Themed collection Recent Open Access Articles
Addressing energy storage needs at lower cost via on-site thermal energy storage in buildings
Energy storage needs to support commercial and residential buildings in the U.S. in 2050 for various 100% renewable energy scenarios.
Strategies towards enabling lithium metal in batteries: interphases and electrodes
Perspective on recent improvements in experiment and theory towards realizing lithium metal electrodes with liquid electrolytes.
Towards circular carbo-chemicals – the metamorphosis of petrochemicals
The petrochemical industry must transition into a circular carbo-chemical industry to respond to three main challenges: shifting hydrocarbon stock, climate change and circular economy.
Durability of anion exchange membrane water electrolyzers
Understanding the durability-limiting factors of anion exchange membrane water electrolyzers operating under pure water-, KOH- and K2CO3-fed conditions.
Enabling large-scale hydrogen storage in porous media – the scientific challenges
This article identifies and discusses the scientific challenges of hydrogen storage in porous media for safe and efficient large-scale energy storage to enable a global hydrogen economy.
Durability challenges of anion exchange membrane fuel cells
This perspective provides information on durability challenges and future actions of anion exchange membrane fuel cells.
Challenges and opportunities for an efficiency boost of next generation Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells: prospects for a paradigm shift
A perspective on some strategies to trigger new developments for the next generation of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells is presented.
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.
Chemical looping beyond combustion – a perspective
Facilitated by redox catalysts capable of catalytic reactions and reactive separation, chemical looping offers exciting opportunities for intensified chemical production.
Efficiency gains for thermally coupled solar hydrogen production in extreme cold
We analyse the potential of solar hydrogen production in remote and cold world regions such as Antarctica and quantify the efficiency benefits of thermal coupling.
Ligand-bridged charge extraction and enhanced quantum efficiency enable efficient n–i–p perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells
27%-efficient perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells are achieved in n–i–p configuration by developing novel electron and hole selective contacts, which combine high broadband transparency with efficient charge extraction.
22.8%-Efficient single-crystal mixed-cation inverted perovskite solar cells with a near-optimal bandgap
A mixed-cation single-crystal lead-halide perovskite absorber layer was utilized to construct 22.8%-efficient solar cells with an expanded near infrared response that approaches the ideal bandgap range (1.1–1.4 eV) for single-junction solar cells.
Solar-driven ionic power generation via a film of nanocellulose @ conductive metal–organic framework
The new technology of “solar-driven ionic power generation” based on ionic thermophoresis and electrokinetic effects could convert solar energy into electricity by using a film of nanocellulose @ conductive metal–organic framework.
Low energy intensity production of fuel-grade bio-butanol enabled by membrane-based extraction
Innovative membrane-based extraction system tailoring affinity-driven separation enables continuous biodiesel production with high productivity and low energy consumption.
Expression of interfacial Seebeck coefficient through grain boundary engineering with multi-layer graphene nanoplatelets
Expression of energy filtering to boost thermoelectric performance through grain boundary engineering utilising graphene.
High carbonate ion conductance of a robust PiperION membrane allows industrial current density and conversion in a zero-gap carbon dioxide electrolyzer cell
A new anion exchange membrane (PiperION) in conjunction with a tailored zero-gap electrolyzer cell allows unprecedented partial current densities.
Understanding the nature of the passivation layer enabling reversible calcium plating
As for other multivalent systems, the interface between the calcium (Ca) metal anode and the electrolyte is of paramount importance for reversible plating/stripping.
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.
Exceptionally low charge trapping enables highly efficient organic bulk heterojunction solar cells
In this study, we investigate the underlying origin of the high performance of PM6:Y6 organic solar cells.
Photo-rechargeable zinc-ion batteries
This paper presents a zinc-ion battery that can be recharged directly by light without the need for a solar cell, which offers a new approach to balancing the unpredictable energy surpluses and deficits associated with solar energy.
