From: Integrity Research Institute <>

Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 10:49 PM


Subject: Future Energy eNews




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Future Energy eNews




August 2016 TOC






We had a great Conference on Future Energy (COFE8) a few weeks ago in Albuquerque NM and will have a short report on it in next month's FE eNews, when the DVDs are also being released. In the meantime, DVDs from the concurrent ExtraOrdinary Technology Conference are already available. This month I took advantage of an Amazon offer to create an Author Page  which is now live. All of my books, their customer reviews, some authored reports, and one interview, are all in one place for the first time! Even the announcement of my presentation at the World Energy Engineering Conference (WEEC) on September 22is listed. If you are in the DC area, here is a link to a FREE pass for the WEEC Expo,  which is a huge exhibition and the best part of the show, in my opinion.


For those concerned about climate change with the rise of temperature (hottest year on record), bigger forest fires and extreme weather events, there is hope with our Story #1 published in Science. To be privileged to announce the energy breakthrough everyone thought was impossible is a great honor. But yes folks, a bionic leaf now exceeds chlorophyll in efficiency with a "true artificial photosynthesis system."  Harvard University must be proud to know that the new solar system can be used to generate usable fuels and actually make "any carbon-based molecule" like a bio-plastic for example, with 10 percent efficiency, which is ten times better than nature. It also can "self-heal". Take a look at the video and related article links below. Truly a breakthrough .


But what about our waste products? Our Story #2 addresses that difficult subject with two new trademarked processes, BioVolt™ and EcoVolt, each of which produce ELECTRICITY from waste using proprietary strains of Geobacter and another microbe to "liberate electrons as they respire." Leveraging newly-discovered, energy-generating biological processes, BioVolt treats wastewater with zero electrical input from the grid for aeration. These constitute "microbial fuel cells" and we have added three of the most valuable links below in Related Stories to show how New Scientist has reported on this subject, as well as give students a chance to build their own microbial fuel cell with video instructions. Cambrian expects their BioVolt system, developed with the US Army, to revolutionize waste water processing by reducing energy and water use. On June 7, 2016, the Army announced its test of Cambrian's advanced BioVolt system for off-grid applications. See the Related Article "Organisms that Live on Pure Energy" explaining Geobacter's amazing electricity-feeding capability.


For the  bioenergetics fans, our Story #3 is great and a follow-up to a detailed slide presentation at COFE7 by Mike Weiner, an Advisory Board Member of IRI, on Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) to heal traumatic brain injury and even Alzheimer's. With an excellent breadth of research results, Mike's new book, The Light: How Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) healed my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and the Struggle to Deliver this Remedy to those with Alzheimer's Disease, is an amazing achievement as well as a wonderful resource for a number of effective new bioenergetic light therapies. It even examines blood irradiation with UV light combined with red and green wavelengths, which has shown to have a number of well-established benefits for the skin. Published by CreateSpace, an Amazon company, it is a full-color easy-to-read masterpiece well worth the affordable $19.95 price tag. Order online 


Story #4 is an exciting reprint from MIT's Technology Review which summarizes the new cheaper lithium-ion batteries by "24M", a company founded by an MIT professor of materials science. Fortunately, the company is already in production and seeks to scale up its size in the next two years to compete with fossil-fuel burning vehicles.


Of course, we could not resist following that with Story #5 that promotes the new Study which shows that 87% of our travel needs are already covered by the range of electric vehicles presently on the road! A related article also states that our "range anxiety" over electric cars is overblown. When an average electric car can get 150 miles per charge, the Trancik Lab Study proved that most of our driving needs can be met by electric vehicles, especially with 10,000 charging stations nationwide.


Story #6 promotes our sister nonprofit organization, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) which always has great environmental and energy solutions available to industry and municipalities. is the place to go for the future efficiency ideas related to energy use. RMI just released a new report, "An Integrative Business Model for Net Zero Energy Districts," which shows that rather than being capital intensive, Net Zero Energy Districts can be a "significant value driver." Their example is a 180-acre development in a midsize US city, with a four step process for its achievement with on-site renewable energy and a local electric grid, which IRI also promotes for sustainability and survivability reasons.




