Nanoporous methane storage – an impossible target?

Emma Stephen writes about an EES article in Chemistry World.


Is it possible to design a material to fulfil current methane storage goals? This is the question that a multi-disciplinary research team set out to answer by rapidly screening hundreds of thousands of possible methane storage materials in a computational study. Methane could reduce global dependence on oil so the search is on for nanoporous materials to act as fuel tanks for this tricky-to-store gas; but things are not looking promising.

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Interested to find out more? Read the full article by Emma Stephen in Chemistry World.

Read the original article in Energy and Environmental Science:

The materials genome in action: identifying the performance limits for methane storage
Cory M. Simon, Jihan Kim, Diego A. Gomez-Gualdron, Jeffrey S. Camp, Yongchul G. Chung, Richard L. Martin, Rocio Mercado, Michael W. Deem, Dan Gunter, Maciej Haranczyk, David S. Sholl, Randall Q. Snurr and Berend Smit
Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03515A, Perspective

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HOT Articles in EES

The following HOT articles have been highlighted by the reviewers of the articles as being particularly interesting or significant pieces of research. These are all free to access until 28th February 2015. The order they appear in the list has no meaning or ranking.


Microbial electrochemistry and technology: terminology and classification
Uwe Schröder, Falk Harnisch and Largus T. Angenent  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03359K, Perspective


A silole copolymer containing a ladder-type heptacylic arene and naphthobisoxadiazole moieties for highly efficient polymer solar cells
Zhiyun Zhang, Francis Lin, Hsieh-Chih Chen, Hung-Chin Wu, Chin-Lung Chung, Chien Lu, Shih-Hung Liu, Shih-Huang Tung, Wen-Chang Chen, Ken-Tsung Wong and Pi-Tai Chou  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03642E, Communication

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Material descriptors for predicting thermoelectric performance
Jun Yan, Prashun Gorai, Brenden Ortiz, Sam Miller, Scott A. Barnett, Thomas Mason, Vladan Stevanović and Eric S. Toberer  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03157A, Paper


Understanding the rate-dependent J–V hysteresis, slow time component, and aging in CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite solar cells: the role of a compensated electric field
W. Tress, N. Marinova, T. Moehl, S. M. Zakeeruddin, Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin and M. Grätzel  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03664F, Paper


Polyoxometalate-functionalized nanocarbon materials for energy conversion, energy storage and sensor systems
Yuanchun Ji, Lujiang Huang, Jun Hu, Carsten Streb and Yu-Fei Song  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03749A, Review Article

C4EE03749A GA


Power-to-What? – Environmental assessment of energy storage systems
André Sternberg and André Bardow  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03051F, Analysis


Flexible graphene devices related to energy conversion and storage
Xiluan Wang and Gaoquan Shi  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03685A, Review Article


Light management in thin film silicon solar cells
F.-J. Haug and C. Ballif  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03346A, Review Article


1,2,4-Triazolium perfluorobutanesulfonate as an archetypal pure protic organic ionic plastic crystal electrolyte for all-solid-state fuel cells
Jiangshui Luo, Annemette H. Jensen, Neil R. Brooks, Jeroen Sniekers, Martin Knipper, David Aili, Qingfeng Li, Bram Vanroy, Michael Wübbenhorst, Feng Yan, Luc Van Meervelt, Zhigang Shao, Jianhua Fang, Zheng-Hong Luo, Dirk E. De Vos, Koen Binnemans and Jan Fransaer  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02280G, Paper


The materials genome in action: identifying the performance limits for methane storage
Cory M. Simon, Jihan Kim, Diego A. Gomez-Gualdron, Jeffrey S. Camp, Yongchul G. Chung, Richard L. Martin, Rocio Mercado, Michael W. Deem, Dan Gunter, Maciej Haranczyk, David S. Sholl, Randall Q. Snurr and Berend Smit  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03515A, Perspective


Bioelectrodes modified with chitosan for long-term energy supply from the body
S. El Ichi, A. Zebda, J.-P. Alcaraz, A. Laaroussi, F. Boucher, J. Boutonnat, N. Reverdy-Bruas, D. Chaussy, M. N. Belgacem, P. Cinquin and D. K. Martin  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03430A, Paper


