Improving Our Energy Resources for Today and Tomorrow: Nanotechnology-Enabled Energy Solutions


 

How does nanotechnology help your electric car go the extra mile?

Scientists are improving the batteries in electric cars and using nanotechnology do to it. Breakthroughs are bringing more powerful and longer-lasting batteries that will increase the range of electric cars. These improvements use less expensive materials than traditional batteries, which means electric cars will go farther and cost less thanks to nanotechnology. The T-shaped battery pictured here, a replica of the battery used in the Chevy Volt, includes cathode technology from Argonne National Lab. 

 
picture of battery used in the Chevy Volt

  Photo courtesy of General Motors

 

picture of a city bus that runs on natural gas

  Photo courtesy of Adam E. Moreira

How can nanotechnology decrease greenhouse gases?

 
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. It is 72 times more effective than carbon dioxide at absorbing and releasing heat. This is why it is so important that vehicles and power plants efficiently (and completely) burn methane, a major component of natural gas. Scientists are developing nanotechnology-enabled catalysts that improve the combustion of methane, decreasing its release into the atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

How will nanotechnology improve alternative energy sources?

Solar panels capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. Researchers are looking to nanotechnology to make panels that soak up more sunshine, so there’s more solar energy converted into electricity. Icy blades on wind turbines can dramatically cut their power output. Using nature-inspired nanotechnology, scientists are creating coatings that cause water to roll right off surfaces and reduce ice buildup.

   


picture of a wind turbine and solar panels

 

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