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1) Bionic Leaf Turns Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel



By Peter Ruell, Harvard Gazette Review



New system surpasses efficiency of photosynthesis


 "This is a true artificial photosynthesis system," Daniel Nocera said of the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University. "Before, people were using artificial photosynthesis for water-splitting, but this is a true A-to-Z system, and we've gone well over the efficiency of photosynthesis in nature."


While the study shows the system can be used to generate usable fuels, its potential doesn't end there, said Silver, who is also a founding core member of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.


"The beauty of biology is it's the world's greatest chemist - biology can do chemistry we can't do easily," she said. "In principle, we have a platform that can make any downstream carbon-based molecule. So this has the potential to be incredibly versatile."


Dubbed "bionic leaf 2.0," the new system builds on previous work by Nocera, Silver, and others, which - though it was capable of using solar energy to make isopropanol - faced a number of challenges. Chief among those, Nocera said, was the fact that the catalyst used to produce hydrogen - a nickel-molybdenum-zinc alloy - also created reactive oxygen species, molecules that attacked and destroyed the bacteria's DNA. To avoid that, researchers were forced to run the system at abnormally high voltages, resulting in reduced efficiency.



"For this paper, we designed a new cobalt-phosphorous alloy catalyst, which we showed does not make reactive oxygen species," Nocera said. "That allowed us to lower the voltage, and that led to a dramatic increase in efficiency."

The system can now convert solar energy to biomass with 10 percent efficiency, Nocera said, far above the 1 percent seen in the fastest-growing plants.


In addition to increasing the efficiency, Nocera and colleagues were able to expand the portfolio of the system to include isobutanol and isopentanol. Researchers also used the system to create PHB, a bio-plastic precursor, a process first demonstrated by Professor Anthony Sinskey of MIT.


The new catalyst also came with another advantage - its chemical design allows it to "self-heal," meaning it wouldn't leach material into solution."This is the genius of Dan," Silver said. "These catalysts are totally biologically compatible."


Though there may yet be room for additional increases in efficiency, Nocera said the system is already effective enough to consider possible commercial applications, but within a different model for technology translation.


"It's an important discovery - it says we can do better than photosynthesis," Nocera said. "But I also want to bring this technology to the developing world as well."

Working in conjunction with the First 100 Watts program at Harvard, which helped fund the research, Nocera hopes to continue developing the technology and its applications in nations like India with the help of their scientists.


In many ways, Nocera said, the new system marks the fulfillment of the promise of his "artificial leaf," which used solar power to split water and make hydrogen fuel.

"If you think about it, photosynthesis is amazing," he said. "It takes sunlight, water, and air - and then look at a tree. That's exactly what we did, but we do it significantly better, because we turn all that energy into a fuel."




Published Article in Science 


Amazing Artificial Leaves 




2) Microbes Generate Electricity While Cleaning Water




Sally Adee,

New Scientist July 2016


A self-powered waste water treatment plant using microbes has just passed its biggest test, bringing household-level water recycling a step closer


THEY'RE miraculous in their own way, even if they don't quite turn water into wine. Personal water treatment plants could soon be recycling our waste water and producing energy on the side.


Last month, Boston-based Cambrian Innovation began field tests of what's known as a microbial fuel cell at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Maryland. Called BioVolt, in one day it can convert 2250 litres of sewage into enough clean water for at least 15 people. Not only that, it generates the electricity to power itself - plus a bit left over.


This is a big deal, as conventional treatment plants guzzle energy - typically consuming 1.5 kilowatt-hours for every kilogram of pollutants removed. In the US, this amounts to a whopping 3 per cent of the total energy demand. If the plants could be self-powered, recycling our own waste water could become as commonplace as putting a solar panel on a roof.


Existing treatment plants use bacteria to metabolise the organic material in waste water. "There's lots of food for them, so they reproduce fast," says Cambrian chief technology officer Justin Buck. At the end of the process, the microbes can make up a third by weight of the leftovers to be disposed of. Before being put in landfill, this "microbe cake" itself needs to be heat-sterilised and chemically treated, which uses a lot of energy.


Microbial fuel cells have long been touted as the way forward. The idea is that the biochemistry involved in metabolising the contaminants can yield electricity to help power the process. But fuel cells of this kind have been very difficult to scale up outside the lab.