β-cyclodextrin enhanced triboelectrification for self-powered phenol detection and electrochemical degradation
Zhaoling Li, Jun Chen, Jin Yang, Yuanjie Su, Xing Fan, Ying Wu, Chongwen Yu and Zhong Lin Wang  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03596H, Communication

Cooperative kinetics of depolarization in CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite solar cells
Luca Bertoluzzi, Rafael S. Sanchez, Linfeng Liu, Jin-Wook Lee, Elena Mas-Marza, Hongwei Han, Nam-Gyu Park, Ivan Mora-Sero and Juan Bisquert  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03171G, Communication
C4EE03171G GA

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HOT Articles in EES

The following HOT articles have been highlighted by the reviewers of the articles as being particularly interesting or significant pieces of research. These are all free to access until 31st January 2015. The order they appear in the list has no meaning or ranking.

Automated vehicles and electrification of transport
Gregory James
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02229G, Opinion

C4EE02229G GA

Band engineering of high performance p-type FeNbSb based half-Heusler thermoelectric materials for figure of merit zT > 1
Chenguang Fu, Tiejun Zhu, Yintu Liu, Hanhui Xie and Xinbing Zhao  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03042G, Communication

C4EE03042G GA

Mechanistic insights into solar water oxidation by cobalt-phosphate-modified α-Fe2O3 photoanodes
Gerard M. Carroll, Diane K. Zhong and Daniel R. Gamelin  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02869D, Paper

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Theory, practice and prospects of X-ray and neutron scattering for lignocellulosic biomass characterization: towards understanding biomass pretreatment
Gang Cheng, Xin Zhang, Blake Simmons and Seema Singh  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03147D, Review Article

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Peanut shell hybrid sodium ion capacitor with extreme energy–power rivals lithium ion capacitors
Jia Ding, Huanlei Wang, Zhi Li, Kai Cui, Dimitre Karpuzov, Xuehai Tan, Alireza Kohandehghan and David Mitlin  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02986K, Paper

C4EE02986K GA

Adipic acid production from lignin
Derek R. Vardon, Mary Ann Franden, Christopher W. Johnson, Eric M. Karp, Michael T. Guarnieri, Jeffrey G. Linger, Michael J. Salm, Timothy J. Strathmann and Gregg T. Beckham  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03230F, Paper

C4EE03230F GA

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Biodiesel byproduct rejuvenated into plastic feedstock

Chemistry World article written by Geri Kitley

A significant amount of glycerol (bottom layer) is leftover when making biodiesel (top layer) © Bo Cheng/ETH Zurich

A sustainable method to synthesise platform chemical lactic acid from waste glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production, has emerged from research in Switzerland.

Collaboration between the advanced catalysis engineering and the safety and environmental technology groups at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, headed by Javier Pérez-Ramírez and Konrad Hungerbuehler, respectively, gave way to the new cascade process. Glycerol is first oxidised to give dihydroxyacetone through an established enzymatic process. Dihydroxyacetone is then isomerised over a tin-containing zeolite catalyst, which was designed by ETH Zurich team, to give lactic acid.

Interested to know more?

Take a look at the full Chemistry World article by Geri Kitley online now.

For further information also see the original research article:

Environmental and economic assessment of lactic acid production from glycerol using cascade bio- and chemocatalysis
Merten Morales, Pierre Y. Dapsens, Isabella Giovinazzo, Julia Witte, Cecilia Mondelli, Stavros Papadokonstantakis, Konrad Hungerbühler and Javier Pérez-Ramírez
Energ. Environ. Sci., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03352C

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From nutshell to supercapattery

Chemistry World article written by Dannielle Whittaker

Scientists in Canada have created a hybrid sodium ion capacitor (NIC) from peanut shells in a pioneering study bridging the gap between conventional ion batteries and supercapacitors.

Interested to know more?

Take a look at the full Chemistry World article by Dannielle Whittaker online now.

