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  • 3D printing of shape-conformable thermoelectric materials using all-inorganic Bi2Te3-based inks
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-15
    Fredrick Kim, Beomjin Kwon, Youngho Eom, Ji Eun Lee, Sangmin Park, Seungki Jo, Sung Hoon Park, Bong-Seo Kim, Hye Jin Im, Min Ho Lee, Tae Sik Min, Kyung Tae Kim, Han Gi Chae, William P. King, Jae Sung Son

    Thermoelectric energy conversion offers a unique solution for generating electricity from waste heat. However, despite recent improvements in the efficiency of thermoelectric materials, the widespread application of thermoelectric generators has been hampered by challenges in fabricating thermoelectric materials with appropriate dimensions to perfectly fit heat sources. Herein, we report an extrusion-based three-dimensional printing method to produce thermoelectric materials with geometries suitable for heat sources. All-inorganic viscoelastic inks were synthesized using Sb2Te3 chalcogenidometallate ions as inorganic binders for Bi2Te3-based particles. Three-dimensional printed materials with various geometries showed homogenous thermoelectric properties, and their dimensionless figure-of-merit values of 0.9 (p-type) and 0.6 (n-type) were comparable to the bulk values. Conformal cylindrical thermoelectric generators made of 3D-printed half rings mounted on an alumina pipe were studied both experimentally and computationally. Simulations show that the power output of the conformal, shape-optimized generator is higher than that of conventional planar generators.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Spatial decoupling of light absorption and catalytic activity of Ni–Mo-loaded high-aspect-ratio silicon microwire photocathodes
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-15
    Wouter Vijselaar, Pieter Westerik, Janneke Veerbeek, Roald M. Tiggelaar, Erwin Berenschot, Niels R. Tas, Han Gardeniers, Jurriaan Huskens

    A solar-driven photoelectrochemical cell provides a promising approach to enable the large-scale conversion and storage of solar energy, but requires the use of Earth-abundant materials. Earth-abundant catalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction, for example nickel–molybdenum (Ni–Mo), are generally opaque and require high mass loading to obtain high catalytic activity, which in turn leads to parasitic light absorption for the underlying photoabsorber (for example silicon), thus limiting production of hydrogen. Here, we show the fabrication of a highly efficient photocathode by spatially and functionally decoupling light absorption and catalytic activity. Varying the fraction of catalyst coverage over the microwires, and the pitch between the microwires, makes it possible to deconvolute the contributions of catalytic activity and light absorption to the overall device performance. This approach provided a silicon microwire photocathode that exhibited a near-ideal short-circuit photocurrent density of 35.5 mA cm−2, a photovoltage of 495 mV and a fill factor of 62% under AM 1.5G illumination, resulting in an ideal regenerative cell efficiency of 10.8%.

    更新日期:2018-01-15
  • Decoupling energy and power
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    Matteo Grattieri, Shelley D. Minteer

    Decoupling energy and power Decoupling energy and power, Published online: 09 January 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0076-x Biological photovoltaic devices (BPVs) use photosynthetic microorganisms to produce electricity, but low photocurrent generation impedes their application. Now, a micro-scale flow-based BPV system is reported with power density outputs similar to that of large-scale biofuels.

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Promises and premises
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09

    Promises and premises Promises and premises, Published online: 09 January 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0083-y Investment in clean-energy technology is increasingly seen as a clear opportunity. Definitive plans would spur more concrete action.

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Patterns of charge
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    Nicky Dean

    Patterns of charge Patterns of charge, Published online: 09 January 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0081-0 Patterns of charge

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Tailored interfaces of unencapsulated perovskite solar cells for >1,000 hour operational stability
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    Jeffrey A. Christians, Philip Schulz, Jonathan S. Tinkham, Tracy H. Schloemer, Steven P. Harvey, Bertrand J. Tremolet de Villers, Alan Sellinger, Joseph J. Berry, Joseph M. Luther

    Long-term device stability is the most pressing issue that impedes perovskite solar cell commercialization, given the achieved 22.7% efficiency. The perovskite absorber material itself has been heavily scrutinized for being prone to degradation by water, oxygen and ultraviolet light. To date, most reports characterize device stability in the absence of these extrinsic factors. Here we show that, even under the combined stresses of light (including ultraviolet light), oxygen and moisture, perovskite solar cells can retain 94% of peak efficiency despite 1,000 hours of continuous unencapsulated operation in ambient air conditions (relative humidity of 10–20%). Each interface and contact layer throughout the device stack plays an important role in the overall stability which, when appropriately modified, yields devices in which both the initial rapid decay (often termed burn-in) and the gradual slower decay are suppressed. This extensively modified device architecture and the understanding developed will lead towards durable long-term device performance.

