August 31, 2011
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding up to $12 million to fund three small-scale projects in Illinois, Wisconsin, and North Carolina that aim to commercialize novel conversion technologies to accelerate the development of advanced, drop-in biofuels and other valuable bio-based chemicals.
Using innovative thermochemical processes, the projects seek to improve the economics and efficiency of turning biomass into replacements for petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other products. Thermochemical processes use heat and catalysts to convert biomass, in a controlled industrial environment, into liquid and gaseous intermediates—or substances formed as a necessary stage in manufacturing an end product—which can then be chemically converted into fuels and other products.
Reaction Design, a leading developer of combustion simulation software, announced that the CHEMKIN-CFD module for simulating detailed chemistry in multi-dimensional reacting flows is now optimized for use with ANSYS FLUENT 13. CHEMKIN-CFD is used by more than 100 organizations worldwide and is available to ANSYS FLUENT licensees at no charge.
Study finds tailor-made fuels from biomass could significantly reduce emissions of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases
|Optimized fuel properties with regard to different emissions Janssen et al. Click to enlarge.|
Tailor-made fuels from biomass have the potential to reduce emissions of criteria pollutants as well as greenhouse gases significantly in low temperature diesel combustion, according to a new open access study by a team from the Institutes for Combustion Engines and for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University (Germany) published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
The beneficial effect of modern, tailored biofuels in mobile applications is directly related to the molecular structure of the biofuel as a product of an optimized production process, Janssen et al. note. In the study, they identify desirable fuel characteristics and define optimized biofuel components using a model-based analysis. Among their general conclusions:
Researchers at McMaster have received nearly C$2.2 million (US 2.25 million) to examine environmental processes in Alberta’ oil sands which could help speed up the land reclamation process for Syncrude.
A team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reports that with appropriate levels of iron (Fe) doping, magnesium (Mg) can rapidly and reversibly absorb up to 7 mass fraction (%) hydrogen at moderate temperatures and pressures useful for hydrogen storage applications. A paper on their findings is published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
Grains of pure magnesium are reasonably effective at absorbing hydrogen gas, but only at unacceptably high temperatures and pressures can they store enough hydrogen to power a car for a few hundred kilometers. A practical material would need to hold at least 6% of its own weight in hydrogen gas and be able to be charged safely with hydrogen in the same amount of time as required to fill a car with gasoline today.
California gasoline consumption declined 4.1% in May compared to May last year, marking the second consecutive month of declines at equal to or more than 4%, according to figures from the California State Board of Equalization (BOE).
New Audi S models to feature new downsized 4.0L V8 with cylinder deactivation, energy recuperation and start-stop
Audi will present its new S models for the first time at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA). The new S6, S7 and S8 feature a new 4.0L TFSI V8 with cylinder deactivation (cylinder-on-demand), energy recuperation and start-stop system). This is a downsized platform from the prior 5.2L naturally aspirated V10.
Nanoslide twin-wire arc spraying moving from AMG to series-production Mercedes-Benz diesel engines; reduced friction and lower fuel consumption
|Nanoslide uses twin-wire arc spraying to melt iron/carbon wires and spray the material onto the internal cylinder wall. Final finishing resulting in a mirror-like surface with fine pores. Click to enlarge.|
After five years and use exclusively in AMG engines, twin-wire arc spraying technology will now also be used in the series production of Mercedes-Benz diesel engines to reduce friction and increase wear resistance. Mercedes-Benz was the developer of what is now known as Nanoslide technology.
The Nanoslide procedure melts wires of iron/carbon alloy in an electric arc; the melted material is deposited onto the cylinder wall by a gasflow as a layered, ultra-fine to nano-crystalline coating. The Nanoslide coating is then given an extremely smooth finish by a special honing process, after which it has a thickness of only 0.1 to 0.15 millimeters and has a mirror-like surface.
Volvo Buses developing a fast-charging plug-in hybrid bus; charging equipment at end stations of bus lines
Volvo Buses is currently developing a plug-in hybrid bus that can drive long distances silently and exhaust-free on only electricity. Three buses will be tested in Gothenburg, Sweden, supported by the European Union.
|The permanent magnet synchronous motor from Siemens has its first application in the Volvo C 30 Electric. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo Car Corporation and Siemens intend to jointly advance the technical development of electric cars through an extensive strategic cooperation. The focus is on the joint development of electrical drive technology, power electronics and charging technology as well as the integration of those systems into Volvo C30 Electric vehicles (earlier post).
The first electric cars of this model fitted with Siemens electric motors will be on the test tracks as early as the end of this year. Beginning in late 2012, the Swedish carmaker will deliver a test series of up to 200 vehicles to Siemens, which will then be tested and validated under real-life conditions as part of a Siemens internal test fleet.