rilpoint_mw113

VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy . Apr-Jun 2016

Register FREE
for additional services
Download PDF
New and Renewable Energy Apr-Jun 2016

ISSN: 0971-5630

VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy (formerly Non Conventional Energy)* is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of New and Renewable Energy. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

———————
* This update has been renamed as 'VATIS Update: New and Renewable Energy' from Jan-Mar 2015 onwards.

Editorial Board
Latest Issues
New and Renewable
Energy
VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy Jul-Sep 2017
Bio
Technology
VATIS Update Biotechnology Jul-Sep 2017
Waste
Management
VATIS Update Waste Management Oct-Dec 2016
Food
Processing
VATIS Update Food Processing Oct-Dec 2016
Ozone Layer
Protection
VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection Sep-Oct 2016
Tech
Monitor
Asia-Pacific Tech Monitor Oct-Dec 2014

Contents

__NOTOCNUM__

IN THE NEWS

Renewable energy investments

According to a United Nations-backed report, coal and gas-fired electricity generation last year drew less than half the record investment made in solar, wind and other renewables capacity – one of several important firsts for green energy. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016, the 10th edition of the annual publication issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), says the annual global investment in new renewables capacity, at $266 billion, was more than double the estimated $130 billion invested in coal and gas power stations in 2015.

The report, launched by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), highlights that all investments in renewables, including early-stage technology and research and development as well as spending on new capacity, totalled $286 billion in 2015, some three per cent higher than the previous record in 2011. Since 2004, the world has invested $2.3 trillion in renewable energy (unadjusted for inflation). Just as significantly, developing world investments in renewables topped those of developed nations for the first time in 2015, the report indicates.

In 2015, more attention was drawn to battery storage as an adjunct to solar and wind projects and to small-scale PV systems. UNEP highlighted that energy storage is of significant importance as it is one way of providing fast-responding balancing to the grid, whether to deal with demand spikes or variable renewable power generation from wind and solar. Last year, some 250MW of utility-scale electricity storage (excluding pumped hydro and lead-acid batteries) was installed worldwide, up from 160MW in 2014.
Source: http://www.un.org

Small-scale wind energy in China

The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) has announced that China and parts of North America lead the market in terms of installation of small-scale wind energy components. The WWEA released data on the installation of smaller wind-energy units, saying the number increased 8.3 percent at the end of 2014, the last full year for which it has data. That follows a 7.3 percent increase in 2013.

Five countries – Canada, China, Germany, Britain and the United States – represent more than half of the market, though China and the United States combine for more than 70 percent of the global market. China, whose air pollution levels have exceeded the recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO), has outlined a five-year economic development plan that aims to embrace low-carbon power alternatives more heavily.
Source: http://www.upi.com

International Solar Alliance

Recently the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, and the President of France Mr François Hollande, jointly laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Headquarters and inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurgaon in India. Government of India has dedicated 5 acre land in NISE campus for the ISA Headquarters and also has contributed Rs 175 crore for ISA corpus fund and also for meeting expenditure for initial five years.

On this occasion, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) announced contribution of US $ 1 million each to the ISA corpus fund. ISA is part of Prime Minister’s vision to bring clean and affordable energy within the reach of all and create a sustainable world. It will be a new beginning for accelerating development and deployment of solar energy for achieving universal energy access and energy security of the present and future generations.

ISA has been envisioned as a specialized platform and will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its member countries. The Paris declaration on International Solar Alliance states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy.
Source: http://www.pib.nic.in

Integration of renewable power in China

China has ordered power transmission companies to provide grid connectivity for all renewable power generation sources and end a bottleneck that has left a large amount of clean power idle. “The grid companies have been ordered to plug in all renewable power sources that comply with their technical standards,” the National Energy Administration (NEA) said.

China’s power is primarily delivered by the State Grid Corp of China and the China Southern Power Grid Co., with the latter responsible for delivering electricity in five southern provinces and regions. China has become the world’s biggest wind and solar power user, but a large amount of renewable power has not been able to reach the grid because transmission capabilities are lagging generating capacity by around three to five years.

The State Grid is banking on building new ultra-high voltage (UHV) long-distance transmission lines to fill the gap. Northern and western provinces, where energy resources are plentiful, are far from the industrial hubs in the nation’s eastern coastal regions. To transport surplus power from the north and west, China currently has 17 UHV transmission lines in operation or under construction. Suppliers generating power with wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and wave energy will benefit from the full integration plan, the NEA said.
Source: http://www.reuters.com

Indonesia assigns 11 geothermal work areas

The Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will assign state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to manage 11 geothermal working areas this year. The goal is to reach the 16-percent geothermal energy mix in the acceleration of the 35,000 MW power plan project until 2019. Although, the Energy Ministry has not revealed which 11 geothermal working will be assigned to the three SOEs.

The Ministry is still reviewing their proposals; verifying them with the statuses of the 11 geothermal areas, which means that the number of areas to be assigned is subject to change. The government’s plan to assign SOEs to manage the 11 geothermal working areas is part of the Energy Ministry’s target to offer 27 geothermal areas with a total capacity of 1,535 MW until 2017. The paperwork for the management of the other 16 work areas is being prepared.
Source: http://www.en.tempo.co

Renewable energy generation in Pakistan

The Pakistan government in accordance with the federal policy for development of renewable energy framework and various other general, fiscal and financial incentives has initiated work to foster renewable energy generation. The government envisions overcoming the energy crisis through application of renewable energy, especially solar energy technologies.

Pakistan with high solar irradiation, especially in the Southern Punjab, makes solar technology a phenomenal response to the power crisis that currently ranges between 3,000 to 5,000MW, it said. Solar with its shorter set up time, modular design and ease of integration with the existing infrastructure can be utilised to generate energy.

“Prices for solar PV systems have declined markedly in recent years. With increasing viability of solar and greater regulatory support such as wheeling for renewable energy producers, mandatory purchase of power from IPPs, net metering offers enormous opportunities for private sector companies. Financial options if extensively available can further smoothen the process of transfer to solar technologies,” said Inam ur Rahman, CEO of Reon Energy Limited, Pakistan.
Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk

Philippines support renewable energy industry

In pursuit of its mandate of providing a comprehensive energy plan, the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) is strongly supporting the increased use of renewable energy (RE) in the country under a level playing field and transparent implementation of incentives, such as the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) Program, which are key indicators for this. Under the FIT System, qualified developers of emerging RE sources are offered on a fixed rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of their exported electricity to the distribution or transmission network.

