From:                              Integrity Research Institute <>

Sent:                               Sunday, July 24, 2016 1:23 PM


Subject:                          Future Energy eNews


COFE8 July 29-30 See you there!



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Future Energy eNews




July 2016 TOC





As we leave for our Eighth International Conference on Future Energy (COFE8)  this week, remember that New Mexico is just a puddle jump from the West Coast and walk-ins are welcome! IRI represents cutting edge, emerging energy, propulsion, and bioenergetics at these conferences from the most progressive scientific research organization in the world. DVDs will be available afterward but live interactions with the speakers is always very memorable, especially when they reveal new and exciting technology to solve the world's problems. What problems? Well for example climate as 2016 is the hottest on record for a third year in a row . Check out a very informative, animated website. Another site worth visiting is the relatively new Center for Climate and Energy Solutions  which features free webinars with expert scientists, as well as "Innovation to Power the Nation" which was just held this month at the Carnegie Institution for Science, here in DC, where I met the President of C2ES and he asked me if he could keep the Dr. Jim Hansen Climate Beast Graph (which is on our homepage) that I handed to him. This just confirmed our conviction that IRI is having a meaningful influence on some of the key players who seek to solve energy, propulsion, and bioenergetics issues for the country and the world. Come to COFE8 and see more. 


This month we are happy to give top billing to an amazing Story #1 from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) which is also called the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology in Switzerland. Their discovery of a new, inexpensive electrical energy source is no less than revolutionary. Called an "electrokinetic phenomenon" when an electrolyte like salt is driven through a membrane with plain water on the other side by osmotic pressure, the process induces a "large, osmotically induced current" with an estimated power density of up to a million watts per square meter! See their Nature article  online to believe such an outrageous allegation.  As the reprinted article below states, once osmotic power becomes more robust, these systems could play a major role in the generation of renewable energy.


Story #2 explores the next development in electric vehicles, which IRI has advocated for years...onboard charging of the battery cells by any means available. In this case, the Hanergy company uses 40 to 80 square feet of flexible, lightweight solar cells on the outside of an EV to give it 50 miles of free energy driving depending on weather conditions. Don't forget to check out the Related Stories that we didn't run on the front page but are still momentous, such as using Saltwater to power a car for 1,000 kilometers, with a nice video and specs of the prototype sports car, and a New Way of using Perovskites for solar cells that are cheaper and more efficient, up to 31 percent efficient compared to today's 20 percent for silicon.  


Story #3 continues the theme of solar and optical energy conversion with a "roadmap" of 19 contributed articles. Lucky for you, I printed out the 48-page FREE online article and eagerly read and annotated every article (average two page length) to give my two cents worth in this section.  How about 66% power conversion efficiency (PEC) from NREL by controlling heat loss and quantum efficiency (QE) that exceeds 100%? That is in the 5th article by Beard. However, I also like the 1 nanometer thick layer of heterostructure that absorbs 10% of the incident light and 90% efficiency with nanocavities in the 8th article from GWU here in DC.  One of my serious, ongoing favorites is the use of diodes called "optical rectennas" by Dr. Dagenais at the U of Maryland down the street from IRI headquarters, in article #10 for zero external bias (like solar cells) and an "achievable conversion efficiency" for monochromatic light of 100%! Another interesting development is the Bermel article #15 for thermophotovoltaics (TPV) which work in the IR band, whose efficiency "can exceed 50%". Take that one step further with "endothermic-photoluminescence" which is also called a "thermally enhanced photoluminescence (TEPL) cell" in the #18 Manor article with an efficiency approaching 70%.


In the area of bioenergetics, our Story #4 shows a phototherapy method for targeting cancer cells to be very effective, with about 95% of the cancer terminated, as reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Once the cells receive a chemical compound, the light makes the cells turn very acidic inside which kills the cancer.


In our Story #5, with the nice wearable device that picks up specially broadcast electrical plant signals, the authors should have acknowledged the pioneer of plant consciousness, the famous Cleve Backster, who I met and conversed with many times. Cleve was a lie detection expert and trainer who was the first to wire up plants and was featured in the classic, Secret Life of Plants and Secret Life of Your Cells. Check out our IRI Backster Effect report #406 with instructions on how to reproduce his oral leukocyte experiment.


