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  • Resilience in numbers
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-10
    Fouad Khan

    Resilience in numbers Resilience in numbers, Published online: 10 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0302-1 Resilience in numbers

    更新日期:2018-12-11
  • Technological, economic and environmental prospects of all-electric aircraft
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-10
    Andreas W. Schäfer, Steven R. H. Barrett, Khan Doyme, Lynnette M. Dray, Albert R. Gnadt, Rod Self, Aidan O’Sullivan, Athanasios P. Synodinos, Antonio J. Torija

    Ever since the Wright brothers’ first powered flight in 1903, commercial aircraft have relied on liquid hydrocarbon fuels. However, the need for greenhouse gas emission reductions along with recent progress in battery technology for automobiles has generated strong interest in electric propulsion in aviation. This Analysis provides a first-order assessment of the energy, economic and environmental implications of all-electric aircraft. We show that batteries with significantly higher specific energy and lower cost, coupled with further reductions of costs and CO2 intensity of electricity, are necessary for exploiting the full range of economic and environmental benefits provided by all-electric aircraft. A global fleet of all-electric aircraft serving all flights up to a distance of 400–600 nautical miles (741–1,111 km) would demand an equivalent of 0.6–1.7% of worldwide electricity consumption in 2015. Although lifecycle CO2 emissions of all-electric aircraft depend on the power generation mix, all direct combustion emissions and thus direct air pollutants and direct non-CO2 warming impacts would be eliminated.

    更新日期:2018-12-11
  • Turn up the heat
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-10

    Turn up the heat Turn up the heat, Published online: 10 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0305-y Mounting calls for action on low-carbon heating and cooling systems are welcome, but we must move beyond only talking about it.

    更新日期:2018-12-11
  • Electrons stay hot
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-10
    Giulia Tregnago

    Electrons stay hot Electrons stay hot, Published online: 10 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0303-0 Electrons stay hot

    更新日期:2018-12-11
  • Multi-site electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution in neutral media by destabilization of water molecules
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-10
    Cao-Thang Dinh, Ankit Jain, F. Pelayo García de Arquer, Phil De Luna, Jun Li, Ning Wang, Xueli Zheng, Jun Cai, Benjamin Z. Gregory, Oleksandr Voznyy, Bo Zhang, Min Liu, David Sinton, Ethan J. Crumlin, Edward H. Sargent

    High-performance hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts are compelling for the conversion of renewable electricity to fuels and feedstocks. The best HER catalysts rely on the use of platinum and show the highest performance in acidic media. Efficient HER catalysts based on inexpensive and Earth-abundant elements that operate in neutral (hence biocompatible) media could enable low-cost direct seawater splitting and the realization of bio-upgraded chemical fuels. In the challenging neutral-pH environment, water splitting is a multistep reaction. Here we present a HER catalyst comprising Ni and CrOx sites doped onto a Cu surface that operates efficiently in neutral media. The Ni and CrOx sites have strong binding energies for hydrogen and hydroxyl groups, respectively, which accelerates water dissociation, whereas the Cu has a weak hydrogen binding energy, promoting hydride coupling. The resulting catalyst exhibits a 48 mV overpotential at a current density of 10 mA cm−2 in a pH 7 buffer electrolyte. These findings suggest design principles for inexpensive, efficient and biocompatible catalytic systems.

    更新日期:2018-12-11
  • Super pseudocapacitors
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-10
    Changjun Zhang

    Super pseudocapacitors Super pseudocapacitors, Published online: 10 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0301-2 Super pseudocapacitors

    更新日期:2018-12-11
  • Hydrophobic help
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-10
    James Gallagher

    Hydrophobic help Hydrophobic help, Published online: 10 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0304-z Hydrophobic help

    更新日期:2018-12-11
  • Misperceived energy use and savings
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-03
    Shahzeen Z. Attari

    Misperceived energy use and savingsMisperceived energy use and savings, Published online: 03 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0298-6Perceptions of energy use and potential savings are rife with systematic and problematic errors. Now research shows that these misperceptions are more important predictors than actual savings for consumer acceptance of a demand-side response programme, potentially limiting the effectiveness of such programmes for both utilities and consumers.

    更新日期:2018-12-04
  • Halfway through
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-03
    Yanliang Liang, Yan Yao

    Halfway throughHalfway through, Published online: 03 December 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0300-3Aluminium−graphite batteries can reversibly store AlCl4– ions at their cathodes, but the large consumption of electrolytes reduces their specific energy. Here a cathode based on redox-active triangular organic molecules is shown to be able to take up AlCl2+, offering hope towards complete Al-ion storage.

    更新日期:2018-12-04
  • Inaccurate consumer perceptions of monetary savings in a demand-side response programme predict programme acceptance
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-03
    Lee V. White, Nicole D. Sintov

    Demand-side response (DSR) measures are critical to integrating variable renewable generation into electric grids. Time-of-use rates (TOU) are a common DSR mechanism that seeks to shift electricity use to low-demand times using financial instruments. However, consumers generally have a poor understanding of their electricity use and bills, raising questions about the extent to which TOU participation is driven by perceptions of savings versus actual savings. We find that among 8,702 residents who opted into a pilot TOU programme, the TOU treatment decreases on-peak use compared to a control group, but this effect is small. Perceived savings is the strongest predictor of intent to remain on TOU, over and above actual savings, even though it is only weakly related to actual changes in bills and usage. Residents may thus join DSR programmes based on perceived savings without achieving actual monetary or energy use savings, which may undermine the goals of these programmes.

