Current Fuel News and Events

Current Fuel News and Events, Fuel News Articles.
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An eco-route for heavy-duty vehicles could reduce fuel consumption
Semi-trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for nearly half of road transportation carbon dioxide emissions in Europe, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation. A team of researchers in Italy has proposed a plan to reduce the emissions without compromising priorities such as delivery times. They published their approach in IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica, a joint publication of the IEEE and the Chinese Association of Automation. (2021-02-19)

Giving oxygen to the question of air quality
Volatile alkanes can rapidly acquire oxygen atoms in a free radical chain reaction, a process significant for fuel combustion and air pollution. (2021-02-18)

New method converts methane in natural gas to methanol at room temperature
Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have discovered a way to convert the methane in natural gas into liquid methanol at room temperature. (2021-02-18)

Ceramic fuel cells: Reduced nickel content leads to improved stability and performance?
A research team in Korea has developed a ceramic fuel cell that offers both stability and high performance while reducing the required amount of catalyst by a factor of 20. The application range for ceramic fuel cells, which have so far only been used for large-scale power generation due to the difficulties associated with frequent start-ups, can be expected to expand to new fields, such as electric vehicles, robots, and drones. (2021-02-17)

Climate change and suppression tactics are critical factors increasing fires
Both climate change and forest management have been blamed for wildfire hazards increasing across western North America, but the relative influence of these drivers is still heavily debated. The results of a recent study show that in some ecosystems, human-caused climate change is the predominant factor; in other places, the trend can also be attributed to a century of fire suppression that has produced dense, unhealthy forests. (2021-02-17)

Fueling the future: Novel two-polymer membrane boosts hydrogen fuel cell performance
Fuel cells are an attractive sustainable energy source due to their eco-friendly by-product, water. However, existing fuel cells are either expensive or low performance. Now, scientists from Korea have designed a robust and highly conductive fuel cell ion-exchange membrane using two readily available polymer materials and a unique technique, opening doors to fuel cells that are both cheap and high performing, bringing us closer to realizing a hydrogen economy. (2021-02-17)

Switching to firm contracts may prevent natural gas fuel shortages at US power plants
New research now indicates that these fuel shortages are not due to failures of pipelines and that in certain areas of the country a change in how gas is purchased can significantly reduce generator outages. The paper, 'What Causes Natural Gas Fuel Shortages at US Power Plants?' by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, was published in Energy Policy. (2021-02-16)

Russian scientists significantly improved coal-burning efficiency
A team of Russian scientists from NUST MISIS, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) and Boreskov Institute of Catalysis has suggested a new approach to modifying the combustion behavior of coal. The addition of copper salts reduces the content of unburnt carbon in ash residue by 3.1 times and CO content in the gaseous combustion products by 40%, the scientists found. The research was published in Fuel Processing Technology. (2021-02-10)

The proton conduction mechanism in protic ionic liquids
Researchers from Niigata University, Japan along with their collaborators from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, Yamagata University, Japan and University of Regensburg, Germany have reported a marked shift in the hydrogen ion hopping mechanism as a function of acid/alkali index in protic ionic liquids. The study holds immense potential to revolutionize the development of protonic conductors for fuel cells. These promising results are now published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. (2021-02-04)

Forests with diverse tree sizes and small clearings hinder wildland fire growth
A new 3D analysis shows that wildland fires flare up in forests populated by similar-sized trees or checkerboarded by large clearings and slow down where trees are more varied. (2021-01-27)

Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of alpha-SnWO4 promise high efficiencies
Photoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight. Alpha-SnWO4 has optimal electronic properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting with sunlight, but corrodes easily. Protective layers of nickel oxide prevent corrosion, but reduce the photovoltage and limit the efficiency. Now a team at HZB has investigated at BESSY II what happens at the interface between the photoanode and the protective layer. (2021-01-26)

Satellite data reveals bonds between emissions, pollution and economy
Burning fossil fuels has long powered world economies while contributing to air pollution and the buildup of greenhouse gases. A new analysis of nearly two decades of satellite data shows that economic development, fossil-fuel combustion and air quality are closely linked on the continental and national scales, but can be decoupled at the national level, according to Penn State scientists. (2021-01-26)

New clues help explain why PFAS chemicals resist remediation
Chemicals used in firefighting foam and other products can last for decades in the environment, resisting efforts to remove them. New research suggest why that happens and new avenues for remediation. (2021-01-19)

Giving the hydrogen economy an acid test
Tsukuba University scientists show that the effectiveness of hydrogen-producing metal catalysts protected by graphene depends on the ability of protons to penetrate into the inner metallic surface. This work may lead to widely available hydrogen-powered cars. (2021-01-14)

