Energy and Environment
Read more at: Research on energy and the environment at the PSI
Making Switzerland's road traffic fit for the future calls for research, first and foremost. In the large-scale research facilities of PSI, chemists and engineers are investigating how to improve the efficiency of motors and reduce their emissions.
Three researchers share this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They are being honoured for their respective contributions to the development of lithium-ion batteries. Petr Novák of PSI likewise works in this area of research and has known the three laureates personally for decades. In an interview, he tells about sitting directly across from one of them at the crucial moment.
A PSI research project investigating atmospheric chemistry will be on board the icebreaker Polarstern on 20th September 2019. Researcher Julia Schmale talks about the upcoming expedition and her role in it.
Every three years, the World Energy Council explores possible developments of the global energy system under different scenarios. Tom Kober, head of the Energy Economics Group in PSI’s Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis and one of the lead authors of the study, explains what the individual scenarios mean and how global warming could be mitigated.
PSI researchers have observed mechanical processes in solid-state batteries with unprecedented precision. Using X-ray tomography at the Swiss Light Source SLS, they discovered how fissures inside the batteries propagate. These insights can help to make batteries for electric cars or smartphones safer and more efficient.
At the Jungfraujoch research station, PSI scientists study particulate matter in the atmosphere. And have to deal with the fact that the human body is not made for life at 3,500 metres above sea level.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI analyse the potential of Power-to-X for Switzerland's energy supply and present their conclusions in a white paper. One finding: The costs for energy from Power-to-X could fall by up to one-third.
PSI researchers drill through millennia-old glacier ice in the high mountains and analyse the world's highest particulate concentrations in Delhi, India. They are helping to address questions regarding climate change and to reduce air pollution.
With the kick-off of the ReMaP project, companies have another opportunity to test their vision for the energy system of the future now. PSI's ESI platform helps to make better and more intelligent use of renewable energy in the future.
In the Nuclear Energy and Safety Research Division at PSI, Johannes Bertsch focuses on the so-called cladding tubes that are used in nuclear power plants.
Electronics should get smaller, faster, and above all more energy-efficient. These themes are also present in several research groups at PSI. From incremental improvements to complete rethinking – who is currently working on what?
At the ESI Platform at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, researchers are seeking solutions for Switzerland's energy future and improving the efficiency of modern forms of renewable energy. With a mini gas turbine, they now have closed another energy cycle.
In the first half of the 19th century, a series of large volcanic eruptions in the tropics led to a temporary global cooling of Earth's climate. That Alpine glaciers grew and subsequently receded again during the final phase of the so-called Little Ice Age was due to a natural process. This has now been proven by PSI researchers on the basis of ice cores.
PSI researchers have developed a new catalytic converter for cleaning emissions from natural gas engines. It is very active even at low temperatures and remains that way over a long period of time. This allows natural gas to be burned in a cleaner, more climate-friendly way. Thus natural gas and biogas become more attractive as substitutes for petroleum products – for example, as fuel for cars.
PSI researchers have found out why it is harder to control the noxious nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust at low temperatures – and how, in the future, emissions can be cleaned more efficiently depending on the temperature.
If photovoltaic or wind power plants produce more electricity than the network can absorb, valuable energy is lost. At the ESI Platform, PSI researchers are investigating how fuel cells can contribute to making this energy usable in a targeted way through storage.
The young company Swiss Hydrogen is located in Fribourg. Here work is under way on competitive high-performance fuel cells that could be used in environmentally friendly vehicles or deployed as stationary power generators. In the company's collaboration with PSI, as CEO Alexandre Closset explains in this interview, both sides profit.
The Zurich-based power company Energie 360° provides natural gas, biogas, and wood pellets throughout Switzerland. Now, with the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, it has successfully tested a new Power-to-Gas technology to be implemented in the area of biogas production. The joint project was awarded the Swiss energy prize Watt d'Or 2018. In this interview, division manager Peter Dietiker talks about the collaboration with PSI.
At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, researchers are looking for solutions that enable energy from the sun, the wind, or biomass to be efficiently integrated into the Swiss energy system.
Efficiently producing energy from biowaste: A technology developed at PSI and tested in collaboration with the Zurich-based energy provider Energie 360° makes it possible. It extracts significantly more methane from biowaste than conventional methods. For this important contribution to a sustainable energy supply, PSI and Energie 360° have now been awarded the Watt d'Or 2018 in the Renewable Energy category by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.