Efficient direct seawater electrolysers using selective alkaline NiFe-LDH as OER catalyst in asymmetric electrolyte feeds
Increasing the performance of seawater electrolyser and enabling direct natural seawater feed by asymmetric electrolyte flow scheme.
Mg3(Bi,Sb)2 single crystals towards high thermoelectric performance
Ternary Mg3(Bi,Sb)2 single crystals showing high thermoelectric performance are for the first time grown by the Mg flux method.
Ultrahigh-efficiency desalination via a thermally-localized multistage solar still
Passive vapor generation systems combining interfacial solar heating and vaporization enthalpy recycling enable high-efficient low-cost desalination.
Nanoscale interfacial engineering enables highly stable and efficient perovskite photovoltaics
The molecular level interface engineering with a multifunctional ligand 2,5-thiophenedicarboxylic acid suppresses interfacial ion diffusion and inhibits I2 formation, which leads to high operational stability with T80 of 3570 h along with PCE of 23.4%.
Solvent-controlled O2 diffusion enables air-tolerant solar hydrogen generation
Oxygen-tolerant photocatalytic H2 evolution with O2-intolerant photocatalysts is achieved by designing solvents with low O2 diffusivity.
High-performance PVDF membranes prepared by the combined crystallisation and diffusion (CCD) method using a dual-casting technique: a breakthrough for water treatment applications
Application of a novel but simple dual-layer casting approach to the newly discovered CCD method for membrane fabrication improves the water permeance by 15 times while still maintaining the separation pore sizes.
The impact of binary water–CO2 isotherm models on the optimal performance of sorbent-based direct air capture processes
We outline mathematical descriptions of H2O–CO2 co-adsorption on an amine-functionalised solid sorbent and support this with experimental data. We then show what impact this has on a solid sorbent based direct air capture process.
Abnormal spatial heterogeneity governing the charge-carrier mechanism in efficient Ruddlesden–Popper perovskite solar cells
In the operando solar cell using Ruddlesden–Popper perovskite (RPP), we visualize an abnormal heterogeneity ranging from the lateral long-range to local sub-grain scale with a unitary 2D/3D hybrid, closely correlating to the charge-carrier dynamics.
Integrated mechanistic engineering models and macroeconomic input–output approach to model physical economy for evaluating the impact of transition to a circular economy
A novel method to standardize and automate material flow/waste mapping in economies by integrating mechanistic engineering models and macroeconomic framework is proposed for identifying pathways to transition towards low carbon/zero waste economy.
Additive stabilization of SEI on graphite observed using cryo-electron microscopy
Cryo-electron microscopy study finds that EC-based electrolyte can exfoliate the graphite surface and destabilize the SEI. Useful additives including FEC, DTD, TPP, and VC can form a stable SEI to protect the graphite anode.
Solid–electrolyte-interphase design in constrained ensemble for solid-state batteries
All-solid-state battery is fundamentally different from liquid electrolyte batteries. To design interface stabilities, the solid system must be described by the constrained thermodynamic ensemble rather than the conventional unconstrained ensemble.
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.
Two-photon, visible light water splitting at a molecular ruthenium complex
A new mechanism for light-driven water splitting is described, which decreases the reaction's complexity and offers a new way to extend the range of usable wavelengths far into the visible region.
Linking multi-scale 3D microstructure to potential enhanced natural gas recovery and subsurface CO2 storage for Bowland shale, UK
This paper quantitatively characterises the microstructure in shales across five scales in 3D, builds a multi-scale model of CH4 and CO2 flow pathways and storage, and assesses the potential of enhanced gas recovery and CO2 storage simultaneously.
Probing fundamental losses in nanostructured Ta3N5 photoanodes: design principles for efficient water oxidation
Detailed numerical simulations are performed to probe performance loss mechanisms and limiting parameters of Ta3N5-NRs based photoanodes. Device modelling enables the development of design strategies to realize efficient solar water oxidation.
