ECS is hosting a series of webinars presented by distinguished speakers this June. Join us! Speakers include Harry Atwater from the California Institute of Technology, Arumugam Manthiram from the University of Texas at Austin, and Paul Kenis from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Topics include batteries, energy, carbon, and more. Considering attending? Learn more about what you can expect to hear about from our presenters! (more…)
We are indeed living in a unique and challenging time in human history. Never before, in the modern age, have we faced a pandemic with such a profound, global impact as COVID-19. Although we are still very much in the initial grip of this unprecedented catastrophe, it is vital—perhaps more than ever before—that we recognize and celebrate Earth Day and its 50th anniversary. (more…)
Join ECS San Francisco Section on December 12 for a presentation by Yijin Liu:
An Integrated Multi-modal X-ray Microscopy for Energy Material Science
When: Thursday, December 12, 2019
Where: Sakura Bistro
388 9th Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Free participation; $35 flat fee for dinner
“Bubble-based electrochemical methods for detection of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water”
Marshall Medoff will make you think twice about what is possible. The 81-year-old took an interest in the environment 25 years ago and decided he was going to take it upon himself to stop global warming. With no science background or financial support, Medoff took it upon himself to “save the world.” For more than a decade, he worked alone out of a garage at a storage facility, educating himself and working towards his goal; his solution, transform inedible plant life into environmentally friendly transportation fuels in a clean, cost-effective alternative.
“Cellulose is everywhere. I mean, there’s just so much cellulose in the world and nobody had managed to use any of it,” explained Medoff, as he chatted with correspondent Lesley Stahl on 60 minutes. “I said, ‘Wow, if I can break through this, we can increase the resources of the world maybe by a third or more.’ Who knows?” (more…)
Most take the world around them for granted, never expecting anything extraordinary out of what’s always proven to be, well, extra ordinary. According to Futurism, that’s what many felt about a methylene blue dye used to dye fabric in textile mills. Its remnants even considered a nuisance and a hazard, often making its way from the mill and into the environment, where it’s no easy task to clean up.
So researchers from the University at Buffalo began experimenting with the industrial dye, in an attempt to reuse the wasted material, turning the methylene blue wastewater into an environmentally safe material – in batteries.
Urban air pollution in the U.S. has been decreasing near continuously since the 1970s.
Federal regulations, notably the Clean Air Act passed by President Nixon, to reduce toxic air pollutants such as benzene, a hydrocarbon, and ozone, a strong oxidant, effectively lowered their abundance in ambient air with steady progress.
But about 10 years ago, the picture on air pollutants in the U.S. started to change. The “fracking boom” in several different parts of the nation led to a new source of hydrocarbons to the atmosphere, affecting abundances of both toxic benzene and ozone, including in areas that were not previously affected much by such air pollution.
As a result, in recent years there has been a spike of research to determine what the extent of emissions are from fracked oil and gas wells – called “unconventional” sources in the industry. While much discussion has surrounded methane emissions, a greenhouse gas, less attention has been paid to air toxics.
The fifth international Electrochemical Energy Summit recently took place during the 228th ECS Meeting. From environmental damage to economic implications to political involvement, the summit served as a forum for the top researchers in energy technology to discuss the most pressing issues in renewable energy and inspire technological solutions.
During the summit, we gathered some key speakers from energy research institutions across the U.S. to talk about challenges in energy storage, roadblocks for implementing renewables, and the role government plays in changing the energy infrastructure.
The podcast is moderated by ECS vice president Krishnan Rajeshwar, with guests David Wesolowski, The Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Energy Frontier Research Center; M. Stanley Whittingham, NorthEast Center for Chemical Energy Storage (NECCES); Gary Rubloff, Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage (NEES) Energy Frontier Research Center; and Paul Fenter, Center for Electrochemical Energy Science (CEES).
On a global scale, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the number one contributor to dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing levels of CO2 accelerate the devastating effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and a higher global temperature. In order to reduce these emissions, researchers are tackling projects from the implementation of a clean energy infrastructure to scrubbing CO2 from the atmosphere. The researchers from the University of South Carolina are exploring even another innovative way to reduce CO2 emissions by turning the harmful byproduct into fuel.
The team, led by ECS member Xiao-Dong Zhou, is looking for a way to harness CO2 emissions that already exist in the environment and use green technologies to inject energy and produce fuel.
Making Green Fuels
While 100 percent renewable energy may be the ultimate answer for the energy infrastructure, it is difficult for industrialized countries that heavily depend on traditional combustion technologies to make that transition so rapidly. The implementation of wind and solar technologies on the large scale also raises question to grid efficiency, reliability, and storage.
One solution to this issue is by using technologies such as solar and wind to turn harmful CO2 emissions into clean, usable fuels.
When it comes to alternative energy solutions, many researchers are looking to fuel cells as a promising solution. With high theoretical efficiency levels and their environmentally friendly qualities, fuel cells could be an answer to both the energy crisis and climate issues. However, researchers are still looking at how to build a fuel cell so that it is not only efficient, but also cost effective.
Sadia Kabir, ECS student member and PhD student at the University of New Mexico, recently published a paper in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society detailing her novel work on graphene-supported catalysts for fuel cells. Kabir is moving from theory to proof with her new research, showcasing an efficient and economically viable fuel cell.
The research was compiled by an interdisciplinary team with representatives from the University of New Mexico, University of Portiers, and Franunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology.