys-pt6-nocera-coal-oil-09oct2007&amp;preview=http://mitworld.mit.edu//uploads/mitwstill-00933-cgcs-earth-sys-pt6-nocera-coal-oil-09oct2007.jpg" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="361" width="481"> <param name="id" value="Main" /> <param name="align" value="middle" /> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /> <param name="quality" value="high" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="src" value="http://mitworld.mit.edu/flash/player/Main.swf?host=cp58255.edgefcs.net&amp;flv=mitw-00933-cgcs-earth-sys-pt6-nocera-coal-oil-09oct2007&amp;preview=http://mitworld.mit.edu//uploads/mitwstill-00933-cgcs-earth-sys-pt6-nocera-coal-oil-09oct2007.jpg" /> <param name="name" value="Main" /> </object> </p> <p><strong>The Real Transition: Era of Extraction</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, electricity, fuelcells, capacitors, batteries, hydrogen Garry Golden Mon, 09 Feb 2009 14:24:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1631 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1631 [Video] An Inside Look at Sentilla's Vision of a Smarter Energy Future <p><a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org" target="_blank">The Takeaway</a>'s Host John Hockenberry interviews the CEO of <a href="http://www.sentilla.com/" target="_blank">Sentilla</a> and explores the huge opportunity around the convergence of energy and information.&nbsp; The era of 'smarter energy' systems is likely to be more efficient and profitable because it taps the integration of software, sensors and energy storage.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have written about <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1534-sentilla-raises-7-5-million-for-software-sensor-microcontroller-solutions-to-energy-management" target="_blank">Sentilla</a> in the past, along with other <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1515-smart-grid-infrastructure-startups-to-watch-in-2009" target="_blank">smart energy startups</a> including yesterday's post on a 'swarm' organization model <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1624-energy-startup-regen-building-bee-swarm-model-for-smarter-appliances" target="_blank">developed by REGEN Energy.</a> We have also posted on a number of '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/972-the-future-of-electricity-a-guide-to-the-smart-grid" target="_blank">smart grid</a>' infrastructure efforts being pushed by <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1235-ibm-s-vision-of-smart-planet-expects-sensors-and-software-to-launch-era-of-smart-infrastructure">IBM</a>, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-" target="_blank">Johnson Controls </a>and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1599-cisco-offers-smart-energy-solutions-everything-connected-to-the-network-can-be-greener-" target="_blank">Cisco</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/jKlskVcQG34" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/jKlskVcQG34" /> </object> </p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Smart Grid on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, electricity, smartgrid, grid, infrastructure, obama Garry Golden Thu, 05 Feb 2009 17:24:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1627 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1627 Waterproofing sand with nano-coatings developed to slow desertification <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3508/nanosand_01_5erichcopyright.jpg" alt="Nanosand Pankaj Sharma" style="float: right;" />Reducing the amount of water needed to grow crops and prevent massive desertification could dramatically reduce the need for energy used in producing fertilizers, irrigation and desalination.</p> <p><strong>Hydrophobic Sand</strong><br />Nanowerk has featured a story written by <a href="http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/abudhabi/20011769.html" target="_blank">Derek Baldwin of Xpress News</a> on the development and use of layers of hydrophobic (water resistant) sand that prevents water from evaporating to keep it closer to the root systems.</p> <p>The nano-coated sand could be used as a sub-layer for farming, urban landscaping, and a wide range of eco-friendly industrial applications like oil spills.&nbsp;</p> <p>The proprietary coating process was developed by UAE-based <a href="http://www.dimecreations.com/home.html" target="_blank">DIME Hydrophobic Materials</a> working with German scientist Helmut F. Schulze.&nbsp; The product's performance has been verified by a German materials testing agency (without details on coating's own&nbsp; environmental impact or longevity) and is now in pilot projects in the United Arab Emirates. <br />Visit: <a href="http://www.xpress4me.com/photos/gallery.jsp?article=/channels/xpress4me_com/news/uae/abudhabi/20011769.html&amp;index=1&amp;referer=/channels/xpress4me_com/home/" target="_blank">Photo Gallery/Pankaj Sharma<br /></a></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, desalination Garry Golden Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:41:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1626 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1626 Energy Startup REGEN Building Bee 'Swarm' Model for Smarter Appliances <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3500/Regen.JPG" height="121" alt="Regen" style="float: right;" width="533" /></p> <p>MIT Technology Review has <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22066/" target="_blank">a great post</a> on the use of (bee) <a href="http://www.regenenergy.com/PressBits/Article_TorontoStar_20070903.pdf" target="_blank">'swarm' inspired</a> algorithms to reduce energy consumption of networked appliances like air conditioners, computers and heating systems.&nbsp; Toronto-based startup <a href="http://www.regenenergy.com/" target="_blank">REGEN ENERGY</a> is building smart energy platforms using new technology standards like <a href="http://www.zigbee.org/" target="_blank">Zigbee</a> and micro-controllers to 'maximize collective efficiency'.&nbsp; Their trick is to enable 'bottom up' self organized smart grids for appliances without having to actively manage their energy consumption with a 'single order'.</p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Smart Grid</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, efficiency, ibm, sensors, software, zigbee, electricity, smart, smartgrid Garry Golden Wed, 04 Feb 2009 17:52:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1624 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1624 Biggest Energy Saving Project in Uncertain Territory <p>By <a href="public_blog_post/amisampat">Ami Sampat</a><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3504/240_energy_plant_2_full.jpg" alt="240_energy_plant_2_full.jpg" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>In his last days of office, Bush and his administration proposed a lighting efficiency policy which would help save energy and money. The Obama administration must now look over the proposal and issue the finals standards by the end of June. The proposal outlines the covering of florescent tube lamps and cone-shaped reflector lamps which are abundant in offices and homes. This would be the largest energy saving project in history of the U.S.</p> <p>If followed through, by the year 2042, the savings would be drastic: 9.6 quadrillion BTUs of energy, $39.7 billion spent on energy, and 509 million metric tons of CO2. While these figures look promising, the proposal would cause more money and energy lost than saved.<br /> <br /> High savings would lead to net additional savings of 6.2 quadrillion BTUs in energy, $25.6 billion spent on energy, and 290 million metric tons of CO2. That is a drastic amount of energy and not to mention, consumers' money.</p> <p>The administration is allowed to add a new rule which will help broaden the outcomes of the proposal. The lighting standard is just one of the twenty five energy related proposals the Obama administration must complete in the next four (or eight) years.</p> <p>The Obama administration must now look over the proposal and issue the finals standards by the end of June. The administration is allowed to add a new rule which will help broaden the outcomes of the proposal. The lighting standard is just one of the twenty five energy related proposals the Obama administration must complete in the next four (or possibly eight) years. <br /> <br /> Despite being given a faulty proposal, Obama has high hopes to reduce the energy use in this country. He is devoted to lowering the electricity use by 15% by the year 2020.</p> <p><strong>Obama Administration's Vision of a Smarter Grid</strong></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2009 amisampat Wed, 04 Feb 2009 18:51:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1625 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1625 Is India's electric vehicle maker Reva plotting low end disruptive path to future? <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3498/lowend.JPG" alt="future of electric" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Do you want to be the Toyota or GM of the 21st century?</p> <p>Don't worry about how you 'fuel' the car, rethink how you build cars.</p> <p>Forget about trying to build an electric propulsion SUV.&nbsp; Start small. Build electric battery scooters and tiny (crappy) cars.&nbsp; Then move up the performance ladder with larger cars that integrate fuel cells and capacitors.&nbsp;</p> <p>Don't try to make money selling new cars. Focus on software enhanced driving experiences, and mobility services as your real revenue stream.&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>'Manufacturing Footprint' is Everything<br /></strong>For months, we have argued that the real revolution is 'how you build the car, not how you fuel it'.&nbsp; We have made a strong case that the driving force of change towards electric vehicles (powered by a combination of batteries, fuel cells and capacitors) is the desire for a <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533-wall-street-journal-confirms-our-case-for-electric-cars-a-lower-barrier-to-manufacturing" target="_blank">lower manufacturing platform</a>.</p> <p>While Detroit and Japan struggle to manage their manufacturing footprint of combustion engine factories, Indian and Chinese companies sense an opportunity to leap frog into a lower cost growth platform of modular components around wheel based electric motors, drive by wire, and next generation energy storage.</p> <p><strong>India's Auto Industry: Low End Path to the Future<br /></strong>India-based electric vehicle maker Reva might be plotting a classic '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology" target="_blank">low end disruptive</a>' path to growth by expanding its production quantities of its tiny electric platform. BusinessGreen.com is <a href="http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2235594/reva-unveils-plans-capacity-g" target="_blank">reporting</a> that <a href="http://www.revaindia.com/" target="_blank">Reva</a> plans to invest in a new plant with a capacity of 30,000 <a href="http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/reviews/2214987/review-g-wiz-electric-vehicle" target="_blank">G-Wiz</a> electric car units a year.</p> <p>Yes this is a tiny number compared to total global vehicle production, but how do you put a value on the competitive advantage of building non-combustion engine vehicles.&nbsp; Remember when US manufacturers ridiculed Asia-produced consumer electronics?&nbsp; Who's your E-Daddy today?</p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Future of the Auto Industry&nbsp;</strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells, india, china Garry Golden Wed, 04 Feb 2009 17:03:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1623 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1623 3M forms Renewable Energy Divison to evolve cleantech materials for energy generation and management <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3492/3M-logo.jpg" alt="Green 3M" style="float: right;" />The case for investing in a '<a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org/stories/2009/feb/02/introducing-new-energy-economy/" target="_blank">New Energy Economy</a>' was just validated by one of the world's leading material solutions companies.</p> <p>3M has <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/3m/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&amp;ndmConfigId=1000941&amp;newsId=20090202005101&amp;newsLang=en" target="_blank">announced</a> the formal creation of its new <em><strong>Renewable Energy Division</strong></em> that will include two divisions dedicated to Energy Generation &amp; Energy Management.</p> <p>The Energy Generation Division will develop materials for solar, wind, geothermal and biofuel solutions such as films, tapes, coatings, encapsulants, sealants and adhesives to reduce costs and improve performance.</p> <p>The Energy Management Division will focus on thermal efficiences (e.g. film efficiencies), membranes for energy storage devices (e.g. fuel cells, batteries) and other applications for the Automotive, Commercial Building and Residential market segments.</p> <p><strong>New Energy Economy depends on Advanced Nanostructured Materials </strong><br />This is big news for the cleantech sector.&nbsp; Energy is about interactions between light, molecules, metals, and heat.&nbsp; The only way to build a 'green' economy is to advance materials that make these interactions cleaner and lower cost.</p> <p>3M has the resources to fundamentally change the performance-price points of cleantech materials.&nbsp; And it is a corporate stamp of approval on the idea that we must begin to move beyond extracting ancient stored energy (coal, oil and natural gas) and shift towards producing and storing energy using renewable resources that make clean electrons and clean molecules.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: General<br />Tags: energy, materials, nanotechnology, chemistry, carbon Garry Golden Tue, 03 Feb 2009 18:28:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1618 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1618 [Video] The Takeaway looks inside algae bioeenergy startup Bionavitas <p>Algae bioenergy is based on a powerful idea that is still just off the radar of mainstream conversations on the future of energy.&nbsp; We can 'grow energy' by tapping 'carbon eating' algae that create usable forms of hydrocarbons for fuel or biomaterials.</p> <p>The idea seems strange and futuristic, but it actually describes our past.&nbsp; We already tap the power of bioenergy everyday. Coal is ancient plant life, and oil is (likely) ancient microbes that lived in shallow oceans.&nbsp; Both plants and microbes fuse hydrogen and carbon bonds using the power of sunlight. But algae is a more efficient in that conversion and results in a higher hydrogen to carbon ratio. That means a cleaner burning fuel!</p> <p>Everytime you turn on the light (via coal power plant) or drive a car you are capturing the energy released from carbon-hydrogen bonds form by ancient biology.&nbsp; Now energy visionaries are looking at how we can tap the same processes today to 'grow energy' without relying on food crops like corn or soy.</p> <p>This week <a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org/">The Takeaway</a> has been running <a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org/science/powertrip/" target="_blank">Power Trip</a> a series of programs on the future of energy. Earlier this week, Host John Hockenberry <a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org/stories/2009/feb/03/for-the-algae-company-bionavitas-one-problem-solved-for-making-biofuels/" target="_blank">visited</a> algae biofuels company <a href="http://www.bionavitas.com/" target="_blank">Bionavitas</a> in Seattle, WA.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/35OjoqEMqAk" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/35OjoqEMqAk" /> </object> </p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Tue, 03 Feb 2009 15:33:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1617 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1617 Michigan based ECD Ovonics signs another partnership for rooftop thin film solar <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=ECD&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3488/ovonics.jpg" alt="Ovonics" style="float: right;" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=ECD&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Thin film solar</a> is a low cost alternative to traditional glass based solar panels.&nbsp; 'Thin film' photovoltaic cells can be inkjet printed onto plastic sheets via a 'roll to roll' machine.&nbsp; These long plastic sheets can then be integrated into building materials like commercial and residential rooftops.</p> <p>Startups are now scaling up production volumes, but the first phase of commercial growth for thin film depends on strategic partnerships with rooftop materials and construction companies.</p> <p><strong>ECD Ovonics transforming 'Rust Belt' to a 'Green Belt' <br /></strong>Thin-film solar is a new energy technology platform that can be produced at low cost in many regions around the world.&nbsp;&nbsp; American energy visionaries imagine transforming the industrial Midwest 'Rust Belt' into a manufacturing hub for new cleantech materials.</p> <p>Now Michigan-based ECD Ovonics has signed a contract with <a href="http://www.carlisle-syntec.com/" target="_blank">Carlisle Construction Materials</a> to provide its Uni-Solar thin film for use in commercial roofing systems.&nbsp; The agreement is good news for Michigan economic developers.&nbsp; ECD is the world's leading producer of thin film solar, and has had previous partnerships with Italian steel and metal materials company <a href="http://www.marcegaglia-usa.com/" target="_blank">Marcegaglia</a> which expects to introduce the low cost, durable thin film solar metal roofing products to the market in 2010.</p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, solar, thinfilm, electricity, nanotechnology, thermal, hydrogen Garry Golden Mon, 02 Feb 2009 14:21:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1614 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1614 Novozymes - Sinopec partnership brings next generation cellulosic biofuels to China <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3486/biomass_grendelkhan_FLICKR.jpg" alt="waste" style="float: right;" />Denmark-based bio-solutions firm <a href="http://www.novozymes.com/en" target="_blank">Novozymes</a> is trying to put an end to the biofuels debate of&nbsp; &lsquo;food versus fuel&rsquo; and the politics of corn derived ethanol.</p> <div id="placeholder_ContentTextTeaser"> <p>Its recipe for the future of 'next generation biofuels' is: Organic waste plus bio-enzymes = cellulosic ethanol (bioethanol)</p> <p><strong>China's Step Towards Waste to Energy</strong><br />Novozymes is now partnering with China's Sinopec and COFCO (China National Cereals, Oil &amp; Foodstuff Corporation) to develop bioethanol from agricultural and food waste.</p> <p>The partnership could help to scale next generation biofuels production in China as its market continues to evolve as the world's fastest growing market for automobiles and oil.</p> </div> <p>Novozyme's bioethanol is expected to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% compared to oil-based fuels.</p> <p>Steen Riisgaard, CEO at Novozymes, says: "With this partnership Novozymes has once again demonstrated its position as the leader in developing enzymes able to convert waste to fuel. This puts us one step closer to being able to produce commercial quantities of bioethanol from agricultural waste. Second-generation bioethanol production in China holds vast potential for Novozymes as the technology leader, and we expect to be the first company with enzymes ready for large-scale production by 2010."</p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, biofuels, bioenergy, cellulosic, algae, china Garry Golden Mon, 02 Feb 2009 13:47:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1613 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1613 Are micro fuel cells coming out of Hype Cycle? Toshiba's Micro Fuel Cell Battery Recharger <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3482/toshiba-fuel-cell-mp3.jpg" alt="methanol fuel cell" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Most new technology platforms must walk up the stages of the '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle" target="_blank">Hype Cycle</a>', and confront our tendency to overestimate short-term change, but underestimate the long term potential.</p> <p>Fuel cells are this decade's poster child for failing to meet expectations of the Hype Cycle. But there are positive signs of progress.</p> <p>PC World is <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/158550/toshibas_fuelcell_charger_is_coming_this_quarter.html" target="_blank">reporting</a> that Toshiba plans to release its first commercial version of a Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) battery recharger by the end of the first business quarter.</p> <p><strong>Micro Fuel cells help you unplug</strong> <br />Micro power applications are widely considered to be the first market application for fuel cells.&nbsp; Dozens of startups and incumbent energy companies are developing <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1423-get-a-mobile-fuel-cell-charger-for-all-of-your-gadget-charging-needs" target="_blank">micro methanol fuel cells</a> as portable power solutions that help us 'unplug everything'.</p> <p>Rather than carry around a charger+cord, you could carry a small fuel cell to recharge.&nbsp; Of course the idea of a fuel cell battery recharger is still a strange concept to consumers, and could remain an early adopter niche product. &nbsp;</p> <p>The inevitable step for micro fuel cells is to replace batteries entirely.&nbsp; To arrive at this future, hardware makers must integrate MFCs into products, and consumers must be able to buy small fuel cartridges (e.g. liquid methanol, solid hydrogen) on every retail shelf.