    更新日期:2018-12-04
  • In situ Raman spectroscopic evidence for oxygen reduction reaction intermediates at platinum single-crystal surfaces
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-03
    Jin-Chao Dong, Xia-Guang Zhang, Valentín Briega-Martos, Xi Jin, Ji Yang, Shu Chen, Zhi-Lin Yang, De-Yin Wu, Juan Miguel Feliu, Christopher T. Williams, Zhong-Qun Tian, Jian-Feng Li

    Developing an understanding of structure–activity relationships and reaction mechanisms of catalytic processes is critical to the successful design of highly efficient catalysts. As a fundamental reaction in fuel cells, elucidation of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) mechanism at Pt(hkl) surfaces has remained a significant challenge for researchers. Here, we employ in situ electrochemical surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and density functional theory (DFT) calculation techniques to examine the ORR process at Pt(hkl) surfaces. Direct spectroscopic evidence for ORR intermediates indicates that, under acidic conditions, the pathway of ORR at Pt(111) occurs through the formation of HO2*, whereas at Pt(110) and Pt(100) it occurs via the generation of OH*. However, we propose that the pathway of the ORR under alkaline conditions at Pt(hkl) surfaces mainly occurs through the formation of O2−. Notably, these results demonstrate that the SERS technique offers an effective and reliable way for real-time investigation of catalytic processes at atomically flat surfaces not normally amenable to study with Raman spectroscopy.

    更新日期:2018-12-04
  • Combined economic and technological evaluation of battery energy storage for grid applications
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-03
    D. M. Davies, M. G. Verde, O. Mnyshenko, Y. R. Chen, R. Rajeev, Y. S. Meng, G. Elliott

    Batteries will play critical roles in modernizing energy grids, as they will allow a greater penetration of renewable energy and perform applications that better match supply with demand. Applying storage technology is a business decision that requires potential revenues to be accurately estimated to determine the economic viability, which requires models that consider market rules and prices, along with battery and application-specific constraints. Here we use models of storage connected to the California energy grid and show how the application-governed duty cycles (power profiles) of different applications affect different battery chemistries. We reveal critical trade-offs between battery chemistries and the applicability of energy content in the battery and show that accurate revenue measurement can only be achieved if a realistic battery operation in each application is considered. The findings in this work could call for a paradigm shift in how the true economic values of energy storage devices could be assessed.

    更新日期:2018-12-04
  • Rechargeable aluminium organic batteries
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-12-03
    Dong Jun Kim, Dong-Joo Yoo, Michael T. Otley, Aleksandrs Prokofjevs, Cristian Pezzato, Magdalena Owczarek, Seung Jong Lee, Jang Wook Choi, J. Fraser Stoddart

    Since aluminium is one of the most widely available elements in Earth’s crust, developing rechargeable aluminium batteries offers an ideal opportunity to deliver cells with high energy-to-price ratios. Nevertheless, finding appropriate host electrodes for insertion of aluminium (complex) ions remains a fundamental challenge. Here, we demonstrate a strategy for designing active materials for rechargeable aluminium batteries. This strategy entails the use of redox-active triangular phenanthrenequinone-based macrocycles, which form layered superstructures resulting in the reversible insertion and extraction of a cationic aluminium complex. This architecture exhibits an outstanding electrochemical performance with a reversible capacity of 110 mA h g–1 along with a superior cyclability of up to 5,000 cycles. Furthermore, electrodes composed of these macrocycles blended with graphite flakes result in higher specific capacity, electronic conductivity and areal loading. These findings constitute a major advance in the design of rechargeable aluminium batteries and represent a good starting point for addressing affordable large-scale energy storage.

    更新日期:2018-12-04
  • Efficient two-terminal all-perovskite tandem solar cells enabled by high-quality low-bandgap absorber layers
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-26
    Dewei Zhao, Cong Chen, Changlei Wang, Maxwell M. Junda, Zhaoning Song, Corey R. Grice, Yue Yu, Chongwen Li, Biwas Subedi, Nikolas J. Podraza, Xingzhong Zhao, Guojia Fang, Ren-Gen Xiong, Kai Zhu, Yanfa Yan

    Multi-junction all-perovskite tandem solar cells are a promising choice for next-generation solar cells with high efficiency and low fabrication cost. However, the lack of high-quality low-bandgap perovskite absorber layers seriously hampers the development of efficient and stable two-terminal monolithic all-perovskite tandem solar cells. Here, we report a bulk-passivation strategy via incorporation of chlorine, to enlarge grains and reduce electronic disorder in mixed tin–lead low-bandgap (~1.25 eV) perovskite absorber layers. This enables the fabrication of efficient low-bandgap perovskite solar cells using thick absorber layers (~750 nm), which is a requisite for efficient tandem solar cells. Such improvement enables the fabrication of two-terminal all-perovskite tandem solar cells with a champion power conversion efficiency of 21% and steady-state efficiency of 20.7%. The efficiency is retained to 85% of its initial performance after 80 h of operation under continuous illumination.

