Water-based Fuel Cell Converts Carbon Emissions to Electricity
By Georgina Torbet— Posted onJanuary 20, 2019
Carbon emissions are one of the big concerns impacting climate change, with projects from the development of carbon dioxide-scrubbing plants to businesses pledging to offset their carbon emissions being suggested as ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Now scientists from South Korea have come up with a breakthrough concept which can turn carbon emissions into usable energy.
Scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution. The inspiration came from the fact that much of the carbon dioxide produced by humans is absorbed by the oceans, where it raises the level of acidity in the water. Researchers used this concept to “melt” carbon dioxide in water in order to induce an electrochemical reaction. When acidity rises, the number of protons increases, and these protons attract electrons at a high rate. This can be used to create a battery system where electricity is produced by removing carbon dioxide. Read More
Switch from ‘Renewable’ to ‘Actual Measurable Impacts of each Technology’
Abandoning the term “renewable energy” may help the fight against climate change, say Atte Harjanne and Janne M. Korhonen in an article in the journal Energy Policy. While it might seem somewhat futile to try to dramatically transform discourse that is so deeply ingrained within a field, the authors say that we must acknowledge the collective global failure in mitigating climate change alongside the institutionalized concepts that seem to have played a role in that failure.
The researchers analyzed the history of the concept of renewable energy, and many examples of problematic issues regarding its use emerged. With an institutional theory framework that focuses on problems inherent with the vocabulary of climate change rather than the science itself, the authors discuss how specific energy generation methods commonly described as “renewable” can hide the complexities of alternative policy options. The authors’ argument centers on the great diversity of renewable energy sources, leading to the conclusion that lumping all renewable technologies together can limit the more valuable comparisons of the benefits and disadvantages of different energy generation methods in a variety of situations.
Harjanne, a doctoral researcher at Aalto University School of Business in Finland, acknowledges that climate change is “the most pressing issue of our time. Rather than focusing on renewables, we should be looking at the actual measurable impacts of each technology.” The report suggests that climate change language should be used that describes low carbon content in the energy generating process and the lowest possible levels of combustion as the 2 key favorable factors for any technology. Read More
LONDON, United Kingdom–Though geothermal energy is a more involved and expensive undertaking than other renewables, its significant benefits make it an ideal way for the Eastern Caribbean to gain greater energy independence, reduce energy costs and achieve sustainable development.
The islands of the Eastern Caribbean are renowned for their natural beauty and rich culture. But the volcanic origin of these islands has not only created breathtaking scenery, it could soon provide the solution to the region’s quest for clean, renewable and affordable energy.
Like most small island developing states (SIDS), the countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) spend a large part of their earnings on imported fossil fuels to meet their energy needs, yet they also boast high levels of solar radiation, good wind regimes and impressive geothermal potential.
Across the world, the cost of energy has a major influence on quality of life. Energy represents a significant cost to households, businesses and states. Reductions in the cost of technologies such as solar have led to promising growth in the renewable energy sector, but to make this sector a significant contributor to electricity generation in the OECS, efforts must include geothermal energy development.
The International Renewable Energy Agency reports that geothermal deployment worldwide reached a total installed capacity of 12.7 gigawatts in 2016, a level well below its potential. However, there is increasing recognition of its many advantages over other technologies, which may explain why global geothermal output has risen by 26 per cent in just over five years. Read More