University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category


Monday, April 8, 2013

Building a better battery

It’s been a rough ride lately for the lithium-ion battery. Though practically all of us carry one around — they power everything from cell phones to iPods — the lightweight cells have sparked some high-profile product failures.

It was bad enough when they caused laptop computers to burst into flames, leading to millions of recalled batteries since 2000. Their reputation took another hit in January, when battery fires in two of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner planes caused airlines to ground their
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Study finds theoretical benefits, potential of algae fuels

Robert Hebner, director of the university's Center for Electromechanics (CEM), conducts research in a large algae growth demonstration facility for biofuels. The facility is located adjacent to CEM.

Robert Hebner, director of the university’s Center for Electromechanics (CEM), conducts research in a large algae growth demonstration facility for biofuels. The facility is located adjacent to CEM.

It’s theoretically possible to produce about 500 times as much energy from algae fuels as is needed to grow the fuels, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

However, limited by existing technology, the researchers found in a separate study that their algae growing facility is getting
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Research Round Up Fall 2011: New planets, a bigger black hole, more effective solar cells and more

It seems that the only time astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin took a break from finding new planets and bigger black holes during the fall 2011 semester was when university geologists edged in with evidence of a lake under the surface of Saturn’s moon, Europa.

As busy as those researchers were, the semester also brought discoveries in green energy, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, concealed handguns and the relationship between children’s happiness and their parents.

Here’s a look at
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Monday, August 29, 2011

UT Austin displays significant inventions for regents

Two of The University of Texas at Austin’s significant inventions were highlighted for the Technology Transfer and Research Committee of the University of Texas Systems Board of Regents at an Aug. 24, 2011 meeting.

Richard Miller, chief commercialization officer at The University of Texas at Austin.

Richard Miller, chief commercialization officer at The University of Texas at Austin.

Both inventions bring significant benefits to society and revenue to the university, said Richard Miller, the chief commercialization officer of The University of Texas at Austin.

One invention has provided manufacturers with safe, reliable and rechargeable batteries
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Powers of Green: Cityscape of the Future

A wet pond at Central Market in Austin, Texas. City of Austin photo.

A wet pond at Central Market in Austin, Texas. City of Austin photo.

This story is from Texas Enterprise at the McCombs School of Business. It was written by Matt Turner.

The cityscape of the future will be much greener and more useful, if landscape ecologists have their way. Even business properties in tomorrow’s deliberately planned urban landscape will use nature’s full potential to provide elegant solutions for a host of urban problems — among them energy waste, excess carbon, the heat-island effect,
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Carbon “sponge” could charge supercapacitors

University of Texas at Austin collaborators Meryl Stoller, Dr. Yanwu Zhu and Dr. Rodney Ruoff stand with a 3-D model of the new carbon material they have created.

University of Texas at Austin collaborators Meryl Stoller, Dr. Yanwu Zhu and Dr. Rodney Ruoff stand with a 3-D model of the new carbon material they have created.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s have created a new porous, three-dimensional carbon that can be used as a greatly enhanced supercapacitor, holding promise for energy storage in everything from energy grids and electric cars to consumer electronics.

The significance of the discovery is the potential it offers for enabling supercapacitors to
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Building a ‘Green Star State’

Graduate student Melissa Lott studies energy systems, from generation to consumption. Photo by Mary Christenberry Lott.

Graduate student Melissa Lott studies energy systems, from generation to consumption. Photo by Mary Christenberry Lott.

Researchers across The University of Texas at Austin are working on energy. Generating it, storing it, conserving it, using it sensibly. Students are actively engaged in energy research, which could shape their world. Here’s an interview with Melissa Lott, a student who is researching energy systems. She is a dual degree graduate student in the Cockrell School of Engineering and LBJ School for Public Affairs.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Research Round Up: Fall 2010

Penguin fossil found in Peru showed surprising evidence of feathers and their colors.

Penguin fossil found in Peru showed surprising evidence of feathers and their colors.

During the fall semester of 2010, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin revealed:

An ancient penguin with surprising colors

Honey bees with a failure to communicate

Criminal virus spreaders using evolutionary forensics

An electron switch between molecules with cool battery potential

That as biological clock ticks down, libido rises

A dinosaur who thrived when its competition died

Ways the earth moves

That’s not all.

A team of students launched two satellites, which they built, into
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Forum hears from Pecan Street Project

Brewster McCracken, executive director of the Pecan Street Project

Brewster McCracken, executive director of the Pecan Street Project

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been a reminder about the tremendous expertise The University of Texas at Austin has in petroleum and related issues.

Experts from petroleum engineering, supercomputing, government and law have been sought for their views on the BP spill: what happened, what continues to happen and what it all means.

The June 1 Austin Forum event is a reminder that the university has ample expertise in alternative forms of energy: wind,
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perspective on the Deepwater Horizon spill

Paul Bommer

Paul Bommer

No one yet knows what really happened to cause the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent release of millions of gallons of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico.

But Paul Bommer, a senior lecturer in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas, presented a good view of what might have gone wrong when he spoke May 18 at the “Oil in Troubled Waters” forum on causes and consequences of the spill. The university’s Energy Institute sponsored the
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