Maximpact Blog

Wait: Don’t Toss That Food, It Could Fuel the Car

The United States wastes an estimated 40 percent of all the food the country produces. (Photo courtesy National Conference of State Legislators) Public domain

“When we eat, our bodies convert food into energy that fuels our lives. But what happens to the energy stored in the 80 billion pounds of food thrown away annually in America?” asks Steven Ashby, director of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. As part of advancing sustainable energy solutions, scientists at the lab he runs are converting tons of food waste into clean, renewable biofuel that could power cars, planes and trains.

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New Multi-Layer Solar Cell Sets World Record

Scientists John Geisz, left, and Ryan France at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory have created a solar cell that is nearly 50 percent efficient.
2020 (Photo by Dennis Schroeder courtesy NREL) Posted for media use

A new kind of solar cell has captured the world record for the highest solar conversion efficiency at 47.1 percent efficiency in the lab and nearly 40 percent in the field, making new kinds of environmental solutions possible. The new solar cell outperformed typical solar panels by combining six kinds of collectors into one micro-thin surface.

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U.S. Teaches Its Power Grid Interoperability

U.S. Teaches Its Power Grid Interoperability

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) has been chosen to participate in four projects that will build a modern, responsive electricity grid across the United States capable of supporting a two-way flow of both electricity and information.

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