&nbsp; Until that day, the 'recharger' concept is the industry's best option. <br /><br /><strong>Batteries &amp; Fuel cells are like Peanut Butter and Jelly, not Oil and Water</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, fuel, cells, fuelcells, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, methanol Garry Golden Fri, 30 Jan 2009 19:56:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1609 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1609 USDA, DOE Announce $25 Million for Advanced Bioenergy Research (i.e. Beyond Corn) <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3480/bioenergy.jpg" alt="next generation biofuels" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>There is an echo chamber of cynicism around the topic of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1061-forget-about-corn-us-pushing-cellulosic-biofuels" target="_blank">corn ethanol</a>.&nbsp; Unless you are a corn farmer or part of the ethanol lobby, evergyone agrees that this is not a sustainable path.&nbsp;</p> <p>So the world is moving forward. 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table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p>The money will fund projects related to: Feedstocks development; Biofuels and biobased products development; and Biofuels development analysis.</p> <p>What is happening?&nbsp; 'Biology' is coming of age as a driver of industrial and energy applications.</p> <p><strong>Why 'Bioenergy'</strong> <strong>has more to do with Bio-Industrialism than Farming</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2020<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Fri, 30 Jan 2009 18:49:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1608 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1608 University of Nevada completes algae biofuels project using cold weather, salt tolerant species <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3478/algae_pond_thumb.jpg" height="169" alt="algae pond flickr" style="float: right;" width="227" />Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have <a href="http://www.unr.edu/nevadanews/templates/details.aspx?articleid=4810&amp;zoneid=40" target="_blank">completed</a> their first demonstration-scale project using an open pound algae to biofuel system.</p> <p>Unlike most <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1160-algae-biofuel-startups-eat-carbon-harness-solar-energy-create-biofuels" target="_blank">algae biofuels startups</a> which use closed 'bioreactors', the Nevada-<a href="http://www.enegis.com/" target="_blank">Enegis LLC</a> project (<em>not shown</em>) is designed for open ponds that use a species of algae tolerant to cold-weather and salt basin environments.</p> <p>The team announced the successful harvest of two 5,000-gallon ponds, and will continue to expand their test selection of algae species and engineering to improve performance.</p> <p>Open pond systems are generally seen as a lower cost, low maintenance production platform, but have their own set of problems related to optimizing growing conditions.</p> <p><strong>Related posts on the future of bioenergy on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, biofuels, cellulosic, algae, electricity, fuelcells, hydrogen, memebranes, nanotechnology Garry Golden Thu, 29 Jan 2009 22:04:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1605 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1605 [Video] Zeobond E Crete promises less carbon emissions from cement <p style="text-align: left;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3476/zeobond.JPG" height="96" alt="Zeobond" style="float: right;" width="251" />Eco-Energy <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/concrete_7_glob.php" target="_blank">blogs</a> seem to love stories about cleaner ways of making cement - which accounts for at least 5% global carbon dioxide emissions.&nbsp; Last year the viral story was a novel process developed by <a href="http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/concrete.html" target="_blank">MIT students</a>, and now Australian-based <a href="http://www.zeobond.com/" target="_blank">Zeobond</a> is gaining a lot of attention.&nbsp; The company uses industry waste materials to reduce the environmental impact of cement material compounds.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p> <script src="http://www.thenewsroom.com/mash/swf/voxant_player.js?a=V3619239&amp;m=766911&amp;w=420&amp;h=375&amp;v=2" type="text/javascript"></script> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, materials, nanotechnology, chemistry, carbon Garry Golden Thu, 29 Jan 2009 21:18:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1603 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1603 The Disruptive Side of Auto Electrification - Software, Storage, Sidewalks & Parking Lots <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3472/240_autonomyfuelcell.jpg" alt="electric car" style="float: right;" />The future you hear about on the news is not what it appears.</p> <p>Yes, the 'electric car' is coming, but do not be fooled by first generation ideas being fed into the mainstream media.</p> <p>The short term challenges are probably being understated as the transition will take many years to unfold.&nbsp; But the long term disruptive changes are more profound than anything you might see on a 60 Minutes special featuring battery car owners in California.</p> <p>Electric vehicles are likely to change our energy grid, roads, cities and suburbs in ways that are hard to imagine today.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Software - Drive by Wire &amp; The Digital Driving Experience<br /></strong> While stodgy Wall Street Journal Op-Ed pieces continue to characterize electric cars as expensive, wimpy cars-&nbsp; there truth is that electric drive systems offer <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533-wall-street-journal-confirms-our-case-for-electric-cars-a-lower-barrier-to-manufacturing">a lower cost manufacturing platform</a> and a flexible software based driving experience.</p> <p>Establish software and location based services to vehicles, and you create a foundation for revenue streams based on mobility services in a 'wired and connected vehicle'. (Not to mention 'pay per mile' funding streams for transportation infrastructure instead of paying per gallon taxes.)</p> <p>Companies like <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-" target="_blank">Johnson Controls</a>, Microsoft, Intel, Bosch (et al) are developing 'drive-by-wire' software and microcontroller solutions that can make a car sound and feel like a Ferrari, a Mini-van, or Sedan with the push of a button.&nbsp; There is a huge upside in software-service sales that the digitize the driving experience.</p> <p><strong>Storage: Vehicle to Grid (V2G)&nbsp; &amp;&nbsp; 'Skateboard' Vehicles on Sidewalks </strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: 2020<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuelcells, capacitors Garry Golden Thu, 29 Jan 2009 20:37:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1602 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1602 New Membrane for Ethanol Fuel Cells that Breaks Carbon Bonds at Room Temperature <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3468/ethanolBrookhaven.jpg" height="357" alt="Brookhaven ethanol fuel cell" style="float: right;" width="246" /></p> <p>Once again, we are reminded that the future of energy will be shaped by materials scientists, and that nanoscale engineering gives us plenty of room to innovate around disruptive ideas.</p> <p>Research teams from the U.S. <a href="http://www.bnl.gov/world/" target="_blank">Brookhaven National Laborator</a>y, University of Delaware and Yeshiva University have <a href="http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/pubaf/pr/PR_display.asp?prID=898" target="_blank">announced</a> the development of a new catalyst that could make ethanol-powered fuel cells feasible.&nbsp;</p> <p>Rather than use <em>next generation </em>ethanol in a combustion engine, we can imagine a more efficient conversion into electricity via a fuel cell.</p> <p>Fuel cells create electricity by breaking chemical bonds into <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_ion" target="_blank">hydrogen ions</a> and electrons then completing the reaction with oxygen binding to hydrogen to create water.</p> <p><strong>Nano-catalysts break carbon bonds</strong><br />One of the challenges of (hydrogen rich) ethanol as a feedstock for fuel cells is the presence of carbon molecules.</p> <p>&ldquo;The ability to split the carbon-carbon bond and generate CO<sub>2</sub> at room temperature is a completely new feature of catalysis,&rdquo; says Brookhaven chemist <a href="http://www.bnl.gov/chemistry/bio/AdzicRadoslav.asp" target="_blank">Radoslav Adzic</a> &ldquo;There are no other catalysts that can achieve this at practical potentials.&rdquo;</p> <p>The 'nanostructured' catalyst achieves faster oxidation using the combination of platinum and rhodium atoms on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles.&nbsp; Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of the reaction but it is signficantly less than traditional combustion based conversion (and assuming more non-food crop biomass is planted it is 'carbon neutral'.)&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Ethanol is one of the most ideal reactants for fuel cells,&rdquo; said Brookhaven chemist Radoslav Adzic. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s easy to produce, renewable, nontoxic, relatively easy to transport, and it has a high energy density. In addition, with some alterations, we could reuse the infrastructure that&rsquo;s currently in place to store and distribute gasoline.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Why catalysis is so important</strong> <br />&amp;<strong> </strong><strong>Related Posts on The Energy Roadmap.com </strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, biofuels, cellulosic, algae, electricity, fuelcells, hydrogen, memebranes, nanotechnology Garry Golden Wed, 28 Jan 2009 22:21:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1600 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1600 Cisco Offers Smart Energy Solutions: "Everything Connected to the Network Can Be Greener" <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3466/ciscoenergywise.JPG" alt="Cisco Energy Network" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>One of the biggest business opportunities of the next few decades will be enabling the convergence of Energy and Information systems to lower costs and improve efficiencies.</p> <p>Companies such as <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-">Johnson Controls</a> and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1367-ibm-expands-partnerships-for-smart-grid-software-sensors-storage-can-transform-utility-sector" target="_blank">IBM</a> have been very vocal about their vision of a 'smart infrastructure' future.&nbsp; And there are a number of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1515-smart-grid-infrastructure-startups-to-watch-in-2009" target="_blank">'Smart Grid' startups</a> offering utility-scale and building/<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1534-sentilla-raises-7-5-million-for-software-sensor-microcontroller-solutions-to-energy-management" target="_blank">home</a> energy management solutions.</p> <p><strong>Cisco: 'Smarter' Energy Networks <br /></strong>Cisco Systems is widely associated with the hardware 'backbone' (e.g. routers) of the Internet, but the company is expanding into new web-based services like video collaboration and energy management.</p> <p>Cisco has a very simple vision of the future of energy efficiency: If it is on the 'network', then we can make it more efficient.&nbsp; Why is this important?&nbsp; Because within a decade or two most everything that produces and consumes power <em>will</em> be integrated into an information (web) network.</p> <p>The company has <a href="http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10195/index.html" target="_blank">announced</a> its new <a href="http://www.cisco.com/go/energywise">Cisco EnergyWise</a> [<a href="http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps10195/prod_presentation_c97-513089.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>] technology platform that will help its customers reduce energy consumption of Internet Protocol (IP) devices such as phones, computers,&nbsp; and digital access points. The next step for Cisco will be offering software solutions to help manage building systems (lighting, air conditioning and heating).</p> <p>The offering puts Cisco in a strong position to compete in a fully 'embedded' world where all objects and devices are on the web and energy is never wasted. <br /><br /><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2012<br />Tags: energy, smartgrid, grid, electricity, obama, ibm, cisco, hydrogen, storage, sensors Garry Golden Wed, 28 Jan 2009 19:31:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1599 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1599 [Video] Why Peak Oil Production might be the paramount energy issue of our time <p>Beyond the occassional <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1439-shocking-interview-with-iea-chief-economist-peak-oil-production-plateau-possible-by-2020" target="_blank">post</a> (or<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1166-leaked-iea-report-measures-steep-decline-of-existing-oil-fields" target="_blank"> two</a>), I have avoided 'Peak Oil' production issues because of its association with those who must always (and only) describe the future in apocalyptic terms.</p> <p>But based on the <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2008/dec/15/fatih-birol-george-monbiot">IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 report</a>, it has become clear that energy leaders have been using poor data of oil field decline rates (based on a lack of transparency) to support inaccurate forecasts.&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether peak production has already happened, or will happen in 15 years is irrelevant since we are not prepared for either transition. So it is time to explore implications regarding the world's use of coal, nuclear energy, tar sands, and oil shale.&nbsp; (For those focused on Climate Change, the replacements for oil are not good news for carbon emissions.)</p> <p>I do not believe that Peak Oil will destroy our civilization, but it certainly has the potential to make us humble, and to serve as 'the' catalyst for evolving our policies from a resource <em>extraction</em> to resource <em>creation</em> paradigm.</p> <p>The following 40 minute interview is dated (January 2008) but gives a solid overview of peak oil's core issues: field decline rates, discovery rates, production time and costs and lack of real liquid fuel alternatives. [A more current hard edged <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/15/oil-peak-energy-iea" target="_blank">interview</a> by George Monbiot w/ <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatih_Birol" target="_blank">Dr Fatih Birol</a>: <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2008/dec/15/fatih-birol-george-monbiot" target="_blank">Link to video</a>]</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object data="http://www.youtube.com/v/bA_F5j97z7E" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/bA_F5j97z7E" /> </object> </p> <p>Continue with remaining four (10 minute) videos</p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2020<br />Tags: energy, peak, peakoil, oil, electricity, coal, hydrogen Garry Golden Wed, 28 Jan 2009 01:03:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1598 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1598 New syngas method could lower costs to process Canadian Tar Sands <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3458/TarSandsSuncorEnergy.jpg" alt="Tar Sands Suncor" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Extracting energy from the <em>tar sands </em>is not a pretty equation.</p> <p>It isn' cheap.&nbsp; It isn't energy efficient.</p> <p>And it is becoming increasingly politically charged given its heavy carbon footprint.</p> <p>But the tar sands remain a massive reserve that has the interest of very large, innovative energy development companies.&nbsp; And the dollars and desire to exploit these non-conventional hydrocarbon resources could grow exponentially in the years ahead as companies try to change the cost equation.</p> <p><strong>Can Bitumen derived syngas lower costs? </strong><br />Some of the largest non-conventional energy reserves in the world are found in North America's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_sands" target="_blank">tar sands</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_shale" target="_blank">oil shales</a>.</p> <p>The problem is that we are a bit early. These reserves still need a few more million years of natural bio-geological processes to rearrange the chemical bonds to make extraction easier. But instead of waiting, energy companies are developing ways to lower the costs of processing&nbsp; this carbon heavy resource.&nbsp; One of the reasons for high cost is the demand for outside energy needed to reform the tar sands into a usable form of liquid oil.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The Al Fin Energy blog is <a href="http://alfin2300.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-oil-sands-technique-holds-promise.html" target="_blank">reporting</a> on a new technique for substituting high priced natural gas with synthetic gas (syngas) derived from waste <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitumen" target="_blank">bitumen</a> which is currently a byproduct.&nbsp; The process, developed by <a href="http://www.nexeninc.com/" target="_blank">Nexen Inc.</a> and <a href="http://www.opticanada.com/" target="_blank">OPTI Canada</a> at the <a href="http://www.longlake.ca/" target="_blank">Long Lake Project</a>, could change the price equation of exploiting the tar sands.&nbsp;</p> <p>Good, bad or ugly - the tar sands cannot be ignored in a future where issues of climate change, 'energy independence', and peak oil production converge.&nbsp; The conversation about the future of the tar sands is just getting started.</p> <p><strong>Related The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, oil, hydrocarbon, coal, carbon, hydrogen, bioenergy Garry Golden Tue, 27 Jan 2009 16:44:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1594 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1594 Researchers change shape of aluminum nanoparticles to produce hydrogen at room temperature <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3448/Khanna-PSU-Science-AlumniHydrogen.jpg" height="239" alt="hydrogen production" style="float: right;" width="239" /></p> <p>Scientists at Penn State University and Virginia Commonwealth University have discovered a way to produce hydrogen using aluminum nanoparticles (billionth of a meter) that react with water molecules to split oygen and hydrogen bonds.</p> <p>What does that mean? <br /><br />The physical arrangment and exposure of the alumninum atoms determines its ability to split certain chemical bonds by binding oxygen and releasing hydrogen.</p> <p>Three of the tested aluminum clusters produced hydrogen from water at room temperature.</p> <p>This ground-breaking work is important because it confirms the belief held by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalysis">catalysis</a> researchers that nanoparticle 'geometries, not just electronic properties', effect the reaction performance of catalytic materials.</p> <p><strong>Hydrogen Production at Room Temperature (&amp; Confusion of Hype vs Hope) <br /></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, materials, nanotechnology, chemistry, hydrogen, electricity, fuelcells Garry Golden Mon, 26 Jan 2009 16:27:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1590 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1590 Newark, Delaware exploring 'Vehicle to Grid' (V2G) Infrastructure (Why I Am Skeptical of Plug Ins!) <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3446/V2G.JPG" alt="V2G Delware" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Political and Industry leaders agree that it is time to re-imagine the Electrical 'Grid' as something '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=smart&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">smarter</a>', more resilient, and open to new forms of energy storage and onsite production.</p> <p>Utilities are now exploring the idea that electric vehicles (powered by batteries, fuel cells and capacitors) will someday become the new backbone of the world's electricity grids.</p> <p>The questions are: 'How' and 'What does the 'Energy Web' of Tomorrow look like?'</p> <p>Do we 'recharge' objects via cords&nbsp; and wall sockets, or do objects have their own internal power generators that are 'refueled' with high density energy 'packets'?</p> <p>We are only at the beginning of exploring the future schematics of an 'energy web' infrastructure that&nbsp; integrates electric vehicles.&nbsp; But the test programs are starting to scale up!</p> <p>The City of Newark has approved a small <a href="http://www.physorg.com/news151767267.html" target="_blank">test project</a> led by the University of Delaware's <a href="http://www.carbonfree.udel.edu/" target="_blank">Center for Carbon-free Power Integration (CCPI)</a> to test 'vehicle to grid' systems using plug-in hybirds integrated into the local utility grid.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Vehicle to Grid</strong> <strong>(V2G) Energy Storage &amp; Production</strong><em> <br />(&amp; My Skepticism of Wall Socket Infrastructure)</em></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuelcells, smartgrid, grid, smart, infrastructure Garry Golden Sun, 25 Jan 2009 19:53:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1589 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1589 Saudi Arabia funding Cornell research to advance nanomaterials for energy and carbon <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3438/nims2.JPG" alt="NIMS" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The most successful players in the 'New Energy Economy' will be those who advance and profit from materials that enable cleaner interactions between molecules.