The scheme excludes the energy utilized from RE plants eligible for own use. The DOE highlights that FIT subscriptions for RE resources has significantly increased to 806.82 MW from 646.65 MW installations since the start of 2016. Meanwhile, as of 15 March 2016, the DOE has issued Certificate of Endorsement for FIT Eligibility (COE-FIT) to eleven (11) solar power plants accounting for 292.07 megawatts (MW) to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

More solar power projects may be issued COE-FIT at the completion of the on-going validation and assessment of the submissions received by the DOE in relation to the 15 March 2016 deadline for the expanded FIT for solar. FIT is one of the policy mechanisms eyed by the DOE as it aims to maintain the share of RE to at least 30% in the country’s power mix.
Source: http://www.doe.gov.ph

Philippines gets support for green agenda

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, has signed a finance agreement to help support operations at the largest wind farm of its kind in the Philippines. ADB signed a $20 million finance assistance agreement with an international consortium of banks and the local EDC Burgos Wind Power Corp. to help with the development of the company’s 150 megawatt wind farm on the northern Philippines island of Luzon.

The government of the Philippines set a goal of installing about 2,870 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and the ADB said the financial assistance would be a “shot in the arm” to tapping into the full estimated 250,000 MW of potential renewable energy available.

In early 2015, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said the Philippines was among the regional economies expected to account for the bulk of the growth in new oil demand. While the country already has a relatively robust renewable energy footprint in the form of hydropower and geothermal, coal use is expected to accelerate because of an increase in demand from its coal-fired power plants.
Source: http://www.upi.com

Sri Lanka encourage efficient use of energy

Sri Lankan Government, with the assistance of Germany launched a program to encourage the efficient use of energy and the use of renewable energy sources. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, together with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the project implementing partner Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and supporting partners Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority and The Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association (SLEMA) launched the Green Energy Champion Sri Lanka initiative.

The project aims to conduct a country-wide campaign in order to raise public awareness of energy conservation and to boost energy innovation in Sri Lanka. Part of the campaign is a competition which seeks to identify a blueprint “Green Energy Champion” who would become a show case for sustainable and clean energy solutions.
Source: http://www.news.lk

Renewable energy share rises in Bangladesh

Aiming to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, the government formed Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) for promoting sustainable energy and generating 2,000 MW electricity in 2021 and 4,000 MW in 2030, reports BSS. The present renewable energy and energy efficiency scenario of Bangladesh is 423 MW and renewable energy share reached 3.45 per cent.

The energy efficiency master plan is targeted to save 15 per cent power by 2021 and 20 per cent by 2030 and SREDA will play a pivotal role to achieve these targets, according to a ministry official. Around 4.4 million Solar Home System (SHS), 366 Solar Irrigation, 140 Solar Drinking Water System, 38,000 Biogas Plants, 20,00,000 Improved Cook Stove and 68 Improved Rice Parboiling System have been installed in the country, while many Solar Home Systems (SHS) are underway to be installed for generating electricity.
Source: http://www.theindependentbd.com

Nepal proposes loan, subsidy on alternative energy

The government has come up with various loan and subsidy programmes in its Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy 2016 with the aim of providing clean, reliable and accessible energy using renewable and alternative energy technologies. According to the policy, the government would offer cash subsidy of Rs 20,000 for the installation of solar energy system with the capacity of 200 watts or above. For the households that wish to install a solar energy system with the capacity of 500 watts or above, the government would offer loan without collateral and an exemption of interest by up to 75 percent.

The policy formulated by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) has also proposed providing free 10-watt solar energy for the earthquake affected households in 14 districts. Subsidy schemes have also been proposed for micro-hydro projects, solar energy system between 11 and 50 watt and solar pumps for earthquake-affected households. The policy has envisioned reducing the overall subsidy to 40 percent from the existing 80 percent provided by the government, and encourage private sector investment and soft loans from the banking sector, along with resource mobilisation from the community, to fulfil the shortfall in developing projects. According to the new policy, 30 percent of the cost will be provided as soft loan while the remaining 30 percent will be mobilised by the communities or private sector.
Source: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com

SOLAR ENERGY

All-weather solar cell

Researchers from the Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University, China, have developed an all-weather solar cell that is triggered by both sunlight and raindrops by combining an electron-enriched graphene electrode with a dye-sensitized solar cell. The new solar cell can be excited by incident light on sunny days and raindrops on rainy days, yielding an optimal solar-to-electric conversion efficiency of 6.53% under AM 1.5 irradiation and current over microamps as well as a voltage of hundreds of microvolts by simulated raindrops. Their work has been published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Graphene is a two-dimensional form of carbon in which the atoms are bonded into a honeycomb arrangement. It can readily be prepared by the oxidation, exfoliation, and subsequent reduction of graphite. Graphene is characterized by its unusual electronic properties: it conducts electricity and is rich in electrons that can move freely across the entire layer (delocalized). In aqueous solution, graphene can bind positively charged ions with its electrons (Lewis acid-base interaction). This property is used in graphene-based processes to remove lead ions and organic dyes from solutions.

This phenomenon inspired researchers to use graphene electrodes to obtain power from the impact of raindrops. Raindrops are not pure water; they contain salts that dissociate into positive and negative ions. The positively charged ions, including sodium, calcium, and ammonium ions, can bind to the graphene surface. At the point of contact between the raindrop and the graphene, the water becomes enriched in positive ions and the graphene becomes enriched in delocalized electrons. This results in a double-layer made of electrons and positively charged ions, a feature known as a pseudocapacitor.
Source: http://www.greencarcongress.com

Replacing batteries with dye solar cells

3G Solar Photovoltaics, Israel, has developed solar energy technology so efficient that it can power office appliances and wearable technologies, making the need for batteries obsolete. The product is an advanced form of dye solar cell (DSC) technology, which uses glass-printed photovoltaic cells to power everyday electric devices, from a computer mouse to smart watch. While solar energy typically requires sunlight to produce electricity, these dye solar cells are so sensitive they can generate power from indirect, indoor lighting.