Remember our environment matters and an energy breakthrough is essential!




Thomas Valone, Editor




JULY 29- 30, 2016










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1) Electricity Generated with Water, Salt and Three Atoms-Thick Membrane




Mark Dansie  July 2016


Although the research is still in its infancy, if I was to give an award to a technology with the most potential to bring about massive change it is this.I doubt if it can achieve the the 1MW per square meter due to material and conductor issue,s but even 1000th of that power output would be impressive. Using solar desalination the water can be reused. This is real water power



Osmotic Power

Or more specifically, energy generated by a natural phenomenon occurring when fresh water comes into contact with seawater through a membrane.


Researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology have developed an osmotic power generation system that delivers never-before-seen yields. Their innovation lies in a three atoms thick membrane used to separate the two fluids. The results of their research have been published in Nature.


The concept is fairly simple. A semipermeable membrane separates two fluids with different salt concentrations. Salt ions travel through the membrane until the salt concentrations in the two fluids reach equilibrium. That phenomenon is precisely osmosis.


If the system is used with seawater and fresh water, salt ions in the seawater pass through the membrane into the fresh water until both fluids have the same salt concentration. And since an ion is simply an atom with an electrical charge, the movement of the salt ions can be harnessed to generate electricity.


At  3 atoms thick, selective membrane that does the job

EPFL's system consists of two liquid-filled compartments separated by a thin membrane made of molybdenum disulfide. The membrane has a tiny hole, or nanopore, through which seawater ions pass into the fresh water until the two fluids' salt concentrations are equal. As the ions pass through the nanopore, their electrons are transferred to an electrode - which is what is used to generate an electric current.


Thanks to its properties the membrane allows positively-charged ions to pass through, while pushing away most of the negatively-charged ones. That creates voltage between the two liquids as one builds up a positive charge and the other a negative charge. This voltage is what causes the current generated by the transfer of ions to flow.


"We had to first fabricate and then investigate the optimal size of the nanopore. If it's too big, negative ions can pass through and the resulting voltage would be too low. If it's too small, not enough ions can pass through and the current would be too weak," said Jiandong Feng, lead author of the research.


What sets EPFL's system apart is its membrane. In these types of systems, the current increases with a thinner membrane. And EPFL's membrane is just a few atoms thick. The material it is made of - molybdenum disulfide - is ideal for generating an osmotic current. "This is the first time a two-dimensional material has been used for this type of application," said Aleksandra Radenovic, head of the laboratory of Nanoscale Biology


Powering 50,000 energy-saving light bulbs with 1m² membrane

The potential of the new system is huge. According to their calculations, a 1m² membrane with 30% of its surface covered by nanopores should be able to produce 1MW of electricity - or enough to power 50,000 standard energy-saving light bulbs. And since molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is easily found in nature or can be grown by chemical vapor deposition, the system could feasibly be ramped up for large-scale power generation. The major challenge in scaling-up this process is finding out how to make relatively uniform pores.


Until now, researchers have worked on a membrane with a single nanopore, in order to understand precisely what was going on. " From an engineering perspective, single nanopore system is ideal to further our fundamental understanding of membrane-based processes and provide useful information for industry-level commercialization", said Jiandong Feng.


The researchers were able to run a nanotransistor from the current generated by a single nanopore and thus demonstrated a self-powered nanosystem. Low-power single-layer MoS2 transistors were fabricated in collaboration with Andreas Kis' team at at EPFL, while molecular dynamics simulations were performed by collaborators at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Harnessing the potential of estuaries

EPFL's research is part of a growing trend. For the past several years, scientists around the world have been developing systems that leverage osmotic power to create electricity. Pilot projects have sprung up in places such as Norway, the Netherlands, Japan, and the United States to generate energy at estuaries, where rivers flow into the sea. For now, the membranes used in most systems are organic and fragile, and deliver low yields. Some systems use the movement of water, rather than ions, to power turbines that in turn produce electricity.


Once the systems become more robust, osmotic power could play a major role in the generation of renewable energy. While solar panels require adequate sunlight and wind turbines adequate wind, osmotic energy can be produced just about any time of day or night - provided there's an estuary nearby.