</p> <p>Even the 'greenest' consumers and markets will be stuck in a lower part of the value chain to countries and companies who dominate the Nanoscale Era of Science and Engineering.&nbsp; The future will shaped by those who become Masters of Molecules.&nbsp; So we pay close attention to investments by energy incumbents who are pushing forward around science.</p> <p><strong>Science Parternships with Petro Kingdoms</strong><br />Saudia Arabia's <a href="http://www.kaust.edu.sa/" target="_blank">King Abdullah University of Science and Technology</a> (KAUST) is funding advanced research at <a href="http://www.cornell.edu/">Cornell University</a> to develop nanomaterial applications for water desalination, carbon capture and sequestration, solar energy and the 'greening' of oil and gas production.</p> <p><strong>'Pom Poms' to the Rescue?&nbsp; Nanoparticle Ionic Materials (NIMS)<br /></strong>The performance qualities of elements such as carbon, iron, platinum (et al) change dramatically at the nanoscale (billionth of a meter). The KAUST-Cornell research will focus on a new material discovered at Cornell called Nanoparticle Ionic Materials (NIMS).</p> <p>Researchers describe NIMS as:&nbsp; "pom-poms; that is, a squishy core made out of inorganic nanoparticles, and a hairy exterior called a corona that is made out of an organic polymer. This exterior can capture things such as carbon dioxide in a coal power plant, and the core can then be the catalyst to fix the carbon dioxide and convert it into something else, thereby preventing the building of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2020<br />Tags: energy, research, nanomaterials, nanotechnology, nanoscale Garry Golden Sat, 24 Jan 2009 17:12:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1587 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1587 EPRI Study: Efficiency efforts could reduce electricity growth rate by 22% by 2030 <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3428/epriefficiency.JPG" alt="EPRI Study" style="float: right;" />There is a saying in the energy industry that 'the cheapest power plant is the one you don't have to build'.</p> <p>The alternative to focusing on the 'supply' side of finding new sources of clean electricity, is to reduce the demand side of energy use.</p> <p>There are many ways to be more efficient through better products (e.g. light bulbs, refrigeration), services (e.g. Smart Grid managment) and integration of new energy systems (e.g. energy storage,&nbsp; onsite power generation).&nbsp; And there are hundreds of companies that provide energy management solutions to homes and commercial businesses.&nbsp; But until recently we have not had an updated industry level forecast of how much energy could be saved given the right leadership and regulatory framework for utilities.</p> <p><strong>Looking ahead to 2030<br /></strong>A new study from the <a href="Electric Power Research Institute" target="_blank">Electric Power Research Institute</a> (EPRI) suggests that efficiency gains could reduce the rate of growth for US electricity consumption by 22% between 2008 and 2030.&nbsp; 'The potential energy savings in 2030 would be 236 billion kilowatt hours, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 14 New York Cities.'<span id="PTPortletSPAN_1630"><br /><br />The EPRI study uses a growth rate baseline of 1.07% based on projections set by the U.S. Energy Information Administration's <a href="http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/" target="_blank">2008 Annual Energy Outlook</a> (AEO 2008).&nbsp; </span></p> <p><span id="PTPortletSPAN_1630">EPRI believes that with strong political leadership and regulatory changes electricity consumption in the U.S. residential, commercial, and industrial sectors could be reduced to an annual rate of 0.83% between 2008 through 2030.</span><span id="PTPortletSPAN_1630">&nbsp; Under the most 'ideal' conditions that rate could be lowered to 0.68% per year. </span></p> <p>Read more: <strong><em>Assessment of Achievable Savings Potential From Energy Efficiency and Demand Response in the U.S </em></strong>(<a href="http://mydocs.epri.com/docs/public/000000000001018363.pdf" target="_blank">Executive Summary</a>)<a href="http://my.epri.com/portal/server.pt?space=CommunityPage&amp;cached=true&amp;parentname=ObjMgr&amp;parentid=2&amp;control=SetCommunity&amp;CommunityID=277&amp;PageID=0&amp;RaiseDocID=000000000001016987&amp;RaiseDocType=Abstract_id" target="_blank"> <br /></a></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, electricity, sensors, smartgrid, grid, utilities Garry Golden Thu, 22 Jan 2009 22:20:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1582 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1582 European research agency hopeful for breakthrough in novel water desalination method <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> 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.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --><!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3430/capacitovedeionization.jpg" height="199" alt="DeslinationLLNL" style="float: right;" width="281" />When imagining how much energy we'll need in the future we usually calculate the demand for homes, offices, and factories. But most forecasts ignore a highly probable, energy intensive process that will be in high demand during the 21st century - Desalination.</p> <p>In the next century we will likely desalinate and transport massive amounts of water away from oceans to reach megacities and irrigate farms that will have to support 3 billion more people added to our planet in the next 40 years.</p> <p><strong>The Nanoscale Side of H20&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /></strong>How do we do this?&nbsp; Develop 'nanostructured' materials that lower the cost of desalination by facilitating reactions that use less energy to separate molecules leaving clean H20.</p> <p>Earlier we covered a <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1549-quantum-sphere-files-patent-for-cheaper-forward-osmosis-water-desalination-method" target="_blank">'forward osmosis' patent claim</a> by QuantumSphere that reportedly drops the cost of desalination by 70%.&nbsp; But other companies such as <a href="http://www.cdtwater.com/" target="_blank">CDT</a> and <a href="http://www.proingesa.com/portal/inicio.php" target="_blank">Proingesa</a> are involved in advancing materials used in equally disruptive novel methods for desalination.</p> <p>Now, Europe's research reporting service AlphaGalileo <a href="http://www.alphagalileo.org/index.cfm?_rss=1&amp;fuseaction=readrelease&amp;releaseid=535382" target="_blank">believes</a> that advances in electrochemical capacitors could enable a new way of cleaning water. <a href="http://www.tda.com/Research/capac_deion.htm" target="_blank">Capacitive deionization</a> applies an electrical charge to water that makes 'the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion" target="_blank">ions</a> dissolved in the water migrate towards the electrode of an opposite charge, where they are adsorbed. In the regeneration cycle, the electrical load of the electrodes is switched off, therefore adsorbed ions are released.'&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The electrode materials used in this process are advancing around nanoscale designs that increase the reactive surface area. The result is less energy need to force the reaction.</p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, desalination, water Garry Golden Fri, 23 Jan 2009 15:32:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1577 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1577 Fiat-Chrysler deal confirms problem is not carbon footprint, but manufacturing footprint <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3428/HyundaiASsemblyLine.jpg" alt="Hyundai vehicle assembly" style="float: right;" />We might be closer to reframing the public conversation about the future of the auto industry.&nbsp;</p> <p>The real problem for the auto industry is its manufacturing footprint, not its carbon footprint.</p> <p>Of course we must build more efficient vehicles.&nbsp;</p> <p>But the industry's problems have nothing to with small cars vs big cars, or fuel efficiency.</p> <p>The real problem is the manufacturing intensity of building mechanical engines, and their inability to produce multiple chassis on one factory floor. The other problem is that they build new cars then have them sit on dealership lots until someone buys it.&nbsp;</p> <p>Yes, we must reduce the eco-impact of vehicles, but to get there we must recognize that the real revolution is changing how we build cars, not how we fuel them.&nbsp; Need more evidence?</p> <p><strong>Fiat exchanges Access for Equity <br /></strong>Fiat is negotiating a 35% stake in Chrysler in exchange for access to its small vehicle manufacturing capacity and revival of its European brands in the US.</p> <p>But we should not be confused.&nbsp; The future is not 'small cars', but leaner manufacturing.</p> <p>Does Chrysler need small vehicles to meet current market demand?&nbsp; Probably.</p> <p>But the real takeaway is Chrysler's inabilty to build different types of vehicles (small or large) without major retooling investments.</p> <p>So the company exchanges access to manufacturing for equity.</p> <p><strong>The future is modular manufacturing <br /></strong></p> <p>The future is a factory floor that can build multiple chassis using modular electric motors and energy storage devices (batteries, fuel cells and capacitors).</p> <p><strong>What does the auto industry need to do? </strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: 2016<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells Garry Golden Thu, 22 Jan 2009 15:06:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1576 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1576 Supercomputer shows how enzymes might 'dance' and rip apart cellulose used for biofuels <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3420/536EthanolLrg.jpg" alt="SanDiegocellulose" /></p> <p>Corn is not the future of biofuels. It is a political distraction, and researchers are moving beyond crops for fuel.</p> <p>We are moving quickly into an era of next generation biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol derived from waste materials, and algae fuels derived from carbon emission feedstocks.</p> <p>Cellulosic ethanol is a particular challenge given the slow rate of speed associated with the breaking down sugar-rich materials (e.g. agricultural waste like corn cobs).&nbsp; To develop faster, lower cost systems we must first understand how these proteins (enzymes called <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulase" target="_blank">cellulases</a>) do their magic of breaking down complex cellulose bonds into simple pieces of sugar.</p> <p><strong>Supercomputers open up new knowledge<br /></strong>Researchers at the <span class="caption"><a href="http://www.sdsc.edu/" target="_blank">San Diego Supercomputing Center </a>(SDSC) are creating virtual molecules that might mimic how enyzmes 'dance' above a cellulose chain before it rips up a single sugar molecule feeding it into its 'molecular conveyor belt' to 'unzip' the bonds into basic sugars that can be fermented into a liquid fuel.&nbsp; </span></p> <p><span class="caption">Why supercomputers?&nbsp; Few things in the world are as complicated as understanding the shape and movement (folding) of proteins, or the breaking down of strong cellulose walls.&nbsp; Supercomputer simulations help us decode the secrets of molecular movement! <br /></span></p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Thu, 22 Jan 2009 00:42:23 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1572 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1572 Austin based Graphene Energy raises $500K for Ultracapacitors <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3414/260wikimediaGraphene.jpg" height="193" alt="carbon graphene" style="float: right;" width="228" />Austin, Texas based <a href="http://www.grapheneenergy.net/" target="_blank">Graphene Energy</a> has <a href="http://earth2tech.com/2009/01/13/quercus-trusts-latest-power-storage-play-graphene-energy/" target="_blank">raised $500,000</a> to expand its vision of bringing graphene-based ultracapacitors to market.&nbsp; Capacitors are a class of energy storage devices that hold physical charges of electricity.</p> <p>The company hopes that their use of nanoscale designed carbon graphene sheets will improve ultracapacitor performance to support the shift towards electrive drive vehicles powered by the integration of batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.&nbsp; Together these three energy storage devices provide all the demands of electric vehicles - regenerative energy capture, scaling up, and bursts.</p> <p><strong>The Strongest Material in the Universe</strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene" target="_blank"><br />Graphene</a> is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice.&nbsp; Graphene has unique electro-, structural and mechanical properties, and is arguably the strongest known material in the universe given the combination of all known elements.&nbsp; For energy researchers, graphene is a new platorm for creating lower cost and more efficient components including: high surface area electrodes for energy storage devices, and backbone foundations for solar cells.&nbsp;</p> <p>Carbon Graphene is closely related carbon nanotubes that are used to increase surface area of materials used in batteries, fuel cells, and solar cells.&nbsp; But graphene sheets have their own unique performance properties and have emerged as a very <a href="http://www.nanovip.com/node/54152" target="_blank">'hot' area of research </a>across a range of disciplines including advanced electronics (transistors &amp; memory) and biotechnology.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, carbon, carbonnanotubes, graphene Garry Golden Wed, 21 Jan 2009 15:11:01 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1570 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1570 Toyota could commercialize fuel cell electric vehicles by 2015, as automakers look beyond batteries <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3396/ToyotaFineN.JPG" alt="Toyota fuel cell" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Bloomberg is <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&amp;sid=aKdSR3OInOa8&amp;refer=home" target="_blank">reporting</a> that Toyota plans to sell a 'limited' line of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to consumers by 2015 or maybe sooner.</p> <p>Toyota's fuel cell integration strategy (along with <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1322-video-honda-reveals-hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric-sports-car" target="_blank">Honda</a>, Kia and GM) suggests that the auto industry is looking ahead towards next generation electric drive vehicles that go beyond battery platforms.</p> <p><strong>Fuel cells vs Batteries?&nbsp; Or both?</strong><br />A very profound transition is happening in our world. The '<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1442-story-of-the-year-electrification-of-the-passenger-car" target="_blank">electrification of the auto industry</a>' has started, but it will take decades to complete.</p> <p>The tricky part?&nbsp; 'Electric' refers to the motor.&nbsp;</p> <p>What delivers electrons to those electric motors is more open to debate.</p> <p>The popular assumption today is that batteries will power the future of cars.&nbsp; But the reality is more sobering. Energy storage solutions that are appropriate for the auto industry are not likely to emerge from anything that exists on the commercial market today.</p> <p>Batteries are a stepping stone to a more <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1302-what-powers-the-car-of-tomorrow-batteries-or-hydrogen-fuel-cells-hint-both-" target="_blank">fully integrated energy storage system</a> that uses batteries, fuel cells and capacitors - together.</p> <p>Cars are not iPods, and the cost of building 'plug in' station infrastructure is likely to be prohibitive, if not totally inconvenient to consumers.&nbsp; Fuel cells and capacitors offer superior cost / size and performance advantages.&nbsp; And more convenient infrastructure options such as rapid refill or 'swap out' boxes (e.g. <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1204-hydrogen-storage-could-support-lithium-ion-batteries-in-electric-vehicles" target="_blank">solid hydrogen</a>).&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>While eco-bloggers are excited over batteries, the long view is more cloudy.&nbsp; Automakers are hedging their bets on energy storage solutions, and it appears the the 'hype' phase of battery powered cars might be short lived.</p> <p><strong>Related posts on the Auto Industry at The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: 2015<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuelcells, cars Garry Golden Mon, 19 Jan 2009 23:00:38 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1564 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1564 European researchers achieve record efficiency of 41% for solar cells <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3388/solarGermanISFE.jpg" alt="solar cell" style="float: right;" />European researchers at Fraunhofer ISE have <a href="http://www.pv-tech.org/news/_a/fraunhofer_ise_marks_latest_solar_cell_efficiency_breakthrough/?utm_source=Feeds&amp;utm_campaign=News+Feed&amp;utm_medium=rss" target="_blank">achieved</a> another record efficiency of 41.1% in the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a &lsquo;multi-junction&rsquo; class of solar cells.</p> <p>The cells are made out of gallium-based materials suited for the solar spectrum that reaches the surface of the Earth.&nbsp; The team managed to increase the regions of the material that are electrically active to attain the high efficiencies.</p> <p>Prof. Eicke R. Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE emphasizes, &ldquo;This is an especially good example of how the control of crystal defects in semiconductors can lead to a breakthrough in technology.&rdquo;</p> <p>Fraunhofer ISE is working with <a href="http://www.azurspace.com/" target="_blank">Azur Space</a> and <a href="http://www.concentrix-solar.de/" target="_blank">Concentrix Solar GmbH</a> to commercialize their technology.&nbsp; &ldquo;The high efficiencies of our solar cells are the most effective way to reduce the electricity generation costs for concentrating PV systems,&rdquo; says Dr. Andreas Bett, Department Head at Fraunhofer ISE. &ldquo;We want that photovoltaics becomes competitive with conventional methods of electricity production as soon as possible. With our new efficiency results, we have moved a big step further towards achieving this goal!&rdquo;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, solar, electricity, photovoltaics Garry Golden Mon, 19 Jan 2009 19:31:23 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1559 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1559 Quantum mechanism breakthrough for thin film solar and OLED lighting displays <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3384/260sittinginamolecule.jpg" alt="Molecules" style="float: right;" />Energy is driven by interactions of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1527-breakthrough-in-high-surface-area-mofs-that-absorb-hydrogen-and-carbon-tell-barack-obama" target="_blank">light, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and metals</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>At least, that's the simple explanation.</p> <p>The closer the human mind gets to understanding and controlling quantum behavior of light and molecules, the more likely we are to enable an era of cheap abundant energy.</p> <p>Now, thanks to work by a research team led by University of Toronto's <a href="http://www.chem.utoronto.ca/staff/SCHOLES/scholes_home.html" target="_blank">Greg Scholes</a>&nbsp; and Elisabetta Collini, we are a step closer to understanding (and controlling) how light moves along long carbon-based molecular chains to create an electrical charge.</p> <p><strong>Organic Electronics - Thin Film solar &amp; OLEDs</strong><br />Their research could lead to advances in the emerging field of 'organic' electronics (carbon based electronics) that support thin film solar cells and batteries, and flexible transparent OLED display screens.</p> <p>The group has focused on 'conjugated polymers' as a <a href="http://macromolecules.case.edu/research_conjugated.htm" target="_blank">promising candidate</a> for building efficient organic solar cells.&nbsp; These long chains repeat the same molecule patterns and can be maniuplated to mimic the properties of traditional silicon based semiconductors.</p> <p>When these materials absorb light, the energy moves along the molecular chain ('polymer') ending in an electrical charge.</p> <p>"One of the biggest obstacles to organic solar cells is that it is difficult to control what happens after light is absorbed: whether the desired property is transmitting energy, storing information or emitting light," Collini explained. "Our experiment suggests it is possible to achieve control using quantum effects, even under relatively normal conditions."</p> <p><strong>Humans being creating Quantum-mechanical mechanisms</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, electricity, solar, thinfilm, nanoscale, nanotechnology Garry Golden Sun, 18 Jan 2009 17:46:32 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1557 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1557 Surge of Hybrid and Electric Cars in India, China <p>By <a href="public_blog_post/amisampat">Ami Sampat</a><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3352/240_tatanano.jpg" alt="240_tatanano.jpg" style="float: right;" /><br /><br />The <a href="http://tatanano.inservices.tatamotors.com/tatamotors/">Nano</a> car, created by <a href="http://www.tatamotors.com/">Tata Motors</a>, has not yet gone on sale but an affordable micro-hybrid version is already gearing up to hit the market. In this micro-hybrid, the engine would automatically stop running once it has gone idle. This feature would cut fuel and gas emissions by 10 to 15 percent. <br /><br />The Nano which was first introduced in January 2008, was said to be on the market by late 2008, but is now expected to roll into the market early this year. The Nano will cost an affordable $2,500, which may increase due to the added micro hybrid-system. <br /><br />The introduction of Tata's Nano was meant to create the first reasonably priced, environmentally friendly car, in order to help the densely populated and polluted urban areas India. Having the hybrid being affordable will also make it more accesible to not just the rich class, but the middle class as well.