Energy

Next-gen spacecraft: In-development solid oxide fuel cells offer bipropellant enabled electrical power supply

By Lisa McDonald / September 20, 2022

Mass and volume limitations make it challenging to load a spacecraft with all the equipment needed for a mission. An effort led by the Air Force Research Laboratory is developing a solid oxide fuel cell that converts chemical energy in a spacecraft’s bipropellant into electricity, thereby allowing an existing spacecraft component to be used as an auxiliary power supply.

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Additive manufacturing for energy applications, plus more inside September 2022 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / August 18, 2022

The September 2022 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring additive manufacturing for energy applications—is now available online. Plus—ACerS Awards of 2022 and new C&GM.

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With safety and performance, ceramic batteries are in the works

By Jonathon Foreman / August 9, 2022

Substantial ceramics research projects are looking to address issues with current lithium-based battery technologies. A selection of recent papers in ACerS journals highlights some of the efforts toward new electrolyte, cathode, and anode materials.

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Accelerated aging test suggests decades-long performance is possible for new perovskite solar cell

By Lisa McDonald / July 26, 2022

As the lifetime of perovskite solar cells improves, accelerated aging tests are needed to determine their long-term stability. Researchers at Princeton University and Linköping University proposed a new method for performing accelerated aging tests on perovskites—and demonstrated their newly developed perovskite cell may last up to 30 years in operation.

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Video: States release their plans for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program

By Lisa McDonald / July 20, 2022

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program aims to provide states with nearly $5 billion in funding to strategically deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure. To receive their share of the funding, each state must submit a deployment plan by August 1. Compiled here are links to the plans released so far.

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Oxysulfide glass electrolytes show promise for making all-solid-state sodium batteries a reality

By Lisa McDonald / July 15, 2022

An all-solid-state sodium battery that operates at ambient temperatures (under 100°C) would allow for safer usage in a broader range of applications. Researchers led by University of Houston and Iowa State University propose a new homogeneous oxysulfide glass electrolyte could make such a battery possible.

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Video: ‘Sand battery’ keeps Finnish town warm during the dark, cold winters

By Lisa McDonald / July 6, 2022

Adapting to climate change not only requires updating our existing energy systems but also designing new ways of storing and transmitting energy that can better withstand extreme environments. Finnish startup Polar Night Energy just completed the first commercial installation of their new heat storage system, which stores thermal energy using sand.

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New design for electrochemical membrane reactors improves long-term stability and efficiency of hydrogen production

By Lisa McDonald / June 21, 2022

Chemical storage offers a potentially easier way to transport hydrogen, but there is room to improve the way in which hydrogen is extracted from the carrier compound. Researchers led by CoorsTek Membrane Sciences designed a new electrochemical membrane reactor that achieves more than 99% hydrogen extraction efficacy.

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Carbon–tungsten oxide cathodes may benefit long-term stability of aluminum-ion batteries

By Lisa McDonald / May 24, 2022

Aluminum-ion batteries are faster, cheaper, and safer than lithium-ion batteries, but finding an appropriate material for the cathode is proving to be a barrier to commercialization. Researchers in Poland investigated the potential of carbon–tungsten oxide composites as cathode materials.

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Silicon, zirconium nitrides may serve as superior coatings in next-generation nuclear fuels

By Lisa McDonald / April 19, 2022

Tristructural isotropic coated particle fuel is expected to improve safety of nuclear reactors. Researchers led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville investigated the potential of using silicon nitride and zirconium nitride in TRISO particle fuel rather than silicon carbide.

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