Reference: Jiandong Feng et al, Single-layer MoS2 nanopores as nanopower generators, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature18593



2) Solar Powered Electric Vehicles 


By C.C Weiss, Gizmag July 2016


The latest company looking to power future EVs with sunlight is China's Hanergy Holding Group. Joining the likes of EVX Ventures (the folks behind the distinctive,  Hanergy unveiled a quartet of thin-film solar cell-equipped vehicles in Beijing over the weekend, each of which is designed to commute around and beyond the city without the need to plug in.



Having purchased California-based Alta Devices several years ago, Hanergy is working to expand gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cell technology, which claims record-breaking conversion rates as high as 31.6 percent. The cells' lightweight, flexible nature makes them well-suited for integration into a vehicle's structure, and Hanergy's concept cars feature between 38 and 81 sq ft (3.5 and 7.5 sq m) of cells. Hanergy estimates that the cells can deliver about 50 miles (80 km) of driving per day from five to six hours of sunlight, no external charging involved.


Many a trip runs farther than 50 miles, and weather conditions have a habit of changing, so Hanergy has also incorporated an external charging port for the lithium batteries. The company claims the vehicles can drive for up to 217 miles (350 km) per charge, but it doesn't detail the size of the battery or layout of its electric powertrain(s).


An intelligent control system and accompanying app help the driver to manage charging, travel and weather modes. Ultrasonic cleaning technology keeps the panels clear of dirt and debris to ensure smooth energy collection. The four cars are designed in different styles, including an almost shooting brake-like sports car and a city hatchback.


Hanergy says that it performed the R&D for the four vehicles independently and that the cars can be commercialized. Vehicle integration of thin-film cells is part of Hanergy's greater mobile energy strategy, which also calls for using the cells in unmanned aerial vehicles, mobile electronics, backpacks and clothing.


Related Stories



3) Roadmap on Optical Energy Conversion


By: Svetlana V Boriskina1,25, et al., Published 24 June  2016 IOP Publishing Ltd 
Journal of Optics, Volume 18, Number 7



Ed. Note: Nineteen authors total



For decades, progress in the field of optical (including solar) energy conversion was dominated by advances in the conventional concentrating optics and materials design. In recent years, however, conceptual and technological breakthroughs in the fields of nanophotonics and plasmonics combined with a better understanding of the thermodynamics of the photon energy-conversion processes reshaped the landscape of energy-conversion schemes and devices. 


Nanostructured devices and materials that make use of size quantization effects to manipulate photon density of states offer a way to overcome the conventional light absorption limits. Novel optical spectrum splitting and photon-recycling schemes reduce the entropy production in the optical energy-conversion platforms and boost their efficiencies. Optical design concepts are rapidly expanding into the infrared energy band, offering new approaches to harvest waste heat, to reduce the thermal emission losses, and to achieve noncontact radiative cooling of solar cells as well as of optical and electronic circuitries.


 Light-matter interaction enabled by nanophotonics and plasmonics underlie the performance of the third- and fourth-generation energy-conversion devices, including up- and down-conversion of photon energy, near-field radiative energy transfer, and hot electron generation and harvesting. Finally, the increased market penetration of alternative solar energy-conversion technologies amplifies the role of cost-driven and environmental considerations. This roadmap on optical energy conversion provides a snapshot of the state of the art in optical energy conversion, remaining challenges, and most promising approaches to address these challenges.



 Leading experts authored 19 focused short sections of the roadmap where they share their vision on a specific aspect of this burgeoning research field. The roadmap opens up with a tutorial section, which introduces major concepts and terminology. It is our hope that the roadmap will serve as an important resource for the scientific community, new generations of researchers, funding agencies, industry experts, and investors.







4) New Photodynamic Method to Kill Cancer Tumors 



Joanna Carver, Medical Xpress, July  2016


Matthew Gdovin, an associate professor in the UTSA Department of Biology, has developed a newly patented method to kill cancer cells. His discovery, described in a new study in The Journal of Clinical Oncology, may tremendously help people with inoperable or hard-to-reach tumors, as well as young children stricken with cancer.


