Archive for the ‘Hot Article’ Category

Porous Polymer Networks for Industrial CO2 Capture

Efforts towards a less energy and environmentally intensive method for CO2 capture has resulted in a novel porous polymer with noteworthy performance.

Current industrial standards for carbon dioxide scrubbing in coal-fired power plants utilize an energy intensive liquRates of CO2 Adsorptionid amine process to reduce CO2 gas emissions. Ultimately, a technology that can reduce the energy input required to release captured CO2 while maintaining substantial adsorption selectivity and capacity would be ideal. Investigations performed at Texas A&M have demonstrated high adsorption capacities of 1.7 mmol CO2 /g polymer with a gas flow comprised of 15% CO2 / 85% N2 under ambient conditions.

This work is the fruit of grafting NH4 groups to the sulfonate sites on a porous polymer network that was previously published, which leads to a higher selectivity to CO2 over N2 and CH4 gases also present in the exhaust streams of coal-fired power plants. Further improvements in adsorption capacity, while reducing the temperature required to remove the captured gas, can eventually yield a cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative for greenhouse gas sequestration.

Interested? Read the full communication in Energy and Environmental Science here:

Building multiple adsorption sites in porous polymer networks for carbon capture applications
Weigang Lu, Wolfgang M. Verdegaal, Jiamei Yu, Perla B. Balbuena, Hae-Kwon Jeong and Hong-Cai Zhou
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42226G

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Save it for later? Solar and Wind Power Storage, From an Energy Cost Perspective

Researchers compare the energy return on energy investment (EROI) ratios of electricity storage versus curtailing electricity production for renewable, but variable, resources.Wind paired with storage energy curtailment rate

Wind and solar power are current leaders in renewable energy resources, but pose a challenge to more widespread use because of their variable, weather dependent nature. Currently, wind and solar energy harvesting is curtailed during times of oversupply, resulting in a forfeiture of energy.  A clear solution to keep from losing all of this energy would be to store it for later use; however, storage can come at its own energetic cost that is often greater than the gain of the energy stored.

In a recent EES paper, Barnhart et al. examined the EROI ratios for methods of energy storage and compared the ratios with those during curtailment of electricity production for solar and wind power generation. Specifically, they explored electrical energy storage through both battery and geologic storage technologies, and compared the electrical cost of those storage methods to curtailment energy losses.

Barnhart et al. found that, depending on the type of energy resource, usage patterns, and storage type, there are cases in which it is more energetically favorable to store excess electricity, and cases in which it is more favorable to curtail the resources. Conventional battery technologies did not perform well in terms of energy cost compared to geologic storage technologies. Based on these findings, the authors recommend focusing on ways to improve battery EROI ratios, such as improving cycle life, as the next step toward developing electricity storage in which the energy cost is less than loss incurred from curtailment of electricity generation.

This paper recognizes that wind and solar energy are becoming more widely used and are proving to be excellent resources, which is great news from the perspective of reducing carbon usage in electricity production. But it is clear from the findings, as well as from a practical standpoint, that energy storage needs to be the next step for an increase in usability of these resources. These power generation technologies continue to grow, but due to variability, production does not always match with consumer usage patterns. Wouldn’t it be great, from the perspectives of both affordability and sustainably, to be able to run your appliances with solar power at night, or with wind power on a still day? Energy storage that is cost-effective from an energy expenditure standpoint is clearly the next step in paving the way for more widespread use of these sustainable, low-carbon energy resources.

Learn more about this analysis in the full EES article here:

The energetic implications of curtailing versus storing solar- and wind-generated electricity
Charles J. Barnhart, Michael Dale, Adam R. Brandt and Sally M. Benson
Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 8430
DOI: 10.1039/c2ee21581k

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Advancing Solar Energy: High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Microcells

Schematic of silicon solar microcell fabrication process and SEM and optical microscope images of fabricated cells

A) Microcell design B) Microcell fabrication scheme C)SEM of fabricated microcells D) optical image of microcell array

While silicon solar panels corner a large part of the current solar energy market, they are still too expensive to compete directly with fossil fuels.  However, new advances in silicon solar microcells bring increases in process reliability, efficiency and cost, making solar energy more scalable and affordable.

