Paper Battery Researchers at Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute have developed an ultra-thin, flexible energy storage device that looks a bit like a small sheet of black paper. Looks aren’t too deceiving in this case, since more than 90 percent of the tiny battery is made out of cellulose, the same plant-derived material used to make paper — release.
Power Solar: National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists have figured out a new way to make solar cells more efficient. A typical silicon solar cell generates only one electron per photon of sunlight. But now the scientists have proven that it’s possible to take one photon of sunlight and turn it into two or three electrons. The discovery could lead to cheaper photovoltaics that are up to 40 percent efficient — Technology Review.
Coal to Ethanol: Louisiana State University professors are working on a project to produce ethanol from a coal-derived synthetic gas, or syngas, made of mostly carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The team, along with partners Clemson University and Oak Ridge National Labortory, received $2.9 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and Conoco-Phillips – release.