Gdovin's top-tier research involves injecting a chemical compound, nitrobenzaldehyde, into the tumor and allowing it to diffuse into the tissue. He then aims a beam of light at the tissue, causing the cells to become very acidic inside and, essentially, commit suicide. Within two hours, Gdovin estimates up to 95 percent of the targeted cancer cells are dead.


"Even though there are many different types of cancers, the one thing they have in common is their susceptibility to this induced cell suicide," he said.

Gdovin tested his method against triple negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types of cancer and one of the hardest to treat. The prognosis for triple negative breast cancer is usually very poor. After one treatment in the laboratory, he was able to stop the tumor from growing and double chances of survival in mice.


"All forms of cancer attempt to make cells acidic on the outside as a way to attract the attention of a blood vessel, which attempts to get rid of the acid," he said. "Instead, the cancer latches onto the blood vessel and uses it to make the tumor larger and larger."


Chemotherapy treatments target all cells in the body, and certain chemotherapeutics try to keep cancer cells acidic as a way to kill the cancer. This is what causes many cancer patients to lose their hair and become sickly. Gdovin's method, however, is more precise and can target just the tumor.


In the past two years, he's developed his photodynamic cancer therapy to the point where it's non-invasive. It now requires just an injection of the nitrobenzaldehyde fluid followed by a flash of an ultraviolet light to cause the cancer-killing reaction. Gdovin has now begun to test the method on drug-resistant cancer cells to make his therapy as strong as possible. He's also started to develop a nanoparticle that can be injected into the body to target metastasized cancer cells. The nanoparticle is activated with a wavelength of light that it can pass harmlessly through skin, flesh and bone and still activate the the cancer-killing nanoparticle.


Gdovin hopes that his non-invasive method will help cancer patients with tumors in areas that have proven problematic for surgeons, such as the brain stem, aorta or spine. It could also help people who have received the maximum amount of radiation treatment and can no longer cope with the scarring and pain that goes along with it, or children who are at risk of developing mutations from radiation as they grow older.


"There are so many types of cancer for which the prognosis is very poor," he said. "We're thinking outside the box and finding a way to do what for many people is simply impossible."



Related Atrticle:






5) First Wearable for Listening to Your Plants




By  Phtyl,July  2016


Editor's note: Cleve Backster was a lie detection expert and trainer who was the first to wire up plants and was featured in the classic, Secret Life of Plants and Secret Life of Your Cells. Check out our IRI Backster Effect report #406  with instructions on how to reproduce his oral leukocyte experiment.



Houseplants have never been known as great conversationalists, but it's possible we just can't hear what they're saying. Swiss company, Vivent SARL, is hoping to rectify that with its Phytl Signs device that picks up the tiny electrical signals emitted by plants and broadcasts them through a speaker. The ultimate goal is to translate what the plants are actually "saying."




The system, which is currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, features two receptors - a stake that is inserted into the soil next to the plant, and a clip that gently connects to a leaf. These measure the voltage coming from the plant, which feeds into a signal processor. From there the plant-speak is output through a built-in speaker. A smartphone app can also receive raw data from a plant, allowing analysis of the signals using data analysis software.


Unlike current plant monitors on the market that measure environmental metrics like soil moisture and sunlight, the Phytl Signs device is claimed to pick up on whether your plant is thriving or stressed, active or quiet, or besieged by pests. The plant responds immediately to a change in lighting or the cutting of a leaf with a spike in sound, which is an electronic howl akin to a theramin. But decoding what the audio output means is still being worked out by the company.


To that end, the company encourages device owners to share their data with an online community of fellow users, allowing the company to crowdsource the data to help them decode and translate the plant signals so they can be understood.


Ultimately, if and when the signals are translated, it would allow plant owners to provide the best growing conditions possible. The company also envisions using the devices for agriculture research, and on a commercial scale to monitor crops and potentially improve yields and minimize water use. It can be used on any plant as long as the leaf is wide enough for the clip to connect.


The company has launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce its gadgets, improve its software and further study what the plant signals mean. The minimum pledge level for an Explorer kit is CHF129 (approx. US$130), with shipping slated for April, 2017 if everything goes as planned.






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