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Mitigating photovoltaic investment risks
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    Fouad Khan

    Mitigating photovoltaic investment risks Mitigating photovoltaic investment risks, Published online: 09 January 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0082-z Mitigating photovoltaic investment risks

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Enhancing power density of biophotovoltaics by decoupling storage and power delivery
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    Kadi L. Saar, Paolo Bombelli, David J. Lea-Smith, Toby Call, Eva-Mari Aro, Thomas Müller, Christopher J. Howe, Tuomas P. J. Knowles

    Biophotovoltaic devices (BPVs), which use photosynthetic organisms as active materials to harvest light, have a range of attractive features relative to synthetic and non-biological photovoltaics, including their environmentally friendly nature and ability to self-repair. However, efficiencies of BPVs are currently lower than those of synthetic analogues. Here, we demonstrate BPVs delivering anodic power densities of over 0.5 W m−2, a value five times that for previously described BPVs. We achieved this through the use of cyanobacterial mutants with increased electron export characteristics together with a microscale flow-based design that allowed independent optimization of the charging and power delivery processes, as well as membrane-free operation by exploiting laminar flow to separate the catholyte and anolyte streams. These results suggest that miniaturization of active elements and flow control for decoupled operation and independent optimization of the core processes involved in BPV design are effective strategies for enhancing power output and thus the potential of BPVs as viable systems for sustainable energy generation.

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Solar footprints
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    Elsa Couderc

    Solar footprints Solar footprints, Published online: 09 January 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0079-7 Solar footprints

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Liquid metal methane conversion
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-09
    James Gallagher

    Liquid metal methane conversion Liquid metal methane conversion, Published online: 09 January 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0080-1 Liquid metal methane conversion

    更新日期:2018-01-10
  • Non-Gaussian power grid frequency fluctuations characterized by Lévy-stable laws and superstatistics
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-08
    Benjamin Schäfer, Christian Beck, Kazuyuki Aihara, Dirk Witthaut, Marc Timme

    Multiple types of fluctuations impact the collective dynamics of power grids and thus challenge their robust operation. Fluctuations result from processes as different as dynamically changing demands, energy trading and an increasing share of renewable power feed-in. Here we analyse principles underlying the dynamics and statistics of power grid frequency fluctuations. Considering frequency time series for a range of power grids, including grids in North America, Japan and Europe, we find a strong deviation from Gaussianity best described as Lévy-stable and q-Gaussian distributions. We present a coarse framework to analytically characterize the impact of arbitrary noise distributions, as well as a superstatistical approach that systematically interprets heavy tails and skewed distributions. We identify energy trading as a substantial contribution to today’s frequency fluctuations and effective damping of the grid as a controlling factor enabling reduction of fluctuation risks, with enhanced effects for small power grids.

    更新日期:2018-01-09
  • Future scenarios for energy consumption and carbon emissions due to demographic transitions in Chinese households
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-01
    Biying Yu, Yi-Ming Wei, Gomi Kei, Yuzuru Matsuoka

    Population dynamics has been acknowledged as a key concern for projecting future emissions, partly because of the huge uncertainties related to human behaviour. However, the heterogeneous shifts of human behaviour in the process of demographic transition are not well explored when scrutinizing the impacts of population dynamics on carbon emissions. Here, we expand the existing population–economy–environment analytical structure to address the above limitations by representing the trend of demographic transitions to small-family and ageing society. We specifically accommodate for inter- and intra-life-stage variations in time allocation and consumption in the population rather than assuming a representative household, and take a less developed province, Sichuan, in China as the empirical context. Our results show that the demographic shift to small and ageing households will boost energy consumption and carbon emissions, driven by the joint variations in time-use and consumption patterns. Furthermore, biased pictures of changing emissions will emerge if the time effect is disregarded.

    更新日期:2018-01-01
  • Systematic investigation of the impact of operation conditions on the degradation behaviour of perovskite solar cells
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-01
    Konrad Domanski, Essa A. Alharbi, Anders Hagfeldt, Michael Grätzel, Wolfgang Tress

    Perovskite solar cells have achieved power-conversion efficiency values approaching those of established photovoltaic technologies, making the reliable assessment of their operational stability the next essential step towards commercialization. Although studies increasingly often involve a form of stability characterization, they are conducted in non-standardized ways, which yields data that are effectively incomparable. Furthermore, stability assessment of a novel material system with its own peculiarities might require an adjustment of common standards. Here, we investigate the effects of different environmental factors and electrical load on the ageing behaviour of perovskite solar cells. On this basis, we comment on our perceived relevance of the different ways these are currently aged. We also demonstrate how the results of the experiments can be distorted and how to avoid the common pitfalls. We hope this work will initiate discussion on how to age perovskite solar cells and facilitate the development of consensus stability measurement protocols.

    更新日期:2018-01-01
  • Robust and conductive two-dimensional metal−organic frameworks with exceptionally high volumetric and areal capacitance
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2018-01-01
    Dawei Feng, Ting Lei, Maria R. Lukatskaya, Jihye Park, Zhehao Huang, Minah Lee, Leo Shaw, Shucheng Chen, Andrey A. Yakovenko, Ambarish Kulkarni, Jianping Xiao, Kurt Fredrickson, Jeffrey B. Tok, Xiaodong Zou, Yi Cui, Zhenan Bao

    For miniaturized capacitive energy storage, volumetric and areal capacitances are more important metrics than gravimetric ones because of the constraints imposed by device volume and chip area. Typically used in commercial supercapacitors, porous carbons, although they provide a stable and reliable performance, lack volumetric performance because of their inherently low density and moderate capacitances. Here we report a high-performing electrode based on conductive hexaaminobenzene (HAB)-derived two-dimensional metal−organic frameworks (MOFs). In addition to possessing a high packing density and hierarchical porous structure, these MOFs also exhibit excellent chemical stability in both acidic and basic aqueous solutions, which is in sharp contrast to conventional MOFs. Submillimetre-thick pellets of HAB MOFs showed high volumetric capacitances up to 760 F cm−3 and high areal capacitances over 20 F cm−2. Furthermore, the HAB MOF electrodes exhibited highly reversible redox behaviours and good cycling stability with a capacitance retention of 90% after 12,000 cycles. These promising results demonstrate the potential of using redox-active conductive MOFs in energy-storage applications.

