Themed collection Energy & Environmental Science Recent HOT Articles

54 items
Open Access Perspective

The relative insignificance of advanced materials in enhancing the energy efficiency of desalination technologies

We reveal the insignificance of advanced materials in further enhancing the energy efficiency of desalination and suggest more impactful approaches.

Graphical abstract: The relative insignificance of advanced materials in enhancing the energy efficiency of desalination technologies
Perspective

Transforming the carbon economy: challenges and opportunities in the convergence of low-cost electricity and reductive CO2 utilization

Renewable electricity can be leveraged to produce fuels and chemicals from CO2, offering sustainable routes to reduce the carbon intensity of our energy and products-driven economy.

Graphical abstract: Transforming the carbon economy: challenges and opportunities in the convergence of low-cost electricity and reductive CO2 utilization
Review Article

Crystallization kinetics modulation and defect suppression of all-inorganic CsPbX3 perovskite films

The recent research progress in film quality optimization strategies and the investigations of the film formation mechanism in all-inorganic CsPbX3 perovskite solar cells are systematically reviewed.

Graphical abstract: Crystallization kinetics modulation and defect suppression of all-inorganic CsPbX3 perovskite films
Open Access Analysis

Design considerations for multi-terawatt scale manufacturing of existing and future photovoltaic technologies: challenges and opportunities related to silver, indium and bismuth consumption

As the photovoltaic (PV) industry heading towards the multi-TW scale, PV technologies need to be carefully evaluated based on material consumption rather than just efficiency or cost to ensure sustainable growth of the industry.

Graphical abstract: Design considerations for multi-terawatt scale manufacturing of existing and future photovoltaic technologies: challenges and opportunities related to silver, indium and bismuth consumption
Analysis

Prospects for bioenergy with carbon capture & storage (BECCS) in the United States pulp and paper industry

The pulp and paper industry is a suitable candidate to lead the deployment of BECCS in the US.

Graphical abstract: Prospects for bioenergy with carbon capture & storage (BECCS) in the United States pulp and paper industry
Analysis

The value of seasonal energy storage technologies for the integration of wind and solar power

Energy storage at all timescales, including the seasonal scale, plays a pivotal role in enabling increased penetration levels of wind and solar photovoltaic energy sources in power systems.

Graphical abstract: The value of seasonal energy storage technologies for the integration of wind and solar power
Communication

Molecular design of a non-fullerene acceptor enables a P3HT-based organic solar cell with 9.46% efficiency

A record PCE of ∼9.5% is achieved for a P3HT-based non-fullerene OSC with enhanced VOC and optimized phase separation morphology by modifying the end groups of the NFA, ZY-4Cl.

Graphical abstract: Molecular design of a non-fullerene acceptor enables a P3HT-based organic solar cell with 9.46% efficiency
Communication

Discovery of main group single Sb–N4 active sites for CO2 electroreduction to formate with high efficiency

We discover that an Sb single atom material consisting of Sb–N4 moieties anchored on N-doped carbon nanosheets can serve as a CO2RR catalyst to produce formate with high efficiency.

Graphical abstract: Discovery of main group single Sb–N4 active sites for CO2 electroreduction to formate with high efficiency
Open Access Communication

Promoted oxygen reduction kinetics on nitrogen-doped hierarchically porous carbon by engineering proton-feeding centers

We demonstrate the important role of the water dissociation process in proton-feeding and enhancing ORR kinetics under an alkaline environment.

Graphical abstract: Promoted oxygen reduction kinetics on nitrogen-doped hierarchically porous carbon by engineering proton-feeding centers
Communication

Electrical decoupling of microbial electrochemical reactions enables spontaneous H2 evolution

The uphill reaction of H2 evolution was made possible by harvesting wastewater energy using electrical circuiting.

Graphical abstract: Electrical decoupling of microbial electrochemical reactions enables spontaneous H2 evolution
Paper

Identification of non-traditional coordination environments for iron ions in nickel hydroxide lattices

Iron ions are observed in a previously unobserved coordination environment in iron–nickel oxyhydroxide. Complementary characterization techniques suggest the environment sits atop the two-dimensional Ni(OH)2 sheets.

