Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Themed collection 2018 Energy and Environmental Science HOT Articles

67 items
Open Access Opinion

Photoelectrochemical water splitting: an idea heading towards obsolescence?

The production of hydrogen from water and sunlight is a way to address the intermittency in renewable energy production, while simultaneously generating a versatile fuel and a valuable chemical feedstock. All approaches to solar hydrogen are, however, no equally promising.

Graphical abstract: Photoelectrochemical water splitting: an idea heading towards obsolescence?
Opinion

Electrochemical potential window of battery electrolytes: the HOMO–LUMO misconception

Electrolyte stability is governed by its oxidation and reduction potentials, not by the energy levels of its HOMO and LUMO.

Graphical abstract: Electrochemical potential window of battery electrolytes: the HOMO–LUMO misconception
Paper

Minimum thermal conductivity in the context of diffuson-mediated thermal transport

Diffuson-mediated thermal transport suggests a lower minimum thermal conductivity than phonon models.

Graphical abstract: Minimum thermal conductivity in the context of diffuson-mediated thermal transport
Review Article

Dissolution, migration, and deposition of transition metal ions in Li-ion batteries exemplified by Mn-based cathodes – a critical review

This paper reviews the research activities on the mechanistic understanding and solutions to overcome the TM DMD process, from the earliest discoveries to the latest progress.

Graphical abstract: Dissolution, migration, and deposition of transition metal ions in Li-ion batteries exemplified by Mn-based cathodes – a critical review
Paper

Flexible lithium–CO2 battery with ultrahigh capacity and stable cycling

A flexible high-performance lithium–CO2 battery is developed using wood-based cathode as a novel platform for combining CO2 utilization and energy storage.

Graphical abstract: Flexible lithium–CO2 battery with ultrahigh capacity and stable cycling
Paper

The use of poly-cation oxides to lower the temperature of two-step thermochemical water splitting

We report the discovery of a new class of oxides – poly-cation oxides (PCOs) – that consist of multiple cations and can thermochemically split water in a two-step cycle to produce hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2).

Graphical abstract: The use of poly-cation oxides to lower the temperature of two-step thermochemical water splitting
Analysis

Environmental and economical perspectives of a glycerol biorefinery

Process assessment uncovers most state-of-the-art glycerol-valorisation technologies as attractive, unravels critical parameters for optimisation and highlights advantages of integration within a biorefinery.

Graphical abstract: Environmental and economical perspectives of a glycerol biorefinery
Open Access Communication

Large Nernst power factor over a broad temperature range in polycrystalline Weyl semimetal NbP

NbP shows larger Nernst power factor than its conventional power factor, highlighting the potential of topological semimetals for energy conversion based on transverse transport.

Graphical abstract: Large Nernst power factor over a broad temperature range in polycrystalline Weyl semimetal NbP
Paper

Al3+ intercalation/de-intercalation-enabled dual-band electrochromic smart windows with a high optical modulation, quick response and long cycle life

An Al3+ intercalation/de-intercalation-enabled dual-band electrochromic smart window featuring simultaneously a high optical modulation, fast response and long cycle life.

Graphical abstract: Al3+ intercalation/de-intercalation-enabled dual-band electrochromic smart windows with a high optical modulation, quick response and long cycle life
Paper

The nanoscale structure of the electrolyte–metal oxide interface

Combined experimental and theoretical insights into electrolyte–electrode interfaces relevant to lithium ion batteries.

Graphical abstract: The nanoscale structure of the electrolyte–metal oxide interface
Paper

Enabling alternative ethylene production through its selective adsorption in the metal–organic framework Mn2(m-dobdc)

The unique adsorptive properties of metal–organic frameworks open the door to new processes for energy and raw materials production.

Graphical abstract: Enabling alternative ethylene production through its selective adsorption in the metal–organic framework Mn2(m-dobdc)
Paper

Highly stable single Pt atomic sites anchored on aniline-stacked graphene for hydrogen evolution reaction

Single-atom Pt sites stabilized by aniline stacked on graphene exhibit excellent electrocatalytic activity and durability for the hydrogen evolution reaction.

