Hydrogen to serve as Viable Energy Storage Solution

Among a slew of technologies, hydrogen has the greatest potential for seasonal energy storage in the future, says an analysis conducted by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Seasonal energy storage can facilitate the installation of high and ultra-high percentage of solar and wind energy sources. The findings are presented in an article published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

To validate this, a research team developed a multi-model approach. It involved considering both the value of storage technologies and estimated cost to determine cost-competitiveness. For this, the research team analyzed 80 scenarios that involved pumped hydro, hydrogen, and compressed air to make their determination.

Assessment of Seasonal Storage covers Techno-economic details

The assessment is perhaps so far the most comprehensive one till date for techno-economic details of seasonal storage. On the basis of estimated value provided to the grid, the team of researchers identified specific conditions. This includes assessment of round-trip efficiency, power and energy-related expenditures, and discharge duration. This is to establish if a given storage technology is cost competitive.

For the analysis, the research team assumed 84% of electricity grid in the U.S. Western region is produced by renewable sources. Cost of seasonal storage on the basis of power capacity and energy capacity were included in the study. Whilst this is common for energy storage analysis, the potential revenues of capacity value included by the researchers is not common. This is the cost to construct new peaking plants for supply of electrical demand, as well as uniquely account for grid operating costs that are avoided.

Meanwhile, previous studies into energy storage do not take into account the potential benefits to the grid. With the help of this information, an analysis of benefit-to-cost ration conducted to determine the profitability of storage technologies.

Fuel Efficiency of Aircraft Turboprop Engines Drives Market Growth

The global aircraft turboprop engine market is expected to show ascending graph of demand in the forthcoming years. This growth is attributed to plethora of advantages of using aircraft turboprop engines. These engines are gaining traction owing to their fuel efficiency. At the same time, turboprop engines perform well at the slow speed, which is needed at the time of take-off and landing of an aircraft. Owing to all these features, the global aircraft turboprop engine market is witnessing significant demand avenues.

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Commercial aircraft, military aircraft, and narrow-body aircraft are the basic types presently available in aircraft turboprop engine market. The aircraft turboprop engine has high static power, small installation dimensions, and they are lightweight. Generally, these engines are used on small-sized aircraft.

Players Execute Diverse Strategies to Maintain Leading Position

Enterprises working in the global aircraft turboprop engine market are using diverse strategies to strengthen their market position. Several vendors are focused on advancing the quality of products they offer. For this purpose, they are growing their investments in research and development activities. All these activities indicate significant opportunities for the growth of vendors working in the global aircraft turboprop engine market in the upcoming period.

North America and Europe Projected to Show Growth at Prodigious CAGR

On regional front, North America and Europe will witness notable growth avenues in the aircraft turboprop engine market during forthcoming years. One of the key reasons for this growth is presence of sturdy aircraft manufacturing companies in the regions. Besides, Asia Pacific is one of the prominent regions in the market for aircraft turboprop engine. The region is expected to grow at a prodigious CAGR during the upcoming period. However, the aircraft turboprop engine market will experience the negative impact of COVID-19 on the overall growth in upcoming years.

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New Laser-based Technique to convert Cellulose into Biofuel, Study aims towards a Green Future

At present, the imminent threat of a climate crisis is looming on us. It has thus become crucial to develop efficient fuels alternative to fossil fuels. The use of clean sources of fuels called biofuel is one option, which can be produced from natural sources such as biomass. Meanwhile, the plant-based polymer cellulose most abundantly available form of biomass globally and can be converted into raw materials xylose and glucose for the production of bioethanol.

However, the process is challenging due to the rigid and dense structure of the molecule, which makes it insoluble in water. Biotechnologists and chemists have used traditional techniques such as microwave radiation, ultrasonication, hydrolysis to degrade this polymer. Nonetheless, the requirement of extreme conditions make these processes unsustainable.

To this end, a new technique for cellulose degradation is developed by a team of researchers. The findings of the research is published in Energy & Fuels. The technique for cellulose degradation was based on a type of laser called infrared-free electron laser. The wavelength of infrared-free electron laser is tunable in the range of 3 to 20 μm. This new method is a promising one for zero-emission degradation of cellulose.

Infrared-free Electron Laser features Unique Ability to Modify Structure of Substances

The ability to impel a multiphoton absorption for a molecule and alter the structure of a substance is a unique feature of infrared-free electron laser. So far, cellulose degradation technology has been used in chemistry, physics, and medicine, but the objective is to augment advances in environmental technology.

And, scientists knew that infrared-free electron laser could be used to conduct dissociation reactions on various biomolecules. Meanwhile, cellulose is a biopolymer synthesized of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen molecules, which makes covalent bonds that vary from each other in terms of lengths and angles.

New Battery Electrolyte to boost the Running of Electric Vehicles

The next-gen battery-powered electric vehicles may soon be a reality thanks to a new lithium-based electrolyte. The invention of a team of researchers from Stanford is published in the June 22 issue of Nature Energy.

In terms of design of the novel electrolyte, the researchers demonstrated how the performance of lithium metal batteries is a promising technology to power laptops, electric vehicles, and other devices.

Most electric cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are fast approaching their theoretical limit in terms on energy density. The focus of the study is lithium metal batteries, which are lighter in weight than lithium-ion batteries. The latter can potentially provide more energy per unit volume and weight.

Despite Slew of Advantages, Lithium-metal Batteries pose risk of Failure

Finding use from smartphones to electric cars, lithium-ion batteries have two electrodes. The positively charged cathode contains lithium and a negatively charged anode is usually composed of graphite. An electrolyte solution enables lithium ions to toggle back and forth between cathode and anode when the battery is used and when it is recharged.

Meanwhile, electricity holding capacity of a lithium metal battery is about twice as much per kilogram compared to conventional lithium-ion battery. The lithium metal in lithium ion batteries in place of graphite anode enables to store energy more significantly.

“Lithium metal batteries are promising for electric vehicles, where volume and weight matters,” stated co-author of the study. Nonetheless, the lithium metal anode reacts with the liquid electrolyte during operation. This results in the growth of lithium microstructures on the surface of the anode, which can result in the battery to catch fire and fail.

Researchers have spent decades to try to address the dendrite problem.

The electrolyte is the Achilles’ heel of lithium ion batteries.