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Volume 4 Issue 5, May 2019
News & Views
While recent gains in the efficiency of photoelectrochemical devices for hydrogen production are encouraging, high efficiency is rarely combined with high power output, which is important for large-scale viability. Towards this goal, researchers now demonstrate a promising thermally integrated device driven by concentrated solar irradiation.
Policies that encourage a shift away from solid fuels can improve public health, welfare and the environment. However, impacts and their distribution are rarely evaluated. Now research shows that benefits to home comfort, indoor air quality and well-being from China’s coal-to-electricity programme vary across rich and poor districts.
Domestic heating systems vary widely in their configurations across different countries. Here, Gross and Hanna use case studies of Sweden and the United Kingdom to explore the central roles of policies and path dependence in shaping the technologies and infrastructures providing domestic space heating.
Solid-state polymer electrolytes with in-built fast interfacial transport for secondary lithium batteries
High-performance polymer electrolytes are highly sought after in the development of solid-state batteries. Lynden Archer and co-workers report an in situ polymerization of liquid electrolytes in a lithium battery for creating promising polymer electrolytes with high ionic conductivity and low interfacial resistance.
Intercalation-conversion hybrid cathodes enabling Li–S full-cell architectures with jointly superior gravimetric and volumetric energy densities
Despite tremendous progress in the development of LiS batteries, their performance at the full-cell level is not as competitive as state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. Here the authors report a full-cell architecture making use of a hybrid intercalation-conversion cathode, enabling both high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities.
Accurately predicting battery lifetime is difficult, and a prediction often cannot be made unless a battery has already degraded significantly. Here the authors report a machine-learning method to predict battery life before the onset of capacity degradation with high accuracy.
A key challenge for hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells is the development of membranes with both high ionic conductivity and mechanical strength. Here the authors report a high-performance family of poly(aryl piperidinium) membranes enabling promising durability and power density.
A thermally synergistic photo-electrochemical hydrogen generator operating under concentrated solar irradiation
For photo-electrochemical hydrogen production to become viable on a large scale, not only efficiency but also power density must be optimized. Here, the authors explore the impact of thermal integration on photo-electrochemical devices driven by concentrated solar irradiation and design one that operates with high efficiency and power density output.
Cation and anion immobilization through chemical bonding enhancement with fluorides for stable halide perovskite solar cells
Defects and defect migration are detrimental for perovskite solar cell efficiency and long-term stability. Li et al. show that fluoride is able to suppress the formation of halide anion and organic cation vacancy defects by restraining the relative ions via ionic and hydrogen bonds.
An evaluation of air quality, home heating and well-being under Beijing’s programme to eliminate household coal use
The Beijing Municipality has implemented a programme that subsidizes electric heat pumps and electricity, and bans coal. This study estimates the programme’s impact on household energy use and expenditure, well-being and indoor environment quality.