    更新日期:2018-01-01
  • Disentangling interfacial energetics
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-18
    Francesca Maria Toma

    Disentangling interfacial energetics Disentangling interfacial energetics, Published online: 18 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0066-z Understanding interfacial charge transfer in water-splitting photoelectrodes is complicated by the delicate interplay between catalyst and light absorber. Now, an approach based on atomic force microscopy is exploited to measure the surface electrochemical potential of nanostructured catalyst-coated electrodes in operando.

    更新日期:2017-12-18
  • Enhancing long-term photostability of BiVO4 photoanodes for solar water splitting by tuning electrolyte composition
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-18
    Dong Ki Lee, Kyoung-Shin Choi

    As the performance of photoelectrodes used for solar water splitting continues to improve, enhancing the long-term stability of the photoelectrodes becomes an increasingly crucial issue. In this study, we report that tuning the composition of the electrolyte can be used as a strategy to suppress photocorrosion during solar water splitting. Anodic photocorrosion of BiVO4 photoanodes involves the loss of V5+ from the BiVO4 lattice by dissolution. We demonstrate that the use of a V5+-saturated electrolyte, which inhibits the photooxidation-coupled dissolution of BiVO4, can serve as a simple yet effective method to suppress anodic photocorrosion of BiVO4. The V5+ species in the solution can also incorporate into the FeOOH/NiOOH oxygen-evolution catalyst layer present on the BiVO4 surface during water oxidation, further enhancing water-oxidation kinetics. The effect of the V5+ species in the electrolyte on both the long-term photostability of BiVO4 and the performance of the FeOOH/NiOOH oxygen-evolution catalyst layer is systematically elucidated.

    更新日期:2017-12-18
  • Status and challenges in enabling the lithium metal electrode for high-energy and low-cost rechargeable batteries
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-18
    Paul Albertus, Susan Babinec, Scott Litzelman, Aron Newman

    Enabling the reversible lithium metal electrode is essential for surpassing the energy content of today’s lithium-ion cells. Although lithium metal cells for niche applications have been developed already, efforts are underway to create rechargeable lithium metal batteries that can significantly advance vehicle electrification and grid energy storage. In this Perspective, we focus on three tasks to guide and further advance the reversible lithium metal electrode. First, we summarize the state of research and commercial efforts in terms of four key performance parameters, and identify additional performance parameters of interest. We then advocate for the use of limited lithium (≤30 μm) to ensure early identification of technical challenges associated with stable and dendrite-free cycling and a more rapid transition to commercially relevant designs. Finally, we provide a cost target and outline material costs and manufacturing methods that could allow lithium metal cells to reach 100 US$ kWh–1.

    更新日期:2017-12-18
  • Potential-sensing electrochemical atomic force microscopy for in operando analysis of water-splitting catalysts and interfaces
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-11
    Michael R. Nellist, Forrest A. L. Laskowski, Jingjing Qiu, Hamed Hajibabaei, Kevin Sivula, Thomas W. Hamann, Shannon W. Boettcher

    Heterogeneous electrochemical phenomena, such as (photo)electrochemical water splitting to generate hydrogen using semiconductors and/or electrocatalysts, are driven by the accumulated charge carriers and thus the interfacial electrochemical potential gradients that promote charge transfer. However, measurements of the “surface” electrochemical potential during operation are not generally possible using conventional electrochemical techniques, which measure/control the potential of a conducting electrode substrate. Here we show that the nanoscale conducting tip of an atomic force microscope cantilever can sense the surface electrochemical potential of electrocatalysts in operando. To demonstrate utility, we measure the potential-dependent and thickness-dependent electronic properties of cobalt (oxy)hydroxide phosphate (CoPi). We then show that CoPi, when deposited on illuminated haematite (α-Fe2O3) photoelectrodes, acts as both a hole collector and an oxygen evolution catalyst. We demonstrate the versatility of the technique by comparing surface potentials of CoPi-decorated planar and mesoporous haematite and discuss viability for broader application in the study of electrochemical phenomena.