“3G Solar has invented a device that will be connected or built in new wireless electronics so there will be no need to ever change a battery or to recharge a battery. So when you have thousands of censors for instance in a building, which is going to happen in the next few years, you’ll never have to change a battery again,” said Barry N. Breen, the company’s CEO.
Source: http://www.jpost.com

New technique reduces power losses in solar cells

Researchers at the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) have developed a new technique to reduce power losses in solar cells. The new technology, developed in partnership with Dutch equipment provider Tempress Systems, was obtained by applying a polysilicon layer between the silicon wafer and the metal contacts that are the main source of these losses. ECN claims that this thin layer ensures electricity is conducted well and at the same time it also prevents voltage losses.

The technology ‘stretches’ the efficiency limits of current solar cell technology. “We have achieved a cell efficiency of 20.7% using this technology, and we expect to continue to make fast progress towards 25%,” said ECN scientist Bart Geerligs. The research institute and Tempress Systems are now testing a prototype machine to see if the required layers can be produced simultaneously on a large enough scale.
Source: http://www.news.photon.info

Second generation solar cells

Researchers at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Islamic Republic of Iran, for the first time have developed hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells. It is the first time the second generation thin film solar cells are produced in Iran. Lead author Abdolnabi Kosarian said that the project has been registered with the office of the vice-president for science and technology. The research team is working on optimizing the developed solar cell structure and paving the way for the semi-industrial production of solar panels.

A solar cell (or a ‘photovoltaic’ cell) is a device that converts photons from the sun (solar light) into electricity. A thin-film solar cell is a second generation solar cell that is made by depositing one or more thin layers, or thin film (TF) of photovoltaic material on a substrate, such as glass, plastic or metal. Thin-film solar cells are commercially used in several technologies.
Source: http://www.irna.ir

Flexible near-infrared solar cells

A research group led by Prof. Xiong Yujie at the University of Science and Technology of China has invented a new class of flexible near-infrared solar cells based on the plasmonic hot electron injection into silicon nanowire arrays. Photovoltaic (PV) technologies that harvest and convert sunlight directly into electricity will play a vital role in efforts to provide clean and secure sources of energy. To fully utilize solar energy, the near-infrared (NIR) light which accounts for about 52% of solar photons should be harvested for electricity generation.

Given that most of the existing PV devices are designed for visible light utilization, it is a strong demand to develop NIR PV modules through device structure and mechanism innovation. In addition to NIR utilization, another major trend in PV development is to fabricate devices with lightweight and mechanical flexibility. In their work, the research team has developed an approach to improve the quantum efficiency of flexible PV devices in NIR spectral region by integrating silicon nanowire arrays with plasmonic silver nanoplates.

The silver nanoplates can directly harvest and convert NIR light into plasmonic hot electrons for injection into Si, while the Si nanowire arrays offer light trapping. Under the NIR light illumination, the external quantum efficiency has been improved by 59% with the integration Ag nanoplates. The concept has been demonstrated for two different types of PV devices, inorganic-organic hybrid cell and Schottky-type cell. This work provides an alternative strategy for the design and fabrication of flexible NIR PVs.
Source: http://www.en.ustc.edu.cn

Solar cells as light as a soap bubble

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States, have demonstrated the thinnest, lightest solar cells ever produced. Though it may take years to develop into a commercial product, the laboratory proof-of-concept shows a new approach to making solar cells that could help power the next generation of portable electronic devices. The new process is described in the journal Organic Electronics.

“The key to the new approach is to make the solar cell, the substrate that supports it, and a protective overcoating to shield it from the environment, all in one process. The substrate is made in place and never needs to be handled, cleaned, or removed from the vacuum during fabrication, thus minimizing exposure to dust or other contaminants that could degrade the cell’s performance,” said Vladimir Bulović, at MIT.

In this experiment, the team used a common flexible polymer called parylene as both the substrate and the overcoating, and an organic material called DBP as the primary light-absorbing layer. Parylene is a commercially available plastic coating used widely to protect implanted biomedical devices and printed circuit boards from environmental damage. The entire process takes place in a vacuum chamber at room temperature and without the use of any solvents, unlike conventional solar-cell manufacturing, which requires high temperatures and harsh chemicals.
Source: http://www.news.mit.edu

Flexible solar cell achieves 7.6% efficiency

A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) led by professor Xiaojing Hao in Australia has fabricated a 1-cm2 solar cell with an efficiency of 7.6 percent. The achievement marks a milestone for thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technology — which is being explored for zero-energy buildings, among other applications — on its path toward commercially competitive 20 percent efficiency. Because they can deposit CZTS solar cells on various surfaces, Hao’s team believes they can create thin-film PV cells that are either rigid or flexible, and durable and cheap enough to be widely integrated into buildings to generate electricity from the sunlight that strikes structures such as glazing, façades, roof tiles and windows. Hao said UNSW is collaborating with a number of large companies to develop applications well before it reaches 20 percent efficiency, enabling competition with commercially available crystalline silicon PV systems, for example.

CZTS has none of the toxicity problems of its two thin-film rivals, CdTe (cadmium-telluride) and CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-selenide). Cadmium and selenium are toxic at even tiny doses, while tellurium and indium are extremely rare. Currently, thin-film photovoltaic cells like CdTe are used mainly in large solar power farms, as the cadmium toxicity makes them unsuitable for residential systems, while CIGS cells is more commonly used in Japan on rooftops.

Thin-film solar cell technologies are attractive because they are physically flexible, increasing the number of potential applications, such as curved surfaces, roofing membranes, or transparent and translucent structures like windows and skylights. Hao said CZTS’s cheapness, benign environmental profile and abundant elements may be the trigger that brings architects and builders onboard to using thin-film solar panels more widely in buildings.
Source: http://www.photonics.com

WIND ENERGY

2.5 MW direct drive wind turbine

The Galaxy Wind Power Co., Ltd., China, has independently developed the 2.5 MW of plateau type wind turbine hoisting success, a towering “big windmill” stand tall in Guizhou province Si Ge Xiang Po on grassland animal husbandry field, which opened a China straight expelling wind power technology development of a new page. The GX93 wind turbine system for China’s first Gao Yuanfeng field environment design of direct drive wind turbine, wind wheel diameter of 93 meters.

The wind machine adopts the direct drive permanent magnet technology, with the cost of operation and maintenance, low power efficiency and high mechanical efficiency, the average failure rate characteristic of long running time etc. In addition, the combination of the water cooled generator and the converter is more effective than the air cooling to maintain a constant temperature, completely closed the engine room to avoid the dust pollution and salt spray corrosion.

