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.”
Battery And Solar Technology Improvements
In June, researchers at MIT announced that they had developed a “significant advance in battery architecture” that could mean big improvements for electric vehicles and electric grid storage.
The design separates “the two functions of the battery — storing energy until it is needed, and discharging that energy when it needs to be used — into separate physical structures.”
Researchers at University of Michigan found a way to create an “optical battery” that harnesses the “magnetic attributes in light.” The researchers believe this breakthrough “could lead to a solar cell that requires no semi-conductor.”
Source: HuffPost Green