A plug for the battery

IT IS more than two-and-a-half centuries since Benjamin Franklin grouped a number of electrically charged Leyden jars together and, using a military term, called them a “battery”. It is 25 years since Sony released a commercial version of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which now sits snugly in countless smartphones, laptops and other devices.

Solar energy from discarded car batteries

MIT researchers have developed a simple procedure for making a promising type of solar cell using lead recovered from discarded lead-acid car batteries – a practice that could benefit both the environment and human health. As new lead-free car batteries come into use, old batteries would be sent to the solar industry rather than to landfills.

Biophysical and economic limits to negative CO2 emissions

To have a >50% chance of limiting warming below 2 °C, most recent scenarios require large-scale deployment of negative emissions technologies (NETs). This study quantifies potential global impacts of the different NETs on various factors (such as land, greenhouse gas emissions, water, albedo, nutrients and energy) to determine the biophysical limits to, and economic costs of, their widespread application

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Solar Impulse: round-the-world flight to continue after raising €20m

The Swiss solar-powered plane attempting a record-setting round-the-world flight has raised €20m to continue its journey after being grounded in Hawaii by battery problems and the weather. Solar Impulse 2 broke records in July but also damaged its power banks with a five-day and night flight crossing of the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii.

Underwater Balloons, a new concept of storing renewable energy

A Canadian company Hydrostor has developed a way to store excess energy as compressed air and then housing the air underwater inside giant balloons. It may sound funny, but the idea is efficient at energy storage, very cheap, and an environmentally friendly, zero-emissions solution.

Clear thinking needed

IN SOME ways, the climate talks that begin in Paris on November 30th will show world leaders at their best. Taking a break from pressing issues such as terrorist threats and stuttering economies, they will try to avert a crisis that will pose its gravest risks long after they have left office.

Senators Revive Financing Tactic From ’70s for Carbon Emissions

For years, power companies, manufacturers and entrepreneurs have tried to make capturing and storing carbon emissions from industrial operations like burning coal into a business, to little avail. Despite decades of promising research, demonstration projects and government investment, large-scale developments have often proved too difficult and costly to get off the ground.

Making Better Batteries With Hydrogen

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have found that lithium ion batteries operate longer and faster when their electrodes are treated with hydrogen. Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are a class of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.