2011 was an important year for green innovations and technological advances.
In the world of fuels, a number of strides were made. President Obama announced increased fuel standards for both big and small vehicles in the coming years.
Alternative fuels also made headlines. The use of biofuel for aviation is becoming a reality, after the U.S. military announced it would begin using it, and a joint U.S.-Chinese venture tested biofuel in civilian aircraft.
Solar technology also grew in 2011. Researchers at Notre Dame have invented a house paint that could one day be used to collect solar energy. Elsewhere in the midwest, scientists at the University of Michigan invented an “optical battery” that might eventually eliminate the need for semi-conductors in solar cells.
For more of 2011’s best green technology innovations, vist EarthTechling for their “2011 Green Technology Year In Review.”
“Sunbelievable” Solar Paint
A new paint from developers at the University of Notre Dame could one day reduce the need for solar panels. The paint, which looks like normal house paint, has light-activated “semiconducting particles” that produce small amounts of electricity, which “researchers hope they can magnify in great enough amounts to power home appliances.”
Unfortunately, the product is not yet ready for sale. The lead researcher said, “The best light-to-energy conversion efficiency we’ve reached so far is 1 percent, which is well behind the usual 10 to 15 percent efficiency of commercial silicon solar cells.”
Source: HuffPost Green