After up to 2 years operation of a prototype and test, GX93 not only in the operation reliability and the performance fully meet the design goal, and passed a series of completed by international authoritative institutions fan certification and testing. It is understood that the Guizhou Panxian four grid wind farm project by Datang Panxian’s four grid wind power investment and construction company, the total installed capacity of about 47.5 MW wind turbine with capacity of 19 Taiwan the Milky Way stand-alone wind power production of 2500 kw.
Source: http://www.zmscable.com

Gearless wind turbine

ReGen Powertech, India, has launched wind turbine ‘wd2.8’, a 2.8 MW gearless turbine. The turbine has been certified by TUV SUD of Germany. ReGen Powertech developed this direct drive wind turbine through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Wind-direct GmbH, Germany. The turbine is designed according to international standard IEC 61400-01:2005. This turbine platform has three variants, wd3.0+100, wd2.8+109 and wd2.8+121, suitable for high, medium and low wind regimes.
Source: http://www.projectstoday.com

Palm tree-like design for wind turbines

A team led by Todd Griffith, technical lead for US Department of Energy’s (DoE) Sandia National Laboratories Offshore Wind Energy Program, is working on a low-cost offshore turbine with rotor blades more than 650-feet long that could produce an output of energy up to six times more than turbines in use today. These exascale turbines could help the DoE meet its goal of providing 20% of the energy in the US from wind by 2030.

“Exascale turbines take advantage of economies of scale. Conventional upwind blades are expensive to manufacture, deploy, and maintain beyond 10 MW to 15 MW. They must be stiff to avoid fatigue and eliminate the risk of tower strikes in strong gusts. Those stiff blades are heavy, and their mass, which is directly related to cost, becomes even more problematic at the extreme scale due to gravity loads and other changes,” explained Griffith.

The new rotor design differs from conventional turbines in a couple of ways. Not only are the rotors on the turbine – called Segmented Ultralight Morphing Rotors – far larger than on typical turbines, but they also are used in a different way. The turbines are placed downwind of the tower rather than upwind in a shape that resembles a palm tree, and they bend like a palm tree’s leaves. In this way, the rotor can bend in the wind while still retaining segment stiffness, reducing the mass required for blade stiffening.
Source: http://www.designnews.com

Turbine-less wind generator

The patent protected ‘Electrohydrodynamic’ (EHD), developed Accio Energy, the United States, has a wind energy system that generates electricity using wind and charged water mist. The wind separates positive and negative charges as it moves the charged water mist. The separation of charges creates high-voltage, direct current electricity. The generator itself has no moving parts and consists of wind-permeable flat panels composed primarily of easily mass-produced tubes.

The panels can combine into arrays, easily scaling from kilowatts to gigawatts. Accio Energy’s generator is modular, transportable, and cost effective. All power generation methods compete with each other on cost. A key advantage of Accio Energy’s approach is the potential to make offshore wind power cost-competitive without subsidies against natural gas, even at today’s historically low prices.

According to Accio Energy, its wind systems will be cheaper to manufacture because of their modular, panelized design, with a similar energy density, size and form factor as solar panels. Accio systems, composed of common materials, can be manufactured using automotive manufacturing technologies and cost structure. A single company wind panel that is the height and length of a standard shipping container could produce 2.5 to 3 kW of rated power as part of a utility-scale array.
Source: http://www.windpowerengineering.com

Harvesting wind energy from trees

According to a new study, the movement of trees in the wind produces vibrations that could be successfully converted into energy. The study, administered by engineers at Ohio State’s Laboratory of Sound and Vibration Research, the United States, found that it is possible to convert a random range of vibrations into a viable energy source through the natural vibrational energy of tree-like structures.

The natural frequency is like a wall that absorbs and stores the energy from higher frequencies, just like a small ripple of water that accumulates into a large swell. This complex science is dependent upon wind (which as we know, can be completely random) turbulently whipping a leaf or small branch around and that power being contained into a larger, powerful low-frequency sway of the tree itself.

The engineers tested tiny artificial forests using small tree-like L-shaped steel beams wrapped with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a piezoelectric material. The researchers were able to produce about 2 Volts of energy. Piezoelectricity can be produced from a variety of materials – from tapping on a keyboard to a swaying skyscraper. In fact, the concept has already been patented using keyboard covers.
Source: http://www.inhabitat.com

7-MW offshore turbine

The offshore flagship 7-MW wind turbine being developed by Siemens, Germany, has reached its final stage, and successfully passed final type certification. Field testing of the SWT-7.0-154 was recently extended with a second prototype. Grid performance, quality, and safety are currently being tested on both machines.

Obtaining type certification marked the final milestone in the development process of Siemens’ offshore turbine, allowing customers to now make final investment decisions for offshore projects. Many of the technological components in this new turbine are the same as those of the proven Siemens SWT-6.0-154 (including the 154-m rotor), and serial production is scheduled to begin in autumn 2017.

While the first prototype, installed in summer 2015, was initially used for achieving the final type certificate, engineers are now able to use both prototypes for accelerated testing of all grid-related aspects such as performance, quality, and safety. Upgrades in the turbine consisted mainly of changes to the permanent-magnet generator, the power converter, and medium-voltage transformer. The startup of both SWT-7.0-154 prototypes ran smoothly.
Source: http://www.windpowerengineering.com

Innovative drivetrain testing for wind turbines

Wind energy researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have entered the final phase of testing a next-generation drivetrain — made up of the components of a wind turbine that convert the rotational energy of the rotor into electricity — that will be less expensive, more reliable, and more efficient. The system uses sophisticated hardware and software that can be incorporated into different gearboxes, converters, and wind turbines.

The single-stage, medium-speed gearbox is smaller, simpler and lighter than commonly used three-stage drivetrains, and its configuration improves the load distribution and increases the drivetrain’s overall reliability. Low-speed journal bearings support the planets (or gears) and feature a cavity filled with pressurized oil that recirculates throughout the gearbox, keeping parts lubricated and running smoothly. Flexible pins (or axles) have an S-shape that allows them to flex, preventing misalignment of gear-tooth flanks, keeping the gears level, and ensuring equal load sharing among the four gears. The medium-speed, medium-voltage generator features concentrated, segmented windings that decrease manufacturing and operation and maintenance costs. Incorporating software that uses a unique fault-control algorithm, the power converter dampens the effect of grid fluctuations on the gearbox by tempering sudden changes, improving reliability and reducing operation and maintenance costs. In addition, medium-voltage, wide-bandgap power modules significantly reduce losses within the power converter, leading to increased efficiency, energy capture, and revenue.
Source: http://energy.gov

WAVE/TIDAL ENERGY

Novel ocean-current turbine design

Scientists from the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Japan, have proposed a design for a submerged marine turbine to harness the energy of the Kuroshio Current, flowing along the Japanese coast. This design is especially suitable for regions regularly devastated by storms and typhoons, such as Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The turbine operates in the middle layer of the current, 100 m below the surface, where the waters flow calmly and steadily, even during strong storms.