How will we achieve carbon-neutral flight in future?
Carbon-neutral aviation is possible, but in future, aircraft are likely to continue to be powered by fossil fuels. The CO2 they emit must be systematically stored underground. This is the most economical of various approaches that ETH researchers have compared in detail. (2021-01-13)

Making hydrogen energy with the common nickel
POSTECH joint research team develops a nickel-based catalyst system doped with oxophilic transition metal elements. (2021-01-12)

Sustainable transportation: clearing the air on nitrogen doping
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba elucidated the initial reaction pathways on the pyridinic nitrogen atoms at the armchair edges of doped carbon catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. This will help optimize a low-carbon technology for future transportation needs. (2021-01-12)

UCF researchers use advanced light to reveal how different biofuels behave
Vehicles have evolved to become more efficient and sophisticated, but their fuel hasn't necessarily evolved along with them. The Department of Energy is determined to identify cleaner burning and renewable alternatives to gasoline, and through the work of two UCF researchers, the DOE is one step closer to that goal. (2021-01-12)

USTC obtains Pd-Pt tesseracts for oxygen reduction reaction
A team led by Prof. ZENG Jie from Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale and Prof. BAO Jun from National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory of University of Science and Technology of China of the Chinese Academy of Sciences made breakthrough in the controlled synthesis of Pd-Pt tesseracts for ORR and the mechanism investigation of their etching process. (2021-01-12)

Researchers synthesize bio-based Methylcyclopentadiene with 3-Methylcyclopent-2-enone
Scientists from DICP synthesized bio-based MCPD via direct hydrodeoxygenation of 3-methylcyclopent-2-enone (MCP) derived from cellulose. (2021-01-07)

Story tips: Nanoscale commuting, easy driver and defect detection
ORNL story tips: Nanoscale commuting, easy driver and defect detection. (2021-01-05)

It's electrifying! This is how Earth could be entirely powered by sustainable energy
Can you imagine a world powered by 100% renewable electricity and fuels? It may seem fantasy, but a collaborative team of scientists has just shown this dream is theoretically possible - if we can garner global buy-in. The study explores what changes are needed in our energy mix and consumption patterns if we are to achieve 100% renewability in a way that supports everyone and the myriad of life on our planet. (2020-12-22)

Scientists suggested a method to improve performance of methanol fuel cells
Fuel cells based on methanol oxidation have a huge potential in the motor and technical industries. To increase their energy performance, scientists suggest using electrodes made of thin palladium-based metallic glass films. A group of researchers from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, and the UK has developed a new metallic glass for this application. The results were reported in the Nanoscale journal. (2020-12-22)

Electron-producing microbes power sustainable wastewater treatment
WSU researchers have developed a sustainable wastewater treatment system that relies on electron-producing microbial communities to clean the water. The work could someday lead to reduced reliance on the energy-intensive processes that are used to move and treat wastewater, which accounts for as much as two percent of the total electrical energy consumption in the United States. (2020-12-17)

How long's too long? Effects of crosslinker length on anion-exchange membrane fuel cells
Anion exchange membrane (AEM) fuel cells (AEMFCs), which produce electricity using hydrogen, are considered an alternative to currently used proton exchange membrane fuel cells. However, AEMs have problems with stability in alkaline conditions, which can be overcome by crosslinking--but effects of crosslinker length on AEMFC performance are not well understood. Now, scientists from Korea have elucidated such effects for oxygen-containing crosslinkers and, using an optimally long crosslinker, produced a novel AEMFC with greater performance. (2020-12-17)

Infrastructure key to balancing climate and economic goals in developing countries
Developing nations have an opportunity to avoid long-term dependence on fossil fuel-burning infrastructure as they move toward economic stability, even if they are slow to cut carbon emissions, say the authors of a new paper. Countries with low per capita incomes can keep their contributions to global warming to 0.3 degrees Celsius with careful foresight and planning, urge Carnegie's Lei Duan and Ken Caldeira with Juan Moreno-Cruz of the University of Waterloo. (2020-12-16)

Researchers use origami to solve space travel challenge
WSU researchers have used the ancient Japanese art of paper folding to possibly solve a key challenge for outer space travel - how to store and move fuel to rocket engines. The researchers have developed an origami-inspired, folded plastic fuel bladder that doesn't crack at super cold temperatures and could someday be used to store and pump fuel. (2020-12-15)

Engineers go microbial to store energy, sequester CO2
By borrowing nature's blueprints for photosynthesis, Cornell University bioengineers have found a way to efficiently absorb and store large-scale, low-cost renewable energy from the sun - while sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide to use later as a biofuel. (2020-12-15)

