Energy & Environmental Science (Energ Environ Sci)

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain), Royal Society of Chemistry

Journal description

The journal recognises the complexity of issues and challenges relating to energy and environmental science and therefore particularly welcomes work of an interdisciplinary nature across both the (bio) chemical and (bio)physical sciences and chemical engineering disciplines.

Current impact factor: 15.49

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 15.49
2012 Impact Factor 11.653
2011 Impact Factor 9.61
2010 Impact Factor 9.446

Impact factor over time

Impact factor
Year

Additional details

5-year impact 12.46
Cited half-life 1.80
Immediacy index 3.09
Eigenfactor 0.06
Article influence 3.46
Website Energy & Environmental Science website
Other titles Energy & environmental science, Energy and environmental science, EES
ISSN 1754-5706
OCLC 232359932
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-prints on non-commercial repositories and arXiv
    • Post-print on author's personal website
    • Author's post-print on institutional repository after 12 months from acceptance
    • Publisher's version/PDF may be used on author's personal website only
    • Publisher PDF will be supplied and may be used on author's personal website only
    • RSC will deposit the authors post-print, if appropriate in non-commercial repositories, not limited to funder's repositories after 12 months
    • Restrictions on further re-use and further distribution to be noted
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • Dingchang Lin, Zhenda Lu, Po-Chun Hsu, Hye Ryoung Lee, Nian Liu, Jie Zhao, Haotian Wang, Chong Liu, Yi Cui
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    ABSTRACT: Much progress has been made in developing high capacity lithium ion battery electrode materials such as silicon anode. With the powerful nanomaterials design approach, cycle life of silicon anodes has been increased significantly. However, nanomaterials have three major issues to be addressed, including severe side reactions due to large surface area, low tap density and poor scalability. Nanostructured Si secondary cluster (nano-Si SC) is promising for reducing side reactions and increasing tap density, yet the scalability and tap density could still be further improved. Here, we propose a mechanical approach for SC fabrication to address all the problems. With the mechanical approach, >20 g of nano-Si SC per batch was produced even at our university lab scale, with >95% yield. Moreover, much denser packing of nanostructures can be achieved (1.38 g cm-3, pellet form), which gives much higher tap density (0.91 g cm-3, powder form) and better electrical contact. Accordingly, over 95% of initial capacity is retained after 1400 cycles at 1C, with average specific capacity ~1250 mAh g-1. Stable cycling with >2 mg cm-2 of areal mass loading (~3.5 mAh cm-2) is obtained. After uniformly integrating carbon nanotubes(CNTs) into SCs, intracluster electrical conductivity is further improved. As a result, notably enhanced rate capability is attained, with high reversible specific capacity ~1140 mAh g-1 and ~880 mAh g-1 at 2C and 4C, respectively.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01363A
  • Unseock Kang, Sung K Choi, Dong J Ham, Sang M Ji, Wonyong Choi, Dong Suk Han, Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, Hyunwoong Park
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    ABSTRACT: Solar conversion of carbon dioxide and water to value-added chemicals remains a challenge. A number of solar-active materials have been reported but still suffer from low selectivity, poor energy efficiency, and instability, and fail to drive simultaneous water oxidation. Herein, we report CuFeO2 and CuO mixed p-type materials fabricated via a widely employed electroplating of earth-abundant cupric and ferric ions followed by annealing under atmospheric air. The composite electrodes exhibited onset potentials at +0.9 V vs. RHE in CO2-purged bicarbonate solution and converted CO2 to formate with over 90% selectivity under simulated solar light (Air Mass 1.5, 100 mW/cm2). Wired CuFeO2/CuO photocathode and Pt anode couples produced formate over 1 week at a solar-to-formate energy conversion efficiency of ~1% (selectivity >90%) without any external bias while O2 was evolved from water. Isotope and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses confirmed the simultaneous production of formate and O2 at the stand-alone couples.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01410G
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    ABSTRACT: The efficiency of organolead trihalide perovskite solar cells has rocketed recently due to the improved material qualities with longer carrier diffusion lengths. Mixing chlorine in the precursor for mixed halide films was reported to dramatically enhance the diffusion lengths of mixed halide perovskite films, mainly due to the much longer carrier recombination lifetime. Here we report that adding Cl containing precursor for mixed halide perovskite formation can induce the abnormal grain growth behavior that yields well-oriented grains accompanied with appearance of some very large size grains. The abnormal grain growth becomes prominent only after multi-cycle coating of MAI:MACl blend precursor. The large grain size is found mainly to contribute to a longer carrier charge recombination lifetime, and thus increases the device efficiency to 18.9 %, but without significantly impacting the carrier transport property. The discovered strong correlation between material process and morphology provides guidelines for future material optimization and device efficiency enhancement.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01179E
  • Ji-Hoon Kim, Jong Baek Park, In Hwan Jung, Andrew C. Grimsdale, Sung Cheol Yoon, Hoichang Yang, Do-Hoon Hwang
