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Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy provides the connection between materials, energy, and sustainability

  • Enrico Traversa
  • Hicham Idriss
Open Access
Editorial

Looking at the future of humanity, major efforts are devoted to finding pathways for sustainable development. The quality of life is unevenly distributed worldwide with many areas still needing to develop adequate conditions for a dignified life. To this aim, energy is required in far larger amounts than the presently available reserves, which are mostly based on fossil fuels. Energy is the single most valuable resource for human activity and the basis for all human progress. Thus, it is vital to assess and conserve available resources, to consolidate the economical feasibility of under-deployed renewable technologies, and to search for novel methods of energy harvesting, conversion, storage, saving, and use. All should be efficient, renewable and environmentally friendly.

In this framework, while chemistry is the underlying scientific basis, materials are vital in enabling technologies that can offer promising solutions for a sustainable energy future [1]. Most technologies for power supplies that are alternatives to fossil fuel combustion are either too expensive or inefficient, hindering their broad use. These include fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, photovoltaics and solar cell devices. Materials with new properties and improved functionalities are needed for boosting the performance and efficiency of the different types of devices, at a lower cost. The same is applicable for deploying solar hydrogen and biofuel production methods, and for introducing new energy-saving technologies, such as in buildings, novel illumination sources for efficient lighting, and thermoelectrics.

Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy will offer a new forum for presenting research linking materials, energy, and sustainability. While binary links have been emphasized for “materials and energy [2]” and “materials and sustainability [3]”, the intertwining of the different concepts is both necessary and timely. The role of this multidisciplinary journal is to facilitate the dissemination of high-quality scientific results on the material aspects of the deployment of renewable and sustainable energy technologies. The journal covers experimental and theoretical aspects of materials and prototype devices for sustainable energy conversion, storage, and saving, together with materials needed for renewable fuel production. The readers will benefit from the fact that, though different issues need to be solved for the various technologies, very often similar approaches can be borrowed across disciplines. This knowledge exchange will, without doubt, inspire and stimulate endeavours for new discoveries.

Since engineering of the materials nano- and microstructure with their differing associated properties is crucial in improving their performance, close and focused attention is given to advanced materials characterization and testing techniques, such as in situ and in operando methods, and also to materials modelling and computation. In summary, to make renewable energy processes sustainable, considerable efforts are needed at the fundamental, applied and theoretical levels.

Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy is an Open Access journal, supported by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, aiming to become the world’s foremost interdisciplinary forum for publication of research on all aspects of the study of materials for their deployment as vectors for future renewable and sustainable energy pathways. The editors and editorial board are committed in involving and engaging the scientific community in the development and success of this new journal.

References

  1. 1.
    Chu, S., Majumdar, A.: Opportunities and challenges for a sustainable energy future. Nature 488, 294–303 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arunachalam, V.S., Fleischer, E.L.: The global energy landscape and materials innovation. MRS Bull. 33, 264–276 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Greene, M.L., Espinal, L., Traversa, E., Amis, E.J.: Materials for sustainable development. MRS Bull. 37, 303–308 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Research Center for Renewable Energy, State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.SABIC T&I (Riyadh) and CRI (KAUST)RiyadhSaudi Arabia

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