Delivering low-carbon electricity systems in sub-Saharan Africa: insights from Nigeria
Renewable energy alone is unable to deliver universal energy access and the Paris Agreement cheaply in sub-Saharan Africa. Both fossil fuels and renewables are needed to ensure energy equity and affordability alongside climate change mitigation.
Tuning metal single atoms embedded in NxCy moieties toward high-performance electrocatalysis
High-performance 3d–5d transition metal single atom electrocatalysts ligated by various –NxCy moieties of N-doped graphene are investigated for hydrogen evolution and oxygen evolution/reduction reactions using high-throughput computational screening and machine learning.
Designing efficient spin Seebeck-based thermoelectric devices via simultaneous optimization of bulk and interface properties
We describe two strategies to enhance the thermoelectric conversion efficiency of spin Seebeck devices and demonstrate a simultaneous realization of them via a simple heat treatment scheme.
A material catalogue with glass-like thermal conductivity mediated by crystallographic occupancy for thermoelectric application
We proposed a new crystallographic parameter, namely the site occupancy factor, as an effective indicator to discover a material catalogue with low lattice thermal conductivity for thermoelectric application.
Charting lattice thermal conductivity for inorganic crystals and discovering rare earth chalcogenides for thermoelectrics
Charting and understanding lattice thermal conductivity of inorganic materials and discovery of REX materials for thermoelectrics.
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.
Continuous electrical pumping membrane process for seawater lithium mining
Lithium was enriched up to 10 000 ppm from seawater by a continuous electrical pumping membrane process and collected as battery-grade product by simple precipitation.
Specific carbon/iodide interactions in electrochemical capacitors monitored by EQCM technique
This paper reports on the ion fluxes at the interfaces of various porous carbon electrodes/aqueous solutions of alkali metal cations (Na+, K+ and Rb+) and iodide anions, monitored by an electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM).
Time series analysis and long short-term memory (LSTM) network prediction of BPV current density
LSTM networks are shown to predict the seasonal component of biophotovoltaic current density and photoresponse to high accuracy.
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.
Cation ordered Ni-rich layered cathode for ultra-long battery life
The observed ultra-long battery life of 8000 cycles demonstrated by the Ni-rich compositionally graded NCM cathode stems mainly from the cation ordered structure.
Tuning halide perovskite energy levels
Tuning the energy levels of halide perovskite by controlling the deposition of dipolar self-assembled monolayers.
Predicting the photocurrent–composition dependence in organic solar cells
High-throughput experimental screening and machine-learning algorithms are implemented in a synergic workflow to predict the photocurrent phase space of organic photovoltaic blends. We identify accurate models employing only the materials band gaps.
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.
Unveiling the phonon scattering mechanisms in half-Heusler thermoelectric compounds
Charge-compensation-induced Frenkel defects were proven as the major reason for phonon scattering of p-type half-Heusler ZrCoSb.
In situ observation of pH change during water splitting in neutral pH conditions: impact of natural convection driven by buoyancy effects
Buoyancy-driven natural convection stabilizes the pH and reduces overpotentials during water splitting, both in near-neutral pH unbuffered and buffered solutions.
4 V room-temperature all-solid-state sodium battery enabled by a passivating cathode/hydroborate solid electrolyte interface
A self-passivating cathode/electrolyte interface achieves stable, room-temperature long-term cycling of 4 V-class Na3(VOPO4)2F|Na4(CB11H12)2(B12H12)|Na all-solid-state sodium batteries with the highest reported discharge cell voltage and cathode-based specific energy.
Ultra-rapid uptake and the highly stable storage of methane as combustible ice
Solidified natural gas (SNG) storage via combustible ice or clathrate hydrates presents an economically sound prospect, promising high volume density, and safe long-term storage.