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    ABSTRACT: We have synthesized a series of conjugated D–π–A copolymers, PT-ttTPD and PBT-ttTPD, based on a (5-hexyltridecyl)-4H-thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6(5H)-dione (ttTPD) acceptor unit in order to develop better photovoltaic polymers based on the TPD moiety: an ε-branched alkyl side chain on the TPD unit was coupled with 6-alkyl-thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (tt) π-bridge molecules. The Stille polymerization of the brominated ttTPD and stannylated simple thiophene (T) finally gave a promising PT-ttTPD polymer showing well-ordered inter-chain orientation in the BHJ active layer. PT-ttTPD-based OPVs exhibited a highest power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 9.21% (VOC = 0.86 V, JSC = 15.30 mA cm−2, FF = 70%).
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01627D
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    ABSTRACT: Power generation from high-ash coals is a niche technology for power generation, but coal cleaning is deemed necessary to avoid problems associated with low combustion efficiencies and to minimize environmental burdens associated with emissions of pollutants originating from ash. Here, chemical beneficiation of coals using acid and alkali-acid leaching procedures is evaluated as a potential coal cleaning technology employing life cycle assessment (LCA). Taking into account the environmental benefits from firing cleaner coal in pulverized coal power plants and the environmental burden of the cleaning itself, it is demonstrated that for a wide range of cleaning procedures and types of coal, chemical cleaning generally performs worse than combustion of the raw coals and physical cleaning using dense medium separation. These findings apply for many relevant impact categories, including climate change. Chemical cleaning can be optimized with regard to electricity, heat and methanol use for the hydrothermal washing step, and could have environmental impact comparable to that of physical cleaning if the overall resource intensiveness of chemical cleaning is reduced by a factor 5 to 10, depending on the impact category. The largest potential of the technology is observed for high-ash lignites, with initial ash content above 30%, for which the environmental benefits from firing cleaner coal can outweigh the environmental burden of cleaning for some impact categories. We recommend for policy makers to use physical cleaning, as this clearly perform environmentally better, but encourage further research into the chemical cleaning process and optimization of the process as chemical cleaning may be necessary to comply with current and emerging legislation on ash and sulphur content in coal where the removal efficiency from physical cleaning is insufficient.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01799H
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    ABSTRACT: Materials and photoelectrode architectures that are highly efficient, extremely stable, and made from low cost materials are required for commercially viable photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting technology. A key challenge is the heterogeneous nature of real-world materials, which often possess spatial variation in their crystal structure, morphology, and/or composition at the nano-, micro-, or macro-scale. Different structures and compositions can have vastly different properties and can therefore strongly influence the overall performance of the photoelectrode through complex structure-property relationships. A complete understanding of photoelectrode materials would also involve elucidation of processes such as carrier collection and electrochemical charge transfer that occur at very fast time scales. We present herein an overview of a broad suite of experimental and computational tools that can be used to define the structure-property relationships of photoelectrode materials at small dimensions and on fast time scales. A major focus is on in situ scanning-probe measurement (SPM) techniques that possess the ability to measure differences in optical, electronic, catalytic, and physical properties with nano- or micro-scale spatial resolution. In situ ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, used to probe carrier dynamics involved with processes such as carrier generation, recombination, and interfacial charge transport, are also discussed. Complementing all of these experimental techniques are computational atomistic modeling tools, which can be invaluable for interpreting experimental results, aiding in materials discovery, and interrogating PEC processes at length and time scales not currently accessible by experiment. In addition to reviewing the basic capabilities of these experimental and computational techniques, we highlight key opportunities and limitations of applying these tools for the development of PEC materials.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE00835B
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    ABSTRACT: Using the electrostatic charges created on the surfaces of two dissimilar materials when they are brought into physical contact, the contact induced triboelectric charges can generated a potential drop when the two surfaces are separated by a mechanical force, which can drive electrons to flow between the two electrodes built on the top and bottom surfaces of the two materials. This is the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). Ever since the first report of the TENG in January 2012 by Wang et al., its output area power density reaches 500 W/m2, an instantaneous conversion efficiency of ~70% and total energy conversion efficiency of up to 85% have been demonstrated. This article provides a comprehensive review about the four modes of the TENGs, their theoretical modelling, and the applications of TENGs for harvesting energy from human motion, walking, vibration, mechanical triggering, rotating tire, wind, flowing water and more. A TENG can also be used as a self-powered sensor for actively detecting the static and dynamic processes arising from mechanical agitation using the voltage and current output signals of the TENG, respectively, with potential applications as mechanical sensors and for touch pad and smart skin technologies. The potential of TENG for harvesting ocean wave energy is also discussed as a potential approach for the blue energy by harvesting ocean wave energy at an estimated power density of 1.15 MW/km2.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01532D
