September 8/15, 2008

Energy-related books and products from


More work and effort is needed to communicate what is a complex field -- this is vital if governments are to be motivated by informed public opinion to make some of the hard decisions we are facing in meeting our growing energy demand in a sustainable way.
-Nigel Brandon, ICL



Bugs inspire better solar cell coatings

Form microscopic pillars on a glass surface and you have a solar cell top layer that cuts glare and keeps itself clean. [more]


Plant-inspired molecule boosts water splitting

Copy part of an enzyme that plants use in photosynthesis and wrap it in a plastic used in fuel cells, and you have a catalyst that extracts oxygen from water. [more]


Nano mesh conducts better

Mix the right chemicals in a vapor and you get a flexible semiconducting nanoscale mesh that could be used to extract hydrogen from water. [more]


Light trap boosts solar cells

Turn direct sunlight into diffuse light in a solar cell and you boost the intensity of the light, which increases the cell's efficiency. [more]


Textured mirror limits light loss

Bundle microscopic glass fibers into a sheet of glass and selectively etch some of the fibers with chemicals and you have a mirror with a microscopically textured surface. [more]


Semiconductors stand out for getting more out of light

Get a single photon to knock loose more than one electron in a solar cell and you get more electricity for the same amount of sunlight. [more]

Q & A

Imperial College London's Nigel Brandon

Whole-systems energy research, solid-oxide fuel cells, energy demand and research budgets. [more]


DOE readies clean energy tech for market

The US Department of Energy has budgeted up to $7 million to seven of its national laboratories for clean energy technology commercialization. [more]


Algae research spawns biofuel startups

A pair of startups aim to commercialize university research in algae-based biofuels. [more]



Special Report
Energy in transition: researchers talk about Obama and our future

The return of science, the enormous task, the Apollo-like effort required, and ideas for remaking the nation's energy infrastructure.

Eric on Energy


Are we too late?

Can we convert our energy system from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy sources in time to avoid ecological and economic disaster? [more]



Special Report
Energy in transition: researchers talk about Obama and our future


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