Berkeley Lab scientists Maurice Garcia-Sciveres and Ramamoorthy Ramesh discuss how future microchips could perform better – and require less energy – than silicon. Over the next three years, they will lead two of the 10 projects recently awarded nearly $54 million by the Department of Energy to increase energy efficiency in microelectronics design and production.
We spoke to two members, co-lead author and senior scientist Vittal Yachandra and co-first author and postdoctoral researcher Philipp Simon, about their latest milestones, shooting stuff with lasers, and why they chose this field.
For geothermal fields around the world, produced geothermal brine has been simply injected back underground, but now it’s become clear that the brines produced at the Salton Sea geothermal field contain an immense amount of lithium, a critical resource need for low-carbon transportation and energy storage. Demand for lithium is skyrocketing, as it is an essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Currently there is very little lithium production in the U.S. and most lithium is imported; however, that may change in the near future.
Research at Berkeley Lab starts with basic science which leads to innovative breakthroughs that have changed the world. The Basics2Breakthroughs video series focuses on early career scientists discussing their research and what they hope for the future in that research.
The recent dramatic decline in battery prices has created a new possibility for electrification of freight trains. Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, collaborating with UCLA and UC Berkeley researchers, make the case that the U.S. can retrofit diesel-electric trains with batteries in a way that is cost-competitive with diesel. Doing so would avoid up to 1,000 premature deaths and save the U.S. freight rail sector $94 billion over 20 years from reduced air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
Could a tank of ice or hot water be a battery? Yes! If a battery is a device for storing energy, then storing hot or cold water to power a building’s heating or air-conditioning system is a different type of energy storage. Known as thermal energy storage, the technology has been around for a long time but has often been overlooked. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are making a concerted push to take thermal energy storage to the next level.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have demonstrated how coating copper catalysts with thin films can improve a standard technique for converting carbon dioxide emissions into useful chemicals and liquid fuels.