Graphical abstract: Identification of non-traditional coordination environments for iron ions in nickel hydroxide lattices
Open Access Paper

Kinetic square scheme in oxygen-redox battery electrodes

Kinetic formation of the peroxo-like O22− dimer is identified as the origin of a voltage hysteresis in oxygen-redox battery electrodes.

Graphical abstract: Kinetic square scheme in oxygen-redox battery electrodes
Paper

Manipulating the D:A interfacial energetics and intermolecular packing for 19.2% efficiency organic photovoltaics

A novel electron acceptor, BTP-H2, demonstrates a high efficiency of 18.5% with a high Voc of 0.932 V. It also enables the ternary device to yield an efficiency of 19.2%, ranking the highest among single-junction organic photovoltaics.

Graphical abstract: Manipulating the D:A interfacial energetics and intermolecular packing for 19.2% efficiency organic photovoltaics
Paper

In situ and ex situ investigations on ternary strategy and co-solvent effects towards high-efficiency organic solar cells

High efficiencies for organic solar cells are achieved. Two different morphology change paths are revealed with both in situ and ex situ measurements.

Graphical abstract: In situ and ex situ investigations on ternary strategy and co-solvent effects towards high-efficiency organic solar cells
Paper

Water as a hole-predatory instrument to create metal nanoparticles on triple-conducting oxides

Schematics of water-mediated ex-solution and accordingly nano-engineered protonic ceramic fuel cell furnished with the water-mediated ex-solution on a cathode and H2 ex-solution on an anode.

Graphical abstract: Water as a hole-predatory instrument to create metal nanoparticles on triple-conducting oxides
Paper

Non-fullerene acceptors with direct and indirect hexa-fluorination afford >17% efficiency in polymer solar cells

The rational molecular design of non-fullerene acceptors (NFAs) in organic solar cells (OSCs) can profoundly influence the photovoltaic (OPV) performance.

Graphical abstract: Non-fullerene acceptors with direct and indirect hexa-fluorination afford >17% efficiency in polymer solar cells
Paper

Phase reconfiguration of multivalent nickel sulfides in hydrogen evolution

We report a universal phase reconfiguration phenomenon and a doping strategy to enhance the activity of multivalent nickel sulfides in hydrogen evolution. Based on these, a life-time dynamic structure-activity correlation has been established.

Graphical abstract: Phase reconfiguration of multivalent nickel sulfides in hydrogen evolution
Paper

A CO2 utilization framework for liquid fuels and chemical production: techno-economic and environmental analysis

We analyzed the techno-economic and environmental performance of a wide-range of CO2-to-fuel pathways and the critical role of hydrogen in CO2 utilization framework.

Graphical abstract: A CO2 utilization framework for liquid fuels and chemical production: techno-economic and environmental analysis
Open Access Paper

Future greenhouse gas emissions from metal production: gaps and opportunities towards climate goals

The projected GHG emissions cannot reach the climate goal under any SSP. Further efforts on lowering per capita in-use metal stocks and GHG emission intensity of metal production and promoting recycling are the key to achieve the climate goal.

Graphical abstract: Future greenhouse gas emissions from metal production: gaps and opportunities towards climate goals
Paper

Tissue-derived carbon microbelt paper: a high-initial-coulombic-efficiency and low-discharge-platform K+-storage anode for 4.5 V hybrid capacitors

Sanitary tissue is utilized as the precursor to construct a hard carbon microbelt paper (HCMB), which can be employed as a high-initial-coulombic-efficiency and low-discharge-platform K+-storage anode for 4.5 V hybrid capacitors.

Graphical abstract: Tissue-derived carbon microbelt paper: a high-initial-coulombic-efficiency and low-discharge-platform K+-storage anode for 4.5 V hybrid capacitors
Paper

17% efficiency all-small-molecule organic solar cells enabled by nanoscale phase separation with a hierarchical branched structure

By constructing a ternary cell with a B1:BO-2Cl:BO-4Cl donor:acceptors combination, an outstanding power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 17.0% (certified to be 16.9%) has been realized for all-small-molecule organic solar cells (ASM-OSCs).