    更新日期:2018-11-27
  • Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-26
    J. K. Lundquist, K. K. DuVivier, D. Kaffine, J. M. Tomaszewski

    Optimal wind farm locations require a strong and reliable wind resource and access to transmission lines. As onshore and offshore wind energy grows, preferred locations become saturated with numerous wind farms. An upwind wind farm generates ‘wake effects’ (decreases in downwind wind speeds) that undermine a downwind wind farm’s power generation and revenues. Here we use a diverse set of analysis tools from the atmospheric science, economic and legal communities to assess costs and consequences of these wake effects, focusing on a West Texas case study. We show that although wake effects vary with atmospheric conditions, they are discernible in monthly power production. In stably stratified atmospheric conditions, wakes can extend 50+ km downwind, resulting in economic losses of several million dollars over six years for our case study. However, our investigation of the legal literature shows no legal guidance for protecting existing wind farms from such significant impacts.

    更新日期:2018-11-27
  • Taking the pressure off
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-26
    Götz Veser

    Taking the pressure off Taking the pressure off, Published online: 26 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0293-y Ammonia holds promise as a clean energy carrier, but its synthesis requires high pressures and large production scales that are ill-matched to renewable, decentralized energy production. Now, researchers use metal imides to mediate ammonia production in a chemical looping process that operates under mild conditions.

    更新日期:2018-11-27
  • Tandems in the thick of it
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-26
    Henk J. Bolink

    Tandems in the thick of it Tandems in the thick of it, Published online: 26 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0297-7 Two-terminal all-perovskite tandem structures are promising as low-cost yet highly efficient solar cells, but their development is limited by the poor quality of the low bandgap absorber layer. Now, a processing method has been shown to enable the production of uniform, thick tin–lead perovskite layers, which translate into improved photovoltaic parameters.

    更新日期:2018-11-27
  • Author Correction: Natural gas upgrading using a fluorinated MOF with tuned H2S and CO2 adsorption selectivity
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-19
    Youssef Belmabkhout, Prashant M. Bhatt, Karim Adil, Renjith S. Pillai, Amandine Cadiau, Aleksander Shkurenko, Guillaume Maurin, Gongping Liu , William J. Koros, Mohamed Eddaoudi

    Author Correction: Natural gas upgrading using a fluorinated MOF with tuned H2S and CO2 adsorption selectivity Author Correction: Natural gas upgrading using a fluorinated MOF with tuned H2S and CO2 adsorption selectivity, Published online: 19 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0299-5 Author Correction: Natural gas upgrading using a fluorinated MOF with tuned H2S and CO2 adsorption selectivity

    更新日期:2018-11-20
  • Real-time feedback promotes energy conservation in the absence of volunteer selection bias and monetary incentives
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-19
    Verena Tiefenbeck, Anselma Wörner, Samuel Schöb, Elgar Fleisch, Thorsten Staake

    Feedback interventions have proved to be effective at promoting energy conservation behaviour, and digital technologies have the potential to make interventions more powerful and scalable. In particular, real-time feedback on a specific, energy-intensive activity may induce considerable behaviour change and savings. Yet the majority of feedback studies that report large effects are conducted with opt-in samples of individuals who volunteer to participate. Here we show that real-time feedback on resource consumption during showering induces substantial energy conservation in an uninformed sample of guests at 6 hotels (265 rooms, N = 19,596 observations). The treatment effects are large (11.4% reduction in energy use), indicating that the real-time feedback induced substantial energy conservation among participants who did not opt in, and in a context where participants were not financially responsible for energy costs. We thus provide empirical evidence for real-time feedback as a scalable and cost-efficient policy instrument for fostering resource conservation among the broader public.

    更新日期:2018-11-20
  • A quantitative analysis of 10 multilateral development banks’ investment in conventional and renewable power-generation technologies from 2006 to 2015
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-12
    Bjarne Steffen, Tobias S. Schmidt

    Multilateral development banks (MDBs) play a pivotal role in the financing of electricity-generation projects in developing countries, thus having a major impact on the emission pathways of these countries. While information about the MDBs’ investments is publicly available, it is dispersed and hard to compare. A comprehensive compilation of all MDBs’ power-generation investments over the years has been missing. To address this gap, here we assess power-generation financing by all ten relevant MDBs during 2006–2015, in different regions, and through different branches of the banks. The study assesses technology choices by compiling a bottom-up dataset drawing information from 841 projects and programmes. We find that MDBs financed a major portion of all power-generation growth in the developing world, with an increasing share of renewables. However, MDBs have ‘greened’ their portfolios to different extents, and the activities of their public- and private-sector branches differ substantially.

    更新日期:2018-11-13
  • Stable metal battery anodes enabled by polyethylenimine sponge hosts by way of electrokinetic effects
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-12
    Guoxing Li, Zhe Liu, Qingquan Huang, Yue Gao, Michael Regula, Daiwei Wang, Long-Qing Chen, Donghai Wang

    The cycle life and energy density of rechargeable metal batteries are largely limited by the dendritic growth of their metal anodes (lithium, sodium or zinc). Here we develop a three-dimensional cross-linked polyethylenimine lithium-ion-affinity sponge as the lithium metal anode host to mitigate the problem. We show that electrokinetic surface conduction and electro-osmosis within the high-zeta-potential sponge change the concentration and current density profiles, which enables dendrite-free plating/stripping of lithium with a high Coulombic efficiency at high deposition capacities and current densities, even at low temperatures. The use of a lithium-hosting sponge leads to a significantly improved cycling stability of lithium metal batteries with a limited amount of lithium (for example, the areal lithium ratio of negative to positive electrodes is 0.6) at a commercial-level areal capacity. We also observed dendrite-free morphology in sodium and zinc anodes, which indicates a broader promise of this approach.