<br /><br />Meanwhile, China is producing hybrid cars of its own. Chinese automakers, <a href="http://www.byd.com/">BYD</a>, will display their hybrid car at the Detroit auto show this month. At the auto show, BYD will be given a main floor, rather than a hallway which it had last year. BYD will displaying its <a href="http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/01/byd-auto-to-sho.html">plug-in hybrid</a>. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.brillianceauto.com/">Brilliance China Automotive</a> Holdings Ltd is also making its first appearance at the show. <br /><br />China is certainly making waves to make its car companies known. However it will be five years before Chinese automakers are able to compete in the U.S. markets. <br /><br />India and China's venture into hybrid cars is a preemptive step of the automakers to reduce pollution and make a name for itself in the North American auto industry. As these country's launch their respective cars in their homeland and the U.S, it will certainly cause a sensation for the rest of the world.</p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2009 amisampat Tue, 13 Jan 2009 19:53:02 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1542 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1542 [Video] Introduction to Future of Enhanced Geothermal Energy by MIT Professor <p style="text-align: left;">We have heard from a number of readers asking about the future of geothermal energy. So here&nbsp; is a solid '101' primer video lecture (short lecture, extended Q&amp;A) by MIT Professor James Tester.&nbsp; Tester was Chair of a panel study report on the Future of Enhanced Geothermal Energy <a href="http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_geothermal_energy.pdf" target="_blank">[PDF]</a> released in 2007. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="361" data="http://mitworld.mit.edu/flash/player/Main.swf?host=cp58255.edgefcs.net&amp;flv=mitw-00829-museum-soapbox-geothermal-tester-07feb2007&amp;preview=http://mitworld.mit.edu//uploads/mitwstill-00829-museum-soapbox-geothermal-tester-07feb2007.jpg" width="481"> <param name="id" value="Main" /> <param name="align" value="middle" /> <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /> <param name="quality" value="high" /> <param name="bgcolor" value="#000000" /> <param name="src" value="http://mitworld.mit.edu/flash/player/Main.swf?host=cp58255.edgefcs.net&amp;flv=mitw-00829-museum-soapbox-geothermal-tester-07feb2007&amp;preview=http://mitworld.mit.edu//uploads/mitwstill-00829-museum-soapbox-geothermal-tester-07feb2007.jpg" /> <param name="name" value="Main" /> </object> </p> <p><strong>Related Geothermal posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, geothermal, electricity Garry Golden Thu, 15 Jan 2009 19:42:31 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1555 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1555 Boston Power raises $55 million to expand production of Li-ion batteries <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3378/bostonpowerlogo.jpg" alt="Boston Power logo" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Advanced energy storage and portable power solutions continue to grab attention from energy investors.</p> <p>Massachusetts-based startup up <a href="http://www.boston-power.com/index.html" target="_blank">Boston Power</a> has <a href="http://www.boston-power.com/boston-power-adds-55-million-in-growth-capital.html" target="_blank">announced</a> a $55 milllion Series D funding round to scale manufacturing, sales, marketing for its Sonata Lithium-ion batteries.&nbsp; This infusion of cash follows an <a href="http://www.boston-power.com/boston-power-announces-hp-as-first-customer-to-offer-its-next-generation-notebook-computer-battery.html" target="_blank">announcement in December </a>that Boston Power would supply HP with batteries for a coming line of laptops.</p> <p>Boston Power's solutions are most relevant to supporting the continued growth of high performance portable electronics.&nbsp; But the company expects to be involved in first generation electric vehicles powered by batteries. Its branding effort has been to promote itself as a 'cleantech' company with high standards for its sustainability practices and partnerships with <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1143-electric-vehicle-industry-going-global-as-korean-firm-invests-in-energy-storage" target="_blank">Asian manufacturers</a>.<strong><br /><br />The Evolution of Energy Storage - Batteries, Fuel cells &amp; Capacitors </strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2012<br />Tags: energy, electricity, batteries, fuelcells, hydrogen, transportation, cars, storage, energystorage Garry Golden Thu, 15 Jan 2009 14:34:46 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1553 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1553 Quantum Sphere files patent for cheaper 'forward osmosis' water desalination method <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3368/260quantumsphere.JPG" alt="Quantum Sphere" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>We should be paying closer attention to California-based <a href="http://www.qsinano.com/index.php" target="_blank">QuantumSphere</a> and its approach to the future of energy.&nbsp;</p> <p>QuantumSphere understands the disruptive potential in performance of materials when you design catalysts at the nanoscale.</p> <p>The company is designing systems that change how we look at energy storage (e.g. batteries/fuel cells) and energy intensive processes like desalination.</p> <p><strong>Next Step - Water Desalination</strong><br />QuantumSphere has made headlines for its nano-structured catalysts used in lithium ion batteries, and also for its low cost hydrogen electrolysis process.</p> <p>Now QuantumSphere has <a href="http://www.qsinano.com/news_releases.php" target="_blank">announced</a> a filed patent for a more energy efficient method of desalination that uses organic solutions to separate water from salt water or polluted water.&nbsp; The 'forward osmosis' process is less energy intensive than current commercial methods. <br /><br /> <strong>A Method that is 70% cheaper ?</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, electricty, osmisis, water, desalination Garry Golden Wed, 14 Jan 2009 21:08:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1549 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1549 FuelCell Energy receives $30 million for a Post Combustion Era Solution for Cleaner Coal <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3354/260_Fuel_Cell.jpg" alt="Stationary Fuel Cell" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>FueCellMarkets is <a href="http://www.fuelcellmarkets.com/3,1,11275,1,27746.html" target="_blank">reporting</a> on a $30 million Phase II contract to expand testing of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) coal syngas power generation.&nbsp; This type of stationary fuel cell converts coal derived gas via electrochemical processes to produce electricity and heat.&nbsp; The result of this scalable non-combustion method is higher efficiency and signficantly lower carbon emissions.</p> <p><strong>Advancing Global Carbon Solutions</strong><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=coal&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank"><br />Coal</a> is not going away anytime soon.&nbsp; In fact, its global market share is growing as the primary source of energy for electricity generation.</p> <p>Cheaper solar and wind does not, by default, mean less coal in a world economy expected to double energy production in the decades ahead. Coal is already embedded into global power grids, and it is not going to disappear overnight.</p> <p>If we expect to address carbon emissions, we have to do more than develop alternatives.&nbsp; We need scalable carbon solutions that move us beyond the age of combustion conversion and harmful release of emissions.</p> <p>While coal will never be 'clean', there are <em>cleaner </em>ways of converting it that result in significantly less carbon emissions.&nbsp; We have <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=algae&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">written extensively about algae</a>, but fuel cells offer another path forward.</p> <p><strong>Fuel Cells, Coal Gas, &amp; a Post Combustion Era of Energy Conversion</strong></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, electricity, coal, carbon, fuelcells, fuel, cells, hydrogen Garry Golden Tue, 13 Jan 2009 21:21:13 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1544 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1544 Does the road to Electric Vehicles pass through China? EV Startup outsources production <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3348/240_Dan_KammingasFlckrCC.jpg" alt="China" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>EV startup <a href="http://www.milesev.com/" target="_blank">Miles Automotive</a> has announced <a href="http://www.gasgoo.com/auto-news/1009041/US-electric-car-startup-plans-China-outsourcing.html" target="_blank">plans</a> to outsource manufacturing of its California-bound electric vehicles to a China-based assembly factory.</p> <p>Auto analysts continue to speculate about plans by Detroit-based companies to partner with Asian manufacturers.&nbsp; And yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported on BYD's plans to produce EVs for global markets based on a <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533-wall-street-journal-confirms-our-case-for-electric-cars-a-lower-barrier-to-manufacturing" target="_blank">lower barrier to manufacturing</a>.</p> <p>More than ever before, the road to electric vehicles powered by batteries, fuel cells and capacitors seems destined to pass through Asia.</p> <p>And it is time to challenge common assumptions about EVs?</p> <p><strong>Will EVs be a Domestic or Global Industry?</strong><br />It is commonly assumed that electric vehicles would bring non-OPEC countries more 'independence'.&nbsp; Instead it seems clear that the age of EVs will pull them further into the global economy of 'interdependence'.&nbsp; Electric vehicles propulsion systems and storage systems (batteries, fuel cells and capacitors) are likely to emerge from a global value chain that spans from Asia to Europe to Americas.&nbsp; <br /><strong><br />Will Early Adopter Markets Emerge from within Europe/California or Asia?</strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: 2014<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuel, cells Garry Golden Tue, 13 Jan 2009 16:47:30 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1539 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1539 Stanford launches $100 million global energy institute, as California expands cleantech focus <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3346/stanford_pannel.jpg" alt="Stanford Energy Panel" style="float: right;" /><a href="http://www.stanford.edu/" target="_blank">Stanford University</a> has <a href="http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2009/january14/pie-011409.html" target="_blank">raised</a> $100 million to support the creation of the Precourt Insitute for Energy.</p> <p>The Institute will focus on global energy and climate issues by expanding the number of faculty and graduate research positions across the entire spectrum of energy science and engineering from photovoltaics to carbon sequestration.&nbsp;</p> <p>The center is the result of a team of funders led by energy Executive <a href="http://people.forbes.com/profile/jay-a-precourt/39112" target="_blank">Jay Precourt</a>, who donated $50 million, and a $40 million gift from Thomas Steyer and Kat Taylor who supported the creation of the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy.</p> <p>Stanford intends to expand global partnerships but it is clearly a big win for the State of California as it attempts to build a 'cleantech' hub of talent, IP, and companies involved in the 21st century energy systems.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, research, electricity, climate, carbon, hydrogen, batteries Garry Golden Tue, 13 Jan 2009 14:55:32 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1538 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1538 Sentilla raises $7.5 million for 'smart' software-sensor solutions to energy management <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3334/250microcontroller.jpg" alt="energy managmenet" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>2009 might turn out to be a great year to be a startup involved in 'smart' energy solutions that tap the power of software, sensors, microcontrollers and storage systems.</p> <p>Energy bloggers are all talking about 2009 as the 'Year of the Smart Grid', and energy analysts expect to see major public-private investments over the next two years in efficiency and energy management.</p> <p>We have written about visions of a 'smart' planet being promoted by companies like <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1367-ibm-expands-partnerships-for-smart-grid-software-sensors-storage-can-transform-utility-sector" target="_blank">IBM</a>, Honeywell and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-" target="_blank">Johnson Controls</a>.&nbsp; But now we have the first major '09 investment in start up <a href="http://www.sentilla.com/" target="_blank">Sentilla</a>, which has raised $7.5 million to deliver solutions for commercial and industrial facilities.&nbsp;</p> <p>It might be premature to call Sentilla a 'smart energy' startup since its vision is much broader than electricity.&nbsp; It's future growth is based on a vision of an 'embedded object' world often described as 'Pervasive' or 'Ubiquitious' computing. In this future every object has built in awareness, intelligence and networked capabilities (e.g. Zigbee).&nbsp; Sentilla's offerings span energy managment, safety and security, and logistics/asset managment. But in 2009, selling themselves as a 'smart energy' company might be the best route! <br /><br /><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, sensors, microcontrollers, electricity, efficiency Garry Golden Tue, 13 Jan 2009 00:32:29 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1534 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1534 Wall Street Journal confirms our Case for Electric Cars: A Lower Barrier to Manufacturing <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3328/BYD.jpg" alt="BYD" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The Wall Street Journal has finally <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123172034731572313.html" target="_blank">reported</a> on the real driver of change around the electrification of the world's auto fleet: Manufacturing.</p> <p><strong>Reframing the Problem</strong><br />Our insights into the crossroads of energy and the <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1272-the-future-of-the-us-auto-industry-" target="_blank">future of the auto industry</a> have reflected a very unique tone when compared to all major media outlets and bloggers.</p> <p>We have been alone in pushing a few disruptive ideas about the future of energy and the auto industry:</p> <p><strong>Kill the Combustion Engine</strong><br />While others focused on the problem of oil, we said it was the manufacturing legacy of the combustion engine. We have argued that it's how you build the car, not fuel it that matters most.</p> <p><strong>Skateboard chassis is Platform of the Future</strong></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, car, cars, transportation, electriccars, batteries, hydrogen, fuelcells Garry Golden Mon, 12 Jan 2009 16:39:29 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1533 MIT researchers advance carbon nanotube films used in 'super' batteries and capacitors <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3326/MITCarbonNanotbues.jpg" alt="MIT Carbon Nanotubes" style="float: right;" />MIT Technology Review is <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21938/page1/" target="_blank">reporting</a> on a breakthrough in manufacturing thin, dense films of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_nanotube" target="_blank">carbon nanotubes</a> that could improve electrodes used in 'super' batteries and capacitors used in portable devices, 'smart grids' and electric vehicles.<a href="http://www.howstuffworks.com/battery.htm" target="_blank"><br /><br /></a><strong>Energy Storage: Batteries, Fuel cells &amp; Capacitors</strong> <a href="http://www.howstuffworks.com/battery.htm" target="_blank">Batteries</a> and <a href="http://www.howstuffworks.com/fuel-cell.htm" target="_blank">fuel cells</a> convert chemical energy into electricity in a controlled circuit.&nbsp; <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/capacitor.htm" target="_blank">Capacitors</a> hold electrons as a physical 'charge' and are used in applications that require rapid discharge of energy. All of these energy storage devices are going to evolve in the coming Era of Nanoscale Engineering.</p> <p><strong>How do you talk about the Future of Energy?</strong><br />The MIT breakthrough demonstrates the enormous potential of nanoscale design of material components that facilitate energy reactions. It would be a mistake to merely extrapolate our current energy technologies forward based on the disruptive nature of nanoscale energy systems.</p> <p>The MIT breakthrough highlights two fundamental areas to focus our conversation:<br /><br /><strong>New Properties at Nanoscale Carbon<br /></strong>The electrical and chemical properties of carbon (and other molecules) change when you shift design from the 'microscale' (millionth of meter) to the 'nanoscale' (billionth of a meter).&nbsp; In recent years, researchers have demonstrated an incredible capacity for carbon nanotubes to capture photons, store electricity and hold hydrogen. Likewise, the performance of metals (e.g. platinum, zinc, nickel) changes dramatically at the nanoscale.</p> <p><strong>Higher Surface Area</strong> <strong>at the Nanoscale</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, nanoscale, nanotechnology, electricity, fuelcells, capacitors, batteries Garry Golden Mon, 12 Jan 2009 15:00:38 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1531 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1531 Gaming Our Way to Efficiency <p>By Joel Greenberg</p> <p>Byron Reeves is a man with a vision:&nbsp; using video games to teach and to help mold behavior. When we get a smart grid and smart devices that track and report on their energy consumption, we'll have the data we need to understand our energy usage in the home.&nbsp; But will we really take advantage of that information?</p> <p><br /><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3324/EnergyGame2.jpg" alt="Energy Efficiency Game" /></p> <p>"Games have the potential change behavior," says Reeves a professor at Stanford University and co-founder of Stanford's <a href="http://mediax.stanford.edu/">MediaX</a>; he conducts research on the emotional and social effects of immersive environments including complex online games . "I became interested in building a game platform that could change behavior around energy usage," he says.&nbsp; To that end, he's been showing a vision video he created with <a href="http://www.millionsofus.com/">Millions of Us</a> in which he brings to life a game where homeowners compete with each other to see who can become the most energy efficient.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2009<br />Tags: energy, efficiency, simulation, game, behavior, change joelg Fri, 09 Jan 2009 17:32:00 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1530 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1530 Luca Technologies raises $76 million for microbes that 'eat' coal, 'breathe out' natural gas <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3318/250lucageobioreactor.JPG" alt="Luca Technologies" style="float: right;" />MIT Technology Review is <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21932/?a=f" target="_blank">reporting</a> on a $76 million funding round by <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21932/?a=f" target="_blank">Luca Technologies</a> to expand its 'geobioreactor' process that 'uses coal-digesting microorganisms to convert coal into methane.'</p> <p>The catch?&nbsp;</p> <p>It happens while the coal is inside the Earth!</p> <p>The bioenergy reactions occurs inside the planet, and the natural gas is pumped out using conventional techniques.&nbsp; The methane can then be used for electric power generation plant or as a feedstock for materials.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Microbes &amp; 'Geobioreactors'</strong><br />We have written dozens of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=bioenergy&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">articles on bioenergy</a> solutions that use algae and bacteria to 'eat' carbon to produce usuable forms of liquid or gas fuels.&nbsp; It remains a very promising strategy for carbon utilization and energy production.&nbsp; But this is a very different strategy that attempts to change the notion of coal as a resource while it remains locked inside the Earth.</p> <p>Historically humans have used coal as a resource for combustion based power generation in power plants.&nbsp; This is a low cost source of energy, but results in the release of enormous amounts of greenhouse gases.</p> <p>Luca Technologies's vision is powerful and the end result is a fuel (methane/natural gas) that has a much higher hydrogen to carbon ratio, which means significantly less carbon emissions.