    更新日期:2017-12-11
  • Printed instead of cultured
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Changjun Zhang

    Printed instead of cultured Printed instead of cultured, Published online: 08 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0064-1 Printed instead of cultured

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • Enabling the high capacity of lithium-rich anti-fluorite lithium iron oxide by simultaneous anionic and cationic redox
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Chun Zhan, Zhenpeng Yao, Jun Lu, Lu Ma, Victor A. Maroni, Liang Li, Eungje Lee, Esen E. Alp, Tianpin Wu, Jianguo Wen, Yang Ren, Christopher Johnson, Michael M. Thackeray, Maria K. Y. Chan, Chris Wolverton, Khalil Amine

    Anionic redox reactions in cathodes of lithium-ion batteries are allowing opportunities to double or even triple the energy density. However, it is still challenging to develop a cathode, especially with Earth-abundant elements, that enables anionic redox activity for real-world applications, primarily due to limited strategies to intercept the oxygenates from further irreversible oxidation to O2 gas. Here we report simultaneous iron and oxygen redox activity in a Li-rich anti-fluorite Li5FeO4 electrode. During the removal of the first two Li ions, the oxidation potential of O2− is lowered to approximately 3.5 V versus Li+/Li0, at which potential the cationic oxidation occurs concurrently. These anionic and cationic redox reactions show high reversibility without any obvious O2 gas release. Moreover, this study provides an insightful guide to designing high-capacity cathodes with reversible oxygen redox activity by simply introducing oxygen ions that are exclusively coordinated by Li+.

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • When cities rise, emissions fall
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Fouad Khan

    When cities rise, emissions fall When cities rise, emissions fall, Published online: 08 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0062-3 When cities rise, emissions fall

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • Increased CO2 selectivity of asphalt-derived porous carbon through introduction of water into pore space
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Almaz S. Jalilov, Yilun Li, Carter Kittrell, James M. Tour

    The development of inexpensive porous solid sorbents, such as porous carbons, that can selectively capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from natural gas wells is essential to reduce emission of CO2 to the atmosphere. However, at higher pressures, the selectivity for CO2 over that for methane (CH4) remains poor. Here we show that H2O can be imbibed within asphalt-derived porous carbon, with a surface area of 4,200 m2 g−1, to generate a hydrated powder material. While maintaining a high CO2 uptake capacity of 48 mmol g−1 (211 wt%), the molar selectivity for CO2 over CH4 increases to >200:1 and the H2O remains within the pores on repeated cycling. To mimic realistic natural gas wells, we used a 90% CH4 and 10% CO2 gas mixture and showed selective CO2 separation at 20 bar. Furthermore, in situ vibrational spectroscopy reveals the formation of an ordered matrix within the pores consisting of gas hydrates.

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • Winter is coming
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08

    Winter is coming Winter is coming, Published online: 08 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0065-0 Cold temperatures put financial strain on millions of households for whom sufficient heating is prohibitively expensive.

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • Simultaneous anionic and cationic redox
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Sung-Kyun Jung, Kisuk Kang

    Simultaneous anionic and cationic redox Simultaneous anionic and cationic redox, Published online: 08 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0049-0 It is challenging to unlock anionic redox activity, accompanied by full utilization of available cationic redox process, to boost capacity of battery cathodes. Now, material design by tuning the metal–oxygen interaction is shown to be a promising solution.

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • Hydropower plans in eastern and southern Africa increase risk of concurrent climate-related electricity supply disruption
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Declan Conway, Carole Dalin, Willem A. Landman, Timothy J. Osborn

    Hydropower comprises a significant and rapidly expanding proportion of electricity production in eastern and southern Africa. In both regions, hydropower is exposed to high levels of climate variability and regional climate linkages are strong, yet an understanding of spatial interdependences is lacking. Here we consider river basin configuration and define regions of coherent rainfall variability using cluster analysis to illustrate exposure to the risk of hydropower supply disruption of current (2015) and planned (2030) hydropower sites. Assuming completion of the dams planned, hydropower will become increasingly concentrated in the Nile (from 62% to 82% of total regional capacity) and Zambezi (from 73% to 85%) basins. By 2030, 70% and 59% of total hydropower capacity will be located in one cluster of rainfall variability in eastern and southern Africa, respectively, increasing the risk of concurrent climate-related electricity supply disruption in each region. Linking of nascent regional electricity sharing mechanisms could mitigate intraregional risk, although these mechanisms face considerable political and infrastructural challenges.

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • Social dilemma of shared costs
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-08
    Jenn Richler

    Social dilemma of shared costs Social dilemma of shared costs, Published online: 08 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0063-2 Social dilemma of shared costs

    更新日期:2017-12-10
  • Effect of global warming on willingness to pay for uninterrupted electricity supply in European nations
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-04
    Jed Cohen, Klaus Moeltner, Johannes Reichl, Michael Schmidthaler

    Predicted changes in temperature and other weather events may damage the electricity grid and cause power outages. Understanding the costs of power outages and how these costs change over time with global warming can inform outage-mitigation-investment decisions. Here we show that across 19 EU nations the value of uninterrupted electricity supply is strongly related to local temperatures, and will increase as the climate warms. Bayesian hierarchical modelling of data from a choice experiment and respondent-specific temperature measures reveals estimates of willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid an hour of power outage between €0.32 and €1.86 per household. WTP varies on the basis of season and is heterogeneous between European nations. Winter outages currently cause larger per household welfare losses than summer outages per hour of outage. However, this dynamic will begin to shift under plausible future climates, with summer outages becoming substantially more costly and winter outages becoming slightly less costly on a per-household, per-hour basis.

