Connect with us

Climate

A spoonful of sugar is the key to a brighter climate | ticker VIEWS

Published

on

Scientists discover a spoonful of sugar will open the path to longer-lasting lithium-sulfur batteries

Simply by adding sugar, researchers from the Monash Energy Institute have created a more sustainable and longer-lasting rival to lithium-ion batteries. This is essential for aviation, submarines, and most importantly electric vehicles.

Sugar rush batteries

As reported in Nature Communications, a group of scientists from the Monash Energy Institute, assisted by CSIRO, discover that using glucose-based additives on the positive electrode can stabilise lithium-sulfur battery technology.

It is being referred to as the next generation of batteries because the increase in performance has the potential to give an electric vehicle to 1000km range, on a single charge.

“In less than a decade, this technology could lead to vehicles including electric buses and trucks that can travel from Melbourne to Sydney without recharging. It could also enable innovation in delivery and agricultural drones where lightweight is paramount,”

Lead author Professor Mainak Majumder

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute.

The Monash Energy team: Mahdokht Shaibani, Mainak Majumder, Matthew Hill, Yingyi Huang. Credit: Monash Energy Institute

These Lithium-sulfur batteries have the potential to store two to five times more energy than lithium-ion batteries. The problem with this solution has been that the electrodes deteriorated rapidly, and the batteries broke down.

Now, by incorporating sugar into the architecture of the electrode, they have prevented the deterioration. The test-cell prototypes constructed by the team are showing to hold far more capacity than lithium-ion batteries.

“While many of the challenges on the cathode side of the battery has been solved by our team, there is still need for further innovation into the protection of the lithium metal anode to enable large-scale uptake of this promising technology — innovations that may be right around the corner.”

Dr. Mahdokht Shaibani, Monash researcher

Shifting to EV’s

There is an immense amount of pressure on countries right around the world to tackle climate change. In the lead-up to COP26 in Glasgow, the pressure is on for world leaders to step up.

Most leading nations are already making the shift to electric vehicles. Sustainable and efficient batteries will be essential for the transition to electric vehicles.

“In order to make the transition to zero-carbon, and make sure we keep our global warming to 1.5 degrees, we need to electrify everything. Batteries plan an incredibly important part.”

Scott Hamilton, Ticker Climate co-host & Energy Expert

Expected release

The scientific breakthrough is complete but it’s unclear how long the commercialisation of the batteries will take.

“We have done exciting science, but from research and development to commercial application is a long journey, that requires significant capital.”

Lead author Professor Mainak Majumder

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute.

The Commonwealth Government supports the Lithium-sulfur Battery Research Program at Monash University, through the Australian Research Council and the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science.

In addition, Cleanfuture Energy also supports the work and Enserv Australia plans to develop and manufacture the batteries in Australia.

“We would be looking to use the technology to enter the growing market for electric vehicles and electronic devices,”

“We plan to make the first lithium-sulfur batteries in Australia using Australian lithium within about five years.”

Mark Gustowski, Managing Director of Enserv Australia. 

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

Climate

Australia’s Treasurer pushing for net zero goal in line with the rest of the world

Published

on

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to make the economic case for setting a 2050 net-zero emissions target for the country

Freydenberg says Australia is not transitioning in line with the rest of the world.

The treasurer will meet with business leaders on Friday, in the lead-up to the fast-approaching COP 26 climate summit in the UK.

Freydenberg will note that trillions of dollars are being used globally to support the net-zero transition… with a total of 129 countries now committed to reaching net zero by 2050.

This comes as one of the country’s leading banks “coordinated more than 50 transactions worth $100bn in climate finance-related activities” over the past year.

It follows Defence Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne meeting with counterparts in the U-S over the past week and signing off on a climate action report.