</p> <p><strong>Related posts on the future of bioenergy on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2019 Garry Golden Thu, 08 Jan 2009 23:29:07 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1529 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1529 Breakthrough in high surface area MOFs that absorb hydrogen and carbon, Tell Barack Obama <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3314/260MOFs.jpg" alt="MOFsOmarYaghi" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>What if Barack Obama said in his first State of the Union address: 'America must invest in high surface area materials...' ?</p> <p>Most people would be puzzled.&nbsp; Some minds would probably close down after hearing something slightly intimidating and 'scientific'.&nbsp;</p> <p>Why surface area?&nbsp; Why not say 'invest in better batteries, cleaning up fossil fuels, solar and hydrogen'?&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Energy is about Interactions<br /></strong>Surface area enables better interactions between light, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, metals, and bio enzymes. (At least, that's the short answer.)</p> <p>The real road to a 'New Energy Economy' is paved at the nanoscale of material science.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>What types of applications can we expect?</strong></p> <p><strong>1) High surface area materials - Trap Molecules &amp; Light </strong><br />Imagine being able to 'trap' harmful molecules that are byproducts of coal or oil. <br />Or solar cells that hold photons longer to produce more energy!</p> <p><strong>2) Solid state storage of energy - High Density Packets </strong><br />Imagine billions of people buying high density 'packets' of energy at retail stores. We 'refill' instead of 'plugging into' wall sockets.&nbsp; Or electric vehicles that can be refilled by <em>swapping out</em> 'bricks' of energy in the form of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1010-carbon-based-hydrogen-storage-might-be-on-the-horizon" target="_blank">solid Hydrogen</a>.<br /><br /><strong>The Evolution of MOFs</strong><br />Chemical Engineering &amp; News is <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/87/i02/8702notw4.html" target="_blank">reporting</a> on progress in a very promising class of high surface area materials that can absorb hydrogen and carbon: Metal Organic Frameworks or MOFs.</p> <p>MOFs are highly ordered interconnected 'lego' like structures that have open pores that can selectively absorb molecules. It is a 'sponge' with the highest surface area of all known materials- estimated at several football fields per gram.</p> <p>The problem? Clogged pores.</p> <p>Now, a team led by UCLA's <a href="http://yaghi.chem.ucla.edu/" title="Omar M. Yaghi" target="_blank">Professor Omar M. Yaghi</a>, who synthesized MOFs in mid 1990s at Michigan, has developed a technique using <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercritical_fluid" target="_blank">supercritical fluids</a> that essentially clean out the material leading to a vast network of open holes.</p> <p><strong>What to do next?&nbsp; </strong>Somebody tell Barack Obama to make Molecular Surface Area a National Priority</p> <p><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, energystorage, storage, batteries, electricity, fuelcells, fuel, cells, hydrogen, mofs Garry Golden Thu, 08 Jan 2009 22:19:52 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1527 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1527 A123 seeks funding for Michigan battery plant, but should the US 'leapfrog' into fuel cells & capacitors? <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3312/A123.jpg" alt="A123" />The US continues to play catch up to <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1143-electric-vehicle-industry-going-global-as-korean-firm-invests-in-energy-storage" target="_blank">Asia</a> in manufacturing <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=storage&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">advanced energy storage</a> solutions used in electric vehicles and 'smart grids'.&nbsp; But a more organized US energy storage industry is starting to emerge.</p> <p>Last month a group of battery makers <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1469-us-battery-companies-form-coalition-for-electric-vehicles-playing-catch-up-to-asia" target="_blank">formed a coalition</a> to seek federal support.&nbsp; A week later a group of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1508-us-fuel-cell-council-proposes-1-2-billion-to-support-smart-grid-electric-vehicles" target="_blank">fuel cell makers</a> petitioned Congress for its share of cleantech funding.</p> <p>Now lithium-ion battery start up A123 Systems has <a href="http://www.a123systems.com/news/135" target="_blank">submitted</a> <span>an application to qualify for $1.84 billion in direct loans to support the construction of new </span>world-class battery plant in Michigan.&nbsp; At full operation, A123 expects the combined plants would occupy as much as 7 million square feet and create over 14,000 jobs to <span>supply battery systems for five million hybrid vehicles or half a million plug-in electric vehicles per year by 2013. </span></p> <p><strong>Should the US leapfrog batteries into fuel cells and capacitors? (Continue) <br /></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2013<br />Tags: energy, electricity, batteries, fuelcells, hydrogen, transportation, cars, storage, energystorage Garry Golden Thu, 08 Jan 2009 14:33:56 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1525 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1525 Blacklight Power announces 'Customer No 2' for its novel hydrino energy system <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3304/300blacklightpower.JPG" alt="Blacklight power" style="float: right;" />Most startup energy companies don't expect major media attention when they <a href="http://news.prnewswire.com/ViewContent.aspx?ACCT=109&amp;STORY=/www/story/01-06-2009/0004949472&amp;EDATE=" target="_blank">announce </a>their second commercial deal.</p> <p>Unless of course, your technology is reported to generate energy beyond the scientific paradigms of combustion and nuclear reactions.</p> <p>This is why <a href="http://www.blacklightpower.com/" target="_blank">Blacklight Power</a> has little trouble attracting press and controversy from paradigm bound scientists. &nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier this Fall we <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1081-blacklight-power-claims-independent-verification-of-breakthrough-power-generation-system" target="_blank">reported</a> on the indepdent verification of the company's novel method of capturing energy released when powder containing hydrogen atoms reacts with a catalyst to drop its energy state into <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrino" target="_blank">hydrinos</a>. Then in December Blacklight announced its <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1429-blacklight-power-announces-first-commercial-customer-for-novel-hydrogen-hydrino-energy-system" target="_self">first commercial agreement</a>.</p> <p>Now the company has <a href="http://www.blacklightpower.com/Press%20Releases/BlackLightProcessFarmersPressReleaseFINAL010609.html" target="_blank">Customer No. 2</a>: Farmers' Electric Cooperative, Inc. of New Mexico for a 250 MW power system which could in theory power 250,000 homes.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Related Blacklight posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, blacklight, hydrogen, hydrino, electricity Garry Golden Wed, 07 Jan 2009 23:49:53 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1523 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1523 UK researchers develop carbon neutral hydrogen production method using ethanol <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3292/watermolecules.jpg" alt="hydrogen and oxygen molecules" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Researchers at the University of Aberdeen (UK) have <a href="http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mediareleases/release.php?id=1646" target="_blank">announced</a> a new carbon neutral method of producing hydrogen using ethanol feedstock.</p> <p>The new method could offer an alternative use for bioenergy feedstocks.&nbsp; Instead of transforming biomass (corn stovers, organic waste) into a liquid fuel used in combustion engines, we can now imagine capturing hydrogen bonds from biofeedstocks to use in more efficient fuel cells.</p> <p><strong>Why care about hydrogen?</strong><br />Hydrogen is usually misrepresented by both supporters and cynics.&nbsp; It is neither the 'savior' of Planet Earth, nor is it a 'waste of time'.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Hydrogen is a storage system, not a source of energy.&nbsp; But, what the global economy needs are more breakthroughs in energy storage!&nbsp; (Hint: batteries are not the end game!)</p> <p><strong>Read More: </strong></p> <p><strong>Hydrogen Economy = Electricity Economy = Hydricity Economy?</strong><br />&amp;&nbsp; <strong>UK Researchers give us Carbon Neutral, but leave us dependent on Biomass</strong>:</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2019<br />Tags: energy, hydrogen, electricity, nanotechnology, bioenergy, biofuels Garry Golden Wed, 07 Jan 2009 20:59:58 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1521 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1521 Korea to invest $38 billion in 'New Green Deal', Signaling Asian Middle Class 'Eco' Values Shift <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3286/koreanflag.jpg" height="232" alt="eco flag" style="float: right;" width="237" /></p> <p>Is Asia's expanding middle class closer to reaching a tipping point where modern notions of 'environmentalism' become a key component to improving <em>quality of life</em> factors? Maybe!</p> <p>The Korean government is pushing forward on a massive '<em>Green' </em>New Deal style investment package could create more than 900,000 jobs.</p> <p>The $38 billion investment plan includes: waste to energy power plants, support for 'Green Homes', transportation infrastructure for rail and bicycles, cleaning up polluted river systems, and investments in energy storage technologies used for electric vehicles.</p> <p><strong>Real story = Values Shift up Maslow's Hierarchy<br /></strong>The <em>long view</em> implications of this story go far beyond any actual investments that may or may not turn Korea's attention towards 'cleantech' industries. These projects might already have been planned long before the recent global economic slowdown.&nbsp; And $38 billion is not a lot of money for a 'New Deal'.</p> <p>The real story is the media spin on 'green' and underlying values statement that shows widespread support within Korea for cleantech and eco-friendly ventures.&nbsp; The ripple effect of modern notions of environmentalism (able to address impacts of large scale industrialism, not traditional forms of agricultural living) could begin to challenge the notion of 'growth at any cost' that dominates economic policies around the world in all nations, but especially in emerging economies.</p> <p>Values are very important when it comes to 'cleantech' policies, and there is no evidence that 'environmentalism' as it is viewed in American and European life is a current global phenomenon.&nbsp; There are still several billion people in the world who see 'quality of life' factors as related to jobs, education, home ownership and upward mobility, not planetary health.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>What is driving this value's shift?&nbsp; Economic Growth, not Traditionalism </strong></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, transportation, korea Garry Golden Tue, 06 Jan 2009 22:10:14 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1520 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1520 Smart Grid Infrastructure Startups to Watch in 2009 <p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> 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mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3278/260utilitypole.jpg" alt="dumb grid" style="float: right;" />What might be at the top of the list as the '<em>Next Big Thing</em>' for the energy sector? &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Creating a 'Smart Grid' (<a href="show/972-the-future-of-electricity-a-guide-to-the-smart-grid">Guide</a>) for Electricity that is more resilient, responsive and efficient.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">2009 should be a significant year for investing in the three main ingredients of smart infrastructure: <strong>Software, Sensors &amp; Storage.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">In 2009 we will be watching for major investments made by utiltiies with the help of 'smart grid' startups and incumbents capable of transforming how we manage, distribute and store electrons:<strong> <br /></strong></p> <p>1) <a href="http://www.gridpoint.com/" target="_blank">Gridpoint<br /></a>2)<span> </span><a href="http://www.comverge.com/," target="_blank">Comverge<br /></a>3) <a href="http://www.bplglobal.net/eng/index.aspx" target="_blank"><span class="caps">BPL</span> Global</a> (Better Power Lines)<br />4) <a href="http://www.enernoc.com/" target="_blank">Enernoc<br /></a>5) <a href="http://www.enerwise.com/" target="_blank">Enerwise<br /></a>6) <a href="http://www.trilliantnetworks.com/">Trilliant Networks<br /></a>7) <a href="http://www.silverspringnetworks.com/" target="_blank">Silver Spring Networks</a> &ndash; <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/998-kleiner-invests-in-smart-grid-startup-big-grid-prepares-for-disruptions-ahead">Kleiner Perkins investment<br /></a>8) <a href="http://www.tendrilinc.com/">Tendril<br /></a>9) <a href="http://www.smartsynch.com/">SmartSynch<br /></a>10)<a href="http://www.itron.com/"> Itron<br /></a>11) <a href="http://sequentric.com/">Sequentric</a>&nbsp;<br />12) <a href="http://www.enerwise.com/index.php">Eka Systems</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Other notable sensor and systems startups:&nbsp; </strong><a href="http://www.energyhub.net/Home.html"><br />Energy Hub</a>, <a href="http://www.gainspan.com/">GainSpan</a> (Embedded Systems), <a href="http://www.getgreenbox.com/">GreenBox</a>, <a href="http://www.emeter.com/">eMeter</a> (Enterprise)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Incumbents to Watch: </strong><br /><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1107-ge-s-ecomagination-strategy-involves-energy-storage-30m-investment-in-a123-systems">General Electric</a>, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1367-ibm-expands-partnerships-for-smart-grid-software-sensors-storage-can-transform-utility-sector">IBM</a>, Honeywell, and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-">Johnson Controls</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2009<br />Tags: energy, electricity, smartgrid, grid, infrastructure, obama Garry Golden Mon, 05 Jan 2009 15:55:22 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1515 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1515 Moore's Law, Materials Science & The Future of Energy <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3264/260energyshapes.jpg" alt="energy shapes" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>We are not going to '<em>consume</em>' ourselves into a future global economy driven by clean energy technologies.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have to <em>build it using </em>new scientific knowledge based on nanoscale interactions of light and molecules&nbsp; mostly- carbon, hydrogen, oxygen reacting to metals and enzymes.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Energy = Interactions</strong><br />Creating 'clean energy' means using materials that make these molecular interactions that capture and release energy more efficient and less wasteful.</p> <p>While consumers might be the ones who get the credit for changing behavior, the real heros of our cleantech energy future will be people involved in chemistry, biology, physics and materials engineering.</p> <p>And the good news is that these scientists are increasingly turning to advanced computers and simulation software to accelerate the development of energy related materials!</p> <p><strong>Computational Power &amp; Materials Science</strong> - <strong>Recent Examples for Materials Science&nbsp; </strong></p><br />Category: Science<br />Year: 2014<br />Tags: energy, electricity, materials, hydrogen, solar, hydrogenstorage, batteries Garry Golden Fri, 02 Jan 2009 22:23:40 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1509 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1509 US Fuel Cell Council proposes $1.2 billion to support Smart Grid & Electric Vehicles <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3260/260nissanfuelcell.jpg" alt="Fuel cell" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.usfcc.com" target="_blank">US Fuel Cell Council</a> is now lobbying Congress for more than a billion dollar investment to accelerate America's manufacturing position around this important piece of the future energy sector.</p> <p><strong>Energy Storage - Sprint vs Marthon</strong><br /> Even though <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1469-us-battery-companies-form-coalition-for-electric-vehicles-playing-catch-up-to-asia" target="_blank">Asia appears to have won</a> the sprint towards next generation 'batteries', the US could regain its position in energy storage and conversion around the marathon race towards fuel cells.</p> <p>Fuel cells convert chemical energy (e.g. hydrogen, methanol, natural gas) into electricity.&nbsp; They can be used for stationary power to reinforce the electrical grid with onsite generation, or to power portable devices and electric vehicles.</p> <p><strong>Fuel cells are not Dead</strong>, <strong>just Misunderstood<br /></strong>There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty and skepticism towards fuel cells among eco and energy bloggers.&nbsp; The technology fell victim to the '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle" target="_blank">Hype Cycle</a>' after the Dotcom Bust in 2000, but the energy conversion platform has been making steady progress in recent years. Their long term advantages in terms of cost per kilowatt, performance durability, scalable modular manufacturing are still complelling reasons to support fuel cells as alternatives to batteries and combustion engines.</p> <p><strong>USFCC's Recommendations:</strong> <br />Now, the USFCC believes the invesment could create an estimated 24,000 jobs and is recommending funds for: Deploying Fuel Cells ($100 Million), Supporting a Fueling Infrastructure ($65 million), improving Federal Fuel Cell Investment Tax Incentives, expanding applied Learning Demonstrations ($375 Million) building foundation for American Manufacturing Capacity ($100 Million), accelerating Research in Partnership with Industry ($350 Million), investing in Fuel Cell Transit ($180 Million) and including Fuel Cells in President-Elect Obama&lsquo;s Energy Initiative.</p> <p>Related posts on <strong>The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2012<br />Tags: transportation, car, electriccars, cars, batteries, fuelcells, hydrogen Garry Golden Fri, 02 Jan 2009 18:52:44 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1508 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1508 Top Energy Stories of 2008: #10 Emerging Energy Missionaries & Visionaries <p>By <a href="../public_blog_post/joelg" target="_blank">Joel Greenberg</a></p> <p>Putting a face to energy&nbsp; happened in a big way in 2008.&nbsp; From T-Boone Pickens' full court press promoting his <a href="http://www.pickensplan.com/act/">Picken's Plan</a> for wind energy and natural gas to <a href="http://www.betterplace.com/an-innovative-company/leadership-team/">Shai Agassi</a> coming of age with his <a href="http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-09/ff_agassi?currentPage=all">Wired cover story</a> promoting his electric vehicle infrastructure company <a href="http://www.betterplace.com/">Better Place</a>, energy technology became humanized.&nbsp; And what do you do for an encore once you've cracked the Human Genome?&nbsp; Ask scientist<a href="http://www.jcvi.org/cms/about/bios/jcventer/"> Craig Venter</a> and he'll tell you it's using algae to<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/26/AR2006022600932_pf.html"> create bio fuels</a> that replace oil.&nbsp; He's hoping to have something on the market in five years.</p> <p>Could personality be the thing that takes a vital, but dry industry from infrastructure to top of mind in the eyes of customers?</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3086/TERM-visionaries.jpg" alt="Energy Visionaries" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Continue with Top Energy Stories of 2008</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: biofuels, venter, shai, agassi, t, boone, pickens, plan joelg Tue, 16 Dec 2008 17:05:32 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1448 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1448 Top Science Breakthroughs in 2008: Novel Energy Systems <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3246/edisonsign.jpg" alt="Edison Light" /></p> <p>"Whether you think you can, or that you can&rsquo;t, you are usually right." - <a href="http://www.quoteworld.org/quotes/4834http://www.quoteworld.org/quotes/4834" target="_self">Henry Ford</a></p> <p>The worst thing we can do when thinking about the future of energy is to look at possible solutions and simply extrapolate today's technologies and scientific assumptions forward about what 'is' or 'isn't possible'.</p> <p>There is still a lot we do not know about the basics of energy systems dealing with photons, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, enzymes and metals.&nbsp; Our current first phase efforts to design nanoscale materials used in energy production, conversion and storage are certain to yield systems that will change how we live in the world in the decades ahead.