Oxygen drawn from the air reacts within the porous carbon to release the electrical charge in this lithium-air battery.
A new type of air-fuelled battery could give up to ten times the energy storage of designs currently available.
This step-change in capacity could pave the way for a new generation of electric cars, mobile phones and laptops.
The research work, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is being led by researchers at the University of St Andrews with partners at Strathclyde and Newcastle.
The new design has the potential to improve the performance of portable electronic products and give a major boost to the renewable energy industry. The batteries will enable a constant electrical output from sources such as wind or solar, which stop generating when the weather changes or night falls….
The STAIR (St Andrews Air) cell should be cheaper than today’s
rechargeables, too. The new component is made of porous carbon, which
is far less expensive than the lithium cobalt oxide it replaces.
Original press release here.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee begins debate this afternoon on a major global warming and energy bill amid protests from Republicans, the petroleum industry and far-left environmental groups.
Republican lawmakers on Friday requested one more hearing on the 932-page measure, complaining that Chairman Henry Waxman’s “self-imposed Memorial Day deadline for reporting this bill necessarily requires that we short-circuit the logical legislative process that our democracy thrives on, and replace it with a frantic rush to judgment.”
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) yesterday unveiled a scaled-back renewable electricity standard as he seeks to steer the plan through the panel as part of a larger energy bill.
The new plan would require utilities to provide 15 percent of their power from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy by 2021, with slightly over a fourth of the requirement met through energy efficiency measures.
Bingaman earlier floated a 20 percent standard with a similar efficiency carve-out. The draft would not include any hydroelectric power except for dams that did not previously generate any energy. There has been previous discussion of allowing new incremental hydropower to be counted toward the requirement.
Up until last week, the climate and energy bill didn’t consider biomass collected from federal forestlands as a renewable feedstock under the proposed national renewable energy standard.
Greenwire reports, however, that the latest draft of the Waxman-Markey bill contains a compromise on the definition “” one that would allow the use of some non-commercial biomass removed from federally managed forests only in order to prevent forest fires or restore ecosystem health.
It would restrict the use of biomass collected from old-growth stands.
“As the House of Representatives discusses a major climate and energy bill this week, the petroleum industry blasted what it called the bill’s inequitable distribution of carbon allowances to oil refiners.
While power companies “” among the top emitters in the nation “” get the lion’s share of free permits, oil refiners would get 2 percent of the free permits.
Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s main trade group, called the proposals ‘unacceptable as drafted.’”
Some Republicans really don’t like the idea of new jobs. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) , in his opening statement on the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), attacked green jobs as “subprime” and “just like leaves on a tree” that disappear over time”¦
The variation in intensity of carbon emissions is extreme. Across 1,559 counties with at least 25,000 residents in 2002, the average carbon emissions per capita was 7.66 tons but with a median of 3.28 tons and a standard deviation of 16.9 tons. . . Counties with high emissions per capita are likely to be poorer and represented by a more conservative legislator. According to the report, ‘Conservative, poor, rural areas will face a higher carbon bill under a cap and trade system than liberal, rich, urban areas.’ . .
Want real progress on the fight against pollution and global warming? It won’t come by giving in to the demands to carbon-state legislators to get a compromise that really means a bill too weak to be effective. Instead we need to convince carbon-state voters. We need to offer them a package of benefits that will provide education, environmental restoration, and a promise of jobs. And it needs to be a good offer. A big offer. Because the only way to get their vote is by taking it away from guys like McConnell, and replacing them with legislators who are concerned more with the people, and less with the companies.
Two European firms have committed to investing up to $8 billion in a plan to develop natural gas fields in Iraq’s Kurdistan, hoping to convert the war-torn nation into a major European supplier.
The project, to be funded by OMV AG of Austria and MOL Nyrt. of Hungary, follows a turbulent period of Europe’s relationship with Russia, a key supply source. It intends to shore up the Nabucco pipeline, which seeks to bypass Russia by connecting natural gas fields in Central Asia to European markets by way of the Middle East.
Two decades ago, the strip of sand between the Pacific Ocean and the Andean foothills was empty except for the occasional fig or carob tree. But the northern end of perhaps the world’s driest desert – a harsh and unforgiving clime “” is now the center of Peru’s export agriculture industry.
Rising demand for irrigation and drinking water is draining the aquifer faster than it can recharge, and a scheme to channel more water from the Andean highlands, which receive seasonal rainfall, is pitting big agribusinesses on the coast against Quechua-speaking llama herders in the mountains.
Experts say the conflict is just one sign of rising tensions over water use as supplies of the vital resource dwindle and shift with changes in climate.
The Australian government plans to build the world’s largest solar power station, a 1,000-megawatt plant that would generate three times as much electricity as the world’s largest solar electric plant, now located in California, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced. Preliminary plans call for the construction of four individual plants “” two solar thermal plants that use mirrors to focus the sun’s heat on steam-generating pipes or towers and two plants that use photovoltaic cells.
Over all, the proposed facility would cost about U.S. $1 billion, Rudd said, and would generate electricity equivalent to a large coal-fired power plant. Calling solar energy “Australia’s biggest natural resource,” the prime minister said he hopes the plants will be the first in a network of solar installations across Australia, making the nation a global leader in solar power. Construction plans will be developed over the next six months and the government hopes to open the new solar power power station by 2015.
Compiled by Max Luken and Carlin Rosengarten