Graphical abstract: Highly stable single Pt atomic sites anchored on aniline-stacked graphene for hydrogen evolution reaction
Paper

Concentrated mixed cation acetate “water-in-salt” solutions as green and low-cost high voltage electrolytes for aqueous batteries

Challenge of developing new formulations of water-in-salt electrolytes are addressed via mixed cation strategy: cheaper (by at least an order of magnitude) and more soluble salts featuring alkali cations beyond lithium, such as potassium, are used to create the water-in-salt condition.

Graphical abstract: Concentrated mixed cation acetate “water-in-salt” solutions as green and low-cost high voltage electrolytes for aqueous batteries
Paper

Mixed phononic and non-phononic transport in hybrid lead halide perovskites: glass-crystal duality, dynamical disorder, and anharmonicity

First-principles and classical modeling reveal a glass-crystal duality in the nature of vibrational transport in lead halide hybrid perovskites.

Graphical abstract: Mixed phononic and non-phononic transport in hybrid lead halide perovskites: glass-crystal duality, dynamical disorder, and anharmonicity
Open Access Paper

A manganese hydride molecular sieve for practical hydrogen storage under ambient conditions

An amorphous manganese hydride molecular sieve that reversibly absorbs 10.5 wt% and 197 kgH2 m−3 hydrogen at room temperature using the Kubas interaction.

Graphical abstract: A manganese hydride molecular sieve for practical hydrogen storage under ambient conditions
Paper

Impact of Ni content on the thermoelectric properties of half-Heusler TiNiSn

Thermoelectric properties vary dramatically between two boundary compositions of Ni-rich and Ni-poor TiNiSn, up to 25% in zT.

Graphical abstract: Impact of Ni content on the thermoelectric properties of half-Heusler TiNiSn
Paper

Fluoride graphdiyne as a free-standing electrode displaying ultra-stable and extraordinary high Li storage performance

Bottom-up fabrication of fluoride graphdiyne offers a versatile approach to the rational design of ultra-stable flexible 2D electrode materials.

Graphical abstract: Fluoride graphdiyne as a free-standing electrode displaying ultra-stable and extraordinary high Li storage performance
Paper

Efficient ternary non-fullerene polymer solar cells with PCE of 11.92% and FF of 76.5%

Highly efficient ternary non-fullerene PSCs were fabricated employing PBDB-T as the donor and mixed ITCPTC:IDT6CN-M as the acceptors.

Graphical abstract: Efficient ternary non-fullerene polymer solar cells with PCE of 11.92% and FF of 76.5%
Open Access Opinion

Reconsidering figures of merit for performance and stability of perovskite photovoltaics

We propose a new approach for assessing the lifetimes of perovskite photovoltaics based on daily energy output which accounts for reversible diurnal changes.

Graphical abstract: Reconsidering figures of merit for performance and stability of perovskite photovoltaics
Communication

A generic green solvent concept boosting the power conversion efficiency of all-polymer solar cells to 11%

Advances in organic photovoltaic technologies have always been closely associated with a deeper understanding of bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) microstructure morphology, which is generally governed by the ink-formulation based on a single solvent or solvent mixtures.

Graphical abstract: A generic green solvent concept boosting the power conversion efficiency of all-polymer solar cells to 11%
Paper

Design and understanding of encapsulated perovskite solar cells to withstand temperature cycling

Perovskite solar cells retain their performance with temperature cycling using a compliant, ethylene vinyl acetate encapsulant.

Graphical abstract: Design and understanding of encapsulated perovskite solar cells to withstand temperature cycling
Paper

Thermochemical wastewater valorization via enhanced microbial toxicity tolerance

Engineering Pseudomonas putida for enhanced protein quality control machinery improves its toxicity tolerance.

Graphical abstract: Thermochemical wastewater valorization via enhanced microbial toxicity tolerance
Communication

Electronic structure engineering to boost oxygen reduction activity by controlling the coordination of the central metal

FeCl1N4/CNS catalyst first realized a great improvement of ORR by controlling the electronic structure of central metal with coordinated chlorine.