For further details there’s also the original research paper:

Peanut shell hybrid sodium ion capacitor with extreme energy–power rivals lithium ion capacitors
Jia Ding, Huanlei Wang, Zhi Li, Kai Cui, Dimitre Karpuzov, Xuehai Tan, Alireza Kohandehghan and David Mitlin 
Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02986K

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Register now for HOPV15

You are invited to participate in the International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics 2015, to be held in Rome, Italy, from 10-13 May 2015.

HOPV has been consolidated since 2009 as a unique forum for the advances in hybrid and organic photovoltaics. Now the 7th edition chaired by Prof. Filippo de Angelis and Prof. Mike McGehee, kindly invite you to present your latest research and participate in a major event in Rome, 10-13 May 2015. Of course the generous progress of perovskite solar cells will form a key part of the conference. The conference format is a full three days, multiple symposia meeting, with outstanding figures of the field as keynotes and invited speakers, and with also room for plenty of contributed talks by participant scientists and unlimited poster presentation.
 
Energy and Environmental Science is sponsoring three HOPV15 poster prize awards, with a first prize of 200 euros, second prize of 150 euros, and third prize of 100 euros.

HOPV15 banner

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Foreign Policy Global Thinkers award for EES authors

Credit: Foreign Policy magazine

We are delighted to announce that Energy and Environmental Science authors Florent Boudoire, Rita Toth, Jakob Heier, Artur Braun and Edwin C. Constable have been listed among Foreign Policy magazine’s “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014” for their work on advancing solar technology using rust and moth eyes.

The researchers are based at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology and the University of Basel, Switzerland and were honoured in the innovators section. The Foreign Policy editors noted on their work that ‘The advance opens up a new method for hydrogen-fuel production and could let the next generation of solar technologies take wing.’

For further information take a look at the Global Thinkers website and make sure to read the original EES article!

Photonic light trapping in self-organized all-oxide microspheroids impacts photoelectrochemical water splitting
Florent Boudoire, Rita Toth, Jakob Heier, Artur Braun and Edwin C. Constable
Energy Environ. Sci., 2014,7, 2680-2688

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A year of water splitting from one device

 Abigail Hallowes writes about an EES article in Chemistry World


Researchers from the US have optimised a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) so that it can continuously split water into clean burning hydrogen and oxygen for over 2200 hours – the equivalent to one year of outdoor operation.

In order for PECs to be a competitive energy provider, they should efficiently covert solar into chemical energy, whilst remaining stable for years of continuous operation. The condition of the electrodes in PECs is a major concern as they immediately start to corrode once immersed in the electrolyte. Previous PEC researchers have only been able to produce systems that are either stable for 4–100 hours but inefficient, or efficient but only stable for a few minutes; they have not been able to incorporate both required properties.

Scanning-electron micrograph image of a microwire array with its protective coating

Scanning-electron micrograph image of a microwire array with its protective coating

 
Electrode instability is brought on when the energy required to excite an electron is within the same energy range that causes electrode corrosion; photocorrosion then becomes competitive with water splitting. In these cases, it is most likely that photocorrosion is thermodynamically more favourable which therefore leads to unstable electrodes. Now, a team led by Nathan Lewis at the California Institute of Technology have drastically increased PEC stability whilst achieving a 100% Faradaic efficiency for oxygen evolution.
 
Their approach increased the electrochemically active sites versus the surface area of the electrode through the use of silicon microwire arrays; this led to a decrease in the effective current density at the electrode–electrolyte interface, increasing the energy required for photocorrosion, which decreased the rate of photocorrosion. They also coated the arrays in a protective but conductive layer, to act as a corrosion-resistant barrier while maintaining efficient charge transfer to the reaction sites, as well as with an oxygen evolution catalyst to promote water oxidation.
 
Brian Seger, a photoelectrochemist at the Technical University of Denmark, explains that water splitting provides some very corrosive conditions so stability has been a large hurdle in this field: ‘The fact that the Lewis group could test their device for three months with no noticeable corrosion indicates that this hurdle is surmountable.’
 
Materials scientist, Dongyuan Zhao, of Fudan University, China, describes the work was a breakthrough and says it ‘shows great potential for industrial application.’