    更新日期:2018-11-13
  • Another good match
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-07
    Giulia Tregnago

    Another good matchAnother good match, Published online: 07 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0288-8Another good match

    更新日期:2018-11-07
  • Bleached carbon
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-07
    James Gallagher

    Bleached carbonBleached carbon, Published online: 07 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0289-7Bleached carbon

    更新日期:2018-11-07
  • Unshackled from oil
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-07
    Fouad Khan

    Unshackled from oilUnshackled from oil, Published online: 07 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0287-9Unshackled from oil

    更新日期:2018-11-07
  • Gradient interface
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-07
    Changjun Zhang

    Gradient interfaceGradient interface, Published online: 07 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0286-xGradient interface

    更新日期:2018-11-07
  • Scaling innovation
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-05
    Fouad Khan

    Scaling innovation Scaling innovation, Published online: 05 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0283-0 In April 2018, the Mini-Grid Innovation Lab was launched by The Rockefeller Foundation and CrossBoundary. Working with partners across Africa, and supported by Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the lab will test business solutions for mini-grids based in Africa to find the most cost-effective and scalable solutions. In doing so, it aims to demonstrate to governments, policymakers, investors and donors that mini-grids can play a key role in providing energy access to 600 million people without power in Africa. Nature Energy spoke to Gabriel Davies of CrossBoundary about the objectives and achievements of the lab so far.

    更新日期:2018-11-06
  • Increasing markets and decreasing package weight for high-specific-power photovoltaics
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-05
    Matthew O. Reese, Stephen Glynn, Michael D. Kempe, Deborah L. McGott, Matthew S. Dabney, Teresa M. Barnes, Samuel Booth, David Feldman, Nancy M. Haegel

    Thin-film and emerging technologies in photovoltaics (PV) offer advantages for lightweight, flexible power over the rigid silicon panels that dominate the present market. One important advantage is high specific power (the power-to-weight ratio). Here we consider niche market size, price points and value propositions that can provide a path for new PV market entrants. Examining the cost–production experience curves of Si, CdTe and CIGS PV suggests that a minimum market size of US$0.2–1 billion is required to incubate a new market entrant. Several markets requiring high specific power meet this threshold. We assess the critical role of the substrate, packaging and interconnects and provide a quantitative assessment of pathways to maximize specific power. With all requisite components included, along with requirements for safety and reliability, we estimate a lower bound for a durable lightweight module at about 300–500 g m−2. Pairing this bound with a 15%-efficiency thin-film or 35%-efficiency III–V module would yield specific powers up to 500 W kg−1 or 1,167 W kg−1, respectively.

    更新日期:2018-11-06
  • A dynamic analysis of financing conditions for renewable energy technologies
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-05
    Florian Egli, Bjarne Steffen, Tobias S. Schmidt

    Renewable energy technologies often face high upfront costs, making financing conditions highly relevant. Thus far, the dynamics of financing conditions are poorly understood. Here, we provide empirical data covering 133 representative utility-scale photovoltaic and onshore wind projects in Germany over the last 18 years. These data reveal that financing conditions have strongly improved. As drivers, we identify macroeconomic conditions (general interest rate) and experience effects within the renewable energy finance industry. For the latter, we estimate experience rates. These two effects contribute 5% (photovoltaic) and 24% (wind) to the observed reductions in levelized costs of electricity (LCOEs). Our results imply that extant studies may overestimate technological learning and that increases in the general interest rate may increase renewable energies’ LCOEs, casting doubt on the efficacy of plans to phase out policy support.

    更新日期:2018-11-06
  • Solar-driven interfacial evaporation
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-05
    Peng Tao, George Ni, Chengyi Song, Wen Shang, Jianbo Wu, Jia Zhu, Gang Chen, Tao Deng

    As a ubiquitous solar-thermal energy conversion process, solar-driven evaporation has attracted tremendous research attention owing to its high conversion efficiency of solar energy and transformative industrial potential. In recent years, solar-driven interfacial evaporation by localization of solar-thermal energy conversion to the air/liquid interface has been proposed as a promising alternative to conventional bulk heating-based evaporation, potentially reducing thermal losses and improving energy conversion efficiency. In this Review, we discuss the development of the key components for achieving high-performance evaporation, including solar absorbers, evaporation structures, thermal insulators and thermal concentrators, and discuss how they improve the performance of the solar-driven interfacial evaporation system. We describe the possibilities for applying this efficient solar-driven interfacial evaporation process for energy conversion applications. The exciting opportunities and challenges in both fundamental research and practical implementation of the solar-driven interfacial evaporation process are also discussed.

    更新日期:2018-11-06
  • Looking cool
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-11-05
    Yuzhang Li, Yanbin Li, Yi Cui

    Looking cool Looking cool, Published online: 05 November 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0284-z Cryogenic-electron microscopy is rapidly transforming battery research. Now, this powerful technique has been used to identify lithium hydride as a surprising culprit behind Li-ion battery failure.