</p> <p>Remember, only a century ago, coal and wood were king, magical 'electric' light intimidated the general public, only a few could see the potential of oil, rockets and nuclear science were beyond our imagination, and the vision of a tens of millions of 'horseless carriages' reshaping the urban landscape was a ridiculous proposition.</p> <p>So what seemingly novel ideas could shape the next century?</p> <p><strong>List of 10+ Novel Energy Stories from 2008:</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, hydrogen, electricity, nanotechnology, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, electrons Garry Golden Mon, 29 Dec 2008 23:27:13 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1503 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1503 Top Energy Stories of 2008: #9 Infrastructure Gains Attention <p>By <a href="2008 Top Energy Stories: Emerging Energy Missionaries &amp; Visionaries " target="_blank">Joel Greenberg</a></p> <p>The <em>'Big Grid</em>' is based upon a mass distribution model from the 1930's and technology from even earlier.&nbsp; But industry and the Department of Energy are beginning to develop standards to transform the Big Grid into the Smart Grid so that it can handle renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, distributed energy generation, demand side managment, and information about it all. The sale of electric vehicle charging technology company <a href="http://www.v2green.com/">V2Green</a> to Smart Grid technology company <a href="http://www.gridpoint.com/">GridPoint</a> marks the beginning of a market where hi-tech geeks meet energy geeks.&nbsp;</p> <p>Could there be a collision of paradigms between geeks who've grown up under Moore's law and those whose basic technology hasn't changed in 70 years?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3080/TERM-Infrastrcture.jpg" alt="TERM-Infrastrcture.jpg" /></p> <p>Photo courtesy <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradto/426955948/">Bradley Woods</a>.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: infrastructure, big, smart, grid joelg Tue, 16 Dec 2008 16:32:15 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1447 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1447 Report explores energy technology roadmap for Low Carbon Economy <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3228/300worldenergyreport.JPG" height="298" alt="lowcarbon" style="float: right;" width="230" /></p> <p>'<em>The New Energy Economy</em>' is the latest policy buzz word being used to describe the vision of a future global economy that runs on clean, abundant energy systems.</p> <p>The incentives to accelerate this cleantech future are growing.&nbsp; Beyond issues of climate change, there are increasing concerns about <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1439-shocking-interview-with-iea-chief-economist-peak-oil-production-plateau-possible-by-2020" target="_blank">accelerating resource depletion</a> and 'peak' production of key resources as the world adds 3 billion people and doubles energy consumption by 2050. Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates that <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1439-shocking-interview-with-iea-chief-economist-peak-oil-production-plateau-possible-by-2020" target="_blank">peak oil production</a> could occur as soon as 2020.</p> <p>The 'new energy economy' will require leaps in performance with new forms of energy production and storage systems.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Nothing is likely to happen quickly as the transition takes decades to unfold.&nbsp; And while our dependency on fossil fuels is likely to continue through mid-century, big changes are ahead.</p> <p><strong>World Watch Energy Report</strong><br />The World Watch has released a report (<a href="http://www.worldwatch.org/press/prerelease/EWP178.pdf" target="_blank">PDF</a>) looking at a roadmap towards a lower carbon economy based on a wide range of new energy systems.</p> <p>"We are on the verge of an energy revolution," says Flavin. "With strong political leadership, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use policy and technology innovation to stave off the greatest human-caused threat our planet has seen."</p> <p>World Watch believes that 'these new energy sources will make it possible to retire hundreds of coal-fired power plants that now provide 40 percent of the world's power by 2030, eliminating up to one-third of global carbon dioxide emissions while creating millions of new jobs.'</p> <p><strong>The report's roadmap includes:</strong></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, electricity, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen, solar, wind Garry Golden Sun, 28 Dec 2008 22:06:27 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1500 Top Energy Science Breakthroughs in 2008 for Materials Science <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3224/536siliconlionbattery.jpg" height="260" alt="silicon lithium battery" width="536" /></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">How do you build an 'sustainable' economy for 9 billion people?&nbsp; <br /><br />Reinvent how we make, recycle and re-use metals, wood, glass, plastic and biomaterials that go into everyday products.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Who can enable the 'new energy economy'?&nbsp; Our bet is on the Scientist, not the Consumer.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">While some get excited over 'green products' like solar powered backpacks, better lightbulbs and organic cotton yoga mats, most notions of 'eco-friendly' products fall drastically short of what will be needed to meet the demands of adding another 3 billion people to the planet by 2050.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">We need to reinvent the whole concept of 'Industrialism' to create new methods for producing materials using less energy and 'resources' in fundamentally new ways.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>List of 2008 Stories in Energy Materials Science</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2009<br />Tags: energy, materials, nanotechnology, chemistry, electricity, solar, biofuels Garry Golden Sat, 27 Dec 2008 22:47:59 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1497 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1497 Top Energy Stories of 2008: #7 Geeks Go Green <p>By <a href="http://www.memebox.com/futureblogger/public_blog_post/joelg">Joel Greenberg</a></p> <p>Geeks look at the Big Grid and it reminds them of the old main frame computer days.&nbsp; They look at the auto industry and and see rust.&nbsp; So, they'll change it themselves.&nbsp; Through their <a href="http://www.google.com/corporate/green/energy/">RE&lt;C program</a>, Google is funding renewable energy companies with the goal of generating 1 gigawatt of energy at a price less than coal.&nbsp; <a href="www.appliedmaterials.com">Applied Materials</a> has joined Google as high tech leaders that are covering their rooftops and <a href="http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/story?id=53638">parking garages </a>with solar panels.&nbsp; Former Intel CEO Andy Grove <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/12/andy-grove-pushing-intel-to-manufacture-electric-car-batteries/">challenges</a> his old company to get into batteries for electric vehicles.&nbsp; Silicon Valley VC legends <a href="http://www.khoslaventures.com/">Vinod Khosla</a> and <a href="http://www.kpcb.com/team/index.php?John%20Doerr">John Doer</a> fund cleantech companies.</p> <p>Can these hi-tech leaders find success that scales in a business where there's no Moore's Law?</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3088/TERM-GeeksGoGreen.jpg" alt="Geeks Go Green: Google fires up it's rechargeIT and RE&lt;C programs" /></p> <p>Photo courtesy Google.</p> <p><strong>Top Energy Stories of 2008:</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: green, geeks, energy, list, infrastructure, grid, transportation, cars joelg Tue, 16 Dec 2008 17:35:30 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1450 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1450 Toshiba opens lithium ion battery plant, Asia holding advantage in energy storage systems <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3216/Toshibabattery.JPG" alt="Toshiba li ion" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>While US and European leaders <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1469-us-battery-companies-form-coalition-for-electric-vehicles-playing-catch-up-to-asia" target="_blank">debate investments</a> in clean tech energy platforms, Asia continues to advance its <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1143-electric-vehicle-industry-going-global-as-korean-firm-invests-in-energy-storage" target="_blank">first mover advantage in energy storage.&nbsp; </a></p> <p>Toshiba Corporation has <a href="http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2008_12/pr2401.htm" target="_blank">announced </a>plans to construct a new production facility for its safe, long-life rapid charge SCiB battery to meet expected demand for industrial and automotive applications from 2010 on. The company also announced plans to expand production of high efficiency motors at a Vietnam based factory.</p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=energy+storage&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">Energy storage</a> is going to be a major growth area within the 'new energy economy'.&nbsp; Batteries are expected to be the dominate platform in the years ahead, but fuel cells and capacitors could soon emerge from the bottom of the '<a href="http://www.gartner.com/pages/story.php.id.8795.s.8.jsp" target="_blank">Hype Cycle</a>' with actual commercial products.</p> <p>Toshiba estimates that the market for lithium-ion batteries for industrial and automotive applications to reach sales of 1.7 trillion yen (approximately US$19 billion) worldwide in fiscal year 2015.</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, batteries, fuel, cells, micropowersystems Garry Golden Fri, 26 Dec 2008 18:35:33 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1493 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1493 Penn State researchers advance cellulosic biofuels <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3212/250pennstatepoplartree.jpg" alt="Penn State biofuels" style="float: right;" />Penn State University understands that the future of cleantech and the 'new energy economy' comes down to advancing the fundmantals of chemistry, biology and materials science.&nbsp;</p> <p>The University has become a powerhouse for cleantech research and its scientists are pushing the limits of performance around next generation solar cells, fuel cells and cleaner hydrocarbons.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now researchers have made a breakthrough related to the breadown of ligin that can be used to lower the cost of cellulosic based biofuels, and change the feedstock industry.</p> <p><strong>Rethinking the breakdown of Ligin</strong><br />Lignin is a key piece of cellular walls in woody plant material. Breaking it down to access the energy of chemical bonds in the plant material is one of the great barriers to cost effective cellulosic biofuels.&nbsp;</p> <p>"There is lots of energy-rich cellulose locked away in wood," said <a href="http://www.sfr.cas.psu.edu/FACULTY/carlson.htm" target="_blank">John Carlson</a>, professor of molecular genetics, Penn State. "But separating this energy from the wood to make ethanol is a costly process requiring high amounts of heat and caustic chemicals. Moreover, <a href="http://live.psu.edu/story/34008" target="_blank">fungal enzymes</a> that attack lignin are not yet widely available, still in the development stage, and not very efficient in breaking up lignin."</p> <p><strong>Bean gene + Poplar Tree + Enzyme</strong> <br />Researchers inserted a gene from beans into a poplar tree that inserts a protein between two lignin molecules when the lignin polymer is created.<br /> <br /> "Now we have a lignin polymer with a protein stuck in between," explained Carlson "When that occurs, it creates a type of lignin that is not much different in terms of strength than normal lignin, but we can break open the lignin polymer by using enzymes that attack proteins rather than enzymes that attack lignin."</p> <p>These enzymes that attack proteins are already used widely in the laundry detergent industry and are commercially readily available, added Carlson.&nbsp; The genetic modification does not appear to weaken the plants or the crop production.<br /> <br /> The easy to breakdown ligin variation may also have major implications for agriculture and livestock industries:</p><br />Category: Biotechnology<br />Year: 2019<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Fri, 26 Dec 2008 17:27:45 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1492 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1492 Top Energy Science Breakthroughs in 2008: Batteries, Fuel Cells and Capacitors <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3208/A123.jpg" alt="A123 Battery" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> 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mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p>Let's think beyond simply trying to find new ways to produce more energy, and focus on ways of storing energy.&nbsp; Why?&nbsp; Because this expands ways for us to produce more energy!&nbsp; Confused?&nbsp;</p> <p>Solar and wind alone are a hard sell to utility providers because of intermittent production when the sun isn't shining or wind doesn't blow.&nbsp; Add utility scale storage to solar and wind farms, and you have a more valuable proposition.</p> <p>Battery powered cars sound great, but not if we have to plug in our vehicles every 50 or 100 miles. Or what about a new iPhone with a battery that cannot last the entire day.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=storage&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">written dozens of posts on energy storage</a> and believe it deserves much more attention from the media and policy leaders. &nbsp; 2009 could be a turning point for awareness around the importance of enabling next generation batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>List of 20+ Energy Breakthroughs in Batteries, Fuel cells, and Capacitors<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;"><br /></span></strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, research, top10, list, science, hydrogen, fuelcells, batteries Garry Golden Wed, 24 Dec 2008 23:13:46 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1491 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1491 Top Energy Stories of 2008: #5 The Dying Gasp of Corn Ethanol <p>By Joel Greenbeg</p> <p>As the debate raged on whether the high price of corn affected the high price of food worldwide, the tide has turned against the Corn Lobby that advocates using a monoculture of corn to fuel our vehicles.&nbsp; The interest in celullosic ethanol rises as corn-based company <a href="http://www.ketv.com/news/18281420/detail.html">Verasun fails</a>.</p> <p>How will the corn lobby fight back as the tide turns away from corn?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3072/TERM-CornEthanol.jpg" alt="TERM-CornEthanol.jpg" /></strong></p> <p>Photo courtesy <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chicanerii/2099966460/">stevelyon</a></p> <p><strong>Top Ten Energy Stories 2008</strong> (Continue)</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: ethanol joelg Tue, 16 Dec 2008 05:39:54 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1445 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1445 Space Program Reinvigorated with Expansive Space-based Solar Energy Policy <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:DoNotOptimizeForBrowser /> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--></p> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3202/c.jpg" height="409" alt="c.jpg" width="437" /></p> <p>Many people will say that pursuing a<span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;"> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_satellite">space-based solar power</a> </span></span>energy campaign is too ambitious, that there are more immediate solutions to get us through our economic/energy crisis until a time when spaced-aged, science fiction-inspired future tech can be safely explored further.&nbsp; They might say that we already have a head start with nuclear, oil and coal, as well as other greener alternatives like wind, water and Earthbound solar.&nbsp; They would be dead wrong.<span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">&nbsp; <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiU9MibyBJ0">The truth is...</a></span></span></p><br />Category: Technology<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: alternative, energy, solar, power, space, based, panels, satellites, jaxa, nasa, nss, nsso, obama, environmental, solutions, green Adam Cutsinger Wed, 24 Dec 2008 00:23:37 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1486 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1486 EEStor receives patent for revolutionary electric energy storage device <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3196/mardenlightning.jpg" alt="lightning" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Could a box full of electrons change the energy industry?</p> <p>Texas-based stealth energy storage company <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEStor" target="_blank">EEStor</a> is making news again on the blogosphere now that it has received a patent for its ground breaking capacitor that might find use in electric vehicles, utility grids or high performance portable devices.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Why is this important for the auto industry? <br /></strong>The key to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles is to advance energy storage devices. Batteries and fuel cells hold electricity using chemical storage, while capacitors store energy as a charge between two plates.</p> <p>Designing a low cost, high performance capacitor has been a challenge for energy innovators. But EEStor believes its material platform of barium-titanate ceramic powder (94%) mixed with PET plastic could be the right combination.</p> <p>The EEStor patent reveals a 281 pound storage device with more than 30,000 plates that can hold 52 kWh of electrical energy.</p> <p>The company has an agreement with electric vehicle maker Zenn and Lockheed for military applications, but has intentionally kept a low profile.&nbsp; Its effort to remain under the radar of media attention, has in turn created a lot of energy blogger hype.</p> <p><strong>Batteries, fuel cells and capacitors - Not one device rules them all! </strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, transportation, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, fuelcells, capacitors Garry Golden Tue, 23 Dec 2008 00:37:39 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1485 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1485 List of 50 Hottest Biofuel companies from 2008 <p><a href="http://biofuelsdigest.com/blog2/2008/12/22/the-hottest-50-companies-in-bioenergy/" target="_blank">Biofuels Digest </a>has released its list of of 'Hottest' Biofuel companies based on research or production achievements in 2008.&nbsp; The analyst panel votes were weighted by industry and region 'to ensure a fair and broad representation of companies and technologies.'</p> <p>"Innovation in renewable energy is gaining speed," said <a href="http://biofuelsdigest.com/blog2/author/administrator/" target="_blank">Jim Lane</a>, editor and publisher of Biofuels Digest. "A slew of advanced bioenergy systems are coming to market from some of the brightest biologists, chemists, agronomists and engineers in the world. These companies are the hottest of the hot."</p> <p><strong>Top Ten includes:</strong></p> <p>1. Coskata<br /> 2. Sapphire Energy<br /> 3. Virent Energy Systems<br /> 4. POET<br /> 5. Range Fuels<br /> 6. Solazyme<br /> 7. Amyris Biotechnologies<br /> 8. Mascoma<br /> 9. DuPont Danisco<br /> 10. UOP</p> <p>Other notables include: <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1028-investors-betting-on-biological-future-for-biofuels-we-can-grow-energy-" target="_blank">Novozymes</a> (#14), <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1336-sunethanol-is-now-qteros-cellulosic-startup-raises-25-million-to-focus-on-next-generation-biofuels" target="_blank">Qteros</a> (#15), <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1405-growing-energy-craig-venter-team-advances-synthetic-biology-and-genome-assembly" target="_blank">Synthetic Genomics</a> (#19), LS9 (#25),</p> <p><strong>Related posts on the future of bioenergy on The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2010<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Mon, 22 Dec 2008 15:47:32 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1481 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1481 Top Science Breakthroughs in 2008: Solar Energy <!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3176/thesun.jpg" alt="The Sun" /></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">To reach a point where our global economy can rely on solar driven energy production, we need to continue making major breakthroughs in fundamantal science.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">We still know relatively little about the fundamentals of photosynthesis and how we might replicate the process in materials used to turn energy from the sun into 'clean electrons and molecules'.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Sunlight can be used to capture photons for heat (solar thermal), electricity (photovoltaics) or direct hydrogen production.&nbsp; We are looking at ways of capturing solar energy in silicon and carbon based materials, and also using molecular machines inside of algae and bacteria.&nbsp; We must also find a way to store solar energy efficiently and at a low cost.