Study: Oregon's Western Cascades watershed to experience larger, more frequent fires
Projected changes in temperature and relative humidity are expected to lead to longer fire seasons and more severe fire weather in Oregon's Western Cascade mountains, which in turn will result in larger, more frequent fires. (2020-12-14)

Breakthrough material makes pathway to hydrogen use for fuel cells under hot, dry conditions
A collaborative research team, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Stuttgart (Germany), University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a proton conductor for fuel cells based on polystyrene phosphonic acids that maintain high protonic conductivity up to 200 C without water. (2020-12-07)

Safe space: improving the "clean" methanol fuel cells using a protective carbon shell
Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), which produce electricity using methanol, will be an alternative solution in the transition away from fossil fuels and toward a ''hydrogen'' economy. However, undesired methanol oxidation on the cathode side in DMFCs degrades the essential platinum catalyst, causing performance and stability problems. Now, scientists from Korea have found a simple method to coat platinum nanoparticles with a protective carbon shell. This selectively excludes methanol from reaching the catalyst's core on the cathode, solving a long-standing problem in DMFCs. (2020-12-04)

Shuttering fossil fuel power plants may cost less than expected
Decarbonizing US electricity production will require both construction of renewable energy sources and retirement of power plants now operated by fossil fuels. A generator-level model described in the December 4, 2020 issue of the journal Science suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many facilities are nearing the end of their operational lives. (2020-12-03)

Hydrogen-powered heavy duty vehicles could contribute significantly to achieving climate goals
A partial transition of German road transport to hydrogen energy is among the possibilities being discussed to help meet national climate targets. Researcher from the IASS have examined the hypothetical transition to a hydrogen-powered transport sector through several scenarios. Their conclusion: A shift towards hydrogen-powered mobility could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and greatly improve air quality - in particular, heavy duty vehicles represent a low-hanging fruit for decarbonization of German road transport. (2020-12-01)

Biodiesel made from discarded cardboard boxes
Dr. Sun-Mi Lee and her team at the Clean Energy Research Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have announced that they have developed a novel microorganism capable of producing biodiesel precursors from lignocellulosic biomass such as discarded agricultural by-products, waste paper, and cardboard boxes. This microorganism has achieved the product yield twice of what was obtainable from its predecessors. (2020-11-30)

New tech can get oxygen, fuel from Mars's salty water
A new electrolysis system that makes use of briny water could provide astronauts on Mars with life-supporting oxygen and fuel for the ride home. (2020-11-30)

Green hydrogen: Buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyte
Hydrogen produced by using solar energy could contribute to a climate neutral energy system of the future. But there are hurdles on the way from laboratory scale to large-scale implementation. A team at HZB has now presented a method to visualise convection in the electrolyte and to reliably simulate it in advance with a multiphysics model. The results can support the design and scaling up of this technology and have been published in the renowned journal Energy and Environmental Science. (2020-11-19)

New semiconductor coating may pave way for future green fuels
Hydrogen gas and methanol for fuel cells or as raw materials for the chemicals industry, for example, could be produced more sustainably using sunlight, a new Uppsala University study shows. In this study, researchers have developed a new coating material for semiconductors that may create new opportunities to produce fuels in processes that combine direct sunlight with electricity. The study is published in Nature Communications. (2020-11-18)

New technique seamlessly converts ammonia to green hydrogen
Northwestern University researchers have developed a highly effective, environmentally friendly method for converting ammonia into hydrogen. The new technique is a major step forward for enabling a zero-pollution, hydrogen-fueled economy. The idea of using ammonia as a carrier for hydrogen delivery has gained traction in recent years because ammonia is much easier to liquify than hydrogen and is therefore much easier to store and transport. Northwestern's technological breakthrough overcomes several existing barriers to the production of clean hydrogen from ammonia. (2020-11-18)

System can sterilize medical tools using solar heat
Autoclaves, which are used to sterilize medical tools, require a steady supply of hot, pressurized steam. Researchers at MIT and the Indian Institute of Technology have come up with a way to generate that steam passively, using just the power of sunlight, to help maintain safe, sterile equipment at low cost in remote locations. (2020-11-18)

Report: In retrospect, the burning of wood in district heating plants has resulted in climate saving
A new report from the University of Copenhagen shows that the burning of wood is significantly more climate friendly than coal and slightly more climate friendly than natural gas over the long run. For the first time, researchers quantified what the conversion of 10 Danish cogeneration plants from coal or natural gas to biomass has meant for their greenhouse gas emissions. (2020-11-17)

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