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Research to Secure Our Energy Future

When oil mixes with or enters into water, conventional methods of cleaning the water and removing the oil can be challenging, expensive and environmentally risky. But researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin believe they may have developed a better method.
As the climate warms globally, residential consumers could face increases in electricity bills of 12 percent, and commercial consumers could see increases of 9 percent, according to Boston University researchers.
Northwestern’s Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI) is working on an "artificial tree" that uses a renewable energy source — the sun — to help capture carbon dioxide in the air and convert it into methanol.
Northwestern’s first-ever entry into the eighth U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon will be a student-designed 1,000-square-foot ultimate green home.
Most commercial solar cells are made of silicon. A type of material called perovskite halides are a potential competitor of silicon, but they are sensitive to moisture and high temperatures. Exposure to either will quickly degrade these materials — rendering them useless. Researchers at the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center (ANSER) have developed a way to protect perovskites from water and stabilize them against heat.
Windows that can collect solar energy, called photovoltaic windows, are the next frontier in renewable energy technologies.
Cellphones and other devices could soon be controlled with touchless gestures and charge using ambient light.
Hausman and colleagues urge electric grid planners to keep their calculations in mind as they draft 20-year procurement plans.
Chemists at the University of Pennsylvania are expanding a new model that could be the first step towards better harnessing heat energy to power nanoscale devices.
Electrical engineers at Duke University have created the world's first electromagnetic metamaterial made without any metal. The device's ability to absorb electromagnetic energy without heating up has direct applications in imaging, sensing and lighting.