Graphical abstract: Electronic structure engineering to boost oxygen reduction activity by controlling the coordination of the central metal
Open Access Paper

Tuning mobility and stability of lithium ion conductors based on lattice dynamics

Ionic conductivity and stability of Li-ion conductors are rationalized on the same footing using lattice-dynamics descriptors.

Graphical abstract: Tuning mobility and stability of lithium ion conductors based on lattice dynamics
Open Access Perspective

An assessment of strategies for the development of solid-state adsorbents for vehicular hydrogen storage

We assess the strengths and weaknesses of strategies for creating nanoporous hydrogen storage sorbents.

Graphical abstract: An assessment of strategies for the development of solid-state adsorbents for vehicular hydrogen storage
Perspective

The merit of perovskite's dimensionality; can this replace the 3D halide perovskite?

This perspective paper focuses on the dimensionality of organic–inorganic halide perovskites and their relevant advantages over 3D halide perovskites.

Graphical abstract: The merit of perovskite's dimensionality; can this replace the 3D halide perovskite?
Paper

Light-permeable, photoluminescent microbatteries embedded in the color filter of a screen

The prototype of a battery-in-screen configuration is constructed from photoluminescent zinc-ion batteries with a hydrogel electrolyte embedded with water-soluble quantum dots.

Graphical abstract: Light-permeable, photoluminescent microbatteries embedded in the color filter of a screen
Open Access Perspective

CO2 reduction on gas-diffusion electrodes and why catalytic performance must be assessed at commercially-relevant conditions

The substantial implications of high current densities on the local reaction environment and design of catalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction are addressed. The presented perspectives also reflect on current practices within the field and offer new opportunities for both future catalyst and system-focused research efforts.

Graphical abstract: CO2 reduction on gas-diffusion electrodes and why catalytic performance must be assessed at commercially-relevant conditions
Open Access Communication

Beyond catalysis and membranes: visualizing and solving the challenge of electrode water accumulation and flooding in AEMFCs

Systematically controlling AEMFC electrode structure and water leads to record 1.9 W cm−2 performance with ETFE membranes/ionomers and PtRu/Pt catalysts.

Graphical abstract: Beyond catalysis and membranes: visualizing and solving the challenge of electrode water accumulation and flooding in AEMFCs
Open Access Review Article

New horizons for inorganic solid state ion conductors

This critical review presents the state of the art research progress, proposes strategies to improve the conductivity of solid electrolytes, discusses the chemical and electrochemical stabilities, and uncovers future perspectives for solid state batteries.

Graphical abstract: New horizons for inorganic solid state ion conductors
Paper

Driving towards cost-competitive biofuels through catalytic fast pyrolysis by rethinking catalyst selection and reactor configuration

Bifunctional fixed-bed catalysts improve CFP performance.

Graphical abstract: Driving towards cost-competitive biofuels through catalytic fast pyrolysis by rethinking catalyst selection and reactor configuration
Perspective

Precision and correctness in the evaluation of electrocatalytic water splitting: revisiting activity parameters with a critical assessment

To avoid unnoticed errors made by researchers who are working in the area of nanostructured materials for water splitting, the correct and precise use of evaluation parameters is discussed in detail, stating their acceptability and validity.

Graphical abstract: Precision and correctness in the evaluation of electrocatalytic water splitting: revisiting activity parameters with a critical assessment
Communication

Ultrahigh-voltage integrated micro-supercapacitors with designable shapes and superior flexibility

A cost-effective and industrially applicable screen printing protocol is demonstrated for scalable fabrication of graphene-based planar integrated micro-supercapacitors, with shape diversity, outstanding flexibility and superior modularization.

Graphical abstract: Ultrahigh-voltage integrated micro-supercapacitors with designable shapes and superior flexibility
Paper

Protonic ceramic electrochemical cells for hydrogen production and electricity generation: exceptional reversibility, stability, and demonstrated faradaic efficiency

We demonstrate excellent performance and durability at intermediate temperatures (500–650 °C) upon reversible operation of an electrochemical cell incorporating a proton-permeable, high-activity mixed conducting oxide as the air electrode, a highly proton-conductive and chemically stable perovskite oxide as the electrolyte, and a composite of Ni and the electrolyte as the fuel electrode.

