Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Outstanding Reviewers for Energy & Environmental Science in 2016

Following the success of Peer Review Week in September 2016 (dedicated to reviewer recognition) during which we published a list of our top reviewers, we are delighted to announce that we will continue to recognise the contribution that our reviewers make to the journal by announcing our Outstanding Reviewers each year.

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Energy & Environmental Science in 2016, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Professor Katsuhiko Ariga, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba
Professor Juan Bisquert, Universitat Jaume I
Professor Jaephil  Cho, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
Dr Seth Darling, Argonne National Laboratory
Dr Chengdu Liang, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Professor Xiong Wen (David) Lou, Nanyang Technological University
Professor Gaoquan Shi, Tsinghua University
Dr Yexiang Tong, Sun Yat-Sen University
Dr Sheng S Zhang, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Professor Xinbo ZHANG, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC)

We would also like to thank the Energy & Environmental Science board and the Energy community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Dr Wolfgang Tress is awarded the 2016 Energy & Environmental Science Readers’ Choice Lectureship

We are delighted to announce that Dr Wolfgang Tress been selected by the EES Editorial Board as the winner of the 2016 “Energy & Environmental Science Readers’ Choice Lectureship” for his 2015 article, “Understanding the rate-dependent J–V hysteresis, slow time component, and aging in CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite solar cells: the role of a compensated electric field”.

The Lectureship is awarded annually to one outstanding young scientist (within 10 years of receiving their PhD) who has published in the journal. The winner is selected by the EES Editorial Board from a shortlist of authors of the most-read articles from each issue of EES in the previous year.

Wolfgang Tress is currently working as a scientist at LPI, EPFL in Switzerland, with general interests in developing and studying novel photovoltaic concepts and technologies. His research focuses on the device physics of perovskite solar cells; most recently, investigating recombination and hysteresis phenomena in this emerging material system. Previously, he was analyzing and modeling performance limiting processes in organic solar cells.

Dr Tress will give his award lecture at the upcoming International Conference on Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV 17) meeting taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland from 21-24 May 2017. Register now to join us – the abstract submission deadline for oral presentations is the 8th February 2017.

Read Dr Tress’ Lectureship-winning research:

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
Energy Environ. Sci., 2015, 8, 995-1004. DOI: 10.1039/C4EE03664F

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Top 10 Reviewers for Energy & Environmental Science

In celebration of Peer Review Week, with the theme of Recognition for Review – we would like to highlight the top 10 reviewers for Energy & Environmental Science in 2016. They have been selected by the editor for their significant contribution to the journal.

Top 10 reviewers for Energy & Environmental Science
Dr Andrea Listorti, Universita del Salento
Dr Sheng S. Zhang, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Professor Jaephil Cho, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
Dr Seth Darling, Argonne National Laboratory
Dr Chengdu Liang, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Professor David Mitlin, University of Alberta
Dr Zhenhai Wen, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dr Kanzunori Takada, National Institute for Materials
Dr Falk Harnisch, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig
Dr Eva L. Unger, Lund University

We would like to say a massive thank you to these reviewers as well as the Energy & Environmental Science board and all of the community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

CO2 photoreduction: shining a light on surface activation

CO2 photoreduction

Harnessing sunlight to produce fuel from CO2

Photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to solar fuels such as methane or methanol may be a promising route to sustainably meet our energy needs. Yet many existing photocatalysts suffer from poor product selectivity and efficiency, caused in part by the competing hydrogen evolution reaction that can occur in the presence of water.

Jinlong Gong and colleagues at Tianjin University, China, highlight recent strategies used to improve the adsorption and activation of CO2 at the catalyst surface – an important and under-researched step in this process – and discuss conditions influencing the reaction pathways leading to the photoreduction products. They also review how chemisorption of the molecule can be enhanced by tailoring properties such as catalyst surface area, surface defects and noble metal co-catalysts, and how factors such as electrolyte pH and CO2 absorption mode can influence product distribution.


Want to know more? Read this review article online, which is free to access until 6 May 2016:

CO2 photo-reduction: insights into CO2 activation and reaction on surfaces of photocatalysts” by X. Chang et al., DOI: 10.1039/C6EE00383D

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Water splitting using a single catalyst

Electrochemical water splitting typically requires two catalysts, one to evolve oxygen and one for hydrogen. However, scientists lead by Xile Hu at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, have discovered that nickel phosphide can act as a catalyst, evolving both hydrogen oxygen from water simultaneously. Nickel phosphide was loaded onto a carbon electrode in an alkaline electrolyser which lead to the material adopting a core-shell structure, with a nickel phosphide core and an active nickel oxide species on the outside. The team observed successful water splitting, with the evolution of both hydrogen and oxygen and a current density of 10mA/cm2 at a low water splitting potential of 1.63V.

Want to know more?

Read the full article in Chemistry World by Osman Mohamed.

Or, take a look at the original article which is free to access until 7th August 2015:

Ni2P as a Janus catalyst for water splitting: the oxygen evolution activity of Ni2P nanoparticles” by L-A. Stern et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5EE01155H

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Electricity harvested from magnetic noise

In Korea, Jungho Ryu and colleagues at the Korea Institute of Materials Science, have designed a magneto–mechano–electric generator that harvests magnetic energy from the environment.  It is made from a magnetostrictive single crystal composite that elongates and contracts in a low frequency magnetic field. The strain induced in this material outputs a voltage and Ryu’s team have demonstrated that their device can harvest energy from a vacuum pump cable to power 35 light emitting diodes. They are conducting further studies to improve its power density and the materials science community is excited about how this technology could be utilised in the future.

Want to know more?

Read the full article in Chemistry World by Heather Powell.

Or, take a look at the original article which is free to access until 15th June 2015:

Ubiquitous magneto-mechano-electric generator” by J. Ryu et al., DOI:10.1039/C5EE00414D

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Membrane-less water splitting device

A water splitting electrolyser typically contains an ion-conducting membrane which separates the electrodes and keeps the oxygen and hydrogen apart, preventing explosion. However, these membranes are expensive and thus the development of a membrane-less electrolyser is an exciting advance. Researchers at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, led by Demetri Psaltis, have developed such a device by exploiting the Segré–Silberberg effect. The oxygen and hydrogen are kept separate as the distance between the two electrodes is less than a few hundred micrometres and they do not mix because lift forces in the narrow passage push them towards the wall they evolved from.This is a microfluidic device that provides promising proof-of-concept and the group are now attempting to scale up.

Want to know more?

Read the full article in Chemistry World by Isobel Marr.

Or, take a look at the original article which is free to access untill 1st June 2015:

A membrane-less electrolyzer for hydrogen production across the pH scale” by S. Mohammad H. Hashemi,  Miguel A. Modestino and Demetri Psaltis, DOI:10.1039/C5EE00083A

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

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

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

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

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

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

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)