In their recent paper, Yao et. al demonstrate a redesigned silicon solar µ-cell which incorporates a thermal oxide as a robust etching and diffusion mask, which also serves as an anti-reflection and surface passivation coating.  They also put forth design criteria optimizing the spatial distribution of µ-cells to maximize light-trapping and for the integration of backside reflectors and polymer waveguides into devices for optimal performance.

The figures of merit for the champion device are an open-circuit voltage of 0.534 V, a short-circuit current density of 28.7 mA cm-2, a fill-factor of 0.762 and an overall efficiency of 11.7%.  Interestingly, they demonstrate the efficacy of the thermal oxide as a passivation layer by testing a device before and after the oxide is etched off, showing that removing the oxide causes a significant decrease in performance.  They also show that the incorporation of backside reflectors and planarization layers significantly enhances device performance.

An important consideration for any emerging solar energy technology is scalability.  These redesigned silicon solar µ-cells have a peak-power-generation referenced silicon consumption of only 0.4 g Wp-1, substantially lower than the 10 g Wp-1 of commercially available silicon solar cells.  Combined with the scalability of the processing steps used in the µ-cell fabrication, the low amount of silicon required could be a huge step forward in reducing the cost of solar energy.

Excited about new advances in renewable energy?  Read this full article and many more in EES today!

Fabrication and assembly of ultrathin high-efficiencysilicon solar microcells integrating electrical passivation and anti-reflection coatings
Yuan Yao, Eric Brueckner, Lanfang Lib and Ralph Nuzzo
DOI:10.1039/C3EE42230E

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Electrochemical energy storage in a sustainable modern society: an opinion article by John B. Goodenough

In his recent article in EES, John B. Goodenough gives his views on the challenges, limitations and future prospects of Li-ion battery technology – and how such technology can be used to promote a sustainable modern society.

Li-ion batteries have helped shape modern society by facilitating the wireless revolution; powering mobile phones, laptops and tablet-computers, as well as other portable electronic devices.

Advanced batteries are also helping facilitate the on-going green revolution, with technologies such as plug-in electric vehicles and grid-scale renewable energy storage heavily dependent on the performance of electrochemical energy storage systems.

In this interesting and informative article, John B. Goodenough gives a critical assessment of the current limitations of Li-ion technology, and highlights some developing strategies which may overcome these limitations.

He emphasises that, relative to current battery systems, improvements in terms of energy- and power-density, manufacturing cost, safety, and charging-time must be made before emerging green technologies, such as plug-in electric vehicles, can really take off.

He notes that significant improvements could be made in a number of key areas of Li-ion technology, including: (1) the development of alternative liquid electrolytes, with greater electrochemical stability windows; (2) replacing the liquid electrolyte altogether, with a stable, Li-ion conducting, solid-oxide material; (3) employing nanotechnology and conductive mesoporous structures to enhance the performance of the cathode; and (4) replacing the graphite anode with high capacity Li-alloy forming materials, such as silicon, encapsulated within conductive carbon or polymer matrixes.

The article ends by postulating the prospect of electrochemical energy storage systems beyond established Li-ion technology, discussing the merits and shortcomings of novel approaches such as the Li-Sulfur and Li-Air batteries, as well as solid oxide fuel cells. But will such advancements be Good-enough to overcome the challenges of a sustainable modern society? The question remains open.

By Aled Roberts

You can read the Opinion Article in EES by clicking on the link below:

Electrochemical energy storage in a sustainable modern society
John B. Goodenough
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42613K, Opinion

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This week’s HOT articles

Take a look at this week’s selection! These articles are available free for a limited time:

Electrochemical energy storage in a sustainable modern society Graphical abstract: Optical designs that improve the efficiency of Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells
John B. Goodenough
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42613K, Opinion

Stimulus-responsive graphene systems towards actuator applications
Yang Zhao, Long Song, Zhipan Zhang and Liangti Qu
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42812E, Perspective

Optical designs that improve the efficiency of Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells

Mark T. Winkler, Wei Wang, Oki Gunawan, Harold J. Hovel, Teodor K. Todorov and David B. Mitzi
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42541J, Paper

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N-doped Graphene Monolayer as Catalyst for Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Production

Researchers have demonstrated the use of doped graphene to improve the photoelectrochemical production of hydrogen.