This report acknowledges that climate change is a global security threat, and reflects a commitment to “make low emissions technologies globally scalable and commercially viable”

Continue Reading

Climate

Australian Energy Ministers set to clash over ‘CoalKeeper’ within hours | ticker VIEWS

Published

on

State and Federal Energy Ministers in Australia are gearing up to meet on Friday 24 September to discuss the energy market

As the rest of the world moves away from coal, Australian energy ministers are preparing for a potentially fractious meeting this week, to discuss keeping coal-fired plants open. This is to ensure the country’s power system remains reliable during a transition to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposal, known is known as the capacity market, will provide a strategic reserve for significant events in the National Electricity Market (NEM). The NEM accounts for more than 80pc of Australia’s total electricity demand, and coal-fired plants are its largest fuel source.

But the proposal has proved to be contentious, as some state ministers have announced that they will not support it.

The Federal Government has announced its #CoalKeeper program to support the coal industry. However, experts are urging the Government to consider the opportunities in other industries to transition away from coal.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio is urging the Government to incentivise sectors like renewable energy. D’ambrosio will meet with Angus Taylor on Friday to go head to head about the end of coal in Australia.

“Victoria won’t support Coal-Keeper payments”

“Vicotria remains committed to clean energy investment and jobs.”

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Energy Minister

Who will prevail?

The Victorian Government has been criticised for opposing “Coal-Keeper” subsidies to extend the life of coal plants. A new “capacity mechanism” aims to offer financial incentives to encourage the construction of power sources and prevent the premature closure of coal generators.

Victoria’s stance on coal is setting up a clash at the national cabinet meeting of energy ministers. It will be D’ambrosio versus Taylor. Who will prevail?

This all comes after Victorian government provided secret financial backing in March to ensure EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn plant stays in the state’s power system until 2028.

The Victorian Government refuses to release further details on this, but D’ambrosio is standing strong on her views.

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean, an outspoken critic of the Morrison government’s climate change ambition, has given his preliminary backing to the plan but did caution he was worried about the costs.

The capacity mechanism has been endorsed by the Australian Workers’ Union and the CFMEU.

Renewable energy companies and investors including the powerful Clean Energy Investor Group say the move will kill investment in new supplies and drive up costs for consumers by subsidising old coal plants.

“There’s been no leadership from a national level”

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Energy Minister

“You can’t transition tomorrow, what you can do is have a proper plan.”

“Sending a clear message to the market this energy will no longer be there, invest in new technology, invest in replacement energy.”

Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Energy Minister

“This coal keeper program, this is a carbon tax- but it’s going to give money to the coal-fired power stations.”

Scott Hamilton, Ticker Climate co-host 

 

 

You can watch the full episode of ticker climate here

Continue Reading

Climate

China to stop building coal power plants abroad

Published

on

China to stop building coal power plants abroad

China’s pledge to stop building coal-fired power plants overseas could cull $50 billion of investment as it slashes future carbon emissions, analysts said, although Beijing’s own domestic coal program is still propping up the dirty fossil fuel

China’s President Xi Jinping has declared that his country stop building new energy projects abroad that use coal, a move that was immediately welcomed by the United States and the head of the United Nations’ climate change conference.

The announcement at the UN General Assembly could affect 44 coal plants earmarked for Chinese state financing, totalling $50 billion, according to Global Energy Monitor, a U.S. think tank.

That has the potential to reduce future carbon dioxide emissions by 200 million tonnes a year, the think tank told Reuters.

Environmental groups said it would force big coal financiers like the Bank of China, linked with 10 gigawatts of overseas coal power capacity, to draw up a timetable to withdraw from the sector.

Beijing is the largest source of financing for coal power plants globally

Xi’s announcement will have a far-reaching impact on coal power expansion plans in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Africa.

However, Xi’s carefully worded statement revealed few details and left room for existing projects to continue.

There are already more than 20 Chinese financed coal-fired power units under construction in the world, according to data from the Boston University Global Development Policy Center.

Another 17 are in the planning stage.

The new commitment also doesn’t address China’s plans to expand its own coal-fired power plants.

According to a report published by a European think tank, China’s domestic program accounts for more than half of all the coal-powered plants under construction through the world.

Continue Reading

Trending on Ticker

Copyright © 2021 Ticker Media Group Pty Ltd