Graphical abstract: 17% efficiency all-small-molecule organic solar cells enabled by nanoscale phase separation with a hierarchical branched structure
Paper

Lanthanide electronic perturbation in Pt–Ln (La, Ce, Pr and Nd) alloys for enhanced methanol oxidation reaction activity

A series of PtLn alloys have been synthesized to act as efficient electrocatalysts for methanol oxidation reactions, where the electronic perturbations of lanthanide guarantee high electroactivity and long-term durability.

Graphical abstract: Lanthanide electronic perturbation in Pt–Ln (La, Ce, Pr and Nd) alloys for enhanced methanol oxidation reaction activity
Paper

Sustainable off-grid desalination of hypersaline waters using Janus wood evaporators

A sustainable Janus wood evaporator with asymmetric surface wettability shows persistent salt-resistance for off-grid hypersaline waters desalination.

Graphical abstract: Sustainable off-grid desalination of hypersaline waters using Janus wood evaporators
Paper

Formamidine disulfide oxidant as a localised electron scavenger for >20% perovskite solar cell modules

A large FAS2+ ion in FAPbI3 scavenges localized electrons in defects, leading to perovskite solar cell module with remarkable performance values of 18.76% (25.74 cm2) and 15.87% (65.22 cm2), respectively.

Graphical abstract: Formamidine disulfide oxidant as a localised electron scavenger for >20% perovskite solar cell modules
Paper

Clarification of mechanisms of protonic photovoltaic action initiated by photoexcitation of strong photoacids covalently bound to hydrated Nafion cation-exchange membranes wetted by aqueous electrolytes

Junctions formed from materials that contain mobile charged species and fixed counterions can assist in photo-induced charge separation and lead to photovoltaic action, irrespective of whether the mobile charges are electronic or protonic.

Graphical abstract: Clarification of mechanisms of protonic photovoltaic action initiated by photoexcitation of strong photoacids covalently bound to hydrated Nafion cation-exchange membranes wetted by aqueous electrolytes
Open Access Paper

Concentrated dual-cation electrolyte strategy for aqueous zinc-ion batteries

A dual-cation concentrated electrolyte has been developed to enable a stable Zn anode and a vanadium-oxide-based cathode for efficient aqueous Zn-ion batteries.

Graphical abstract: Concentrated dual-cation electrolyte strategy for aqueous zinc-ion batteries
Paper

Machine learning analysis and prediction models of alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cells

The artificial intelligence – aided analysis and prediction the performance of alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cells are reported.

Graphical abstract: Machine learning analysis and prediction models of alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cells
Paper

Rational compatibility in a ternary matrix enables all-small-molecule organic solar cells with over 16% efficiency

The ternary all-small-molecule organic solar cells deliver a top-ranked power conversion efficiency of 16.28%, benefiting from the rational compatibility in the B1:BO-4Cl:Y7 matrix.

Graphical abstract: Rational compatibility in a ternary matrix enables all-small-molecule organic solar cells with over 16% efficiency
Paper

Machine learning-assisted development of organic photovoltaics via high-throughput in situ formulation

A new research method based on process innovation combined with digital technologies is pioneered for printed electronics.

Graphical abstract: Machine learning-assisted development of organic photovoltaics via high-throughput in situ formulation
Open Access Paper

Assessment of carbon dioxide removal potential via BECCS in a carbon-neutral Europe

The European technical potential for biogenic carbon dioxide removal is assessed considering seven different BECCS configurations that do not require purpose-grown bio-energy plantations.

Graphical abstract: Assessment of carbon dioxide removal potential via BECCS in a carbon-neutral Europe
Paper

Stretchable supercapacitor at −30 °C

A stretchable supercapacitor at −30 °C was developed for the first time by in situ growth of polyaniline onto the newly-designed anti-freezing organohydrogel polyelectrolyte.

Graphical abstract: Stretchable supercapacitor at −30 °C
Paper

Optimizing accuracy and efficacy in data-driven materials discovery for the solar production of hydrogen

We develop and demonstrate a comprehensive data-driven screening protocol with co-validation between experiment and theory to maximize the success rate of materials discovery for photocatalytic hydrogen generation.

Graphical abstract: Optimizing accuracy and efficacy in data-driven materials discovery for the solar production of hydrogen
Open Access Paper

Towards controlling the reversibility of anionic redox in transition metal oxides for high-energy Li-ion positive electrodes

Transition metal d-states and oxygen p-states overlap and oxygen lattice integrity dictates the oxygen redox reversibility in metal substituted Li2RuO3 positive electrodes for Li-ion batteries.