    更新日期:2017-12-05
  • Open discussion of negative emissions is urgently needed
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-04
    Detlef P. van Vuuren, Andries F. Hof, Mariësse A. E. van Sluisveld, Keywan Riahi

    Open discussion of negative emissions is urgently needed Open discussion of negative emissions is urgently needed, Published online: 04 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0055-2 Although nearly all 2 °C scenarios use negative CO2 emission technologies, only relatively small investments are being made in them, and concerns are being raised regarding their large-scale use. If no explicit policy decisions are taken soon, however, their use will simply be forced on us to meet the Paris climate targets.

    更新日期:2017-12-05
  • The significance of relationships
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-12-04
    Kate Burningham

    The significance of relationships The significance of relationships, Published online: 04 December 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0056-1 Understanding individual energy use can inform interventions for energy conservation. A longitudinal qualitative interview study shows that energy use behaviour is not simply a matter of individual choice, but rather is influenced by unique personal circumstances and familial and social relationships, which change over time.

    更新日期:2017-12-05
  • Fire-extinguishing organic electrolytes for safe batteries
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-27
    Atsuo Yamada, Eriko Watanabe, Jianhui Wang, Keitaro Sodeyama, Koji Takada, Yoshitaka Tateyama, Yuki Yamada

    Severe safety concerns are impeding the large-scale employment of lithium/sodium batteries. Conventional electrolytes are highly flammable and volatile, which may cause catastrophic fires or explosions. Efforts to introduce flame-retardant solvents into the electrolytes have generally resulted in compromised battery performance because those solvents do not suitably passivate carbonaceous anodes. Here we report a salt-concentrated electrolyte design to resolve this dilemma via the spontaneous formation of a robust inorganic passivation film on the anode. We demonstrate that a concentrated electrolyte using a salt and a popular flame-retardant solvent (trimethyl phosphate), without any additives or soft binders, allows stable charge–discharge cycling of both hard-carbon and graphite anodes for more than 1,000 cycles (over one year) with negligible degradation; this performance is comparable or superior to that of conventional flammable carbonate electrolytes. The unusual passivation character of the concentrated electrolyte coupled with its fire-extinguishing property contributes to developing safe and long-lasting batteries, unlocking the limit toward development of much higher energy-density batteries.

    更新日期:2017-11-28
  • Publisher Correction: Integrating uncertainty into public energy research and development decisions
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-22
    Erin Baker, Laura Díaz Anadón, Valentina Bosetti

    Publisher Correction: Integrating uncertainty into public energy research and development decisions Publisher Correction: Integrating uncertainty into public energy research and development decisions, Published online: 22 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0052-5 Publisher Correction: Integrating uncertainty into public energy research and development decisions

    更新日期:2017-11-22
  • Mapping synergies and trade-offs between energy and the Sustainable Development Goals
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-20
    Francesco Fuso Nerini, Julia Tomei, Long Seng To, Iwona Bisaga, Priti Parikh, Mairi Black, Aiduan Borrion, Catalina Spataru, Vanesa Castán Broto, Gabrial Anandarajah, Ben Milligan, Yacob Mulugetta

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—including 17 interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets—is a global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. SDG7 calls for action to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Here we characterize synergies and trade-offs between efforts to achieve SDG7 and delivery of the 2030 Agenda as a whole. We identify 113 targets requiring actions to change energy systems, and published evidence of relationships between 143 targets (143 synergies, 65 trade-offs) and efforts to achieve SDG7. Synergies and trade-offs exist in three key domains, where decisions about SDG7 affect humanity’s ability to: realize aspirations of greater welfare and well-being; build physical and social infrastructures for sustainable development; and achieve sustainable management of the natural environment. There is an urgent need to better organize, connect and extend this evidence, to help all actors work together to achieve sustainable development.

    更新日期:2017-11-21
  • Thermo-electrochemical production of compressed hydrogen from methane with near-zero energy loss
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Harald Malerød-Fjeld, Daniel Clark, Irene Yuste-Tirados, Raquel Zanón, David Catalán-Martinez, Dustin Beeaff, Selene H. Morejudo, Per K. Vestre, Truls Norby, Reidar Haugsrud, José M. Serra, Christian Kjølseth

    Conventional production of hydrogen requires large industrial plants to minimize energy losses and capital costs associated with steam reforming, water–gas shift, product separation and compression. Here we present a protonic membrane reformer (PMR) that produces high-purity hydrogen from steam methane reforming in a single-stage process with near-zero energy loss. We use a BaZrO3-based proton-conducting electrolyte deposited as a dense film on a porous Ni composite electrode with dual function as a reforming catalyst. At 800 °C, we achieve full methane conversion by removing 99% of the formed hydrogen, which is simultaneously compressed electrochemically up to 50 bar. A thermally balanced operation regime is achieved by coupling several thermo-chemical processes. Modelling of a small-scale (10 kg H2 day−1) hydrogen plant reveals an overall energy efficiency of >87%. The results suggest that future declining electricity prices could make PMRs a competitive alternative for industrial-scale hydrogen plants integrating CO2 capture.

