Lithium Ion Batteries Made From Sand
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have created a lithium ion battery using sand as the key material. The new technology impressively outperforms the current industry standard by three times, which could mean having to recharge your phone every three days, instead of every day. While relaxing on a beach, UC researcher Zachary Favors then noticed sand’s properties. After processing the sand in the lab, he was able to extract a porous form of pure silicon, which he then used as an anode material for his battery. The highly-porous silicon exhibited sponge-like qualities allowing for more power to be stored without increasing the size of the battery.
America’s Biggest Oil Port Seen to Shift Flow Due to Shale Boom
For over 30 years, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port LLC (LOOP) has been importing foreign crude. Now, with local production at a 28-year high, LOOP’s decision-makers are looking at reversing the flow by exporting oil, while continuing to take foreign oil in. The terminal was opened in 1981 and remains to be the only port in the country that can unload Ultra Large Crude Carriers and Very Large Crude Carriers, the two biggest classifications of oil tankers. Though it may take more than a year to build the needed infrastructure, the fact that LOOP is considering the endeavor underscores how shale drilling have altered energy flows in North America.
China Calls for Plans on Advancement of Geothermal Energy Utilization
China, the world’s number one carbon emitter, asked local authorities to prepare plans for geothermal energy use by 2020 and submit them by the end of this year. The country seeks to first develop geothermal power in regions with high-temperature resources and then promote medium- temperature geothermal, then dry-rock power after that. China is targeting 100MW of geothermal power by next year and will accelerate setting power prices for commercialized projects.
Renewable Energy Investment Reaches Peak Since 2012
A new study from analysts Clean Energy Pipeline has shown that global clean energy investment totaled $66.2 billion in the second quarter of 2014, the highest mark since the end of 2012. This year’s second quarter saw an 8% increase compared to the same period last year. Renewable energy investments has been steadily increasing after a slight letup in 2013. Recent research from the International Renewable Energy Agency showed that doubling investments in clean energy would not only increase the benefit for the climate but also save money for countries.