Graphical abstract: Towards controlling the reversibility of anionic redox in transition metal oxides for high-energy Li-ion positive electrodes
Paper

A universal method for constructing high efficiency organic solar cells with stacked structures

Quantitative relationship between the protective factor (δ) and PCE of stacked structures of OSC with a record PCE of 17.52% is proposed to understand the mechanism and provide a guideline for solvent choices of eco-friendly solvent protection method.

Graphical abstract: A universal method for constructing high efficiency organic solar cells with stacked structures
Paper

Increased residual lithium compounds guided design for green recycling of spent lithium-ion cathodes

Based on the increased residual lithium compounds of the degraded cathode, a green water-based strategy is designed for achieving closed-loop recycling of spent lithium-ion batteries.

Graphical abstract: Increased residual lithium compounds guided design for green recycling of spent lithium-ion cathodes
Paper

High-performance ammonia oxidation catalysts for anion-exchange membrane direct ammonia fuel cells

Low-temperature direct ammonia fuel cells (DAFCs) can use carbon-neutral ammonia as a fuel, which has attracted increasing attention recently due to ammonia's low source-to-tank energy cost, easy transport and storage, and wide availability.

Graphical abstract: High-performance ammonia oxidation catalysts for anion-exchange membrane direct ammonia fuel cells
Paper

Polyeutectic-based stable and effective electrolytes for high-performance energy storage systems

Polyeutectic electrolyte, as a new class of electrolytes, was proposed for various high-energy storage systems.

Graphical abstract: Polyeutectic-based stable and effective electrolytes for high-performance energy storage systems
Open Access Paper

Post-combustion emissions control in aero-gas turbine engines

Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from aircraft cause air quality degradation and climate change. Use of ultra-low sulfur fuel along with post-combustion emissions control results in a net benefit of 304 USD per metric tonne of jet fuel burned.

Graphical abstract: Post-combustion emissions control in aero-gas turbine engines
Paper

Activating the I0/I+ redox couple in an aqueous I2–Zn battery to achieve a high voltage plateau

An inter-halogen strategy is proposed to activate and stabilize the unrealized I0/I+ redox in aqueous Zn ion batteries.

Graphical abstract: Activating the I0/I+ redox couple in an aqueous I2–Zn battery to achieve a high voltage plateau
Paper

Lithium-activated SnS–graphene alternating nanolayers enable dendrite-free cycling of thin sodium metal anodes in carbonate electrolyte

Lithium activated SnS–graphene nanocomposite membrane is employed as an artificial Li-based SEI layer, allowing cyclability of record-thin 100 μm Na metal foils.

Graphical abstract: Lithium-activated SnS–graphene alternating nanolayers enable dendrite-free cycling of thin sodium metal anodes in carbonate electrolyte
Paper

Thermodynamic origin of dendrite growth in metal anode batteries

The whiskers/dendrites-growth phenomenon observed on metal anode-surfaces in batteries is shown to have a thermodynamic origin taking its root from negative surface tensions associated with a symmetry breaking of the crystal shape.

Graphical abstract: Thermodynamic origin of dendrite growth in metal anode batteries
Paper

Effect of the chlorine substitution position of the end-group on intermolecular interactions and photovoltaic performance of small molecule acceptors

Differences in the intermolecular interactions of small molecule acceptors with different chlorine substitution positions affect their molecular packing and photovoltaic properties.

Graphical abstract: Effect of the chlorine substitution position of the end-group on intermolecular interactions and photovoltaic performance of small molecule acceptors
Paper

Microkinetic model for pH- and potential-dependent oxygen evolution during water splitting on Fe-doped β-NiOOH

Understanding and predicting the effect of reactor operating conditions on electrochemical water splitting is essential to optimize sustainable hydrogen production using excess renewable electricity and to adapt it for commercial use.

Graphical abstract: Microkinetic model for pH- and potential-dependent oxygen evolution during water splitting on Fe-doped β-NiOOH
Paper

Two compatible polymer donors contribute synergistically for ternary organic solar cells with 17.53% efficiency

The optimized ternary organic solar cells achieve a PCE of 17.53% by synergizing two well-matched polymer donors.

