Chu, scientist and Nobel laureate, tapped for DOE head

By / December 11, 2008

There’s a ripple of excitement in the science and technical community. Imagine – an experienced scientist and successful administrator with a breadth of knowledge at the helm of the Department of Energy. Given the role DOE is going to play in the next few years, the selection of Steven Chu comes at a critical time.…

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Bay Area Plans to become US’ Electric Car Capital

By Ed Herderick / December 10, 2008

(Hello to Ed Herderick, one of our new bloggers. Ed is working on his PhD in material sciences at The Ohio State University. His focus is on nanowire synthesis, characterization, and properties measurements, and if you ever want to yack with someone about the functional properties of oxides including gas sensing, piezoelectric, and ferroelectric properties-…

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Video of the week – Solid oxide fuel cells

By / December 10, 2008

The scientist featured in this video is M. Saiful Islam from the Department of Chemistry, University of Bath (U.K.), who provides a overview on the operations of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and describes how his computer-based modeling techniques differ from lab-oriented approaches. Islam ‘s Materials Chemistry Group website has more information on clean…

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One BAM good nanocoating!

By / December 5, 2008

(Also – see BAM Update here.) What’s almost as hard as diamond, slicker than Teflon and “green” enough to reduce the United States’ industrial energy consumption by trillions of BTUs a year? The answer is BAM – a ceramic alloy created by combining a mix of boron, aluminum and magnesium with titanium diboride. The world’s…

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Army intros new energy program, test projects

By / December 4, 2008

The United State Army’s newly introduced energy plan calls for the construction of what could be the world’s most powerful solar power plant and initiation of four additional pilot projects designed to reduce the Army’s dependence on fossil fuels. New pilot projects: Announced in early Oct., the plan has established a Senior Energy Council, which will act…

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New pre-approved contracts speed access to DOE labs

By / November 24, 2008

DOE has developed two pre-approved, standardized contracts that will now make it easier for academia and industry to use its world-class research facilities. One of the model contracts covers proprietary research, while the other addresses non-proprietary scientific investigations. Both are applicable at all designated DOE user facilities and labs, requiring minimal – if any –…

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Obama – what’s in store for clean-tech businesses?

By / November 22, 2008

The reality of a depressed economy may temper President-Elect Obama’s approach to environmental issues, but it won’t tamper with his original clean-tech objectives – at least according to his responses to an interview on the Nov. 16 TV news show 60 Minutes. Reminded of his pre-election proposal calling on America to save more oil over…

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Honda displays second fuel cell vehicle

By / November 21, 2008

Ya gotta hand it to Honda for positioning itself at the front of the this game-changing technology. On the heels of the release of its FCX Clarity sedan, Honda displayed a three-seater fuel cell sports car, the FC Sport Wednesday at the LA car show. It has a low profile and centers the driver in…

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China tops list of CO2 emitters

By / November 20, 2008

The world’s carbon dioxide emissions have escalated 38 percent since 1992, climbing from 6.1 billion tons in 1992 to 8.5 billion tons last year, according to DOE’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, located at Oak Ridge National Labs. In 1992, the United States headed the list of the world’s top five CO2 emitters. The rest of…

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CO2 sequestration leaps forward with new basalt study

By / November 18, 2008

Federal scientists working at PNNL today unveiled results of research that appear to show that carbon dioxide can be permanently stored in deep underground basalt formations with little or no threats to safety. A PNNL news release states that facility staff “have discovered key factors that show water-saturated liquid CO2, under conditions mimicking deep geologic…

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