Three new kinds of battery that just might change the world (feat. Battery Lab Manager Greg Less)
So, it’s time to ask again: Why aren’t we all driving around in oxygen-powered cars? Well, the chemical reaction that produces energy in these batteries also happens to come with a considerable drawback. As it interacts with the oxygen, the aluminum degrades over time. It’s a type of battery called a “primary” cell, which means current only flows one way, from the anode to the cathode. That means they can’t be recharged. Instead, the batteries have to be swapped out and recycled after running down.
As a child growing up in Lebanon, Carol Menassa was given a gift that sparked a lifelong interest in structural design.
“When I was five, I received a Lego set. That was it. That’s when I knew I wanted to build things.”
During her childhood, Menassa - University of Michigan Assistant Professor and John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar - became passionate about structures: how they are built, and later, how they are designed to withstand use over time. As an undergraduate, she decided to make construction her life’s work and majored in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the American University of Beirut.
Three pairs of researchers will be reaching across an ocean this year to spark collaborative energy projects with the receipt of University of Michigan – Ben Gurion University of the Negev Collaboration on Energy Research grants.
The catch? The projects have to feature a research team from each university, working jointly on projects related to global energy security. Teams could choose to focus on one of three topics: photovoltaics and solar technology, liquid fuels and engine combustion, or thermoelectricity, materials, and devices.
Autonomous "robot" vehicles that can drive themselves hold great promise for transforming transportation systems across the world. Part of their appeal is the potential to greatly improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Not so fast, notes Bradley Berman in a critical piece on ReadWriteDrive, where he quotes Energy Institute research professor John DeCicco's admonition that technology "doesn't save us from ourselves."
With the backing of 13 car companies, the United Auto Workers and other parties, the Obama Administration announced the biggest step forward on auto efficiency in over a generation. The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations just finalized target the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of 54.5 mpg by model year 2025, double the efficiency of this year's vehicle fleet.
Building on the Bush Administration's 2007 proposal to raise automotive fuel economy by up to four percent per year, the Obama Administration is now considering regulations that might target a doubling of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards by 2025. But just how much can the efficiency of cars and light trucks be improved, and at what cost?