Future Batteries: Lithium-Sulfur with a Graphene Wrapper

What do you get when you wrap a thin sheet of the “wonder material” graphene around a novel multifunctional sulfur electrode that combines an energy storage unit and electron/ion transfer networks? An extremely promising electrode structure design for rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries. Lithium-sulfur batteries are of great commercial interest because they boast theoretical specific energy densities …

Read more

Progress to fully optical computing and faster hybrid computing

New research has demonstrated how glass can be manipulated to create a material that will allow computers to transfer information using light. This development could significantly increase computer processing speeds and power in the future. The challenge was to find a single material that can effectively use and control light to carry information around a …

Read more

Tesla Motors First Gigabattery factory will be in Nevada

Tesla Motors has chosen Nevada as the site for its proposed $5 billion “gigafactory” battery plant. Tesla has already excavated on the presumed site at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, roughly a four-hour drive from Tesla’s Fremont factory. Casinos — which need a lot of electricity — could be prime customers of Tesla’s energy storage …

Read more

Better Combustion through plasma could eventually improve the efficiency of jets, trains and cars

Mix together air, fuel, and heat and you get combustion, the chemical reaction that powers most engines in planes, trains and automobiles. And if you throw in some ionized gas (plasma), it turns out, you can sustain combustion even in conditions that would otherwise snuff out the reaction: at low air pressure, in high winds …

Read more

The Self Driving car revolution should begin with Trucks

Nextbigfuture was looking at how and where to operate robotic cars to accelerate their introduction back in 2008. Robotic car only zones in city centers would have enabled robotic cars to have more simplified and controlled environments to navigate. We had also looked at having robotic cars waiting or going to users. Robotic electric cars …

Read more

Coal high in fluorine and iron pyrite makes hydroflouric acid to mess up bones and teeth of people in Guizhou, China

Some coal is high in fluorine and also has iron pyrite. The combination is deadly – when burned it make hydrofluoric acid. (H/T Chris Phoenix Excess fluorine consumption can often cause dental fluorinosis, a condition in which excess fluorine is deposited in the teeth, discoloring them. In more severe cases, fluorine deposition in the bones …

Read more

Electrowinning process could lower the cost of Titanium by up to 60 percent

A Case Western Reserve University proposal for a low-cost, energy-efficient method to extract the strategic metal titanium from ore has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy for contract negotiations. This one-year project will be funded by ARPA-E at about $675K through the program on Modern Electro/Thermo-chemical Advances in Light-metal …

Read more

Green the deserts by using seawater to cool greenhouses

Norwegian biologist Joakim Hauge wants to green the deserts using greenhouses that are cooled by seawater. They plan to grow 1200 cucumbers per square metre per year in new greenhouses. In March, temperatures outside were in the 30s (celsius), but in the low 20s in the greenhouse. In August, it can reach 50 °C outside, …

Read more

New metal-organic framework four times better at extracting uranium from seawater

The most advanced system today for extracting uranium from seawater employs plastic fibers with uranium-binding chemical groups grafted onto their surface. Now, researchers led by Wenbin Lin, a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have designed a metal-organic framework (MOF) to collect common uranium-containing ions dissolved in seawater. In …

Read more

Grid power backup via Solar power and flywheels at affordable prices

1000 to 3000 watts of solar power that operate stand alone as well as on the grid can be used to provide power during a power outage and provide lower electrical costs at other times. 200 watt standalone solar is $400 or less. 400 watts is $700 or less. 2200 watts can be had for …

Read more