Interested to find out more? Read the full article by Abigail Hallowes in Chemistry World.

Read the original article in Energy and Environmental Science:

Stabilization of Si microwire arrays for solar-driven H2O oxidation to O2(g) in 1.0 M KOH(aq) using conformal coatings of amorphous TiO2
Matthew R. Shaner,ab   Shu Hu,ab   Ke Sunab and   Nathan S. Lewis
Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03012E

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HOT articles in EES

These articles are available free for a limited time:

Combining experimental and theoretical methods to learn about the reactivity of gas-processing metalloenzymes
Claudio Greco, Vincent Fourmond, Carole Baffert, Po-hung Wang, Sébastien Dementin, Patrick Bertrand, Maurizio Bruschi, Jochen Blumberger, Luca de Gioia and Christophe Léger  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE01848F, Review Article

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Measuring thermoelectric transport properties of materials
Kasper A. Borup, Johannes de Boor, Heng Wang, Fivos Drymiotis, Franck Gascoin, Xun Shi, Lidong Chen, Mikhail I. Fedorov, Eckhard Müller, Bo B. Iversen and G. Jeffrey Snyder  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE01320D, Review Article

Pt–Ru catalyzed hydrogen oxidation in alkaline media: oxophilic effect or electronic effect?
Ying Wang, Gongwei Wang, Guangwei Li, Bing Huang, Jing Pan, Qiong Liu, Juanjuan Han, Li Xiao, Juntao Lu and Lin Zhuang  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02564D, Communication

A general framework for the assessment of solar fuel technologies
Jeffrey A. Herron, Jiyong Kim, Aniruddha A. Upadhye, George W. Huber and Christos T. Maravelias  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE01958J, Analysis

C4EE01958J GA

Nickel oxide encapsulated nitrogen-rich carbon hollow spheres with multiporosity for high-performance pseudocapacitors having extremely robust cycle life
Se Yun Kim, Hyung Mo Jeong, Jun Ho Kwon, Il Woo Ock, Won Hyuk Suh, Galen D. Stucky and Jeung Ku Kang  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02897J, Communication

Shale gas-to-syngas chemical looping process for stable shale gas conversion to high purity syngas with a H2:CO ratio of 2:1
Siwei Luo, Liang Zeng, Dikai Xu, Mandar Kathe, Elena Chung, Niranjani Deshpande, Lang Qin, Ankita Majumder, Tien-Lin Hsieh, Andrew Tong, Zhenchao Sun and Liang-Shih Fan  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02892A, Paper

Evaluating different classes of porous materials for carbon capture
Johanna M. Huck, Li-Chiang Lin, Adam H. Berger, Mahdi Niknam Shahrak, Richard L. Martin, Abhoyjit S. Bhown, Maciej Haranczyk, Karsten Reuter and Berend Smit  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE02636E, Paper

Stabilization of Si microwire arrays for solar-driven H2O oxidation to O2(g) in 1.0 M KOH(aq) using conformal coatings of amorphous TiO2
Matthew R. Shaner, Shu Hu, Ke Sun and Nathan S. Lewis  
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03012E, Communication

C4EE03012E GA

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Sawdust cellulose offers alkane pipeline

Emma Stephen writes about an EES article in Chemistry World

A new way for converting cellulose into liquid straight-chain alkanes may provide a viable alternative route to chemicals traditionally sourced from crude oil. With the demand for fossil-derived chemicals and fuels ever-increasing, making chemical building blocks using cellulose from the vast amounts of cheap, waste non-food plant biomass produced worldwide in combination with existing oil refinery infrastructure, could be an invaluable bridge to sustainable chemicals and fuels.

Read the full news article on the work from Bert Sels et al. online at Chemistry World.

The original research article is also free to access for a limited time – download it here:

Direct catalytic conversion of cellulose to liquid straight-chain alkanes
Beau Op de Beeck, Michiel Dusselier, Jan Geboers, Jensen Holsbeek, Eline Morré, Steffen Oswald, Lars Giebeler and Bert F. Sels
Energy. Environ. Sci., 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C4EE01523A

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