Stanford University
coral reef

Stanford Earth Matters

Gloved hand holds a single battery cell

Deep-dive into the science of batteries

Stanford researchers are working to understand battery degradation, reveal the true toll of their production and disposal, and make next-generation batteries better. (Source: Stanford News)

Three workers in high-visibility yellow vests stand and converse in front of a cement factory below cloudy skies

New 'lab on a chip' may accelerate carbon storage efforts

A tiny new device allows scientists to directly observe and quantify how rocks change in the presence of acids, enabling more accurate assessments of sites for underground storage of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and industrial waste.

Solar concentrator illustration - external link

New optical device could help solar arrays focus light, even under clouds

Researchers imagined, designed, and tested an elegant lens device that can efficiently gather light from all angles and concentrate it at a fixed output position. (Source: Stanford Engineering)

Gustavo Cezar standing in front of cows in a dairy barn

A day in the life of an electricity and cool cow engineer

Gustavo Cezar wears two colorful hats as an engineer with SLAC’s GISMo lab. (Source: SLAC)

Graphic with batteries

New model offers potential solutions for next-generation battery challenges

A new mathematical model has brought together the physics and chemistry of highly promising lithium-metal batteries, providing researchers with plausible, fresh solutions to a problem known to cause degradation and failure.

Technicians in yellow hazmat suits load an experiment at an Advanced Test Reactor

Small modular reactors produce high levels of nuclear waste

Small modular reactors, long touted as the future of nuclear energy, will actually generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants, according to research from Stanford and the University of British Columbia.

West Texas oil activity

Earthquakes from oil field wastewater

Underground disposal of wastewater from fossil fuel production in the nation’s largest oil field is causing long-dormant faults to slip in a way that could damage wells, according to new analyses of satellite and seismicity data.

Power lines against pink clouds

Electricity imports within U.S. associated with about 700 premature deaths annually, study finds

More than half of the premature deaths associated with electricity use in most of California and the Northwest occur in other western states that supply electricity to the West Coast.

Schrenkiella parvula

How one ‘extreme’ plant could help biologists engineer climate-resistant crops

Stanford biologist José Dinneny is studying why one plant grows faster in stressful conditions. His results could help scientists engineer food and biofuel crops to survive in harsher environments. 

Hydrogen illustration

Reversible fuel cells can support grid economically

Integrated reversible power-to-gas systems can also convert hydrogen back to electricity as a backup power source surprisingly economically, new research finds.

Child studying by lantern light

Study finds high energy use provides little benefit for health and well-being in richer nations

Analysis of data from 140 countries suggests many rich countries could use less energy per capita without compromising health, happiness or prosperity. Countries struggling with energy poverty may be able to maximize well-being with less energy than previously thought.

Oil derrick and wind turbines

Stanford energy expert discusses UN climate report

Energy expert Inês Azevedo, a lead author of the energy chapter in the United Nations’ new report on climate mitigation, discusses the assessment and changes necessary to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Energy technology is ready, she says, but time is short.

Songdo, Korea (external link)

Building smarter

Analysis presents a first-of-its-kind framework to design the most efficient mix of urban buildings along with integrated systems to supply power and water services. The approach could significantly reduce costs and pollution compared to traditional systems. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

Sensor flying over the Permian Basin

Methane leaks are far worse than estimates, at least in New Mexico, but there’s hope

The amount of methane leaking from a huge U.S. oil and gas producing region is several times greater than the federal government estimates, according to a new study led by Stanford University. 

Electric car plugged in (external link)

How to predict and manage EV charging growth

With a growing fleet of electric vehicles on the road, power grid planners depend on accurate estimates of charging patterns to calculate demand. Researchers have created a new model framework for long-term planning that captures real drivers’ charging patterns and accounts for uncertainty. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)

TESS solar rooftop - external link

A plan to make electricity cheaper, greener and more reliable

A cellphone-sized device automatically adjusts a home's power use up or down to save the consumer money and increase the resiliency of the electric grid. (Source: SLAC)

Rio Santiago external link

AI enables strategic hydropower planning across Amazon basin

New research shows how AI can identify proposed hydropower plants that are likely to be particularly detrimental to the environment, and reveals the forgone environmental and energy benefits of uncoordinated dam planning in the Amazon basin. (Source: Natural Capital Project)

Battery image external link

AI deciphers atomic-scale images for better batteries

Using artificial intelligence to analyze vast amounts of data in atomic-scale images, Stanford researchers answered long-standing questions about an emerging type of rechargeable battery posing competition to lithium-ion chemistry. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)

Empty train platform in West Bengal, India on March 22, 2020.

Fall and rise of electricity use in early pandemic

The unprecedented plunge in electricity use around the world at the beginning of the global pandemic was tied to shut-down policies and other factors. Surprisingly, the recovery to pre-COVID levels was quite fast and not linked to those same factors.

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