BioVolt uses strains of Geobacter  (see photo) and another microbe called Shewanella oneidensis to process the sludge. Its proprietary mix of organisms has one key advantage - the bacteria liberate some electrons as they respire, effectively turning the whole set-up into a battery. This has the added benefit of slowing bacterial growth, so that at the end of the process you have electricity and no microbe cake.


A number of teams are working on their own versions of these cells. Orianna Bretschger at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, California, is testing hers at a farm run by the San Pasqual High School in nearby Escondido, using it to process about 630 litres of pig waste per day.


Bretschger is in the early stages of building a larger pilot system, to be commissioned in Tijuana, Mexico, later this year. "I think that we will still be on track for commercialisation in the next three to five years," she says.


Her system goes a step beyond BioVolt and traditional plants in that it can rid water of pharmaceuticals - synthetic oestrogens, for example. Bretschger is now looking at ways to add pain relief drugs to the list.


Cambrian CEO Matt Silver sees a future in which different kinds of microbial fuel cells treat different kinds of waste, perhaps recovering useful by-products. Another of the firm's designs, EcoVolt, generates methane as it cleans up waste water produced by a Californian brewery. It has also cut the brewery's energy use by 15 per cent and its water use by 40 per cent.


Cambrian hopes BioVolt will scale up to processing more than 20,000 litres per day. Microbial fuel cells, Silver thinks, will do for renewable water what solar and wind did for renewable energy.



Related Stories


Modified Bacteria Could get Electricity from Sewage


Meet the organisms that live on pure energy


Instructables - DIY Student Project - Generate Electricity from Wastewater - Uses lactobacillus (yogurt) and includes step by step instructions with video  




3) Breakthrough Light Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury, Alzheimer's and Anti-Aging Aesthetics



By Michael Weiner, &

By Molly Langmure, Elle Magazine July 2016  


Click on picture to order this book

In 2010, on a trip to Vienna, Austria, Mike Weiner met with technology expert Armin Bernhard, Ph.D. an inventor of one of the cochlear implants. Dr. Bernhard first alerted Mike that Alzheimer's and other CNS diseases appeared to be the result of an energy deficiency, which could be resolved with non-invasive therapy, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), delivered transcranially and non-invasively (and is approved for use for depression in the US). 

Back in the US, Mike learned of Marvin Berman, Ph.D.'s pioneering work in Philadelphia, at the Quietmind Foundation, combining light therapy (LLLT, aka photobiomodulation) in combination with neurofeedback, for a revolutionary solution, working for Alzheimer's. Dr. Berman described the energy therapy as a form of "vitamins, not antibiotics."

Mike then learned of research led by Dallas Hack, MD MPH, heading neuroscience for the US Army, in traumatic brain injury (TBI ) that led to the discovery that infrared light helped soldiers dealing with TBI. The NIH was briefed on this solution, working in humans, as far back as 2009. Mike took it to the Alzheimer's Association in 2015. 

This book provides needed information on where a promising solution is now hiding in plain sight. Public and media awareness of this opportunity should very much help move it forward. 


The latest IV breakthrough, though, presented last spring at Monaco's annual Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Medicine World Conference, sounds positively space age: Wavelengths of light are shot directly into the blood via an intravenous catheter outfitted with an optical fiber. The device that does this, the UVL1500, is already approved in much of Europe to diminish pain, accelerate wound healing, and reduce inflammation, and its manufacturer, Florida-based UVLrx Therapeutics, is now working on getting a similar gadget, the UVL1000, okayed for use in the U.S.


An FDA-designated institutional review board has already deemed it a "non-significant risk device," which means it's not a serious danger to research subjects, though this doesn't address its effectiveness. Company officials say they're working on that now: For example, one small, recently completed study of 15 patients-conducted by Shreveport, Louisiana, cosmetic surgeon Daniel Knight, MD-found that by adding a series of UVL1500 sessions to laser and ultrasound skin-tightening treatments, subjects achieved the healing and other benefits in one week that are usually observed after two months.