    更新日期:2017-11-14
  • In the dark
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Elisabeth Jeffries

    In the dark In the dark, Published online: 13 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0034-7 NatureArticleSnippet(type=standfirst, markup= Millions of refugees need heat and light, but many barriers prevent its sustainable supply. , isJats=true)

    更新日期:2017-11-14
  • Policy sequencing toward decarbonization
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-13
    Jonas Meckling, Thomas Sterner, Gernot Wagner

    Many economists have long held that carbon pricing—either through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade—is the most cost-effective way to decarbonize energy systems, along with subsidies for basic research and development. Meanwhile, green innovation and industrial policies aimed at fostering low-carbon energy technologies have proliferated widely. Most of these predate direct carbon pricing. Low-carbon leaders such as California and the European Union (EU) have followed a distinct policy sequence that helps overcome some of the political challenges facing low-carbon policy by building economic interest groups in support of decarbonization and reducing the cost of technologies required for emissions reductions. However, while politically effective, this policy pathway faces significant challenges to environmental and cost effectiveness, including excess rent capture and lock-in. Here we discuss options for addressing these challenges under political constraints. As countries move toward deeper emissions cuts, combining and sequencing policies will prove critical to avoid environmental, economic, and political dead-ends in decarbonizing energy systems.

    更新日期:2017-11-14
  • Dawn of the three-legged beast
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-09
    Elsa Couderc

    Dawn of the three-legged beast Dawn of the three-legged beast, Published online: 09 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0038-3

    更新日期:2017-11-10
  • Thermoelectric avenue
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-09
    James Gallagher

    Thermoelectric avenue Thermoelectric avenue, Published online: 09 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0040-9

    更新日期:2017-11-10
  • Vacancies for reversible insertion
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-09
    Changjun Zhang

    Vacancies for reversible insertion Vacancies for reversible insertion, Published online: 09 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0039-2

    更新日期:2017-11-09
  • Collaborate to innovate
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-09

    Collaborate to innovate Collaborate to innovate, Published online: 09 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0046-3 NatureArticleSnippet(type=standfirst, markup= New approaches to collaboration between private and public sectors can speed up innovation, but greater coordination is required to make even greater gains. , isJats=true)

    更新日期:2017-11-09
  • A penny for your preferences
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-09
    Fouad Khan

    A penny for your preferences A penny for your preferences, Published online: 09 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0041-8

    更新日期:2017-11-09
  • Shrink-wrapping water to conduct protons
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-09
    George K. H. Shimizu

    Shrink-wrapping water to conduct protons Shrink-wrapping water to conduct protons, Published online: 09 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0035-6 NatureArticleSnippet(type=standfirst, markup= For proton-conducting metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to find application as the electrolyte in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, materials with better stability and conductivity are required. Now, a structurally flexible MOF that is also highly stable is demonstrated to possess high proton conductivity over a range of humidities. , isJats=true)

    更新日期:2017-11-09
  • Publisher Correction: The Eastring gas pipeline in the context of the Central and Eastern European gas supply challenge
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-06
    Matúš Mišík, Andrej Nosko

    Publisher Correction: The Eastring gas pipeline in the context of the Central and Eastern European gas supply challenge Publisher Correction: The Eastring gas pipeline in the context of the Central and Eastern European gas supply challenge, Published online: 06 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0050-7

    更新日期:2017-11-07
  • High voltage, please!
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-06
    Susanne Siebentritt

    High voltage, please! High voltage, please!, Published online: 06 November 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0031-x NatureArticleSnippet(type=standfirst, markup= Kesterite solar cells are low-cost alternatives for photovoltaics, based only on abundant metals, but they exhibit limited voltages. A new wide-gap kesterite solar cell provides a much higher voltage at a good efficiency. , isJats=true)

    更新日期:2017-11-06
  • Efficient kesterite solar cells with high open-circuit voltage for applications in powering distributed devices
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-11-06
    Priscilla D. Antunez, Douglas M. Bishop, Yu Luo, Richard Haight

    Simultaneously achieving high voltage and high efficiency in thin-film solar cells is of paramount importance for real-world applications. While solar cells fabricated from the Earth-abundant kesterite absorber Cu2ZnSn(S x Se1−x )4 provide an attractive, non-toxic, energy harvesting solution, their utilization has been constrained by relatively low open-circuit voltages that limit efficiency. Increasing the sulfur content to widen the bandgap boosts the voltage, but usually at the expense of efficiency. Here, we report important progress on this fundamental problem by fabricating solar cells with high sulfur content that exhibit efficiencies up to 11.89% with open-circuit voltages as high as 670 mV. In a multistep process, fully functional solar cells are separated from their growth substrate, and a high-work-function back contact is subsequently deposited. With this approach, we fabricated a series-connected device that produces 5.7 V under 1 Sun illumination and ~2 V under low lighting conditions, below 10−3 Suns.

