August 31, 2005
|SRI’s Experimental Steam Electrolysis System|
The DOE has awarded SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, a four-year, $2.2 million contract to develop a prototype of a low-cost steam-electrolysis system for the generation of hydrogen.
The project goal is to generate ultra-pure hydrogen at a cost of $2 to $3 per gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) delivered. The current cost of hydrogen by electrolysis is some $4.75 to $5.15 per gge (delivered) on average, according to the DOE.
IANS. State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is working with Indian automobile companies Tata, Mahindra and Mahindra and Eicher to lay the foundation for a more widespread commercialization of vehicles using a blend of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (HCNG).
Indian Oil is primarily studying blends of 10%–30% hydrogen in CNG. Indian Oil has had a HCNG project for transit buses under development for more than a year, with the first trial buses due out soon.
|Shell’s damaged MARS platform|
AFP. At least 20 oil rigs and platforms are missing in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and a ruptured gas pipeline is on fire after Hurricane Katrina tore through the region, according to the US Coast Guard.
Among the firms reporting missing rigs was Newfield Exploration Company, which said an aerial survey of its operations in the eastern Gulf showed that one of its platforms at Main Pass 138 “appears to have been lost in the storm.” Lost, as in, sunk.
|Cross-section through a double-walled LNG tank with integrated pump.|
Westport Innovations has signed a Letter of Intent to form a 50:50 joint venture company with Beijing Tianhai Industry Co. Ltd. (BTIC) of China to market and sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel tanks for the transportation market.
The fuel storage tanks will be produced in BTIC’s new Beijing cryogenic facility, currently under construction. The joint venture will leverage both parent companies resources for sales, engineering, and operational personnel.
Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a novel technique for producing hydrogen from water and organic material.
Although not yet evaluated for economic or operational feasibility on a large scale, the technique requires only water, a catalyst based on the metal rhenium and an organic liquid called an organosilane, which can be stored and transported easily.
Mazda will introduce a new sub-compact concept car featuring an idle-stop system at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show. The idle-stop system cuts off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, resulting in fuel savings and emissions reductions.
Created at Mazda’s design center in Germany, the three-door hatchback Sassou is powered by a turbocharged, three-cylinder, 1.0-liter MZR DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) gasoline engine.
|The TSI Twincharging systems|
VW’s goal for its new dual-charged (“Twincharger” in VW marketing-parlance) engine (earlier post) was to combine the low-end power boost provided by a mechanically-driven compressor (supercharging) with the higher-end increase provided by an exhaust turbocharger (turbocharging) to enable the downsizing of the engine for a given application while maintaining the driving experience for consumers.
Put another way, downsizing delivers comparable (or better) performance with lowered fuel consumption and emissions.
The incremental funding, which brings the total value of the contract to $750,000, is to purchase and to evaluate a high-voltage battery charging system and to engineer the truck for the future installation of a fuel cell APU (auxiliary power unit) that would supplement the amount of power available onboard the vehicle.
August 30, 2005
The EPA is granting an emergency waiver of clean fuel standards in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi because the impact of Hurricane Katrina “will prevent the distribution of an adequate supply of fuel to consumers that is compliant with the Clean Air Act.”
The EPA is temporarily allowing refiners, importers, distributors, carriers and retail outlets (regulated parties) to supply gasoline meeting a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard of 9.0 psi in areas of the affected states where a lower RVP is required.
|New Orleans, 29 Sept. (USCG)|
The destruction left by Hurricane Katrina’s rampage through the Gulf Coast is still being assessed—a process that is going to take time.
Early indications are, however, that this will be one of the worst storms in terms of loss of life and property. Insurers are already girding themselves for losses that could be as high as $26 billion.
The long-term affect on oil and gas production and refining still is not clear. Crews need to get back out to rigs to assess damages, refineries need to be inspected and brought carefully back online, pipelines need to be assessed. All of this takes time.