The light concept actually dates back to the late 1800s, when Danish doctor Niels Ryberg Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering that the bacteria-killing properties of UV rays could eradicate skin lesions caused by tuberculosis. (Which is why sanitariums at one point offered heliotherapy-basically, sunbathing.) In the 1920s, Seattle physicist Emmett Knott patented an apparatus that treated infectious blood diseases by extracting blood, irradiating it with UV light, then reinjecting it into patients. By the 1940s, even leading medical centers like Georgetown University Hospital were using ultraviolet blood irradiation, or UBI, for not just bacterial infections but also autoimmune disorders and viruses, like pneumonia and hepatitis. Dozens of papers attesting to UBI's benefits appeared in scientific journals at the time, such as a 1944 study in the Archives of Physical Therapyreporting that 57 of 58 polio patients treated with UBI had fully recovered. But there were few randomized, placebo-controlled trials, and with the widespread use of antibiotics and advent of the polio vaccine in the '50s, the treatment fell out of favor.


This past April, Michael R. Hamblin, PhD, an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, coauthored a paper titled "Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation: Is It Time to Remember 'The Cure That Time Forgot'?" in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology. "UBI has a huge effect on the blood," Hamblin says. In fact, another form of light-wave blood therapy (with the even wordier name extracorporeal photopheresis, or ECP) has already been approved by the FDA to treat a type of lymphoma, and it's been tested on a variety of other conditions: "Several clinical trials suggest that ECP may be used to treat a broad spectrum of autoimmune diseases," concluded a team of pathologists writing in the peer-reviewed journal Transfusion and Apheresis Science in 2015; another article in the same publication showed that it helped prevent rejection in heart transplant patients.


Hamblin says there are only theories about UBI's healing mechanism, but "clearly the immune system is involved." For infectious diseases, he adds, "one possibility is that the light is changing the DNA of viruses or bacteria so they're better recognized by the immune system." (He and other UBI enthusiasts, such as Charleston, South Carolina, pathologist J. Todd Kuenstner, MD, admit that they've got a ways to go before the medical establishment believes. "What will change minds is data and large trials," Kuenstner says.)


What's novel about UVLrx Therapeutics' devices is that they irradiate blood without removing it from the body; they're also the first to combine UV light with red and green wavelengths, which have well-established benefits for the skin: diminishing acne, boosting circulation, and improving collagen production. (As for cancer risk, one 30-minute IV light treatment delivers about the same amount of UVA radiation as one minute in the sun.)





4) 24M's Batteries Better for Solar and Wind Power


By Elizabeth Woyke, MIT Technology Review  


The startup's cheaper way to make lithium-ion batteries could make it cost-effective to store energy from renewable sources.


Lithium-ion batteries power everything from smartphones to electric vehicles. They're well suited to the job because they are smaller and lighter, charge faster, and last longer than other batteries. But they are also complex and thus costly to make, which has stymied mass adoption of electric transportation and large-scale energy storage.

Yet-Ming Chiang thinks his startup 24M has the answer. The key is a semisolid electrode. In a conventional lithium--ion battery, many thin layers of electrodes are stacked or rolled together to produce a cell. "Lithium-ion batteries are the only product I know of besides baklava where you stack so many thin layers to build up volume," says Chiang, who is a cofounder and chief scientist at 24M as well as a professor of materials science at MIT. "Our goal is to make a lithium-ion battery through the simplest process possible."


Chiang's innovation, which was developed in his MIT lab, is an electrode formed by mixing powders with a liquid electrolyte to make a gooey slurry. The design enables 24M to increase the amount of energy-storing material in a battery and give it 15 to 25 percent more capacity than conventional lithium-ion batteries of the same size.


The new design is also faster and cheaper to make. Typical large factories for making lithium-ion batteries cost about $100 million to build, in part because specialized machines are needed to coat, dry, cut, and compress the electrode film. Since its semisolid electrode doesn't require these steps, 24M says, its batteries could be produced in one-fifth the time and in much smaller plants.


If its technology succeeds, 24M could be among the first companies to reduce the cost of lithium-ion battery cells to less than $100 per kilowatt-hour, from $200 to $250 today. That is the point at which electric cars could compete on cost with internal-combustion vehicles.


