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September 2012

September 30, 2012

UK Carbon Trust report says fuel cell vehicles could take more than 30% of mid-sized car market by 2050

Ranges of automotive fuel cell system costs at mass manufactured volume using technology from three UK companies supported by the Carbon Trust. Source: Carbon Trust. Click to enlarge.

A new report released by the UK’s Carbon Trust concludes that with a continued focus on technology innovation to drive ongoing cost reductions, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) could take over 30% of the mid-sized car market by 2050.

The report is specifically focused on the potential for technology from select UK companies to enable a disruptive step-change in fuel cell cost reduction to accelerate consumer uptake, leading to approximately double the number of fuel cell cars on the road globally by 2030 versus current expectations. Some of the technologies could be applied in FCEVs as early as 2020, according to the report.


September 30, 2012 in Forecasts, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Sinopec establishes coal-to-chemical unit

Menafn. China Petroleum Corp. (Sinopec Group) formally established a coal-to-chemical unit in Beijing on September 28. Sinopec Great Wall Energy Chemical Co., Ltd. will take charge of the investment and operation of coal-to-chemical business of the parent company, construction of the coal-to-chemical projects, as well as professional management of the coal-to-chemical business.


September 30, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 29, 2012

Russia’s Rosneft to invest $16B to develop Carabobo 2 extra-heavy crude in Venezuela; first oil from Junin

Russian oil and gas major Rosneft, 75% owned by the government, will invest $16 billion in a planned joint venture project with Venezuela’s state oil and gas company PDVSA to develop the Carabobo 2 block in the southern Orinoco extra-heavy crude belt in Venezuela, according to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. Rosneft will hold a 40% stake in the joint venture. Daily crude oil production is expected to be approximately 450,000 barrels per day, according to Rosneft.


September 29, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Edinburgh Napier spin-out uses ABE fermentation process to convert whisky byproducts to bio-butanol

Celtic Renewables Ltd, a spin-out company from from the Biofuel Research Centre (BfRC) at Edinburgh Napier University, has signed a memorandum of understanding with malt whisky producer Tullibardine for the use of its whisky by-products for feedstock for the production of bio-butanol.


September 29, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NREL study finds 2nd-generation diesel hybrid delivery vans show significant gains in fuel economy over conventional vans

Laboratory and in-use fuel economy results Source: NREL. Click to enlarge.

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report on an 18-month evaluation of in-service second-generation diesel-electric hybrid delivery vans and found significant fuel economy benefits of the hybrids compared to similar conventional vans.

The NREL team collected and analyzed in-service fuel economy, maintenance, and other vehicle performance data on 11 hybrid (P100H) and 11 conventional diesel (P100D) step vans operated by the United Parcel Service (UPS) in Minneapolis. The two study groups were on different duty cycles and required a route switch to provide a valid comparison, which UPS accommodated. The hybrid group accumulated 33% fewer miles than the conventional group during the complete 18-month study. The team also performed dynamometer testing at the Renewable Fuels and Lubricants (ReFUEL) Research Laboratory in Denver.


September 29, 2012 in Fleets, Fuel Efficiency, Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Visteon heat pump system for hybrid and electric vehicles

Visteon Corporation has developed a heat pump system that effectively utilizes ambient air and ancillary heat to improve cabin conditioning for hybrid and electric vehicles. By drawing less power from the lithium-ion battery, vehicles equipped with the heat pump system can operate longer on a single charge.


September 29, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2012

Mercedes-Benz introduces production version of SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive super sports car

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. Click to enlarge.

At the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz introduced the production of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive (earlier post). The battery-electric supercar goes on sale in 2013. The price in Germany (incl. 19% VAT) will be €416,500 (US$535,898). (The new, conventional V8 SLS AMG Roadster going on sale next month carries a price in Germany, including VAT, of €213,010 (US$274,074).)

The AMG high-performance EV features four electric motors producing a total output of 552 kW and a maximum torque of 1000 N·m (738 lb-ft). The gullwing model is the fastest electrically-powered series production vehicle, according to Daimler: the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. Top speed (electronically limited) is 250 km/h (155 mph).


September 28, 2012 in Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Researchers discover how nickel may inhibit charge/discharge rate in Li-ion batteries

Left. Image of LMNO surface layer. Upper right. Simulated zone projection image based on LMNO crystal model with 20% Ni/Li disorder corresponding to blue rectangle. Lower right. Simulated zone projection image based on LMNO crystal model with 10% Ni/Li disorder corresponding to white rectangle. TM = transition metal. Credit: ACS, Gu et al. Click to enlarge.

A research team from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), with colleagues from FEI, Inc. and Binghamton University, has discovered a thermodynamically driven, yet kinetically controlled, surface modification in lithium-nickel-manganese-oxide (LMNO) cathode material which may inhibit the battery charge/discharge rate.

Examining battery materials on the nano-scale, they found how nickel forms a physical barrier that impedes the shuttling of lithium ions in the electrode, reducing how fast the materials charge and discharge. Published last week in the ACS journal Nano Letters, the research also suggests a way to improve the materials.


September 28, 2012 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Honda updates CR-Z hybrid with more power and Li-ion battery

Honda has updated the sporty CR-Z hybrid with a range of improvements focusing on style and performance. The power of both the gasoline engine and electric motor has been increased to 137 PS (128 hp, 96 kW) without compromising fuel economy or increasing exhaust emissions.


September 28, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Applied Nanotech awarded DOE contract to develop ultra-lightweight hydrogen fuel tanks; seeking 20% weight reduction

Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc. recently was awarded $999,990 for a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) from the US Department of Energy to develop ultra-lightweight hydrogen fuel tanks using carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforcement.


September 28, 2012 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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