    更新日期:2018-11-06
  • Production of ammonia via a chemical looping process based on metal imides as nitrogen carriers
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-29
    Wenbo Gao, Jianping Guo, Peikun Wang, Qianru Wang, Fei Chang, Qijun Pei, Weijin Zhang, Lin Liu, Ping Chen

    Ammonia is a promising carbon-free energy carrier, but is currently synthesized industrially under harsh conditions. Synthesizing ammonia using lower temperatures and pressures could therefore improve its prospects as a chemical means to store and transport energy. Here we report that alkali and alkaline earth metal imides function as nitrogen carriers that mediate ammonia production via a two-step chemical looping process operating under mild conditions. Nitrogen is first fixed through the reduction of N2 by alkali or alkaline earth metal hydrides to form imides and, subsequently, the imides are hydrogenated to produce NH3 and regenerate the metal hydrides. The oxidation state of hydrogen therefore switches between −1 (hydride), 0 (H2) and +1 (imide and NH3). Late 3d metals accelerate the reaction rates of both steps. The chemical loop mediated by BaNH and catalysed by Ni produces NH3 at 100 °C and atmospheric pressure.

    更新日期:2018-10-30
  • Natural gas upgrading using a fluorinated MOF with tuned H2S and CO2 adsorption selectivity
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-29
    Youssef Belmabkhout, Prashant M. Bhatt, Karim Adil, Renjith S. Pillai, Amandine Cadiau, Aleksander Shkurenko, Guillaume Maurin, Liu Gongping, William J. Koros, Mohamed Eddaoudi

    The process used to upgrade natural gas, biogas and refinery-off-gas directly influences the cost of producing the fuel and often requires complex separation strategies and operational systems to remove contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Here we report a fluorinated metal–organic framework (MOF), AlFFIVE-1-Ni, that allows simultaneous and equally selective removal of CO2 and H2S from CH4-rich streams in a single adsorption step. The simultaneous removal is possible for a wide range of H2S and CO2 compositions and concentrations of the gas feed. Pure component and mixed gas adsorption, single-crystal X-ray diffraction and molecular simulation studies were carried out to elucidate the mechanism governing the simultaneous adsorption of H2S and CO2. The results suggest that concurrent removal of CO2 and H2S is achieved via the integrated favourable sites for H2S and CO2 adsorption in a confined pore system. This approach offers the prospect of simplifying the complex schemes for removal of acid gases.

    更新日期:2018-10-30
  • A robust fuel cell operated on nearly dry methane at 500 °C enabled by synergistic thermal catalysis and electrocatalysis
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-29
    Yu Chen, Ben deGlee, Yu Tang, Ziyun Wang, Bote Zhao, Yuechang Wei, Lei Zhang, Seonyoung Yoo, Kai Pei, Jun Hyuk Kim, Yong Ding, P. Hu, Franklin Feng Tao, Meilin Liu

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are potentially the most efficient technology for direct conversion of hydrocarbons to electricity. While their commercial viability is greatest at operating temperatures of 300–500 °C, it is extremely difficult to run SOFCs on methane at these temperatures, where oxygen reduction and C–H activation are notoriously sluggish. Here we report a robust SOFC that enabled direct utilization of nearly dry methane (with ~3.5% H2O) at 500 °C (achieving a peak power density of 0.37 W cm−2) with no evidence of coking after ~550 h operation. The cell consists of a PrBa0.5Sr0.5Co1.5Fe0.5O5+δ nanofibre-based cathode and a BaZr0.1Ce0.7Y0.1Yb0.1O3–δ-based multifunctional anode coated with Ce0.90Ni0.05Ru0.05O2 (CNR) catalyst for reforming of CH4 to H2 and CO. The high activity and coking resistance of the CNR is attributed to a synergistic effect of cationic Ni and Ru sites anchored on the CNR surface, as confirmed by in situ/operando experiments and computations.

    更新日期:2018-10-30
  • Virtual water transfers of the US electric grid
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-22
    Christopher M. Chini, Lucas A. Djehdian, William N. Lubega, Ashlynn S. Stillwell

    Water is consumed in the generation of electricity and then transmitted, virtually, across the electric grid, creating a network of water transfers. Virtual water transfers of electricity are an understudied area of the energy–water nexus, with important policy and conservation considerations. Here we analyse the virtual water flows of the US electric grid and the changes in network structure from 2010 to 2016 using electricity transfers between power control areas and power-plant-level water for electricity. Transfers of blue water were 9.21 km3 in 2010 and 11.21 km3 in 2016. Transfers of grey water were 50.18 km3 in 2010 compared to 71.64 km3 in 2016. The change in blue water transfers are despite national trends of lower freshwater demands of thermoelectric power generation. We provide a mapping of virtual water transfers through the US electric grid over time, including blue and grey water, and network analysis of the system.

    更新日期:2018-10-23
  • Visions of energy futures
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-22
    Tuula Teräväinen

    Visions of energy futures Visions of energy futures, Published online: 22 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0279-9 The recent German energy transition has been taken as an exemplary case for a new, decentralized and renewable-energy-based approach to energy policy worldwide. New comparative research shows, however, that its national-level interpretations outside of Germany vary considerably, reflecting country-specific contextualization and visions of a good society.