“Our design is simple, reliable, and power-efficient,” said Dr. Katsutoshi Shirasawa, at OIST. The turbine comprises a float, a counterweight, a nacelle to house electricity-generating components, and three blades. Minimising the number of components is essential for easy maintenance, low cost, and a low failure rate. The OIST design is a hybrid of a kite and a wind turbine: an ocean-current turbine is anchored to seabed with a line and floats in the current while water rotates its three blades. Ocean currents are rather slow, averaging 1-1.5 m/s. However, water is over 800 times as dense as air, and even a slow current contains energy comparable to a strong wind. Additionally, currents do not stop or change direction.

The OIST team, built a prototype turbine and conducted various experiments to test its design and configuration. Results confirmed the robustness and stability of the turbine construction. The achieved efficiency is comparable to that of commercial wind turbines. The design can easily be scaled up or down, depending on local conditions and needs. Dr. Shirasawa and his colleagues aspire to build an energy farm featuring 300 turbines 80 m in diameter. The expected output is about 1 GW – the equivalent of one nuclear reactor, capable of powering over 400,000 homes. This project will be an important step toward development of green energy.
Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com

Wave energy converter

CorPower Ocean AB, Sweden, has developed a compact high-efficiency Wave Energy Converter. Thanks to patented control technology, the buoys operate in resonance over a wide range of waves frequencies. This allows a large amount of energy to be harvested using a small inexpensive device. The inherent load shedding properties significantly reduce storm loads, providing good survivability.

CorPower is currently in a Stage 3 pilot together Iberdrola Engineering, Spain, WavEC Offshore Renewables, Portugal, EMEC and University of Edinburgh, the United Kingdom. In this program a scale 1:2 (25kW) WEC is taken through the next step of structured verification, involving dry testing it in a Hardware-in-the-loop rig in Stockholm during 2016, followed by ocean testing at EMECs Scapa Flow nursery site on Orkney during the first half of 2017.

Stage 1 and 2 tests have confirmed a significant improvement in the amount of energy per ton and energy per force compared to other known methods of harvesting wave energy. The aim is to establish a new class of highly effective wave power for utility-scale energy generation, offering a cost of energy that can compete with established energy Resources.
Source: http://www.oceanenergy-sweden.se

Rugged wave power technology

Oscilla Power, the United States, has developed a new ocean wave energy generator design that promises to be rugged enough to harness wave energy with little maintenance. Funded by the National Science Foundation, USA, the Triton system will be a utility-scale wave energy harvester with few moving parts, unlike other systems before it, which make it much sturdier.

The Triton consists of a floating platform that houses generators made of a special metal alloy which is tethered to a heavy ring called a heave plate that is submerged in the water. The engineers explain that the heave plate wants to stay still, so the movement caused by waves creates a constant change in tension in the tethers. It’s that tension change that the generators tap into to generate electricity.

Right now, the team is testing small scale versions of the device in the lab and in the ocean, but they plan to scale up prototypes increasingly until reaching a full scale version that will be 30 yards across and capable of powering more than 650 homes.
Source: http://www.treehugger.com

Patent for wave energy technology

Wave developer Columbia Power Technologies, the United States, has received a patent from New Zealand for its StingRAY device’s generator air-gap control system. The he system allows a smaller air-gap between a large-diameter generator’s rotor and stator, improving performance and availability without a corresponding increase in weight and cost. The design is being validated in a US Department of Energy-sponsored land-based test.

The pre-assembly of a 6.6-meter diameter generator is currently underway in Ridgefield in Washington state. Once the pre-fit work is finished and approval to proceed has been received, the system will be tested at the National Wind Technology Centre near Denver, Colorado. Columbia Power’s StingRAY wave power technology, which has received eleven patents, employs two large-diameter, direct-drive permanent magnet generators and will be tested at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site following the power take-off testing.
Source: http://www.renews.biz

Experimental wave power generator

Developed by the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science, Japan, an experimental power generator capable of outputting 43 kilowatts using ocean waves is scheduled to be installed at a fishing port in August this year, where it will begin providing power to facilities at the port. In addition to the test stage of powering the port, if the device gains a government approval, it will also become the first wave power generator in Japan to supply an area’s electric grid.

The device uses a large metal plate, about 2 meters tall by 4 meters wide, that is moved by waves and travels back and forth like a pendulum in the water, rotating a motor and producing power. Since the device will be installed near a breakwater, it will be able to use waves bouncing back off the breakwater for generation as well. The generator will produce enough power to supply at least 10 households, with some of this power planned to be used by facilities of the fishing cooperative at the port.
Source: http://www.mainichi.jp

Wave energy converter

Developed by Twin Ocean Power LLC, the United States, the ‘Twin Ocean Power Converter’ is comprised of a wave powered electric generating device with three floatation devices strategically arranged to the outer floatation devices. At least one inner floatation device is arranged to connect to the other and is securely attached by interconnecting mechanisms, referred to as side interconnectors. Each floatation device comprise a first and a second housing secured next to each other to define inwardly facing surfaces and outwardly facing surfaces with the shafts extending between the inwardly facing surfaces of first and second housings.

Twin Ocean Power has the capability of floating in a wave-driven body of water when the inner floatation device is placed between the outer floatation devices. A torque arm connects the pair of adjacent floatation devices. The inner floatation device includes two rotatable shafts, with each rotatable shaft being secured to one of the torque arms to convert pivotal motion of the torque arm into rotational movement of the shaft. A one-way transmission system provides one way rotation of a generator shaft in response to pivotal motion of the torque arm in both direction, and an electrical generator connected to the generator shaft generates electricity.