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong>List of 11 Solar Energy Breakthroughs in 2008</strong></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, solar, thinfilm, electricity, nanotechnology, thermal, hydrogen Garry Golden Mon, 22 Dec 2008 04:59:56 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1478 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mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3178/536ecoli.jpg" alt="Ecoli" /></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">2008 was a big year for science breakthroughs on next generation bioenergy solutions.&nbsp; And that is a good thing for the future of energy.&nbsp; <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">The modern economy runs on ancient bioenergy.</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;"> Coal is ancient biomass, oil is likely ancient microbes.&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">So why not tap the power of biology to &lsquo;grow energy&rsquo; resources. </span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Forget about corn ethanol, the future taps the power of microorganisms not plants. </span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Next generation solutions such as algae and bacteria &lsquo;eat&rsquo; carbon to produce biofuels, or use sunlight to produce hydrogen.&nbsp; Looking beyond 2015, we can imagine real breakthroughs in the field of Synthetic Biology that could change how we look at energy and carbon solutions.&nbsp; </span></p> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <mce:style><! /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--> <p><strong><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">List of Bioenergy Science Breakthroughs in 2008</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: normal;"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> 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mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} --> <!--[endif]--></p> <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF /> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark /> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp /> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables /> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx /> <w:Word11KerningPairs /> <w:CachedColBalance /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math" /> <m:brkBin m:val="before" /> <m:brkBinSub m:val=" " /> <m:smallFrac m:val="off" /> <m:dispDef /> <m:lMargin m:val="0" /> <m:rMargin m:val="0" /> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup" /> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440" /> <m:intLim m:val="subSup" /> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr" /> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]--></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, bioenergy, biofuels, algae, cellulosic, ethanol, hydrogen Garry Golden Mon, 22 Dec 2008 04:11:42 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1476 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1476 Top Energy Stories of 2008: #3 The Obama Election <p>By <a href="../public_blog_post/joelg" target="_blank">Joel Greenberg</a></p> <p>Barack Obama's energy platform included goals for renewable energy, higher automoative gas mileage standards, support for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and targets for energy efficiency of homes...and that's just to start.&nbsp; With the recent announcement of Nobel laureate and now former head of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Steven Chu as Energy Secretary, Obama's administration can be the catalyst that makes alternative energy markets viable.</p> <p>Will the Obama administration be successful in making the energy changes he promised in the election?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3068/TERM-Obama.jpg" alt="Obama's Energy Plan" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Continue Reading other <b>Top Energy Stories of 2008</b></p><br />Category: Technology<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: obama, election, energy, electricity, solar, coal joelg Tue, 16 Dec 2008 05:14:36 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1443 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1443 MIT develops innovative pilot wave power plant in Portugal <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3174/536MITWave.JPG" alt="MIT Wave Power" /></p> <p>MIT researchers are working with a Portuguese group to design a pilot-scale device that will capture significantly more of the energy in ocean waves than existing systems.&nbsp; The pilot plant will generate 750 kilowatts, roughly enough to power 750 homes.</p> <p>Professor <a href="http://web.mit.edu/ccmei/www/" target="_blank">Chiang Mei</a> and his colleagues have developed model simulations that can predict wave forces and guide design decisions to convert the captured mechanical energy to electrical energy.</p> <p>"Given the future of conventional energy sources, we need lots of research on all kinds of alternative energy," Mei says. "Right now, wind energy and solar energy are in the spotlight because they've been developed for a longer time. With wave energy, the potential is large, but the engineering science is relatively young. We need to do more research."</p> <p><strong>Related posts on </strong><strong>The Energy Roadmap.com</strong></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, wave, electricity, ocean Garry Golden Fri, 19 Dec 2008 23:38:25 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1475 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1475 Rice University licenses bioengineered E Coli that produces key ingredient for biomaterials <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3172/250EscherichiaColi.jpg" alt="Ecoli" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The vision of '<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_chemistry" target="_blank">Green Chemisty</a>' is to create the basic components used in making materials, energy, food and pharmaceuticals using sustainable practices, often without the use of petroleum based feedstocks.&nbsp;</p> <p>Rice University researchers have bio-engineered Ecoli to produce large amounts of a key component used in the development of bio-based and biodegradable polymers.</p> <p><strong>What happened?</strong><br />Raw (starch) materials provider <a href="http://www.roquette.com/" target="_blank">Roquette Fr&egrave;res</a> has licensed a bio-process from Rice University to use genetically engineered Ecoli that produce large quantities of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succinic_acid" target="_blank">succinic acid</a> used in plastics, textiles, drugs and solvents and as a food additive.</p> <p>The high volume process is competitive with petroleum based processes, and actually 'carbon negative' as it consumes carbon during the fermenation process.</p> <p>Roquette Fr&egrave;res is not a household brand, but could go a long way in realizing a scalable way to produce bio-based succinic acid from renewable resources via &ldquo;green&rdquo; chemistry.</p> <p>Roquette will develop a demonstration plant in France by the end of 2009 with the capacity to produce several hundred metric tons of succinic acid per year.&nbsp;&nbsp; After successful demonstration of the technology, the company expects to begin large-scale production by 2011.</p><br />Category: Biotechnology<br />Year: 2011<br />Tags: energy, materials, nanotechnology, chemistry Garry Golden Fri, 19 Dec 2008 22:36:03 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1472 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1472 US battery companies form coalition for electric vehicles, playing catch up to Asia <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3164/260electricplugin.jpg" alt="electric car plug in stupid" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>American Industrial leaders might be ready to reinvest in the country's industrial capacity to innovate and manufacture components needed to reinvent the energy and auto industries.</p> <p>The keys to electric vehicles are <b>electric motors</b>, <b>energy storage systems</b> (batteries, fuel cells and capacitors) and drive by wire systems.&nbsp;</p> <p>The US has now formed a new coalition to pursue the biggest prize: Energy Storage!</p> <p><b>Pride or Profits? <br />US playing catch up with Asian <br /></b>What if electric cars didn't bring America and Europe 'energy independence'?&nbsp; The public relations failure of trading 'foreign oil for foreign batteries', has motivated US business leaders to form a coalition to seek federal funding for securing a domestic battery industry.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The Chicago-baesd National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture will include 14 companies and the US DOE's Argonne National Laboratory. 'T<span id="articleBody">he Alliance' will be modeled around <a href="http://www.sematech.org/" target="_blank">Sematech</a> which helped the U.S. semiconductor indutsry play catch up to Asian manufacturers in the late 1980s</span></p> <p>The founding members of the Alliance include 3M, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1340-could-johnson-controls-be-the-greenest-company-of-the-future-" target="_blank">Johnson Controls</a>, ActaCell, All Cell Technologies, Altair Nanotechnologies, Dontech Global, EaglePicher Corporation, EnerSys, Envia Systems, FMC, MicroSun Technologies, Mobius Power, SiLyte, Superior Graphite, and Townsend Advanced Energy.</p> <p><b>Short term vs Long view of 'Electric'</b><br />We have been writing for several months about the <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1143-electric-vehicle-industry-going-global-as-korean-firm-invests-in-energy-storage" target="_blank">globalization of electric vehicle industry</a>, and Asia's early lead in the first energy storage device lithium ion batteries.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have also suggest that the 'car is not an iPod', and that 'pluggin in' battery systems are not the default future of electric vehicles.&nbsp; It is not certain that batteries can solve the energy storage problem.</p> <p>Ask a lawyer or engineer if there is something wrong with this <i>plug in</i> picture!</p> <p>Instead, next generation vehicles will <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1302-what-powers-the-car-of-tomorrow-batteries-or-hydrogen-fuel-cells-hint-both-" property="dc:title">integrate batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and capacitors</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp; But industry leaders, politicians and the public seem only ready to take one step at a time, and for now talk is focused on first generation storage of batteries. So we will crawl instead of leap into the future.</p> <p><b>Related posts on the <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1272-the-future-of-the-us-auto-industry" target="_blank">future of electric vehicles</a></b></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: 2016<br />Tags: energy, car, cars, transportation, electriccars, batteries, hydrogen, fuelcells Garry Golden Fri, 19 Dec 2008 15:13:39 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1469 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1469 France's EDF outbids Buffet for nuclear power utility Constellation Energy <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3162/nucleartower.jpg" alt="Nuclear Power Plant Byron Station" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Nuclear power has not stopped being controversial in the US, but global industry leaders still see America as a market for growth in electricity generation. &nbsp;</p> <p>There are enormous challenges ahead for revitalizing support for nuclear power, but if the US does restart its nuclear power program, it will not do it alone.&nbsp; And it's possible that pressure could be strongest from companies based outside the US.&nbsp; Aside from flat public support, there is a notable lack of human engineering talent in the US. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><b>France invests in US power generation market<br /></b>Now we have a new player in the nuclear industry.&nbsp; France's <a href="France to spend millions on electric vehicles" target="_blank">utility giant EdF</a> has <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&amp;sid=amcuDyKd38C0&amp;refer=home" target="_blank">outbid</a> Warren Buffet's <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/956-warren-buffet-invests-in-chinese-battery-electric-car-maker" target="_blank">MidAmerican Energy<span class="caps"></span></a> to buy Baltimore-based Constellation Energy which has a nuclear power generation heavy portfolio.&nbsp; EDF will invest $1 billion in Constellation, and up to $2 billion for non-nuclaer power plant investments.</p> <p>Buffet did not walk away empty handed from his earlier effort to buy Constellation, and has doubled his money in less than a year as he retains a 9% stake and $593 million in cash.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is a significant investment by France's EDF in the US power generation market, and could be a milestone in the new battle for public support for nuclear power.</p> <p><i>[It should be noted that, aside from all the legacy controversy issues, nuclear energy is NOT a substitute for oil or liquid fuels.&nbsp; Nuclear plants produce electricity and we cannot fill combustion engines with electrons.&nbsp; So the argument that nuclear energy provides for 'energy independence' falls flat.]</i></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2014<br />Tags: energy, electricity, nuclear, france, edf Garry Golden Fri, 19 Dec 2008 14:27:33 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1468 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1468 Accelerating the Auto Industry's Convergence with Energy & Software <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3158/260allspicecars.jpg" alt="Combustion Engine Cars" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The auto industry is going through a long painful transition that will take decades to unfold.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Why be optimistic about the future?</p> <p>Because the two most profound industry shifts are wonderful platforms for growth and changing the world.</p> <p>The Auto Industry is converging with the world of energy storage and software.</p> <p>While we cannot ignore the short term pains, we should not lose sight of the opportunities ahead.</p> <p>First, the pain.&nbsp; In the past three days: Toyota has <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/toyota-mississippi-prius-plant-delayed.php" target="_blank">delayed plans </a>to build a Prius factory in Missiissipi, GM said that the Volt <a href="http://earth2tech.com/2008/12/17/gm-suspends-volt-engine-plant-construction/" target="_blank">will not have its own factory</a> as it taps existing plants, and Norway's darling electric car maker <a href="http://earth2tech.com/2008/12/16/norways-electric-car-maker-think-in-jeopardy/" target="_blank">struggling to stay alive</a>.&nbsp; Meanwhile suppliers and car dealerships are close to failing all over world.</p> <p><b>What went wrong?<br /></b>Everyone has their own reasons for why automakers are failing: Labor costs, oil, management, credit markets, et al. All have valid points. And, obviously there are multiple problems, not one issue.</p> <p>But I have a very different theory and set of presriptions.</p> <p>The problem isn't oil, it's the combustion engine and its legacy liabilties of intensive manufacturing, limited design and obsession with 'new car' sales paradigm.</p> <p><b>Our great opportunity?</b><br />The problem is based on how we build and sell cars, not how we fuel them.&nbsp; So let's focus on the platform of a post-combustion engine era of mobility.</p> <p>How do we get there? You cannot summon the future on demand with band-aid solutions, you must enable it and wait for it to change.<br /><br />Our priority should be to enable a multi-decade long transition that changes how cars are bought, sold, driven and upgraded.</p> <p><b>21st Century Vehicles: Focus on Wheel-based Electric Motors, Energy Storage and Software</b><b>... </b></p><br />Category: Transportation<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, car, cars, transportation, electriccars, batteries, hydrogen, fuelcells Garry Golden Thu, 18 Dec 2008 17:25:19 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1465 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1465 Chinese researchers develop platinum-free fuel cell <p><a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21838/?nlid=1585&amp;a=f" target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3156/alkalinefuelcell.jpg" alt="alkaline fuel cell" style="float: right;" />MIT Technology Review</a> has featured a research breakthrough in <i>platinum free </i>fuel cells that could significantly reduce costs for a unique type of fuel cell energy conversion devices.</p> <p>A Wuhan University team led by Professor <a href="http://www.zhuang.whu.edu.cn/index.htm" target="_blank">Lin Zhuang</a> has developed an Alkaline Fuel Cell (AFC) using a new <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxyl" target="_blank">hydroxyl ion</a> electrolyte that uses low cost nickel catalyst materials to react hydrogen and oxygen to create electrical current, heat and water.</p> <p>NASA has used <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline_fuel_cell" target="_blank">alkaline fuel cells</a> (AFC) in space missions since the 1960s, but these types of fuel cells are not likely to be used in automobile or portable devices.&nbsp; They might best be suited for onsite power generation, which is still an enormous market. AFCs use a water-based electrolye that lets postive charged molecules pass, diverting negative charges into the current.&nbsp; They are very efficient (up to 70%) but do have their downsides.&nbsp; If the team of researchers can increase the protoype's 'modest' electricity output (50 milliwatts/sq centimeter at 60 &ordm;C) it could help bring low cost alkaline fuel cells to market. <br /><br /><b>Why is this important to the future of energy?</b> <br /><b>Understanding Fuel Cells &amp; The Hype Cycle</b></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2018<br />Tags: energy, fuelcells, materials, chemistry, catalysts Garry Golden Thu, 18 Dec 2008 15:25:41 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1463 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1463 Top Energy Stories of 2008: #2 The Year of Scientific Breakthroughs <p>By <a href="../public_blog_post/joelg" target="_blank">Joel Greenberg</a><br /><br />In the blur of announcements from solar companies, oil company TV commercials, and news pundits, science sometimes get lost in the conversation.&nbsp; But it's science that will bring us to a workable energy future and this year has seen some significant breakthroughs.&nbsp; MIT's Daniel Nocera announced the development of a <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21155/">low cost catalyst</a> that helps in the electrolysis of water into oxygen &amp; hydrogen.&nbsp; The development of <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8634cover.html">Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)</a> for solid hydrogen storage continued to evolve; Nanotechnology continues to bring promising experimental results across many energy related fields including, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1350-self-assembled-metal-nanostructures-improve-fuel-cell-performance">catalysts</a> for fuel cells; conversion of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1326-research-breakthrough-in-microbial-fuel-cell-bio-fuel-cell-convert-waste-to-energy">waste heat into electricity</a>; a <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1432-chemists-advance-new-theory-to-support-next-generation-cleantech-materials">new theory </a>explaining molecular movement in polymers; and more.</p> <p>Which of these scientific breakthroughs might change the commercial viability of cleaner hydrocarbons, bioenergy, renewables and advanced energy storage systems?</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3094/TERM-Science.jpg" alt="Scientific breakthroughs" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Continue Reading other <i><b>Top 10 Energy Stories from 2008</b></i></p> <p><b><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1443-the-obama-election" target="_blank"><b><br /></b></a></b></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: science, breakthroughs, energy, electricity, hydrogen, batteries, solar, thinfilm joelg Tue, 16 Dec 2008 23:00:18 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1454 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1454 Piezeoelectric Power: Innowattech dreams of energy harvesting roads, railways and runways <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3148/innowattech.JPG" alt="Innowattech" style="float: right;" /><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=piezeoelectric&amp;searchType=articles" title="keyword search" target="_blank">Piezeoelectric</a> materials convert mechanical changes into electrical current.&nbsp; As with everything else in the new energy sector, its future is being driven forward by materials scientists.</p> <p>Earlier we featured breakthroughs at <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1378-texas-a-m-researchers-advance-self-powered-piezeoelectric-devices" property="dc:title">Texas A&amp;M</a> and also at <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1254-tiny-piezoelectric-devices-convert-motion-into-electricity" property="dc:title">Georgia Tech University</a> on materials that generate small-scale electric currents when stretched or pressed.</p> <p>There is talk of piezeoelectric iPods, but it is hard to imagine systems replacing batteries given the growth in electricity demand of portable gadgets.&nbsp; The best applications will likely be for sensors, microcontrollers, smart tags, and digital textiles that do not use high end processors.</p> <p><b>Energy harvesting infrastructure? </b></p> <p>Stories of energy harvesting dance floors have been circulating on energy and environmental blogs for months, but what about roads and railways that have more steady traffic?