    更新日期:2018-10-23
  • A robust large-pore zirconium carboxylate metal–organic framework for energy-efficient water-sorption-driven refrigeration
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-22
    Sujing Wang, Ji Sun Lee, Mohammad Wahiduzzaman, Jaedeuk Park, Mégane Muschi, Charlotte Martineau-Corcos, Antoine Tissot, Kyung Ho Cho, Jérôme Marrot, William Shepard, Guillaume Maurin, Jong-San Chang, Christian Serre

    The discovery of more-efficient and stable water adsorbents for adsorption-driven chillers for cooling applications remains a challenge due to the low working capacity of water sorption, high regeneration temperature, low energy efficiency under given operating conditions and the toxicity risk of harmful working fluids for the state-of-the-art sorbents. Here we report the water-sorption properties of a porous zirconium carboxylate metal–organic framework, MIP-200, which features S-shaped sorption isotherms, a high water uptake of 0.39 g g−1 below P/P0 = 0.25, facile regeneration and stable cycling, and most importantly a notably high coefficient of performance of 0.78 for refrigeration at a low driving temperature (below 70 °C). A joint computational–experimental approach supports that MIP-200 may be a practical alternative to the current commercially available adsorbents for refrigeration when its water adsorption performance is combined with advantages such as the exceptional chemical and mechanical stability and the scalable synthesis that involves simple, cheap and green chemicals.

    更新日期:2018-10-23
  • The German energy transition in the British, Finnish and Hungarian news media
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-22
    Miklós Antal, Kamilla Karhunmaa

    Germany was the first major country to commit itself to an electricity system transition based on decentralized renewable sources and energy efficiency. This experiment has attracted interest worldwide, but its influence on national energy debates is largely unknown. We study how the German transition appeared in the news media of three countries following alternative nuclear pathways—the United Kingdom, Finland and Hungary—between 2011 and 2015. We show that most discussions are techno-economic, supply-oriented and focused on nuclear, wind and solar energy. Key issues such as energy democracy, regional development, participation, demand-side measures, and bioenergy are neglected. We find that topics are detached from their original contexts and selectively contextualized elsewhere, resulting in very different pictures of the same transition in specific countries and news sources. The ‘Energiewende’ has become part of the international energy policy landscape, but its representation depends on local visions of a good society.

    更新日期:2018-10-23
  • Fine-tuning of the chemical structure of photoactive materials for highly efficient organic photovoltaics
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-22
    Baobing Fan, Xiaoyan Du, Feng Liu, Wenkai Zhong, Lei Ying, Ruihao Xie, Xiaofeng Tang, Kang An, Jingming Xin, Ning Li, Wei Ma, Christoph J. Brabec, Fei Huang, Yong Cao

    The performance of organic photovoltaics is largely dependent on the balance of short-circuit current density (JSC) and open-circuit voltage (VOC). For instance, the reduction of the active materials’ optical bandgap, which increases the JSC, would inevitably lead to a concomitant reduction in VOC. Here, we demonstrate that careful tuning of the chemical structure of photoactive materials can enhance both JSC and VOC simultaneously. Non-fullerene organic photovoltaics based on a well-matched materials combination exhibit a certified high power conversion efficiency of 12.25% on a device area of 1 cm2. By combining Fourier-transform photocurrent spectroscopy and electroluminescence, we show the existence of a low but non-negligible charge transfer state as the possible origin of VOC loss. This study highlights that the reduction of the bandgap to improve the efficiency requires a careful materials design to minimize non-radiative VOC losses.

    更新日期:2018-10-23
  • Lights that stay on
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-15
    Philipp Blechinger

    Lights that stay on Lights that stay on, Published online: 15 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0273-2 Solar home systems are seen as a quick and effective way to relieve people from energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. A new study shows that such systems can be more than an interim solution towards achieving SDG7 as they become cheaper than grid electricity while providing the same or better levels of reliability.

    更新日期:2018-10-16
  • Semi-synthetic strategy
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-15
    Paul W. King

    Semi-synthetic strategy Semi-synthetic strategy, Published online: 15 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0274-1 Semi-artificial photosynthesis offers advantages over purely natural or synthetic routes to producing chemicals from solar energy, but devices based on it have remained elusive. Now, researchers couple a dye-sensitized photoanode with natural components to generate H2 photoelectrochemically from water without additional bias.

    更新日期:2018-10-16
  • The cost of reliability in decentralized solar power systems in sub-Saharan Africa
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-15
    Jonathan T. Lee, Duncan S. Callaway

    Although there is consensus that both grid extensions and decentralized projects are necessary to approach universal electricity access, existing electrification planning models that assess the costs of decentralized solar energy systems do not include metrics of reliability or quantify the impact of reliability on costs. We focus on stand-alone household solar systems with battery storage in sub-Saharan Africa using the fraction of demand served to measure reliability, and develop a multistep optimization to compute efficiently the least-cost system with the fraction of demand served as a design constraint, and take into account the daily variation in solar resources and costs of solar and storage. We show that the cost of energy is minimized at approximately a 90% fraction of demand served, that current costs increase, on average, by US$0.11 kWh–1 for each additional ‘9’ of reliability, and that this reliability premium could be as low as US$0.03 kWh–1 in a plausible future price scenario.