In a novel approach, a monolayer of graphene has been reported as an effective catalyst towards the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). By depositing a single layer of graphene on a p-doped silicon photocathode, the overpotential required for the HER in the presence of light was shifted positively by 0.18 V vs. RHE. The catalytic activity was confirmed to be a result of the graphene layer by testing on a glassy carbon substrate, where a 50 mV shift in onset compared to glassy carbon baseline was discovered.

Overpotential reduction through catalyst layer modification on Si photocathode

This transparent catalyst monolayer was also shown to act as a passivation layer, preventing oxidation of the substrate while maintaining current density. This led to a more consistent onset potential when compared to the bare Si photocathode, which degraded over time quite substantially. Furthermore, by treating the graphene layer in nitrogen plasma, the added defects, as well as the nitrogen doping, led to even further improvements in catalytic activity towards HER.

As a proof of concept, platinum was added to the N-doped graphene monolayer, where a solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency of 3.05% was reported, which maintained activity over a range of pH. With further optimizations, carbon based catalysts can contend as a cost effective method for the clean production of hydrogen on a commercial scale.

Interested? Read the full communication in Energy and Environmental Science here:

N-doped monolayer graphene catalyst on silicon photocathode for hydrogen production
Uk Sim, Tae-Youl Yang, Joonhee Moon, Junghyun An, Jinyeon Hwang, Jung-Hye Seo, Jouhahn Lee, Kye Yeop Kim, Joohee Lee, Seungwu Han, Byung Hee Hong and Ki Tae Nam
Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42106F

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High impact research on biotechnology

We would like to share with you a selection of recent articles published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journals Energy & Environmental Science (EES), Nanoscale and Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP) in the area of biotechnology.

You can read these articles for free for a limited period by clicking on the links below.

EES, Nanoscale and PCCP are high-impact journals published on a not-for-profit ethos for the benefit of the wider scientific community.

Sign up to receive the latest news from your favourite journals.


With an Impact Factor of 11.65, which is rising fast, EES is the ideal place to publish your research.

FREE: The role of biofuels in the future energy supply
Luis Caspeta, Nicolaas A. A. Buijs and Jens Nielsen
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE24403B, Opinion

FREE: Implanted biofuel cells operating in vivo – methods, applications and perspectives – feature article
Evgeny Katz and Kevin MacVittie
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42126K, Opinion

FREE: Enzymes and bio-inspired electrocatalysts in solar fuel devices
Thomas W. Woolerton, Sally Sheard, Yatendra S. Chaudhary and Fraser A. Armstrong
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE21471G, Perspective

FREE: From biodiesel and bioethanol to liquid hydrocarbon fuels: new hydrotreating and advanced microbial technologies
Juan Carlos Serrano-Ruiz, Enrique V. Ramos-Fernández and Antonio Sepúlveda-Escribano
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02418C, Perspective

FREE: Immobilization technology: a sustainable solution for biofuel cell design
Xiao-Yu Yang, Ge Tian, Nan Jiang and Bao-Lian Su
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE02391H, Review Article

FREE: Oxygen-tolerant coenzyme A-acylating aldehyde dehydrogenase facilitates efficient photosynthetic n-butanol biosynthesis in cyanobacteria
Ethan I. Lan, Soo Y. Ro and James C. Liao
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41405A, Paper

FREE: Engineered yeast for enhanced CO2 mineralization
Roberto Barbero, Lino Carnelli, Anna Simon, Albert Kao, Alessandra d’Arminio Monforte, Moreno Riccò, Daniele Bianchi and Angela Belcher
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE24060B, Paper