    更新日期:2017-11-06
  • The Eastring gas pipeline in the context of the Central and Eastern European gas supply challenge
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-30
    Matúš Mišík, Andrej Nosko

    Ever since the 2009 natural gas crisis, energy security has been a crucial priority for countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Escalating in 2014, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia further fuelled negative expectations about the future development of energy relations for the region predominantly supplied by Russia. As a response to the planned cessation of gas transit through the Brotherhood pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine and Slovakia, the Slovak transmission system operator Eustream proposed the Eastring pipeline. This Perspective analyses this proposal and argues that neither the perceived decrease in Slovak energy security nor the loss of economic rent from the international gas transit should be the main policy driver behind such a major infrastructure project. Although marketed as an answer to current Central and Eastern European gas supply security challenges, the Eastring pipeline is actually mainly focused on issues connected to the Slovak gas transit.

    更新日期:2017-10-30
  • Greener and cheaper
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-30
    Laifa Shen, Yan Yu

    Greener and cheaper Nature Energy, Published online: 30 October 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0026-7 Using cheap organic material as the cathode and abundant sodium as the charge carrier is attractive for sustainable battery technologies. Now, highly reversible four-sodium storage in a nano-sized disodium rhodizonate organic cathode is achieved.

    更新日期:2017-10-30
  • Emergence of highly transparent photovoltaics for distributed applications
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-23
    Christopher J. Traverse, Richa Pandey, Miles C. Barr, Richard R. Lunt

    Solar energy offers a viable solution to our growing energy need. While adoption of conventional photovoltaics on rooftops and in solar farms has grown rapidly in the last decade, there is still plenty of opportunity for expansion. See-through solar technologies with partial light transmission developed over the past 30 years have initiated methods of integration not possible with conventional modules. The large-scale deployment necessary to offset global energy consumption could be further accelerated by developing fully invisible solar cells that selectively absorb ultraviolet and near-infrared light, allowing many of the surfaces of our built environment to be turned into solar harvesting arrays without impacting the function or aesthetics. Here, we review recent advances in photovoltaics with varying degrees of visible light transparency. We discuss the figures of merit necessary to characterize transparent photovoltaics, and outline the requirements to enable their widespread adoption in buildings, windows, electronic device displays, and automobiles.

    更新日期:2017-10-25
  • Analysing oil-production subsidies
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-16
    Ronald Steenblik

    Analysing oil-production subsidies Nature Energy, Published online: 16 October 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0027-6 Understanding how subsidies affect fossil-fuel investment returns and production is crucial to commencing new reforms. New analysis on the impact of subsidies on US crude-oil producers finds that, at recent oil prices of around US$50 per barrel, tax preferences and other subsidies push nearly half of new oil investments into profitability.

    更新日期:2017-10-16
  • A flexible metal–organic framework with a high density of sulfonic acid sites for proton conduction
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-16
    Fan Yang, Gang Xu, Yibo Dou, Bin Wang, Heng Zhang, Hui Wu, Wei Zhou, Jian-Rong Li, Banglin Chen

    The design of stable electrolyte materials with high proton conductivity for use in proton exchange membrane fuel cells remains a challenge. Most of the materials explored have good conductivity at high relative humidity (RH), but significantly decreased conductivity at reduced RH. Here we report a chemically stable and structurally flexible metal–organic framework (MOF), BUT-8(Cr)A, possessing a three-dimensional framework structure with one-dimensional channels, in which high-density sulfonic acid (–SO3H) sites arrange on channel surfaces for proton conduction. We propose that its flexible nature, together with its –SO3H sites, could allow BUT-8(Cr)A to self-adapt its framework under different humid environments to ensure smooth proton conduction pathways mediated by water molecules. Relative to other MOFs, BUT-8(Cr)A not only has a high proton conductivity of 1.27 × 10−1 S cm−1 at 100% RH and 80 °C but also maintains moderately high proton conductivity at a wide range of RH and temperature.

    更新日期:2017-10-16
  • Reactive power control
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-10
    Elsa Couderc

    Reactive power control Nature Energy, Published online: 10 October 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0020-0

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Energizing equality
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-10

    Energizing equality Nature Energy, Published online: 10 October 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0024-9 We all stand to gain by doing more to combat gender inequality.

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Young, transient and cold
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-10
    Jenn Richler

    Young, transient and cold Nature Energy, Published online: 10 October 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0023-x

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Improving power and stability
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-10
    Changjun Zhang

    Improving power and stability Nature Energy, Published online: 10 October 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0021-z

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Microwaving coke
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-10
    James Gallagher

    Microwaving coke Nature Energy, Published online: 10 October 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0022-y

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • High-performance sodium–organic battery by realizing four-sodium storage in disodium rhodizonate
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-09
    Minah Lee, Jihyun Hong, Jeffrey Lopez, Yongming Sun, Dawei Feng, Kipil Lim, William C. Chueh, Michael F. Toney, Yi Cui, Zhenan Bao

    Sodium-ion batteries (SIBs) for grid-scale applications need active materials that combine a high energy density with sustainability. Given the high theoretical specific capacity 501 mAh g−1, and Earth abundance of disodium rhodizonate (Na2C6O6), it is one of the most promising cathodes for SIBs. However, substantially lower reversible capacities have been obtained compared with the theoretical value and the understanding of this discrepancy has been limited. Here, we reveal that irreversible phase transformation of Na2C6O6 during cycling is the origin of the deteriorating redox activity of Na2C6O6. The active-particle size and electrolyte conditions were identified as key factors to decrease the activation barrier of the phase transformation during desodiation. On the basis of this understanding, we achieved four-sodium storage in a Na2C6O6 electrode with a reversible capacity of 484 mAh g−1, an energy density of 726 Wh kg−1cathode, an energy efficiency above 87% and a good cycle retention.