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the thermophysical properties of supercritical carbon dioxide and available power plant engineering information, it is shown that the maximum achievable efficiency of carbon dioxide sequestration in underground cavities left after in-situ coal gasification is approximately only 14%. Available evidence indicates that the claim that the syngas thus produced can be employed to synthesise “green” liquid fuels is over-optimistic. In addition, a brief analysis is presented of environmental issues relating to the potential contamination by carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic compounds dissolved by supercritical carbon dioxide. An estimate of the solubility of the carcinogenic compound benzo[a]pyrene based on molecular polarizability is presented.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01094B
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    ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is widely used for neural prosthetics and brain-computer interfacing. Thus far in vivo implantation of a battery has been a prerequisite to supply necessary power. Although flexible energy harvesters have recently emerged as an alternative to the battery, they generate insufficient energy for operating brain stimulation. Herein, we report a high performance flexible piezoelectric energy harvester enabling self-powered DBS in mice. This device adopts an indium modified crystalline Pb(In1/2Nb1/2)O3 - Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 - PbTiO3 (PIMNT) thin film on a plastic substrate to transform tiny mechanical motions to electricity. By slight bending, it generates an extremely high current reaching 0.57 mA which satisfies high threshold current for real-time DBS of the motor cortex and thereby could efficiently induce forearm movements in mice. The PIMNT based flexible energy harvester could open a new direction for future in vivo healthcare technology using self-powered biomedical devices.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01593F
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    ABSTRACT: Bioenergy is widely seen as being in competition with food for land resources. This note examines the potential of plants that use the mode of photosynthesis known as Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) to generate globally significant quantities of renewable electricity without displacing productive agriculture and perhaps even increasing food supply. CAM plants require of the order of 10-fold less water per unit of dry biomass produced than do common C3 and C4 crops, and because of their succulence are endowed with substantial water-storage capacities that helps to buffer intermittent water availability. This allows them to thrive in areas where traditional agriculture struggles, either because of low rainfall, or because the seasonality or unpredictability of rainfall is too great to allow profitable arable farming. Although as a group these plants are understudied, sufficient data are available to support estimates of the contribution they might make to global electricity supply if used as feedstock for anaerobic digestion. Two CAM species are examined here as potential bioenergy crops: Opuntia ficus-indica and Euphorbia tirucalli. Both show the high degree of drought tolerance typical of CAM plants and produce promising yields with low rainfall. Even CAM plants in semi-arid areas may have opportunity costs in terms of lost agricultural potential but an alternative approach to bioenergy may allow the food value of land to be increased whilst using the land for energy. Global power generation from gas is around 5PWh per year. The data suggests that 5 PWh of electricity per year could be generated from CAM plants cultivated on between 100 and 380 million hectares of semi-arid land, equivalent to between 4% and 15% of the potential resource.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE00242G
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    ABSTRACT: The development of electrochemical processes for using captured CO2 in the production of valuable compounds appears as an attractive alternative to recycle CO2 and, at the same time, to store electricity from intermittent renewable sources. Among the different innovative attempts that are being investigated to improve these processes, the application of ionic liquids (ILs) has received a growing attention in recent years. This paper presents a unified discussion of the significant work that involves the utilisation of ILs for the valorisation of CO2 by means of electrochemical routes. We discuss studies in which CO2 is used as one of the reactants to electrosynthesise value-added products, among which dimethyl carbonate has been the focus of particular attention in the literature. Approaches based on the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to convert it into products without the use of other carbon-based reactants are also reviewed, highlighting the remarkable improvements that the use of ILs has allowed in the CO2 electroreduction to CO. The review emphasises on different aspects related with process design, including the nature of ILs anions and cations that have been used, the working conditions, the electrocatalytic materials, the electrode configurations, or the design of electrochemical cells, as well as discussing the most relevant observations, results and figures of merit that the participation of ILs has allowed to achieve in these processes. Several conclusions are finally proposed to highlight crucial challenges and recommendations for future research in this area.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01486G