Graphical abstract: Protonic ceramic electrochemical cells for hydrogen production and electricity generation: exceptional reversibility, stability, and demonstrated faradaic efficiency
Paper

A super hygroscopic hydrogel for harnessing ambient humidity for energy conservation and harvesting

Atmospheric humidity, an abundant source of water, is widely considered as a redundant resource demanding expense of energy to maintain it under comfortable levels for human habitation.

Graphical abstract: A super hygroscopic hydrogel for harnessing ambient humidity for energy conservation and harvesting
Communication

A porphyrin covalent organic framework cathode for flexible Zn–air batteries

A porphyrin covalent organic framework cathode is fabricated under multiscale materials regulation for flexible Zn–air batteries.

Graphical abstract: A porphyrin covalent organic framework cathode for flexible Zn–air batteries
Open Access Review Article

A search for selectivity to enable CO2 capture with porous adsorbents

Current attempts in materials science to increase the selectivity of CO2 physisorption from diluted sources are critically reviewed.

Graphical abstract: A search for selectivity to enable CO2 capture with porous adsorbents
Open Access Paper

Investigating the BECCS resource nexus: delivering sustainable negative emissions

BECCS performance can be measured by a wide range of technical and sustainability indicators, which can be negatively correlated. An exclusive focus on BECCS technical performance – CO2 removal and electricity production, can result in negative consequences for the broader environment.

Graphical abstract: Investigating the BECCS resource nexus: delivering sustainable negative emissions
Open Access Paper

Large area efficient interface layer free monolithic perovskite/homo-junction-silicon tandem solar cell with over 20% efficiency

A simple and scalable interface-layer free monolithic perovskite/silicon tandem has been demonstrated achieving over 20% efficiency on a large area.

Graphical abstract: Large area efficient interface layer free monolithic perovskite/homo-junction-silicon tandem solar cell with over 20% efficiency
Paper

Stable solvent for solution-based electrical doping of semiconducting polymer films and its application to organic solar cells

A solution-based method to electrically p-dope organic semiconductors enabling the fabrication of organic solar cells with simplified geometry is implemented with acetonitrile as an alternative to nitromethane.

Graphical abstract: Stable solvent for solution-based electrical doping of semiconducting polymer films and its application to organic solar cells
Open Access Paper

Time for global action: an optimised cooperative approach towards effective climate change mitigation

An optimised cooperative approach for climate change mitigation where savings are fairly shared to bring significant economic and environmental benefits.

Graphical abstract: Time for global action: an optimised cooperative approach towards effective climate change mitigation
Paper

Carbon dioxide in the cage: manganese metal–organic frameworks for high performance CO2 electrodes in Li–CO2 batteries

Manganese MOF-based cathodes achieve high discharge capacity, reduced overpotentials and promoted reversibility in Li–CO2 batteries.

Graphical abstract: Carbon dioxide in the cage: manganese metal–organic frameworks for high performance CO2 electrodes in Li–CO2 batteries
Paper

Nanomat Li–S batteries based on all-fibrous cathode/separator assemblies and reinforced Li metal anodes: towards ultrahigh energy density and flexibility

Nanomat Li–S batteries based on all-fibrous cathode/separator assemblies and reinforced Li metal anodes are presented to enable ultrahigh-energy-density and flexibility.

Graphical abstract: Nanomat Li–S batteries based on all-fibrous cathode/separator assemblies and reinforced Li metal anodes: towards ultrahigh energy density and flexibility
Paper

Universal kinetic solvent effects in acid-catalyzed reactions of biomass-derived oxygenates

Experiments and molecular simulations are combined to understand organic solvent effects, enabling prediction of acid-catalyzed reaction rates for biomass conversion.

