Graphene Quantum Dots Recycle Waste CO2 Into Fuel

Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots could represent a simple method for recycling waste carbon dioxide into valuable fuel, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere or burying it underground, say Rice University scientists. Nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) are an efficient electrocatalyst to make complex hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide, according to the research team. Using electrocatalysis, Rice University materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan’s lab has shown the conversion of the greenhouse gas into small batches of ethylene and ethanol. [Read More]

Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells Can Emit Methane For Decades

A small percentage of abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania produces the vast majority of the state’s methane emissions, according to scientists. The work in Pennsylvania, which has the longest history of oil and gas development in the United States, could help scientists learn how to identify and fix high-emitting wells nationwide. The results are from the largest study of high methane-emitting abandoned oil and gas wells in the state, which has oil and gas infrastructure dating back to 1859. [Read More]

Smart Plugs Help Monitor Energy Usage

A new energy management system from Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne, called eSmart aims at helping homeowners control and understand their electrical usage better. The core of the system is a small module that fits behind electrical outlets, enabling them to communicate with each other through the power grid. “Other systems exist,” says eSmart co-founder Laurent Fabre, “but this technology from the Electronics Lab at EPFL has the advantage of ensuring implementation that is both simple and fast, all without creating additional electromagnetic waves. [Read More]