Twin Ocean Power is economically designed and does not require extensive labor or maintenance to maintain the high quality of the system. In addition, the System has a sound structure for long lasting use. The interconnecting mechanism and the torque arms are configured to permit expansion and contraction of their lengths. The driving ocean wave force acting on each floatation device raises the floatation device upward, and the gravity of each floatation device pulls it downward. The torque arm captures the up and down movement which is created by the ocean wave and gravity, thus rotating the driven axle in clockwise and counter clockwise motion.
Source: http://www.twinoceanpower.com

FUEL CELLS

Microbial fuel cell with food waste derived catalysts

Researchers from University of Bath, the United Kingdom, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the United Kingdom, and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), the United Kingdom, are in process to develop a new fuel cell that could use carbon catalysts derived from various food wastes to turn urine into electricity. According to the scientists the development could revolutionise the way that bioenergy is produced, particularly in developing countries.

The research, published in Electrochimica Acta, describes a new design of microbial fuel cell that’s smaller, cheaper and more powerful than traditional ones. The technology is said to have the advantage of working at room temperature and pressure, as well as high efficiency, relatively low running costs. The study describes a new design of microbial fuel cell that overcomes two limitations of standard microbial fuel cells: their cost and low power production.

According to the researchers, microbial fuel cells can be quite expensive to manufacture. The electrodes are usually made of cost-effective materials, but the cathode often contains platinum to speed up the reactions that create the electricity. Also, microbial fuel cells tend to produce less power than the other methods of bioenergy production. The new miniature microbial fuel cell is said to use no expensive materials for the cathode; instead it’s made of carbon cloth and titanium wire.
Source: https://www.waste-management-world.com

Miniaturized fuel cell

Prof. Gyeong Man Choi and his research team at POSTECH, Republic of Korea, have developed a miniaturized solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) to replace lithium-ion batteries in smartphones, laptops, drones, and other small electronic devices. Their achievement has been highly evaluated because it can be utilized, not only for a small fuel cell, but also for a large-capacity fuel cell that can be used for a vehicle. The results have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The SOFC, referred to as a third-generation fuel cell, has been intensively studied since it has a simple structure and no problems with corrosion or loss of the electrolyte. This fuel cell converts hydrogen into electricity by oxygen-ion migration to fuel electrode through an oxide electrolyte. Typically, silicon has been used after lithography and etching as a supporting component of small oxide fuel cells. This design, however, has shown rapid degradation or poor durability due to thermal-expansion mismatch with the electrolyte, and thus, it cannot be used in actual devices that require fast On/Off.

The research team developed, for the first time in the world, a new technology that combines porous stainless steel, which is thermally and mechanically strong and highly stable to oxidation/reduction reactions, with thin-film electrolyte and electrodes of minimal heat capacity. Performance and durability were increased simultaneously. In addition, the fuel cells are made by a combination of tape casting-lamination-cofiring (TLC) techniques that are commercially viable for large scale SOFC.
Source: http://www.phys.org

Fuel cell to generate electricity from tomato waste

Researchers from Princeton University, the United States, and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T), the United States, in collaboration with other partners, have developed a biological-based fuel cell which can generate electricity from tomato waste. The project aims to explore ways to generate electricity using tomato waste left over from harvests in Florida. The team, which also includes researchers from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), the United States, has developed a microbial electrochemical cell, which has a power output of 0.3 watts.

In particular, the cell uses bacteria to break down and oxidize organic material in the defective tomatoes. The oxidation process results in the releases of electrons which are then captured in the fuel cell and become a source of electricity. According to the researchers, the natural lycopene pigment in tomatoes is a good as mediator to support the generation of electrical charges from the damaged fruits. The researchers are planning to increase the power output of the cell by determining and replacing its parts, including electrode, electricity-producing bacteria, biological film, wiring, which are resisting the flow of electricity.
Source: http://www.biofuelsandbiomass.energy-business-review.com

HYDROGEN ENERGY

New catalyst for splitting water

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the United States, and the University of Toronto, Canada, have developed a new type of catalyst that’s three times better than the previous record-holder at splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen –the vital first step in making fuels from renewable solar and wind power. This research is a potential way to make a future generation of water-splitting catalysts from three abundant metals – iron, cobalt and tungsten – rather than the rare, costly metals that many of today’s catalysts rely on.

The team developed a novel way to distribute the three metals uniformly within the catalyst: They dissolved the metals and other ingredients in a solution and then slowly turned the solution into a gel at room temperature, tweaking the process so the metal atoms did not clump together. The gel was then dried into a white powder whose particles were riddled with tiny pores, increasing the surface area where chemicals can attach and react with each other. In tests, the catalyst was able to generate oxygen gas three times faster, per unit weight, than the previous record-holder, and it also proved to be stable through hundreds of reaction cycles.
Source: http://www.rdmag.com

Breakthrough in hydrogen fuel production

Researchers from the University of Louisville Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, the United States, have demonstrated a new way to extract energy from water vapor, leveraging the power of solar energy. The new method could hold significant energy potential for coastal communities that lack access to fresh water, such as those found in California. The process involves using solar energy to produce hydrogen fuel from water vapor. In the past, researchers have used solar power to produce hydrogen, but through basic water electrolysis.

The research team believes that this new method is a major breakthrough and could lead to the efficient production of hydrogen. The team has devised a proof-of-concept system that they have found to operate efficiently in realistic conditions on the surface of the ocean. While the technology behind the new system may be more than a decade away from commercialization, it does show significant promise in terms of energy production. It may also help overcome one of the challenges associated with solar power. The new system is capable of gathering water vapor from the air, gathering this vapor for electrolysis at a later time.
Source: http://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com

Sustainable hydrogen fuel production

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the United States, have made a breakthrough in the sustainable production of hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen is becoming more important as an energy resource, especially in the transportation space where automakers are making vehicles equipped with fuel cells. Conventional hydrogen production is heavily reliant on fossil-fuels, however, which makes fuel cells less environmentally friendly than other forms of clean power. The researchers from PSU have found a way to leverage renewable energy in order to generate hydrogen.

The research team has worked together with those from Drexel University, the United States, the University of Trieste, Italy, the University of Cadiz, Spain, and the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, Germany, to develop a new photo-catalyst. Such a catalyst is meant to produce hydrogen through the use of biomass-derived products. The catalyst is quite important to a fuel cell, as it allows for electrolysis, the process through which water is split into its base components of hydrogen and oxygen. The new photo-catalyst is designed to accelerate the electrolysis process, making hydrogen production more efficient.