Graphical abstract: Universal kinetic solvent effects in acid-catalyzed reactions of biomass-derived oxygenates
Paper

Synergism induced exceptional capacity and complete reversibility in Mg–Y thin films: enabling next generation metal hydride electrodes

A novel strategy to design high capacity MH electrodes without using non-hydrogen-absorbing elements by inducing synergism.

Graphical abstract: Synergism induced exceptional capacity and complete reversibility in Mg–Y thin films: enabling next generation metal hydride electrodes
Paper

Comprehensive control of voltage loss enables 11.7% efficient solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells

The unprecedentedly targeted down-regulation of Vloss in DSSCs renders a power conversion efficiency of 11.7% for solid-state DSSCs.

Graphical abstract: Comprehensive control of voltage loss enables 11.7% efficient solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells
Paper

Self-diffusion barriers: possible descriptors for dendrite growth in batteries?

A correlation between the height of metal self-diffusion barriers and the tendency towards dendrite growth in batteries is demonstrated.

Graphical abstract: Self-diffusion barriers: possible descriptors for dendrite growth in batteries?
Paper

Designing high performance all-small-molecule solar cells with non-fullerene acceptors: comprehensive studies on photoexcitation dynamics and charge separation kinetics

High definition of all-small molecule materials for organic solar cells allows slow separation of localized charges.

Graphical abstract: Designing high performance all-small-molecule solar cells with non-fullerene acceptors: comprehensive studies on photoexcitation dynamics and charge separation kinetics
Paper

Upgrading the value of anaerobic digestion via chemical production from grid injected biomethane

Coupling decentralized biomethane generation to centralized CO production via gas grid redistribution can be an economically viable CO2 utilization strategy.

Graphical abstract: Upgrading the value of anaerobic digestion via chemical production from grid injected biomethane
Open Access Paper

Design principles for high transition metal capacity in disordered rocksalt Li-ion cathodes

Design rules for high capacity disordered rocksalt Li-ion cathodes applied to the Li–Mn–V–O–F system.

Graphical abstract: Design principles for high transition metal capacity in disordered rocksalt Li-ion cathodes
Open Access Paper

Single-particle measurements of electrochemical kinetics in NMC and NCA cathodes for Li-ion batteries

Electrochemical kinetics of Li-ion battery cathodes are measured at single-particle level and combined with transmission X-ray microscopy to elucidate behavior during use.

Graphical abstract: Single-particle measurements of electrochemical kinetics in NMC and NCA cathodes for Li-ion batteries
Paper

Construction of hierarchical Ni–Co–P hollow nanobricks with oriented nanosheets for efficient overall water splitting

Novel Ni–Co–P hollow nanobricks are constructed with oriented nanosheets and manifest as an excellent bifunctional electrocatalyst for overall water splitting.

Graphical abstract: Construction of hierarchical Ni–Co–P hollow nanobricks with oriented nanosheets for efficient overall water splitting
Paper

Constructing canopy-shaped molecular architectures to create local Pt surface sites with high tolerance to H2S and CO for hydrogen electrooxidation

Pt surface is modified with 2,6-diacetylpyridine, which exhibits high H2S and CO tolerance for H2 oxidation through steric hindrance.

Graphical abstract: Constructing canopy-shaped molecular architectures to create local Pt surface sites with high tolerance to H2S and CO for hydrogen electrooxidation
Open Access Opinion

Storing electricity as chemical energy: beyond traditional electrochemistry and double-layer compression

Local electric fields in IL-based supercapacitors can change the ionic coordination structure to store electric energy in the bulk of filled mesopores.

Graphical abstract: Storing electricity as chemical energy: beyond traditional electrochemistry and double-layer compression
Open Access Paper

How small amounts of Ge modify the formation pathways and crystallization of kesterites

A fundamental analysis of the impact of Ge on the synthesis of Cu2ZnSnSe4:Ge by a sequential process is presented, reporting the consequences on the absorber morphology and solar cell devices performance.