FREE: Layered corrugated electrode macrostructures boost microbial bioelectrocatalysis
Shuiliang Chen, Guanghua He, Qin Liu, Falk Harnisch, Yan Zhou, Yu Chen, Muddasir Hanif, Suqin Wang, Xinwen Peng, Haoqing Hou and Uwe Schröder
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE23344D, Communication

FREE: An extremely radioresistant green eukaryote for radionuclide bio-decontamination in the nuclear industry
Corinne Rivasseau, Emmanuel Farhi, Ariane Atteia, Alain Couté, Marina Gromova, Diane de Gouvion Saint Cyr, Anne-Marie Boisson, Anne-Sophie Féret, Estelle Compagnon and Richard Bligny
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE23129H, Paper

FREE: Living battery – biofuel cells operating in vivo in clams
Alon Szczupak, Jan Halámek, Lenka Halámková, Vera Bocharova, Lital Alfonta and Evgeny Katz
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE21626D, Communication


Nanoscale publishes community-spanning research across the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Its Impact Factor is currently 6.23.

FREE: The interplay between carbon nanomaterials and amyloid fibrils in bio-nanotechnology
Chaoxu Li and Raffaele Mezzenga
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR01644G, Review Article

FREE: Lanthanide-doped luminescent nano-bioprobes: from fundamentals to biodetection
Yongsheng Liu, Datao Tu, Haomiao Zhu, En Ma and Xueyuan Chen
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR33239F, Feature Article

FREE: Cholesterol – a biological compound as a building block in bionanotechnology
Leticia Hosta-Rigau, Yan Zhang, Boon M. Teo, Almar Postma and Brigitte Städler
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR32923A, Feature Article

FREE: Plant mediated green synthesis: modified approaches
Ratul Kumar Das and Satinder Kaur Brar
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR02548A, Minireview

FREE: Graphene: a versatile nanoplatform for biomedical applications
Yin Zhang, Tapas R. Nayak, Hao Hong and Weibo Cai
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR31040F, Review Article

FREE: Nanocellulose electroconductive composites
Zhijun Shi, Glyn O. Phillips and Guang Yang
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00408B, Minireview

FREE: Recombinant antibody mediated delivery of organelle-specific DNA pH sensors along endocytic pathways.
Yamuna Krishnan, Souvik Modi, Saheli Halder and Clément Nizak
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR03769J, Paper

FREE: Multi-enzyme Co-Embedded Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Nanoflowers: Synthesis and Application in Colorimetric Sensor
Jiayu Sun, Jiechao Ge, Weimin Liu, Minhuan Lan, Hongyan Zhang, Pengfei Wang, Yanming Wang and Zhongwei Niu
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR04425D, Paper

FREE: An unusual pathway for the membrane wrapping of rodlike nanoparticles and the orientation- and membrane wrapping-dependent nanoparticle interaction
Tongtao Yue, Xiaojuan Wang, Fang Huang and Xianren Zhang
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR02683C, Paper

FREE: Flash photo stimulation of human neural stem cells on graphene/TiO2 heterojunction for differentiation into neurons
Omid Akhavan and Elham Ghaderi
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR02161K, Paper

FREE: Bio-nanohybrids of quantum dots and photoproteins facilitating strong nonradiative energy transfer
Urartu Ozgur Safak Seker, Evren Mutlugun, Pedro Ludwig Hernandez-Martinez, Vijay K. Sharma, Vladimir Lesnyak, Nikolai Gaponik, Alexander Eychmüller and Hilmi Volkan Demir
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR01417G, Paper

FREE: A methodology for preparing nanostructured biomolecular interfaces with high enzymatic activity
Lu Shin Wong, Chinnan V. Karthikeyan, Daniel J. Eichelsdoerfer, Jason Micklefield and Chad A. Mirkin
DOI: 10.1039/C1NR11443C, Paper


PCCP is committed to publishing the best research across physical chemistry, chemical physics and biophysical chemistry.