The new catalyst is comprised of titania nanorods, which have been designed to absorb sunlight to generate electricity to power the electrolysis process. The new catalyst is still in an early stage of development and researchers must further research the catalyst to understand its capabilities. In the future, such a catalyst may be used to make fuel cells more efficient and capable of generating electrical power while also reducing their cost, which would make them more attractive to those interested in clean energy.
Source: http://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com

Polymer solar cells generate hydrogen fuel

A research team from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, has developed a new kind of polymer solar cells that contain an active light-absorbing layer made of a novel polymer and fullerene1. These solar cells can efficiently harness solar energy and convert it into electrical energy that can electrochemically split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Besides harvesting and storing solar energy, these solar cells are potentially useful for generating clean hydrogen fuel that can power future automobiles.

The scientists fabricated single-, double- and triple-junction polymer solar cells. The single-junction solar cells contained one subcell; whereas the double-junction (homo-tandem) and triple-junction solar cells had two and three identical subcells, respectively. The single-junction solar cells absorbed 80% of visible light. They also exhibited a power conversion efficiency of 7.75%, which increased to 8.35% in double-junction solar cells that absorbed 90% of visible light.
Source: http://www.natureasia.com

New efficient catalyst to improve hydrogen production

Scientists from Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), Russia, University of Texas, the United States, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States, have discovered a new catalyst that significantly improves the efficiency of water electrolysis in alkaline conditions. The electrolysis of water to oxygen and hydrogen is a reaction that is crucial to enabling emerging renewable energy technologies for the production of hydrogen. The results have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

According to the researchers, although more work needs to be done to further increase the performance of water electrolysis catalysts, the work provides a deeper mechanistic understanding of the chemistry of active catalysts. The work also clarifies materials design strategies to accelerate the discovery of additional Earth abundant non-precious metal oxide catalysts. The team was able to precisely measure the surface and bulk properties of the catalysts and model how the alkaline water electrolysis reaction proceeds based on these insights.

Two crucial parameters were identified as important to the performance of the resultant catalysts-the covalence of the cobalt-oxygen bond, or how close in energy the electrons in cobalt are to the electrons in oxygen, and the amount of oxygen vacancies, sites in the crystal structure that should generally have an oxygen atom but are vacant in the very active catalysts. Using these parameters, the team developed the catalyst strontium cobalt oxide, SrCoO2.7, that can perform the water electrolysis reaction approximately twenty times better than the leading industrial catalyst, IrO2, at a significantly lower cost.
Source: http://www.tass.ru

New catalyst for hydrogen fuel

In the United States, a team of University of Connecticut (UConn) chemists led by professors Steven Suib and James Rusling has developed a new material that could make hydrogen capture more commercially viable, and provide a key element for a new generation of cheaper, light-weight hydrogen fuel cells. The new metal-free catalyst uses carbon graphene nanotubes infused with sulfur.

Current hydrogen production uses intense heat to separate hydrogen from hydrocarbons found in crude oil. But the resulting hydrogen isn’t very pure, and byproducts must be scrubbed out. The process developed in Suib’s and Rusling’s labs uses a dual doping procedure involving sulfur and benzyl disulfide treated at high heat. The researchers had to carefully add heteroatoms of sulfur at extremely low levels to strike the delicate balance needed to maintain usability and stability. Add too much sulfur and the sample would be unstable; not enough and it would be ineffective.

Suib says the procedure for isolating hydrogen in water, in a very general way, is similar to trying to separate flour and sand after they’ve been mixed together thoroughly. In the end, he says, the sulfur-doped nanotubes used much less energy in the chemical reaction process than other known processes, and were much more active and efficient catalysts than other known products. Most importantly, he points out, the sulfur-infused nanotubes are efficient for both separating hydrogen from water and reducing oxygen into water. Materials with those dual properties are rare, he notes. “I was surprised, in the end, that it worked so well,” Suib says, with a grin. “We thought it might work, but we didn’t think it would work so well.”

Powerful transmission electron microscopes and scanning electron microscopes in UConn’sBioscience Electron Microscopy Lab, Institute of Materials Science, and new FEI Center for Advanced Microscopy and Materials Analysis were instrumental in helping researchers test and characterize the new material as it developed in the lab, Suib says. The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The full report is featured in the March 2016 issue of Advanced Energy Materials.
Source: http://today.uconn.edu

BIOFUEL/BIOMASS ENERGY

Improving biorefineries with bubbles

A team of researchers from Tohoku University, Japan, has developed a new method for the pretreatment of organic material, or “biomass”, which could lead to more efficient production of biofuels and biochemicals. Pretreating biomass improves the formation of sugars that are then used to develop biofuels and biochemicals. But current pretreatment processes leave much to be desired. The new method involves crushing the leaves and stalks of maize plants and placing the resulting powder in a solution of sodium percarbonate (SP).

The product is then passed through a “hydrodynamic (HD) cavitation system”. When it passes through a constriction in the system, bubbles form and then collapse due to a pressure change after the constriction. This “cavitation” – the formation, growth and subsequent collapse of microbubbles - produces high, localized energy that disintegrates the cellulose fibres in the biomass. The team previously developed a pretreatment system that involves applying ultrasonic (US) energy to an SP-treated biomass solution. This also results in cavitation and improved disintegration of cellulose fibres.

The team found that the HD-SP system was even more efficient than the US-SP system in producing fermentable sugars. They also found that having a smaller constriction in the HD-SP system was more effective in biomass treatment. Because an HD cavitation reactor can be scaled up easily for high production capacities and requires much lower energy input than a US cavitation reactor, the team believes the HD-SP system shows promise for the pre-treatment of plant biomass.
Source: http://www.biofueldaily.com

High-speed conversion of waste cooking oil

Scientists at the Petroleum University of Technology (PUT), the Islamic Republic of Iran, have developed a high-speed conversion that turns waste cooking oil into fuel using ultrasound and caustic soda. The team has demonstrated that biodiesel can be quickly produced from waste cooking oil by direct ultrasonic irradiation with caustic soda, sodium hydroxide NaOH or potassium hydroxide (KOH) as the chemical catalysts for the process known as a transesterification reaction.