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    ABSTRACT: As one of the most theoretically promising next-generation chemistries, Li-O2 batteries are the subject of intense research to address their stability, cycling, and efficiency issues. The recharge kinetics of Li-O2 are especially sluggish, prompting the use of metal nanoparticles as reaction promoters. In this work, we probe the underlying pathway of kinetics enhancement by transition metal and oxide particles using a combination of electrochemistry, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and thermochemical analysis in carbon-free and carbon-containing electrodes. We highlight the high activity of the group VI transition metals Mo and Cr, which are comparable to noble metal Ru and coincide with XAS measured changes in surface oxidation state matched to the formation of Li2MoO4 and Li2CrO4. A strong correlation between conversion enthalpies of Li2O2 with the promoter surface (Li2O2 + MaOb ± O2 → LixMyOz) and electrochemical activity is found that unifies the behaviour of solid-state promoters. In the absence of soluble species on charge and the decomposition of Li2O2 proceeding through solid solution, enhancement of Li2O2 oxidation is mediated by chemical conversion of Li2O2 with slow oxidation kinetics to a lithium metal oxide. Our mechanistic findings provide new insights into the selection and/or employment of electrode chemistry in Li-O2 batteries.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE00967G
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    ABSTRACT: Photosynthetic proteins are emerging as a new class of photovoltaic materials as their nature-designed architecture and internal circuitry are so sophisticated that they carry out the initial light-driven steps of photosynthesis with ≈ 100% quantum efficiency. Bioinspiration in solar cells is being increasingly researched as it promises better efficiency than the conventional p-n junction solar cells that has limited conversion efficiency (34%). Since it is a mammoth task to perfectly mimic the intricate proteins engineered by nature, the idea of interfacing the natural proteins with man-made materials seems propitious and is emerging as a great white hope for biohybrid solar devices, from recent interdisciplinary research. Herein, we summarize the various approaches in immobilizing the photosynthetic reaction centers in photovoltaic devices and the progress in the photocurrent generation achieved. This review highlights the multidisciplinary nature of incorporating natural biomolecular complexes in solar cells and the prospects of improvement in the photoelectrical performance by developing multifaceted approaches spanning the fields of Materials Science, Biotechnology, Genetic engineering, Electrochemistry and Electronics. The fascinating idea of this research area is that it guides the biologists to explore the possibilities of improving protein stability and robustness suitable for solar cells and inspire the solar cell experts to learn the physics behind the working mechanisms of biohybrid solar cells which can engender novel architectures in future solar energy conversion devices.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01361E
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    ABSTRACT: Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEM FC) are seen as a suitable technology supporting the transformation towards decarbonised societies. Decision makers face the problem that there is no sound basis of the environmental performance of cutting edge technology available. We developed a comprehensive product system for two types of a high temperature (HT) PEM FC and conducted a life cycle assessment. One system utilizes functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) as carbon support material for the platinum. The reference product applies carbon black. MWCNT render possible platinum savings of 27% simultaneously retaining equal performance parameters as for the reference FC. The inventories include all components of a FC starting with the production of the carbon support material, the catalyst powder with platinum nanoparticles, a membrane, a gas diffusion layer, bipolar flow plates up to the FC stack and FC unit including end of life treatment. Our analysis shows that platinum is the key material in HT PEM FCs and the benefits from platinum savings outweigh by far the impacts for the MWCNT production. The HT PEM FC was adjusted such that it typifies 1) a PEM FC for an electric vehicle (FCEV) allowing comparison with internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) or 2) a PEM FC suitable for micro combined heat and power (µ-CHP) to be compared with a Stirling engine. We found an environmental advantage of a FCEV vis-à-vis the ICEV, but only if hydrogen is produced with renewable electricity. We found similar environmental impacts for the FECV and the BEV when both vehicles are propelled with renewable energy. Both µ-CHP plants produce similar amounts of useful energy and have comparable environmental performance. Nonetheless, the PEM FC produces more electricity (less heat) than the Stirling engine. System expansion such that both systems deliver equal amounts of electricity and heat results in an advantage of nearly 20% for the PEM FC powered system. Thus, the PEM FC technology offers great potential to reduce a personal environmental (and carbon) footprint – a prerequisite on the way of a transformation to more sustainable societies.
    Energy & Environmental Science 06/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5EE01082A