October 31, 2010
Hybrid electric locomotive sales will have an increasing presence in global rail markets between 2015 and 2020, according to a new report from Pike Research. During that period, hybrid locomotive sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% under a baseline forecast scenario, with annual unit sales of 109 locomotives by 2020. Pike Research’s aggressive forecast scenario anticipates that the market could achieve a CAGR of 25.4% during the same period, with annual unit sales of up to 174 vehicles by 2020. This would translate into a need for storage of 116.4 MWh of energy in 2020.
However, says Pike senior analyst Dave Hurst Hurst, growth in hybrid locomotives faces several key challenges. In Europe, track electrification will eliminate the need for either diesel or battery storage in many areas. In North America, a high-profile hybrid locomotive product (Railpower’s Green Goat, earlier post) faced a serious setback in the mid-2000s that still haunts the industry today.
|Estimated annual greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the QCLNG project. More than half the emissions come from the LNG facility. Source: QCLNG EIS. Click to enlarge.|
BG Group has approved implementation of the first phase of a US$15-billion project to convert coal seam gas (CSG) to LNG—the first major commercial project to do so. The first phase of the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas project (QCLNG) project encompasses the development of a two-train liquefaction plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone in Queensland (Australia) together with the associated upstream and pipeline facilities. BG Group will progress development and construction of QCLNG with immediate effect.
QCLNG will be operated by BG Group’s Australian subsidiary, QGC Pty Limited (QGC). QCLNG will involve expanding QGC’s existing coal seam gas production in the Surat Basin of southern Queensland; building a 730 km (454-mile) buried natural gas pipeline network; and constructing the natural gas liquefaction where the gas will be converted to LNG for export.
Nikkei. Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. (MES) has received an order for four of its new hybrid container cranes from two harbor-operation companies affiliated with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. This marks MES’s first order for the systems.
October 30, 2010
Engine testing shows biofuel DMF produces competitive combustion and emissions qualities to gasoline
Testing in a single cylinder direct-injection spark-ignition (DISI) test engine comparing ethanol, gasoline and 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF), using the optimized spark timings for each fuels, found that DMF produces competitive combustion and emissions qualities to gasoline, which, in some cases surpass ethanol. (Earlier post.)
Review of use of ionic liquids in production of 5-HMF from biomass; platform for renewable fuels and chemicals
A new paper in the ACS journal Chemical Reviews examines recent work exploring the use of ionic liquids (IL) in the formation of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) from biomass. (Earlier post.) 5-HMF is a promising chemical intermediate for fuels and chemicals. (Earlier post.)
Audi has launched a partnership with Tongji University in Shanghai (TUS) centered on research, instruction and services dealing with electromobility.
Singapore’s A*STAR funding 8 new projects for advanced automotive technology; wireless charging for EVs
Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) announced the funding of eight new projects under its Capabilities for Automotive Research (A*CAR) consortium, bringing the total value to S$17.5 million (US$13.5 million) for the consortium’s 10 research projects jointly selected with industry partners to tackle current challenges in the automotive industry.
Among the pre-competitive core research projects include:
Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles (EVs). EV owners will no longer need to drive down to specific charging stations, as every parking lot can be made into a charging station using near-field radio frequency (RF) communications.
High performance ternary polymer composite materials. This new, higher strength plastic material made of nanofiller can replace glass fibers used widely in cars today. Lighter cars will mean driving down fuel consumption. With every 10% reduction in weight in cars, there would be an average savings in fuel of 6%.
Wear-resistant, heat reflective and self-cleaning material for automotive body. The new nanocomposite material, with its multi-coating layer, is not only wear- and chemical-resistant; it is also able to clean itself through photo-catalysis. It will also reflect heat from the cars to keep cars cool, and reduce the energy consumption by air-conditioning in cars.
High performance, lead-free composite solders for harsh environment. In the light of increasing functional requirement and ever-stricter service requirement of automotive electronic components, a new generation of composite solders will be developed with superior performance to meet the harsh automotive environment. These will replace the tin-lead solders, extensively used in the automotive industry as interconnect materials, which pose serious environmental problems.
Smart Beam Scanning for Dual Modes Vehicular Radar. Aimed at providing a 360-degree sensing system, this project will help drivers/cars to avoid collision with other vehicles and humans, enable drivers to overtake other cars and change lanes safely, as well as park the cars neatly. The project is developing both hardware and software for millimeter-wave Short Range Radar (SRR) and Long Range Radar (LRR) in vehicles.
The A*CAR consortium, founded in 2008 with founding members Bosch, Infineon Technologies, and Dou Yee, is now joined by eight new members: global automotive industry players Toyota Tsusho, GP Batteries, and Anshan Kingpowers Advanced Materials; ST Kinetics; and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) Addvalue Technologies, CEI Contract Manufacturing and Infowave.
The Toro Company was selected by ATK, an aerospace and defense company, to help design and build two fuel cell powered utility vehicles with advanced hydrogen storage technology. The project is part of a contract awarded to ATK by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, which is collaborating with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to coordinate hydrogen storage development efforts for the US Department of Energy.
Petroleum Marketers and Renewable Fuels trade groups join to warn retailers to hold off on E15 sales except to FFVs until regulations finalized
The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) have issued a joint memorandum urging their members to limit E-15 sales to Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) until regulations governing the fuel are finalized and implemented.
October 29, 2010
Researchers from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have synthesized a high-capacity vanadium oxide cathode material for rechargeable Li-ion batteries via a combined freeze-drying method and appropriately post-treated in argon atmosphere.