The researchers point out that adding methanol to the waste oil prior to conversion can boost the efficiency to 99 percent conversion. Moreover, the methanol additive reduces reaction time to just ten seconds. Complete conversion is possible with just 0.75% sodium hydroxide or 1.25% potassium hydroxide if the pellets are ground and blended complete with the waste oil and methanol raw materials. Details of the report have been published in the International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology.
Source: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com

Oil from sugarcane for biodiesel and aviation biofuel

A research team under the guidance of scientists from University of Illinois, the United States, has changed the metabolism of sugarcane to transform sugars into oils or lipids, which can then be used to produce biodiesel. The sugarcane usually contains 0.05% of oil. In less than a year of this project initiation, the researchers successfully increased the oil production 20 times, up to roughly 1%.

Currently the oil-cane plants generate 12% of oil, but the team aims to obtain 20%. The group has also introduced additional benefits to the oil cane plants which include more efficient photosynthesis and better cold tolerance. This will result in higher quantities of oil and higher biomass production. During their study, the researchers considered the technology, land area, and the associated expenses needed to convert oil-cane biomass into a sustainable biodiesel within different oil production situations, from 2% oil in the plant to 20%.

This data was evaluated against soybean and standard sugarcane, which can be used to produce ethanol. A major benefit provided by oil-cane plants is that the plant’s remaining sugars can be changed into ethanol, offering dual sources of fuel in one. The study also revealed that if oil-cane plants that contain 20% of oil in the stem are cultivated on under-used acres in the southeastern region of the US, over two-thirds of the nation’s use of jet fuel and diesel can possibly be replaced.
Source: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com

Garbage into biofuels

A research team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the United States, has developed a system that turns waste gases generated from industrial processes and garbage dumps into liquid biofuels. The MIT team successfully trialled the system – which uses engineered microbes to convert the gas to fuel – at a plant in China. Following its success, construction is set to begin on a larger plant, which the team hopes will prove that the technology can be scaled up. The team will also use the bigger plant to evaluate costs and carbon footprint, to assess whether the project is viable on a larger scale.

During the process, bacteria is used to convert gases into acid, which is then mixed with an engineered yeast to produce the biofuel. The process is doubly useful, not only creating a potentially viable alternative to our reliance on fossil fuels in transport, but also acting as a possible means of recycling harmful greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The research indicates that the process draws more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than it creates. Provided the carbon footprint remains low during large-scale production, this could be a valuable development in moving us away from fossil fuels.
Source: https://www.siliconrepublic.com

New biofuels to expand alternative energy sources

Researchers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the United States, have been using bacteria, microscopic organisms responsible for disease and digestion, to convert living matter into liquid fuel. Lin, a chemical engineering graduate student, is one of many students who work to synthesize eco-friendly biofuels that could expand our options for renewable energy. In one of Liao’s laboratories, Lin clones and amplifies DNA to genetically manipulate the metabolism of Clostridium thermocellum.

Researchers spent up to a month designing a system to increase the concentration of fuel-producing enzymes in the cell. The project’s team, in its ninth year of a 10-year study, can now use the bacteria to produce five grams of the biofuel isobutanol in three days. About 25 researchers, including five undergraduates, study cellular metabolism and biofuel production in Liao’s lab, which receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics.
Source: http://www.dailybruin.com

Biofuel with crab shells

Researchers at Kobe University, Japan, have found a possible way to turn bits of crustaceans and insects into ethanol for about the same cost as producing the fuel from corn. Chitin, the stuff that gives the exoskeletons of such creatures as crabs and beetles their toughness, consists of chains of sugar and nitrogen molecules. Also common in the cell walls of fungi and bacteria, it can be chemically broken down into a variety of sugars. Chitin is regarded as the second-most-abundant natural polymer on Earth, after the plant fiber cellulose.

Kentaro Inokuma and his research associates discovered among the yeasts that break down xylose, a kind of sugar, one that proved effective at fermenting the chitin-derived sugars to produce ethanol. It works so well that it exceeds the theoretical 70% limit on conversion efficiency, according to the team. The group reckons that the yeast can be genetically modified to achieve 90% efficiency. At that rate, ethanol would cost 50 yen (44 cents) per liter or less to produce by this method – about the same as with corn, sugar cane or other more commonly used biomass.
Source: http://www.asia.nikkei.com

Catalytic process to produce clean fuel

Researchers from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) and the University of Manchester, the United Kingdom, have developed a new catalytic process that produces high quantities of clean liquid hydrocarbon fuel without using any separation or chemical pre-treatment methods. The study represents a major advancement towards renewable energy, and can go a long way in reducing our reliance on fossil fuel, which is a non-renewable energy.

The research team used a catalyst that includes a combination of niobium phosphate, which is a type of metal complex, and small platinum particles that are dotted throughout the surface. Using raw wood sawdust, the researchers stewed this catalyst for a period of 20h at a pressure of 50atm and a temperature of 190oC. They later observed that the catalyst effectively decomposed and converted the lignin compound. This discovery paves the way for developing next-generation catalysts that could help convert biomass into a sustainable fuel.
Source: http://www.azocleantech.com

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Introduction to Bioenergy

This book takes a look at energy from biomass (thermal energy, power, liquid fuels, and biogas) and envisions a sustainable future fueled by renewable energy. From production to conversion to heat, power, and biofuel, this book breaks down the science of bioenergy and explains the major processes for its production, conversion, and use. The authors cover measurement energy parameters, analysis of data, and the prediction of energy production for different bio products.

Contact: CRC Press. Tel: +44-0-1235-400524; Fax: +44-0-1235-400525; E-mail: tandf@bookpoint.co.uk

Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015

This report assesses trends in the electricity, transport and heat sectors, identifying drivers and challenges to deployment, and making projections through 2020. It also assesses the potential impacts of enhanced policy actions under an accelerated case for renewable power, which would put the world more firmly on a path to a more sustainable and secure energy system.

Contact: International Energy Agency, 9, rue de la Fédération, 75739 Paris Cedex 15 France. Tel: +33-1-4057-6500; Fax: +33-1-4057-6509; E-mail: General enquiries

Heating with Renewable Energy

This book will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to merge renewable heat sources (such as solar thermal collectors, hydronic heat pumps, and wood-fired boilers) with the latest hydronics hardware and low temperature distribution systems to assemble efficient and reliable heating systems. Easy to understand and packed with full color illustrations that provide detailed piping and control schematics.

Contact: Cengage Learning, 10650 Toebben Drive, Independence, KY 41051, USA. E-mail: order.samples@cengage.com


ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY

This website is optimized for IE 8.0 with screen resolution 1024 x 768
For queries regarding this website, contact us
Copyright © 2010 APCTT | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Feedback