</p> <p>Israel-based <a href="http://www.innowattech.co.il/" target="_blank">Innowattech</a> claims to be the the first company to demonstrate industrial scale piezeoelectric solutions that 'harvest' energy from traffic moving over roads, railroads and airport runways.&nbsp; Their vision is to capture all the motion above ground into electricity for the local grid.</p> <p>The obstacles to market are probably high given the demands of infrastructure and (very) conservative nature of structural engineers and regulators who build infrastructure for performance (not energy capture).&nbsp; Not to mention cost challenges in a down economy.&nbsp;&nbsp; But 'harvesting energy solutions' is a great meme and certaily has its role for future micro energy solutions.&nbsp; And who can argue the appeal of energy producing infrastructure and built environments?! &nbsp; <br /><br /><b>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</b></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: Beyond<br />Tags: energy, electricity, piezeoelectric Garry Golden Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:26:28 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1460 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1460 China breaks ground on largest coal cluster plant project in its history, equal in size to Three Gorges Dam <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3118/240coal_field_in_mongolia.jpg" alt="Mongolian Coal Field" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Everybody wants the world economy to move beyond coal, yet there are some brutal realities that are hard to avoid.</p> <p>Coal, as an energy resource, is not going away.</p> <p>In fact coal use <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/24/business/businessspecial2/24COAL.html" target="_blank">is rising worldwide</a> as demand for electricity increases!</p> <p>No where on Earth is this more a reality of tomorrow than China.</p> <p><b>What happened?<br /></b><span class="fbody"><a href="http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90884/6554800.html" target="_blank">The People's Daily</a> is reporting that on December 15th, construction began on the largest scale coal-electricity project cluster in China's energy construction history. </span></p> <p>China has started simultaneous construction on eight coal power and chemical plants, and five mines to keep the plants operational.</p> <p>China's Industrial Planning NDB site estimates that all the 8 power plants in it will form a thermal power generation base with a capacity up to 20,000 MW.&nbsp; (Compared to the Three Gorges Damn capacity is 22,500 MW)</p> <p>Do they have enough supply?&nbsp;&nbsp; MiningNews <a href="http://news.mining.com/2008/11/16/ningxia-has-31-billion-tonnes-of-proven-coal/" target="_blank">reports</a> that the Ningxia region has a proven coal reserves of 31 billion tonnes and potential reserve of 202.9 billion tonnes.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><span class="fbody"><b>Why is this important to the future of energy?</b> <br /></span></p><br />Category: Environment<br />Year: 2020<br />Tags: energy, coal, electricity, algae Garry Golden Wed, 17 Dec 2008 20:54:46 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1458 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1458 Dow Corning adds fuel to growing solar industry, invests $3 billion in polysilicon materials <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3108/260dowpolysilicon.jpg" alt="Polysilicon from Dow" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>The Solar industry is growing up and <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1449-french-oil-giant-total-takes-45-million-equity-in-thin-film-solar-startup-konarka" target="_blank">going global</a>.&nbsp; Now materials giant Dow Corning is investing $3 billion into basic materials for traditional photovoltaics and thin film solar.</p> <p><b>The Chemistry side of Solar</b><br />The full potential of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=solar&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">solar energy </a>depends on our ability to make big advances in materials science.&nbsp;</p> <p>How quickly solar can grow depends on our ability to design nanoscale structures that maximize the conversion of photons into electricity, photons into heat, or photons into hydrogen.&nbsp; And how many utilities and consumers take the leap!</p> <p>So when we see 'Big Chemistry' companies get involved in the solar industry materials market, that should be a signal of growth (and growth pains) ahead!</p> <p><b>Dow goes Green</b> <b>by Being Black</b><br />Dow Corning Corporation has <a href="http://www.dowcorning.com/content/news/Solar_Investment_Dec08.asp" target="_blank">announced</a> several billion dollars of investment to provide critical materials to the fast-growing solar technology industry for both glass based solar and carbon based thin film.</p> <p class="Content">Dow Corning and its <a href="http://www.hscpoly.com/" target="_blank">Hemlock Semiconductor</a> joint venture will begin manufacturing high purity monosilane, a key&nbsp;specialty gas used to manufacture <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/987-5-videos-on-the-future-of-thin-film-solar" target="_blank">thin-film solar cells</a> and liquid crystal displays (LCDs).&nbsp; Combined with the new $1.2 billion build up at a Clarksville, Tennesee facility and the $1 billion expanded monosilane plant in Hemlock, Michigan operations may add up to 34,000 metric tons of polysilicon capacity for the fast-growing solar industry. Construction of both the Michigan expansion and the new Tennessee site will begin immediately.</p> <p><b>What to watch: Oversupply of Polysilicon<br /></b></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2012<br />Tags: energy, solar, electricity, photovoltaics, thinfilm Garry Golden Wed, 17 Dec 2008 17:23:37 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1456 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1456 The Top 10 Energy Stories of 2008 <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3106/240woodleywater.jpg" alt="Top 10 Energy Stories of Year 2008 " style="float: right;" />By <a href="../public_blog_post/joelg" target="_blank">Joel Greenberg</a> and the Staff of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com">The Energy Roadmap</a></p> <p>2008 was a big year in energy and one that we could very well look back upon as the platform to the not so distant future of energy.&nbsp; Much has happened.&nbsp; To help you make sense of it all, we here at <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com">The Energy Roadmap</a> have sifted through our bookmarks, Google Notebooks, back of the napkin lists, Twitter searches, interview transcripts, and RSS feeds to come up with the top 10 energy stories that will have an impact on our culture, society, and lives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Top Energy Stories of 2008</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1442-story-of-the-year-electrification-of-the-passenger-car" target="_self"><strong>#1&nbsp; Story of the Year: <br />Electrification of the Passenger Car</strong></a></p> <p><a href="../show/1454-2008-stories-of-the-year-the-year-of-scientific-breakthroughs-" target="_self"><strong>#2&nbsp;&nbsp; The Year of Scientific Breakthroughs</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1443-the-obama-election" target="_blank"><strong>#3&nbsp;&nbsp; The Obama Election</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1444-2008-top-stories-from-147-to-50-the-price-of-oil-" target="_blank"><strong>#4&nbsp;&nbsp; From $147 to $50: The Price of Oil</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1445-2008-top-stories-the-dying-gasp-of-corn-ethanol-" target="_blank"><strong>#5&nbsp;&nbsp; The Dying Gasp of Corn Ethanol</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1446-2008-top-stories-the-clean-coal-lobby-breaks-through-the-clutter-and-gets-a-response-" target="_blank"><strong>#6&nbsp;&nbsp; The Clean Coal Lobby Breaks Through the Clutter...and Gets a Response</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1450-2008-top-stories-geeks-go-green" target="_self"><strong>#7&nbsp;&nbsp; Geeks Go Green</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1452-2008-top-stories-the-rise-of-local-initiatives" target="_self"><strong>#8&nbsp;&nbsp; The Rise of Local Initiatives</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1447-2008-top-stories-infrastructure-gains-attention-" target="_blank"><strong>#9&nbsp;&nbsp; Infrastructure Gains Attention</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1448-2008-top-stories-emerging-energy-missionaries-visionaries-" target="_blank"><strong>#10 Emerging Energy Missionaries &amp; Visionaries</strong></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: 2008, review, energy, electricity, cars, transportation, algae, biofuels, ethanol joelg Tue, 16 Dec 2008 17:41:11 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1440 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1440 French oil giant Total takes $45 million equity in Thin Film Solar startup Konarka <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3082/300_konarka_solar.jpg" height="192" alt="Konarka Power Plastic" style="float: right;" width="245" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/987-5-videos-on-the-future-of-thin-film-solar" target="_blank">thin film solar industry</a> is going global.&nbsp; In the past few months we have seen manufacturing agreements that have connected companies based in the US, Italy, Japan, Korea, China and Turkey. And now we have the first major equity stake from a global energy giant <a href="http://www.total.com/en/home_page/" target="_blank">Total</a>.</p> <p><b>Konarka partners with French oil giant</b><br />Konarka has just <a href="http://www.konarka.com/index.php/site/press/konarka_announces_strategic_collaboration_and_45_million_investment_from_to" target="_blank">announced </a>on Monday that it received $45 million in equity financing from the U.S. division of French oil and gas giant <a href="http://www.total.com/en/home_page/" target="_blank">Total</a>.&nbsp; The arrangement also includes R&amp;D agreements with Total&rsquo;s chemical subsidiaries (Atotech, Bostik, Hutchinson, Sartomer) to further development of the startup&rsquo;s thin-film, organic solar cell technology</p> <p>With this stake, Total will become the leading shareholder with a 20% equity stake. This is its&nbsp; first major equity stake in a thin film maker, and will expand Total's current silicon-based solar portfolio with Photovoltech and Tenesol.</p> <p><b>Materials Science solutions for Distributed Solar </b><b>Power </b><b> </b></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2016<br />Tags: energy, solar, thinfilm, photovoltaics, total Garry Golden Tue, 16 Dec 2008 17:12:34 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1449 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1449 Energy Story of 2008: #1 Electrification of the Passenger Car <p>By the fall of 2008, <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1272-the-future-of-the-us-auto-industry" target="_blank">every major automanufacturer</a> from GM to Nissan to Tata--and a few startups such as Tesla and Aptera--had announced production model plans for all manner of electric vehicles, from all electrc vehicles, to plug-in hybrid electrics, to fuel cell vehicles, with deliveries to consumers starting in 2010.&nbsp; 2008 could well be known as the nail in the coffin for the bulky combustion engine which has plagued the auto industry with its manufacturing and design liabilities, and association with volatile oil markets.</p> <p>How quickly might the world re-tool the global auto industry to build new vehicle chassis based on electric motors and advanced energy storage systems?</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3064/TERM-EV.jpg" alt="Every Auto Manufacturer has Announced Electric Vehicles" /></p> <p>Continue Reading other <i><b>Top Energy Stories from 2008</b></i></p> <p><b><a href="../show/1454-2008-stories-of-the-year-the-year-of-scientific-breakthroughs-" target="_self"><b>#2&nbsp;&nbsp; The Year of Scientific Breakthroughs</b></a></b></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2008<br />Tags: electric, car, transportation, energy, electricity, batteries, hydrogen, fuelcells joelg Mon, 15 Dec 2008 23:02:57 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1442 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1442 Shocking interview with IEA Chief Economist, Peak Oil Production Plateau possible by 2020 <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3058/240fatihbirol.JPG" alt="Fatih Birol" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>In 1972 a team of futurists published the book <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limits_to_Growth" target="_self">Limits to Growth</a> which explored long-term forecast models based on rapidly expanding global economic and population growth against finite natural resources.&nbsp;</p> <p>While most people assumed that growth could continue unabated, <i><b>Limits to Growth</b></i> offered a shocking alternative scenario - <i><b>overshoot and collapse</b></i>. Their future? The modern industrial economy would expand beyond the legacy resource capacity of the planet as supplies plateaued and depleted faster than expected.&nbsp; The 'Overshoot and Collapse' future scenario was mostly ridiculed by mainstraem economists and political leaders.</p> <p>Now the world's leading oil forecasting agency is hinting that this future is closer than expected with regard to our conventional oil supplies.&nbsp; They are calling for an 'energy revolution'.</p> <p><b>A Video Interview for the Ages</b><br />The UK's Guardian's <b><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/georgemonbiot" target="_blank">George Monbiot</a> </b>has posted this fantastic, hard edged video <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/15/oil-peak-energy-iea" target="_blank">interview</a> with the International Energy Agency Chief Economist <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatih_Birol" target="_blank">Dr Fatih Birol</a>. (<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2008/dec/15/fatih-birol-george-monbiot" target="_blank">Link to video</a>)</p> <p>For those who have followed the 'peak oil' conversation evolve, this is the most shocking admission on record from a leading global oil analyst.&nbsp; Birol acknowledges that the major differences between the IEA's <a href="http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/" target="_blank">World Energy Outlook</a> report from 2007 were based on the '<b>wrong assumptions</b>' of oil field decline rates.&nbsp;&nbsp; He admits that, until 2008, no organization has ever done a comprehensive global oil field decline rate survey.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Monbiot's annoynance with the IEA's failure to back their forecasts with actual data is priceless, and scary given the implications of IEA's role in providing governments with accurate oil forecasts. In 2007 the IEA said the decline rate asumption was 3%, now in 2008 they say data support 6-7%.&nbsp; At that rate, the world's conventional oil production plateau could happen between 2020-2030.</p> <p>Birol says that the current path is "<i>not (economically) sustainable</i>" and the IEA is now calling for 'an energy revolution'. We think this should certainly start with global leaders pushing to <a href="http://memebox.com/futureblogger/show/1275-obama-should-kill-the-combustion-engine-memebox-s-garry-golden-on-npr" target="_blank">Kill the Combustion Engine</a> and taking away the liquid fuel fed energy device that makes us so dependent on oil.</p> <p><b>What to watch:<br /></b><b>Peak Oil is about to go Mainstream<br />The broad implications of peak production in conventional oil resources? </b></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2020<br />Tags: energy, oil, peakoil, peak Garry Golden Mon, 15 Dec 2008 17:25:12 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1439 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1439 Duke Energy pushes for rooftop solar distributed power program <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3056/240solarroof.jpg" alt="solar rooftop" style="float: right;" /></p> <p>Electricity powers the future.&nbsp; And changing how electricity is produced, distributed and stored is arguably the greatest challenge for governments and business in the years ahead.</p> <p>What needs to change?</p> <p>1) The <b>regulatory frameworks</b> that shape the business models of public/private utlities</p> <p>2) Addressing the <b>physical decline</b> (and disruption vulnerability) of aging and 'one-way' flow national electricity grids.</p> <p>3) <b>Advancing science and technologies</b> that can enable new forms of <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=grid&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">grid management</a> (e.g. software and sensors), <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=storage&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">energy storage</a> (batteries, hydrogen and capacitors), and distributed power generation (<a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/search?commit=Search&amp;search=solar&amp;searchType=articles" target="_blank">solar</a>, fuel cells).</p> <p>These are big tasks, with no quick fixes.&nbsp; But now we have one of the biggest utilities in the United States, opening up <i>a small door </i>of opportunity for distributed power generation. It is not game-changing, but noteworthy!</p> <p><b>What happened?<br />'Big Grid' embracing Distributed Power Generation</b>?<br />Utility giant <a href="http://www.duke-energy.com/" target="_blank">Duke Energy</a> has asked the <a href="http://www.ncuc.commerce.state.nc.us/" target="_blank">North Carolina Utilities Commission</a>(NCUC) to support a solar distributed generation program.&nbsp;&nbsp; Duke plans to install electricity-generating photovoltaic solar panels across several hundred&nbsp;North Carolina homes, schools, office buildings, shopping malls, warehouses and large manufacturing facilities &ndash; both on roofs and on the ground.</p> <p>The plans have been slighly scaled back since the project's first <a href="http://www.duke-energy.com/news/releases/2008060901.asp" target="_blank">announcement in June 2008</a>, but Duke remains committed. According to a press release, <a href="http://www.duke-energy.com/nc-solar-panel/nc-solar-distributed-generation-program.asp" target="_blank">Duke Energy Carolinas</a> would own and operate the equipment, and the power produced by each installation would be used to serve the utility&rsquo;s customers. So the electricity <i>would not </i>be owned and used by the host sites.</p> <p><b>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com<br /></b></p><br />Category: Energy<br />Year: 2011 Garry Golden Mon, 15 Dec 2008 15:53:35 -0500 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1438 http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1438 Synthetic Biology meet Energy Industry, UCLA researchers modify E coli to produce biofuels <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/memebox/uploads/3052/240ecoli.jpg" height="160" alt="ecoli" style="float: right;" width="236" /></p> <p>Should our bioenergy solutions be limited to what nature has provided?</p> <p>Or if it was possible to improve upon the efficiencies of algae and microbes to '<i>eat</i>' carbon to produce low cost, clean forms of energy- <i><b>should we try to improve upon nature at the molecular level</b>?</i></p> <p>Many researchers have already answered<i> - Yes. </i></p> <p>Startups like<i> <b>Amyris</b>, <b>LS9</b> and <b>Synthetic Genomics</b> </i>are developing commercial products.&nbsp; <i><br /></i></p> <p>The good news is that they are making progress. The bad news is that the public is totally unprepared to have a conversation about the idea of 'synthetic biology'.&nbsp; If leadership does not emerge soon to explain the benefits of bioenergy solutions, confusion and fear could soon outshine the promise of synthetic biology. <br /><br /><b>What happened at UCLA?</b><br />Earlier we covered a breakthrough by Craig Venter's team in <a href="http://www.theenergyroadmap.com/futureblogger/show/1405-growing-energy-craig-venter-team-advances-synthetic-biology-and-genome-assembly" property="dc:title">advancing synthetic biology and genome assembly.</a> Now researchers at UCLA have engineered a synthetic biological pathway inside Ecoli bacteria to produce a next generation biofuel equivalent to gasoline.</p> <p>The team led by <a href="http://www.seas.ucla.edu/~liaoj/" target="_blank">Professor James Liao</a> <meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="Content-Type" /> <meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document" /> <meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 12" /> <meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 12" /> inserted genes into the Ecoli, a well studied and commonly modified bacteria, to produce alcohol liquid fuels from sugar rich feedstocks. The butanol grade fuels have the same energy content equivalent, or better, of traditional gasoline. &nbsp;</p> <p>"The ability to make these branched-chain higher alcohols so efficiently is surprising," according to Liao. "Unlike ethanol, organisms are not used to producing these unusual alcohols, and there is no advantage for them to do so.&nbsp; The fact taht they can be made by E. coli is even more surprising, since E. coli is not a promising host to tolerate alcohol.&nbsp; These results mean that these unusual alcohols in fact can be manufactured as efficiently as what evolved in nature for ethanol.&nbsp; Therefore, we now can explore these unusual alcohols as biofuels <b>and are not bound by what nature has given us.</b>"</p> <p><b>Related posts on The Energy Roadmap.com</b> <link href="file:///C:%5CUsers%5CGARRYG%7E1%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_themedata.thmx" rel="themeData" /> <link href="file:///C:%5CUsers%5CGARRYG%7E1%5CAppData%5CLocal%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_colorschememapping.xml" rel="colorSchemeMapping" /> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves /> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> 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