    更新日期:2018-10-16
  • Neural net guesses appliances
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-09
    Fouad Khan

    Neural net guesses appliances Neural net guesses appliances, Published online: 09 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0270-5 Neural net guesses appliances

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Oxide supersedes peroxide
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-09
    Changjun Zhang

    Oxide supersedes peroxide Oxide supersedes peroxide, Published online: 09 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0269-y Oxide supersedes peroxide

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Doubly protected
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-09
    James Gallagher

    Doubly protected Doubly protected, Published online: 09 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0271-4 Doubly protected

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Beliefs about others’ beliefs
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-09
    Jenn Richler

    Beliefs about others’ beliefs Beliefs about others’ beliefs, Published online: 09 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0272-3 Beliefs about others’ beliefs

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Change the rules
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-09

    Change the rules Change the rules, Published online: 09 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0275-0 Enacting structural changes to systems that reinforce existing gender norms is a critical step that we must undertake in academia.

    更新日期:2018-10-10
  • Bio-enriching gasoline
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-08
    Katalin Barta

    Bio-enriching gasoline Bio-enriching gasoline, Published online: 08 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0264-3 Combining biofuel synthesis with petrorefinery operations may provide efficiency benefits, but procedures to do so are not yet well-established. Now, researchers describe a two-phase catalytic scheme for production of 10% bio-enriched gasoline by directly using petroleum fractions in the catalytic processing of (hemi)cellulose.

    更新日期:2018-10-09
  • Scenarios of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction potential in the buildings sector in China to year 2050
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-08
    Nan Zhou, Nina Khanna, Wei Feng, Jing Ke, Mark Levine

    As China’s rapid urbanization continues and urban dwellers become more affluent, energy use in buildings is expected to grow. To understand how this growth can be slowed, we explore four scenarios for Chinese buildings, ranging from a high-energy-demand scenario with no new energy policies to lowest energy demand under a techno-economic-potential scenario that assumes full deployment of cost-effective efficient and renewable technologies by 2050. We show that, in the high energy demand scenario, building energy demand has an average annual growth rate of about 2.8%, with slower growth rates in the other three scenarios. In all scenarios, CO2 emissions grow slower than energy, with building CO2 peaking around 2045 in the high energy demand scenario, and as early as 2030 in the techno-economic-potential scenario. We show that although various technological solutions, systems and practices can be very effective in minimizing building energy use, rigorous policies are needed to overcome multiple implementation barriers.

    更新日期:2018-10-09
  • Evaluating the factors that led to low-priced solar electricity projects in the Middle East
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-08
    Harry Apostoleris, Sgouris Sgouridis, Marco Stefancich, Matteo Chiesa

    The past few years have seen the rise of large-scale, low-priced solar energy projects around the world. Oil-producing countries in the Middle East, in particularly the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have become unexpected leaders in this movement with record-low power purchase agreement prices, below 3¢ kWh−1, for a number of new photovoltaic installations, beating the cost of fossil fuel generation. In this Analysis, we bring together technical, economic and financial information from global and local sources to study whether these prices can be replicated elsewhere and further reduced. We find that hardware costs, cost of labour, favourable cost of capital, low taxes and low, but positive, profit margins contribute to the reduction in costs. Reduced hardware prices contributed the most and also led to further reduction in cost of capital. We demonstrate how similar costs can be and have been achieved in other markets.

    更新日期:2018-10-09
  • A hybrid solution
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-01
    Uri Banin, Yuval Ben-Shahar

    A hybrid solution A hybrid solution, Published online: 01 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0259-0 Photocatalytic water splitting is a route to clean H2, but approaches based on hybrid semiconductor–metal nanoparticles often rely on sacrificial reagents to complete the oxidation half of the overall reaction. New research uses CdS nanocrystals modified with metallic and molecular co-catalysts to simultaneously produce H2 and O2 from water using visible light.

    更新日期:2018-10-02
  • Efficient thermal management of Li-ion batteries with a passive interfacial thermal regulator based on a shape memory alloy
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-01
    Menglong Hao, Jian Li, Saehong Park, Scott Moura, Chris Dames

    The poor performance of lithium-ion batteries in extreme temperatures is hindering their wider adoption in the energy sector. A fundamental challenge in battery thermal management systems (BTMSs) is that hot and cold environments pose opposite requirements: thermal transmission at high temperature for battery cooling, and thermal isolation at low temperature to retain the batteries’ internally generated heat, leading to an inevitable compromise of either hot or cold performances. Here, we demonstrate a thermal regulator that adjusts its thermal conductance as a function of the temperature, just as desired for the BTMS. Without any external logic control, this thermal regulator increases battery capacity by a factor of 3 at an ambient temperature (Tambient) of −20 °C in comparison to a baseline BTMS that is always thermally conducting, while also limiting the battery temperature rise to 5 °C in a very hot environment (Tambient = 45 °C) to ensure safety. The result expands the usability of lithium-ion batteries in extreme environments and opens up new applications of thermally functional devices.

    更新日期:2018-10-02
  • Regulating hot and cold
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-10-01
    Jonathan A. Malen, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan

    Regulating hot and cold Regulating hot and cold, Published online: 01 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0265-2 Battery temperature needs to be regulated in operation. Now, a shape memory alloy-based thermal regulator is shown to be able to automatically switch between thermally insulating and conducting states depending on temperature, demonstrating a new paradigm for thermal management of batteries.

