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Themed collection 2020 Energy and Environmental Science HOT Articles

24 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
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

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
24 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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