To hit that target by 2020, 24M must scale up from its existing pilot manufacturing line in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to high-volume fabrication. The company plans to build a factory in 2017, probably in partnership with a large industrial company, and launch its first product in early 2018. It hopes utilities will buy its batteries to store electricity from wind and solar farms and deliver power during peak-demand hours.


The company is also talking to electric--vehicle makers, but it considers EVs a secondary focus. It's understandable that Chiang would tread carefully in that market. A123 Systems, a battery company he cofounded, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 after spending too much money building big battery plants to supply carmakers. In contrast, Chiang says, 24M's manufacturing technologies are designed to be modular and more efficiently scaled up if necessary.





5) Electric Cars Can Get You Farther Than You Think


By David Grossman,  Popular Mechanics, August  2016


A new Study shows that 87% of our needs are covered by electric vehicles



How long does the range on an electric car need to be for you to drive one? It's a question that Jessika Trancik, an energy scientist at MIT, and her colleagues at the Trancik Lab have been studying with great interest. The fear that your EV will run out of juice before you reach your destination is called "range anxiety," and according to a new study by Trancik and her team, it's not something most drivers should be too worried about.


The Trancik Lab studies "the costs and environmental impacts of energy technologies to accelerate their improvement." Range anxiety is a real thing preventing electric cars from becoming more widespread. The problem is one of mileage. For now, cars with traditional engines can just go farther than electric cars can-roughly 350 miles per tank compared to roughly 150 miles per charge.


Despite these reservations, Trancik and her team have calculated that "the energy requirements of 87 percent of vehicle-days could be met by an existing, affordable electric vehicle." Although driving habits in different cities across America vary widely, the results suggest that the amount of driving that could be done in an EV "is markedly similar across diverse cities, even when per capita gasoline consumption differs significantly."


But even though 87 percent of all driving could be with an electric vehicle, people don't buy cars to cover just 87 percent of their needs. Compared to 115,000 gas stations, there areunder 10,000 electrical charging stations in the United States, and a gas tank can be filled in a matter of minutes compared to the hours it usually takes to charge an EV battery. Even if you are not going to take that cross-country road trip any time soon, it's comforting to know that your vehicle is capable of making the journey.


Trancik found that on the "highest-energy days, other vehicle technologies are likely to be needed even as batteries improve and charging infrastructure expands." In other words, it's going to be a while before electric cars can account for all of our driving needs, even if they can already account for most of them. In the meantime, the best solution seems to be owning two cars.







6) Net Zero Communities



By  Rocky Mountain Institute, August 2016




Net zero energy (NZE) buildings-those that are responsible for the production of as much (or more) clean energy as they use annually-have been gaining momentum around the world. And now, there are even net zero energy districts being contemplated, like Fort Collins's Fort ZED, Arizona State University, and UC Davis's West Village. However, there still remains an industry-wide perception that net zero energy is too expensive, or comes at a much higher incremental cost over business as usual. 


Master developers of NZE districts face the challenge of driving exceptional energy performance without deterring prospective parcel developers or incurring exorbitant development costs themselves. Prospective parcel developers may fear that stringent performance requirements will require higher upfront capital costs or that achieving ultra-low energy buildings will not be cost-effective in the long run, compared to business as usual. Prospective tenants of NZE developments may fear that additional construction costs will get passed through to them in the form of higher rents, or that the ongoing cost of procuring renewable energy may be higher than conventional energy bills.


But in our newly released Insight Brief, An Integrative Business Model for Net Zero Energy Districts, RMI presents an innovative business model for developing net zero energy or ultra-low energy districts and details how pursuing net zero energy is not a cost, but rather a significant value driver. 

Our innovative business model develops net zero energy districts in a way that is attractive to the district developer, parcel developer, and tenants; creates a profitable business for an integrated energy services provider; and benefits the local electric grid and neighboring community. It was developed specifically for a 180-acre development in a midsize U.S. city. 


Net zero energy is achieved in four steps: (1) Identify on-site renewable energy capacity and thus set the district's energy "budget;" (2) use superefficient district geothermal heating and cooling; (3) set design standards to drive load up to 75 percent below code; and (4) iterate between steps 1 and 3, optimizing based on the net present value of the life-cycle cost until net zero energy is achieved. These four steps must be done in a way that makes the project financially attractive to developers, tenants, and investors.







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