Graphical abstract: How small amounts of Ge modify the formation pathways and crystallization of kesterites
Communication

Thermoswitchable on-chip microsupercapacitors: one potential self-protection solution for electronic devices

A microsupercapacitor with smart thermoresponsive behavior is demonstrated as one potential self-protection solution for on-chip electronic devices.

Graphical abstract: Thermoswitchable on-chip microsupercapacitors: one potential self-protection solution for electronic devices
Paper

Evaluating particle-suspension reactor designs for Z-scheme solar water splitting via transport and kinetic modeling

Simulations of coupled light absorption, transport and kinetics processes in a tandem, vertically-stacked particle-suspension reactor design for solar-water splitting.

Graphical abstract: Evaluating particle-suspension reactor designs for Z-scheme solar water splitting via transport and kinetic modeling
Perspective

High thermoelectric performance of α-MgAgSb for power generation

α-MgAgSb based materials have recently gained popular attentions as a new promising p-type candidate for power generation.

Graphical abstract: High thermoelectric performance of α-MgAgSb for power generation
Paper

Water splitting by electrolysis at high current densities under 1.6 volts

A robust oxygen-evolving electrocatalyst was developed using a room-temperature strategy for water splitting at high current densities with low voltages.

Graphical abstract: Water splitting by electrolysis at high current densities under 1.6 volts
Open Access Paper

Assessing the photovoltaic technology landscape: efficiency and energy return on investment (EROI)

This paper compared different photovoltaic technologies by using the method in the plot.

Graphical abstract: Assessing the photovoltaic technology landscape: efficiency and energy return on investment (EROI)
Paper

Soft phonon modes from off-center Ge atoms lead to ultralow thermal conductivity and superior thermoelectric performance in n-type PbSe–GeSe

The off-centered Ge leads to the ultralow lattice thermal conductivity and record high average ZT for n-type PbSe.

Graphical abstract: Soft phonon modes from off-center Ge atoms lead to ultralow thermal conductivity and superior thermoelectric performance in n-type PbSe–GeSe
Open Access Paper

A lung-inspired approach to scalable and robust fuel cell design

Lung-inspired flow fields are employed to overcome reactant homogeneity issues in PEFCs, resulting in enhanced performance and minimal pressure drop.

Graphical abstract: A lung-inspired approach to scalable and robust fuel cell design
Paper

The role of the solid electrolyte interphase layer in preventing Li dendrite growth in solid-state batteries

The fundamental role of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer in preventing dendritic Li growth has been investigated in solid-state batteries.

Graphical abstract: The role of the solid electrolyte interphase layer in preventing Li dendrite growth in solid-state batteries
Perspective

Pathways to electrochemical solar-hydrogen technologies

Several application fields can benefit from solar-hydrogen technologies via specific short-term and long-term pathways.

Graphical abstract: Pathways to electrochemical solar-hydrogen technologies
Analysis

Relative costs of transporting electrical and chemical energy

We estimate the energy transmission costs for new infrastructure needed to transition to a decarbonized energy system while meeting growing demand.

Graphical abstract: Relative costs of transporting electrical and chemical energy
Paper

Sweat-based wearable energy harvesting-storage hybrid textile devices

The hybrid device, screen-printed on two sides of the fabric, is designed to scavenge biochemical energy from the wearer's sweat using a biofuel cell module, and to store the harvested bioenergy into the supercapacitor module for subsequent use.

Graphical abstract: Sweat-based wearable energy harvesting-storage hybrid textile devices
Open Access Paper

The energy return on investment of BECCS: is BECCS a threat to energy security?

Energy intensive supply chains and low power generation efficiency could challenge the ubiquitous assumption that BECCS is a net provider of electricity. Deploying a net negative energy technology at the EJ scale could represent a threat to energy security.

Graphical abstract: The energy return on investment of BECCS: is BECCS a threat to energy security?
67 items

About this collection

Welcome to our online rolling collection of the hottest work published in Energy and Environmental Science. Here we feature all 2018 Energy and Environmental Science articles highlighted as HOT by the handling editor or our referees. Congratulations to all the authors whose articles are featured.

Spotlight

Advertisements