FREE: Miniaturized biological and electrochemical fuel cells: challenges and applications
Jie Yang, Sasan Ghobadian, Payton J. Goodrich, Reza Montazami and Nastaran Hashemi
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50804H, Perspective

FREE: Plasmonic fluorescence enhancement by metal nanostructures: shaping the future of bionanotechnology
Daniel Darvill, Anthony Centeno and Fang Xie
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50415H, Perspective

FREE: Construction of biomimetic smart nanochannels with polymer membranes and application in energy conversion systems
Liping Wen, Ye Tian, Jie Ma, Jin Zhai and Lei Jiang
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23911F, Perspective

FREE: Encapsulation of actives for sustained release
Markus Andersson Trojer, Lars Nordstierna, Matias Nordin, Magnus Nydén and Krister Holmberg
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP52686K, Perspective

FREE: Mussel inspired surface functionalization of electrospun nanofibers for bio-applications
Søren Roesgaard Nielsen, Flemming Besenbacher and Menglin Chen
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP52651H, Perspective

FREE: Physics and engineering of peptide supramolecular nanostructures
Amir Handelman, Peter Beker, Nadav Amdursky and Gil Rosenman
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP40157F, Perspective

FREE: A pacemaker powered by an implantable biofuel cell operating under conditions mimicking the human blood circulatory system – battery not included
Mark Southcott, Kevin MacVittie, Jan Halámek, Lenka Halámková, William D. Jemison, Robert Lobel and Evgeny Katz
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50929J, Paper

FREE: A novel three-dimensional macrocellular carbonaceous biofuel cell
Victoria Flexer, Nicolas Brun, Mathieu Destribats, Rénal Backov and Nicolas Mano
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50807B, Pape

FREE: In situ fluorescence and electrochemical monitoring of a photosynthetic microbial fuel cell
Alister E. Inglesby, Kamran Yunus and Adrian C. Fisher
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51076J, Paper

FREE: Surface morphology and surface energy of anode materials influence power outputs in a multi-channel mediatorless bio-photovoltaic (BPV) system
Paolo Bombelli, Marie Zarrouati, Rebecca J. Thorne, Kenneth Schneider, Stephen J. L. Rowden, Akin Ali, Kamran Yunus, Petra J. Cameron, Adrian C. Fisher, D. Ian Wilson, Christopher J. Howe and Alistair J. McCormick
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP42526B, Paper

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The top ten highest scoring articles in EES according to Altmetrics

You can now find “Altmetric” data for articles in Energy & Environmental Science on our website, alongside information about citations to our articles.

With a constantly changing publishing landscape and changes to the way people use scientific literature, altmetrics is a measure that can monitor the level of conversation and interest in a particular piece of research at the article level. The different colours in the Altmetric “donut” indicate the number of times the article has been mentioned on Twitter, Facebook, newspapers, blogs and other outlets. Check out the “Metrics” tab on each article page for more information.

So get involved: tweet about your latest article, share a link to an interesting review on Facebook, and spread the word about some of the excellent science being published.

Energy & Environmental Science is on Twitter (@EES_journal) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/RSCEES), tweeting and posting about events you may find interesting as well as our latest hot articles and news. If you are using these social media sites too, please do follow/like us.

The current top ten scoring articles in Energy & Environmental Science according to Altmetrics are:


Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident
John E. Ten Hoeve and Mark Z. Jacobson
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE22019A

The energetic implications of curtailing versus storing solar- and wind-generated electricity (Open Access)
Charles J. Barnhart, Michael Dale, Adam R. Brandt and Sally M. Benson
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41973H

Assessing the drivers of regional trends in solar photovoltaic manufacturing (Open Access)
Alan C. Goodrich, Douglas M. Powell, Ted L. James, Michael Woodhouse and Tonio Buonassisi
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40701B

On chip, all solid-state and flexible micro-supercapacitors with high performance based on MnOx/Au multilayers
Wenping Si, Chenglin Yan, Yao Chen, Steffen Oswald, Luyang Han and Oliver G. Schmidt
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41286E

On the importance of reducing the energetic and material demands of electrical energy storage
Charles J. Barnhart and Sally M. Benson
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE24040A

