Carbon fibers could soon become part of the energy system for the next generation of structural batteries. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have discovered that carbon fibers can directly store energy working as battery electrodes, which could ultimately contribute to an overall weight-reduction in future aircrafts and vehicles. While carbon fiber has predominantly been used as a reinforcing material, the researchers found that they have the ability to perform more tasks like storing energy. After examining the microstructure of different types of commercially available carbon fibers, the researchers found that carbon fibers with small and poorly oriented crystals have good electrochemical properties but a lower stiffness in relative terms. However, carbon fibers with large, highly oriented crystals have a greater stiffness with electrochemical properties that are too low to use for structural batteries. The type of carbon fibers best suited to store energy … [Read more...] about Researchers Uncover Hidden Carbon Fiber Ability to Store Energy
Low carbon steel density
By Robert F. ServiceJul. 12, 2018 , 2:00 PM SYDNEY, BRISBANE, AND MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—The ancient, arid landscapes of Australia are fertile ground for new growth, says Douglas MacFarlane, a chemist at Monash University in suburban Melbourne: vast forests of windmills and solar panels. More sunlight per square meter strikes the country than just about any other, and powerful winds buffet its south and west coasts. All told, Australia boasts a renewable energy potential of 25,000 gigawatts, one of the highest in the world and about four times the planet's installed electricity production capacity. Yet with a small population and few ways to store or export the energy, its renewable bounty is largely untapped. That's where MacFarlane comes in. For the past 4 years, he has been working on a fuel cell that can convert renewable electricity into a carbon-free fuel: ammonia. Fuel cells typically use the energy stored in chemical bonds to make electricity; MacFarlane's operates in … [Read more...] about Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon
Stockholm is a city known for its waterways. Founded on an archipelago of some thirty thousand islands, bodies of water are rarely more than a stone's throw away in the Swedish capital. An appreciation for lakes, rivers, and nature in the fullest sense runs high in Swedish sentiment. It's not by chance, after all, that Stockholm is world-leading in air quality, access to green spaces, and sustainable urban planning. That green mentality recently challenged engineers tasked with the design and construction of a new six lane bypass running 21km (more than 13 miles) north to south along the rapidly expanding city's western edge. How can you tackle a task that big whilst keeping the environmental impact to an absolute minimum? "Typically, in an area with as low a building density as we have here, you'd take an overground route and construct bridges where necessary," Johan Brantmark, E4 project manager for the Swedish Transport Administration tells Ars. "That would be cheaper, and far … [Read more...] about An inside look at how Sweden is building the world’s second-longest tunnel
There’s a planet just next door that could explain the origins of life in the universe. It was probably once covered in oceans (SN Online: 8/1/17). It may have been habitable for billions of years (SN Online: 8/26/16). Astronomers are desperate to land spacecraft there.No, not Mars. That tantalizing planet is Venus. But despite all its appeal, Venus is one of the hardest places in the solar system to get to know. That’s partly because modern Venus is famously hellish, with temperatures hot enough to melt lead and choking clouds of sulfuric acid.“If you wanted sinners to fry in their own juice, Venus would be the place to send them,” V. S. Avduevsky, deputy director of the Soviet Union’s spaceflight control center, said in 1976 after his country’s Venera 9 and 10 landers returned their dismal view of the planet’s landscape (SN: 6/19/76, p. 388).Today, would-be Venus explorers say they have the technology to master those damning conditions. … [Read more...] about What will it take to go to Venus?
Advertising Feature By Gunjan SinhaOct. 14, 2016 , 9:00 AM This Advertising Feature has been commissioned, edited, and produced by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office Wales may be small but it has big plans for science. New initiatives to fund over 100 new fellowships and hire up to 30 top scientists, combined with infrastructure investments in the physical sciences, are turning Wales into a land of opportunity. Advanced materials aren’t usually associated with Wales, but it’s high time they were, says James Durrant, professor of photochemistry at Imperial College London. In 2013, Durrant accepted a joint appointment as the Sêr Cymru (Stars Wales) Solar Energy Research Chair at Swansea University in Wales. Now he also coordinates research to build the country’s reputation as a pioneer in new materials that expand the reach of solar energy. At Swansea’s Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial … [Read more...] about Wales wants more scientists