Over 14% efficiency all-polymer solar cells enabled by a low bandgap polymer acceptor with low energy loss and efficient charge separation
A low bandgap polymer acceptor PF5-Y5 was synthesized and its all-PSCs achieved an impressive device efficiency of 14.45% with both high Voc and Jsc due to the excellent absorption coverage, small energy loss, and efficient charge separation.
All ceramic cathode composite design and manufacturing towards low interfacial resistance for garnet-based solid-state lithium batteries
Solution-assisted all-oxide-cathode formation method allows reduction of processing temperature without using sintering additives, demonstrating the lowest interfacial impedance in garnet-based solid-state lithium batteries.
Environmental impacts of III–V/silicon photovoltaics: life cycle assessment and guidance for sustainable manufacturing
By requiring less materials, multijunction III–V/silicon photovoltaic cells may further reduce the life cycle environmental impacts of solar PV.
What is needed to deliver carbon-neutral heat using hydrogen and CCS?
A spatio-temporal systems-based assessment of the conversion of a natural gas-based heating network to H2 is presented in this paper.
Anisotropic carrier diffusion in single MAPbI3 grains correlates to their twin domains
The anisotropic charge carrier diffusion coupled to ferroelastic twin domains in methylammonium lead iodide opens possibilities for further optimization of perovskite solar cells and optoelectronic devices via strain engineering and heat treatments.
High energy density anodes using hybrid Li intercalation and plating mechanisms on natural graphite
A novel Li-Ion battery anode is presented which leverages the good performance of industrial graphite anodes and enhances their performance by allowing for reversible Li plating on their surface.
Framework for evaluating the performance limits of membraneless electrolyzers
A framework is demonstrated to explore the performance limits and investigate the trade-offs between key performance metrics for membraneless electrolyzers.
Solar passive distiller with high productivity and Marangoni effect-driven salt rejection
The Marangoni effect (associated to salt concentration gradient) is found having an important role to enhance the salt rejection process in passive desalination technologies.
Understanding the formation of bulk- and surface-active layered (oxy)hydroxides for water oxidation starting from a cobalt selenite precursor
Starting from a cobalt selenite precatalyst, we obtained a bulk and a near-surface active oxygen evolution catalyst and connected their structural properties to the precatalyst structure, the transformation conditions, and the catalytic activity.
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.
Assessing the defect tolerance of kesterite-inspired solar absorbers
Band tails and defect tolerance in various I2–II–IV–V4 photovoltaic materials can be predicted using computationally-accessible properties and chemical intuition.
Selective CO production from aqueous CO2 using a Cu96In4 catalyst and its integration into a bias-free solar perovskite–BiVO4 tandem device
Porous dendritic copper–indium metal alloy foam catalysts are interfaced with a perovskite‖BiVO4 tandem device for solar CO2-to-CO conversion under bias-free conditions using water as an electron donor.
A revised mechanistic model for sodium insertion in hard carbons
Sodium filling inside hard carbon pores demonstrates increasingly metallic character with increasing pore size.
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.
Copper-bottomed: electrochemically active bacteria exploit conductive sulphide networks for enhanced electrogeneity
Copper sulphides are shown to act as a conductive matrix improving the electrogenic performance of Geobacter dominated biofilms.
The carbon footprint of the carbon feedstock CO2
This paper reviews methodological approaches for determining the carbon footprint of captured CO2 as carbon feedstock, and shows why some approaches lead to suboptimal choices of CO2 sources and that increased consistency in life cycle assessment (LCA) studies on CCU is needed.
Predictable and targeted activation of biomass to carbons with high surface area density and enhanced methane storage capacity
The O/C atomic ratio of biomass-derived carbonaceous matter is a universal predictor of porosity and packing density, and enables predictable synthesis of activated carbons that have high methane storage of 222 cm3 (STP) cm−3 at 25 oC and 35 bar.
About this collection
Please see below for recent Open Access papers published in Energy & Environmental Science.