High Seebeck coefficient redox ionic liquid electrolytes for thermal energy harvesting
Theodore J. Abraham, Douglas R. MacFarlane and Jennifer M. Pringle
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41608A

High photo-electrochemical activity of thylakoid–carbon nanotube composites for photosynthetic energy conversion
Jessica O. Calkins, Yogeswaran Umasankar, Hugh O’Neill and Ramaraja P. Ramasamy
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40634B

Biomass-derived electrocatalytic composites for hydrogen evolution
Wei-Fu Chen, Shilpa Iyer, Shweta Iyer, Kotaro Sasaki, Chiu-Hui Wang, Yimei Zhu, James T. Muckerman and Etsuko Fujita
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40596F

Opinion on “Worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident” by J. E. Ten Hoeve and M. Z. Jacobson, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, DOI: 10.1039/c2ee22019a
Burton Richter
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE22658H

Post-combustion carbon dioxide capture using electrochemically mediated amine regeneration
Michael C. Stern, Fritz Simeon, Howard Herzog and T. Alan Hatton
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41165F

We are interested to hear your feedback on this new development and how you are utilising these new types of metrics. Please get in touch by email (ees-rsc@rsc.org).

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This week’s HOT articles

Take a look at this week’s selection! These articles are available free for a limited time:

Tetragonal Li10GeP2S12 and Li7GePS8 – exploring the Li ion dynamics in LGPS Li electrolytes
Alexander Kuhn, Viola Duppel and Bettina V. Lotsch
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41728J, Communication

A perfluorinated covalent triazine-based framework for highly selective and water–tolerant CO2 capture
Yunfeng Zhao, Ke Xin Yao, Baiyang Teng, Tong Zhang and Yu Han
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42548G, Paper

Lead candidates for high-performance organic photovoltaics from high-throughput quantum chemistry – the Harvard Clean Energy Project
Johannes Hachmann, Roberto Olivares-Amaya, Adrian Jinich, Anthony L. Appleton, Martin A. Blood-Forsythe, László R. Seress, Carolina Román-Salgado, Kai Trepte, Sule Atahan-Evrenk, Süleyman Er, Supriya Shrestha, Rajib Mondal, Anatoliy Sokolov, Zhenan Bao and Alán Aspuru-Guzik
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE42756K, Paper

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Beyond incineration, beyond recycling: the myriad uses of “waste” plastics, present and future

By reviewing both current laboratory and industrial-scale reactors and emerging technologies, Baytekin, Baytekin and Grzybowski offer strategic alternatives to incineration that usefully could harness the giant potential energy found in discarded synthetic polymers through their Energy and Environmental Science article, Retrieving and converting energy from polymers: deployable technologies and emerging concepts.

Plastics constitute many millions of tonnes of waste globally each year – 28 million tonnes in the United States alone, a waste approaching a trillion MJ of energy. Less than 10% of polymers are recycled effectively and 12% are incinerated, but incineration of plastics merely substitutes one pollutant for many; these authors offer real, clean, and effective alternatives that make better use of this energy reserve, some presently feasible on the industrial scale and others still in development. Anyone with an interest in emerging energy technologies, energy policy, industrial chemistry, active polymers, or green chemistry would certainly read this article with great interest.

One high-value recycling strategy is chemical degradation of polymers – mainly by heating under inert, partial O2, or H2 atmospheres – to surprisingly useful ends. In one instance, PMMA yields its monomer, methylmethacrylate, at a yield of 97%. Polymers with high levels of impurities can be converted into fuels such as diesel, coke, and hydrogen at high qualities, with high efficiency, and on the industrial scale. The authors also discuss more exotic energy interconversions involving polymers, presently being developed, among them mechanical to electrical energy interconversion via triboelectric and piezoelectric generators and heat to electrical energy interconversion via polymer thermoelectrics, adding a vision of future possibilities to this already enthralling read.

Read the article in EES:

Retrieving andconverting energy from polymers: deployable technologies and emerging concepts
Bilge Baytekin, H. Tarik Baytekin, and Bartosz A. Grybowski
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE41360H

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