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Incorporating nitrogen atoms into cobalt nanosheets as a strategy to boost catalytic activity toward CO2 hydrogenation
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-09
    Liangbing Wang, Wenbo Zhang, Xusheng Zheng, Yizhen Chen, Wenlong Wu, Jianxiang Qiu, Xiangchen Zhao, Xiao Zhao, Yizhou Dai, Jie Zeng

    Hydrogenation of CO2 into fuels and useful chemicals could help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Although great progress has been made over the past decades to improve the activity of catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation, more efficient catalysts, especially those based on non-noble metals, are desired. Here we incorporate N atoms into Co nanosheets to boost the catalytic activity toward CO2 hydrogenation. For the hydrogenation of CO2, Co4N nanosheets exhibited a turnover frequency of 25.6 h−1 in a slurry reactor under 32 bar pressure at 150 °C, which was 64 times that of Co nanosheets. The activation energy for Co4N nanosheets was 43.3 kJ mol−1, less than half of that for Co nanosheets. Mechanistic studies revealed that Co4N nanosheets were reconstructed into Co4NH x , wherein the amido-hydrogen atoms directly interacted with the CO2 to form HCOO* intermediates. In addition, the adsorbed H2O* activated amido-hydrogen atoms via the interaction of hydrogen bonds.

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • Understanding the life cycle surface land requirements of natural gas-fired electricity
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-10-02
    Sarah M. Jordaan, Garvin A. Heath, Jordan Macknick, Brian W. Bush, Ehsan Mohammadi, Dan Ben-Horin, Victoria Urrea, Danielle Marceau

    The surface land use of fossil fuel acquisition and utilization has not been well characterized, inhibiting consistent comparisons of different electricity generation technologies. Here we present a method for robust estimation of the life cycle land use of electricity generated from natural gas through a case study that includes inventories of infrastructure, satellite imagery and well-level production. Approximately 500 sites in the Barnett Shale of Texas were sampled across five life cycle stages (production, gathering, processing, transmission and power generation). Total land use (0.62 m2 MWh−1, 95% confidence intervals ±0.01 m2 MWh−1) was dominated by midstream infrastructure, particularly pipelines (74%). Our results were sensitive to power plant heat rate (85–190% of the base case), facility lifetime (89–169%), number of wells per site (16–100%), well lifetime (92–154%) and pipeline right of way (58–142%). When replicated for other gas-producing regions and different fuels, our approach offers a route to enable empirically grounded comparisons of the land footprint of energy choices.

    更新日期:2017-10-11
  • An index of inequality in China
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-09-25
    Dabo Guan

    An index of inequality in China Nature Energy, Published online: 25 September 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0013-z Household income is a typical measure of inequality, but it is limited by under-reporting, especially for rural Chinese households. A new study shows that energy consumption measures service flows of household durable electronics, which can provide more precise measurement of rural wealth inequalities and distributions.

    更新日期:2017-09-25
  • Hydrogen separation by nanocrystalline titanium nitride membranes with high hydride ion conductivity
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-09-25
    Chiharu Kura, Yuji Kunisada, Etsushi Tsuji, Chunyu Zhu, Hiroki Habazaki, Shinji Nagata, Michael P. Müller, Roger A. De Souza, Yoshitaka Aoki

    The production of pure hydrogen for use in energy applications and related industries often relies on the permeation of hydrogen through palladium-based membranes. However, the scarcity of Pd reserves necessitates the development of affordable alternatives with high hydrogen permeability. Here we report room-temperature hydrogen permeability of titanium nitrides (widely used as tough and inert coating materials) enabled by mixed hydride ion–electron conductivity. Combined spectroscopic, permeability and microgravimetric measurements reveal that nanocrystalline TiN x membranes feature enhanced grain-boundary diffusion of hydride anions associated with interfacial Ti cations on nanograins. Since the corresponding activation energies are very low (<10 kJ mol–1), these membranes yield a considerably higher room-temperature hydrogen flux than Pd membranes of equivalent thickness. Overall, the current study establishes general guidelines for developing hydride ion transport membranes based on a simple transition metal nitride for hydrogen purification, membrane reactors and other applications.

    更新日期:2017-09-25
  • Growing instead of confining
    Nat. Energy Pub Date : 2017-09-25
    Yang-Kook Sun, Chong Seung Yoon

    Growing instead of confining Nature Energy, Published online: 25 September 2017; doi:10.1038/s41560-017-0008-9 Confining sulfur in high-surface-area carbon is a widely adapted approach in Li–S batteries, but it often results in low sulfur utilization and low energy density. Now, controlled nucleation of discrete Li2S particles on a network of low-surface-area carbon fibres provides a possible solution to the endemic problems of Li–S batteries.

    更新日期:2017-09-25
Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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