Graphical abstract: Two compatible polymer donors contribute synergistically for ternary organic solar cells with 17.53% efficiency
Paper

Time-resolved observation of C–C coupling intermediates on Cu electrodes for selective electrochemical CO2 reduction

In real-time measurements, CO dimerization occurred concurrently with CO adsorption (∼5 s), while proton-coupled reduction toward *CHO has slower kinetics (∼30 s).

Graphical abstract: Time-resolved observation of C–C coupling intermediates on Cu electrodes for selective electrochemical CO2 reduction
Open Access Paper

Synchrotron X-ray quantitative evaluation of transient deformation and damage phenomena in a single nickel-rich cathode particle

Operando synchrotron XRD and in situ ptycho-tomography of single NMC811 particle revealed the correlation between lattice strain and degradation.

Graphical abstract: Synchrotron X-ray quantitative evaluation of transient deformation and damage phenomena in a single nickel-rich cathode particle
Paper

Concentration polarization and metal dendrite initiation in isolated electrolyte microchannels

Combined experimental and theoretical investigations show that deviations of Sand's time scaling exponent reveal the geometry of the ionic conduction pathway.

Graphical abstract: Concentration polarization and metal dendrite initiation in isolated electrolyte microchannels
Open Access Paper

Superior energy density through tailored dopant strategies in multilayer ceramic capacitors

Tailored dopant strategies are proposed to optimise the energy density of BiFeO3–SrTiO3, which can be adapted for other high polarisability oxide-based systems.

Graphical abstract: Superior energy density through tailored dopant strategies in multilayer ceramic capacitors
Paper

Fabrication of layered double hydroxide microcapsules mediated by cerium doping in metal–organic frameworks for boosting water splitting

A one-step synthesis has been developed to fabricate layered double hydroxide microcapsules via a Ce-doping strategy in metal–organic frameworks.

Graphical abstract: Fabrication of layered double hydroxide microcapsules mediated by cerium doping in metal–organic frameworks for boosting water splitting
Paper

A binder-free high silicon content flexible anode for Li-ion batteries

A high performance, binder-free flexible silicon electrode with high Si content up to 92% is developed for lithium ion batteries with a novel cellulose-based topological microscroll structure.

Graphical abstract: A binder-free high silicon content flexible anode for Li-ion batteries
Paper

Oxygen-tolerant electroproduction of C2 products from simulated flue gas

A hydrated ionomer catalyst support layer, capable of slowing oxygen transport, enables the generation of multi-carbon products from pressurized, oxygen-containing, dilute carbon dioxide feedstocks.

Graphical abstract: Oxygen-tolerant electroproduction of C2 products from simulated flue gas
Paper

Magnetism-induced huge enhancement of the room-temperature thermoelectric and cooling performance of p-type BiSbTe alloys

Superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles remarkably enhance the room-temperature thermoelectric and cooling performance of BiSbTe alloys.

Graphical abstract: Magnetism-induced huge enhancement of the room-temperature thermoelectric and cooling performance of p-type BiSbTe alloys
Paper

Mutually-dependent kinetics and energetics of photocatalyst/co-catalyst/two-redox liquid junctions

We elucidate the multi-redox charge-transfer kinetics across a photocatalyst/(co-catalyst)/water interface and reveal the dynamic interplay between local energetics and kinetics.

Graphical abstract: Mutually-dependent kinetics and energetics of photocatalyst/co-catalyst/two-redox liquid junctions
Paper

The large piezoelectricity and high power density of a 3D-printed multilayer copolymer in a rugby ball-structured mechanical energy harvester

A 3D-printed multilayer copolymer rugby ball-structured energy harvester is prepared, and a high peak output power of 16.4 mW cm−2 is obtained.

Graphical abstract: The large piezoelectricity and high power density of a 3D-printed multilayer copolymer in a rugby ball-structured mechanical energy harvester
54 items

About this collection

Welcome to our online rolling collection of the hottest work published in Energy and Environmental Science. Here we feature all 2020 Energy and Environmental Science articles highlighted as HOT by the handling editor or our referees. Congratulations to all the authors whose articles are featured.

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