    更新日期:2018-10-02
  • Direct upstream integration of biogasoline production into current light straight run naphtha petrorefinery processes
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-24
    Aron Deneyer, Elise Peeters, Tom Renders, Sander Van den Bosch, Nette Van Oeckel, Thijs Ennaert, Tibor Szarvas, Tamás I. Korányi, Michiel Dusselier, Bert F. Sels

    There is an urgent need to address environmental problems caused by our transportation systems, which include the reduction of associated CO2 emissions. In the short term, renewable drop-in fuels are ideal, as they allow a direct integration into the existing infrastructure. However, preferably they would perform better than current alternatives (for example, bioethanol) and be synthesized in a more efficient way. Here we demonstrate the production of biogasoline with a direct upstream integration into processes in existing petrorefinery facilities that targets the 10% bio-based carbon in accordance with the current European Union directives (for 2020) for biofuels. To achieve this goal, we show the valorization of (hemi)cellulose pulp into light naphtha using a two-phase (H2O:organic) catalytic slurry process. A C5–C6 alkane stream, enriched with bio-derived carbon and compatible with further downstream petrorefinery operations for (bio)gasoline production, is automatically obtained by utilizing fossil light straight run naphtha as the organic phase. The ease of integration pleads for a joint petro/bio effort to gradually produce bio-enriched gasolines, wherein the chemical compounds of the bio-derived fraction are indistinguishable from those in current high-quality gasoline compositions.

    更新日期:2018-09-25
  • Langmuir–Blodgett artificial solid-electrolyte interphases for practical lithium metal batteries
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-24
    Mun Sek Kim, Ji-Hyun Ryu, Deepika, Young Rok Lim, In Wook Nah, Kwang-Ryeol Lee, Lynden A. Archer, Won Il Cho

    Practical lithium metal batteries require full and reversible utilization of thin metallic Li anodes. This introduces a fundamental challenge concerning how to create solid-electrolyte interphases (SEIs) that are able to regulate interfacial transport and protect the reactive metal, without adding appreciably to the cell mass. Here, we report on physicochemical characteristics of Langmuir–Blodgett artificial SEIs (LBASEIs) created using phosphate-functionalized reduced graphene oxides. We find that LBASEIs not only meet the challenges of stabilizing the Li anode, but can be facilely assembled in a simple, scalable process. The LBASEI derives its effectiveness primarily from its ability to form a durable coating on Li that regulates electromigration at the anode/electrolyte interface. In a first step towards practical cells in which the anode and cathode capacities are matched, we report that it is possible to achieve stable operations in both coin and pouch cells composed of a thin Li anode with the LBASEI and a high-loading intercalation cathode.

    更新日期:2018-09-25
  • Sex disaggregation alone will not energize equality
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-17
    Sarah Bradshaw

    Sex disaggregation alone will not energize equality Sex disaggregation alone will not energize equality, Published online: 17 September 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0247-4 The need to include gender in energy policy, practice and research is largely accepted. However, when research that merely disaggregates by sex is used to inform energy efficiency initiatives, it often reproduces stereotypical understandings of sex differences, which can harm rather than promote gender equality.

    更新日期:2018-09-18
  • Transactive control for connected homes and neighbourhoods
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-17
    Na (Nora) Wang

    Transactive control for connected homes and neighbourhoods Transactive control for connected homes and neighbourhoods, Published online: 17 September 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0257-2 Smart in-home devices, if integrated with the capability to transact energy with one another and with the electric grid, can offer a disruptive solution to managing energy supply and demand. Such transactive energy networks could turn homes from passive energy consumers into intelligent, active energy storage and service providers for the future grid.

    更新日期:2018-09-18
  • Rising water use
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-10
    James Gallagher

    Rising water use Rising water use, Published online: 10 September 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0251-8 Rising water use

    更新日期:2018-09-11
  • National context is a key determinant of energy security concerns across Europe
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-10
    Christina Demski, Wouter Poortinga, Lorraine Whitmarsh, Gisela Böhm, Stephen Fisher, Linda Steg, Resul Umit, Pekka Jokinen, Pasi Pohjolainen

    Energy security is an important policy goal for most countries. Here, we show that cross-country differences in concern about energy security across Israel and 22 countries in Europe are explained by energy-specific and general national contextual indicators, over-and-above individual-level factors that reflect population demographics. Specifically, public concerns about import dependency and affordability reflect the specific energy context within countries, such as dependency on energy imports and electricity costs, while higher concerns about the affordability, vulnerability and reliability of energy are associated with higher fossil fuel consumption. More general national context beyond energy also appears to matter; energy security concerns are higher in countries that are doing less well in terms of economic and human well-being. These findings indicate that wider energy, social and economic context influence people’s feelings of vulnerability and sense of security, which may inform the development of effective energy security strategies that assuage public concerns.

    更新日期:2018-09-11
  • Fair pay for green energy
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-10
    Claudia Schwirplies

    Fair pay for green energy Fair pay for green energy, Published online: 10 September 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0254-5 The German Energiewende is an ambitious project, but the expansion of renewables needed to achieve its goals is expensive. Now, research shows that consumers would accept higher levies to finance renewables if exemption policies were abolished, forcing industries to pay their fair share.

    更新日期:2018-09-11
  • Breaking the spell
    Nat. Energy (IF 46.859) Pub Date : 2018-09-10
    Evan G. R. Davies

    Breaking the spell Breaking the spell, Published online: 10 September 2018; doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0242-9 Electricity production has traditionally required extensive water use, so growing economies such as China are expected to increase their freshwater withdrawal and consumption to meet growing electricity demand. Research shows, however, that through restructuring the electricity sector and increasing efficiency, China may have broken this coupling.

    更新日期:2018-09-11
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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