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June 2013

June 30, 2013

Abt life-cycle analysis of different Li-ion chemistries for PHEVs and EVs identifies opportunities for improving environmental profile of batteries

Generic process flow diagram for lithium-ion batteries for vehicles (color coded to present LCI data sources). Source: “Application of LCA to Nanoscale Technology”. Click to enlarge.

A recent Abt Associates, Inc. life-cycle study of three Li-ion battery chemistries for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery-electric (BEV) vehicles generated a number of findings and identified opportunities for improving the environmental profile of Li-ion batteries for use in plug-in and electric vehicles.

The study, carried out through a partnership with EPA, the US Department of Energy, the Li-ion battery industry, and academicians, was the first life-cycle assessment to bring together and to use data directly provided by Li-ion battery suppliers, manufacturers, and recyclers. It assessed three currently manufactured Li-ion battery technologies for EVs and two for a PHEV with a 40-mile all-electric range: lithium-manganese oxide (LiMnO2); lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese-oxide (LiNi0.4Co0.2Mn0.4O2, Li-NCM); and lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4). In addition, a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) anode technology for possible future use in these batteries was assessed.


June 30, 2013 in Batteries, Health, Lifecycle analysis | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Abengoa inaugurates demonstration plant with Waste-to-Biofuels (W2B) technology

Abengoa recently inaugurated a demonstration plant using Waste-to-Biofuels (W2B) technology. The plant has a capacity to treat 25,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) from which it will obtain up to 1.5 million liters (396,000 gallons US) of bioethanol for use as fuel.


June 30, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FTA to award up to $3M for RD&D on bus efficiency

The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award up to $3.0 million of Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 research funds for innovative research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects targeting bus efficiency enhancements, specifically enhanced electrification of accessories, and improvements in thermal management of bus bodies (FTA-2013-003-TRI).


June 30, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 29, 2013

Zero recalling some of its electric motorcycles due to Li-ion battery defect

Zero Motorcycles Inc. (Zero) is recalling certain model year 2013 FX motorcycles manufactured 28 January 2013 through 21 May 2013; and model year 2013 XU motorcycles manufactured 16 January 2013, through 20 May 2013. A manufacturing defect with the sealant material in the battery may allow water to penetrate the battery and contact the cells.


June 29, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Light duty RCCI can deliver engine-out Tier 2 Bin 5 NOx; potential for 52% gross indicated efficiency

A study by Sage Kokjohn, Senior Engineer in Combustion Research at Cummins Inc., and Prof. Rolf Reitz of the University of Wisconsin found that reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) (earlier post) in a light-duty engine can meet Tier 2 Bin 5 NOx levels without aftertreatment, while offering a 4% improvement in fuel consumption and 7.3% improvement in total fluid consumption (diesel + diesel exhaust fluid for SCR) over conventional diesel combustion.


June 29, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

HEHC engine company LiquidPiston raises $2.25M

LiquidPiston, the developer of engines based on its High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) (earlier post), has raised $2.25 million in new funding, according to SEC filings.


June 29, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem raised C$50 million in latest financing round

Canada-based waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem Inc. recently closed a C$50-million (US$47.6-million) financing, which brings total equity investment raised by Enerkem in 2013 to C$87 million (US$82.7 million).


June 29, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 28, 2013

NIST seeks proposals to establish new center of excellence on advanced materials research

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a competition (2013-NIST-ADV-MAT-COE-01) to create an Advanced Materials Center of Excellence to foster interdisciplinary collaborations between NIST researchers and scientists and engineers from academia and industry. The new center will focus on accelerating the discovery and development of advanced materials through innovations in measurement science and in new modeling, simulation, data and informatics tools. (Earlier post.)


June 28, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New organogel electrolyte for Li-ion batteries offers ionic conductivity close to liquid electrolytes, with thermal stability

Electrochemical and electrochemistry-associated behaviors of pouch-type LIB full cells using the organogel electrolyte (gel.ELF 1 PVA-CN). Two liquid electrolytes (liq.ELF and liq.ELF 1 Pullulan-CN) are included for comparison. Source: Kim et al. Click to enlarge.

A research team at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), S. Korea, has found a new physical organogel polymer electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) with two novel characteristics: an irreversible thermal gelation and a high value of the Li+ transference number. In an open access paper published in Scientific Reports, they reported that LIBs using the organogel electrolyte delivered significantly enhanced cyclability and thermal stability.

Electrolytes are essential components of supercapacitors, batteries and fuel cells. The most widely used electrolyte is a liquid type, since its overall ionic conductivity and value of transference numbers are better than solid-type electrolytes. However, safety concerns caused by its leakage and explosive nature is encouraging research on the development of solid-type electrolytes. The solid electrolyte would enable batteries to be safer as well as the use of higher energy electrode materials.


June 28, 2013 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Altairnano working with TAURON on Li-ion energy storage systems demonstration research project in Poland

Altairnano has entered into an agreement with TAURON Dystrybucja S.A. (TAURON) jointly to determine the necessary infrastructure needs for stationary energy storage systems based on lithium titanate batteries, and for the construction of power and frequency stabilization systems in Poland. TAURON is a subsidiary of TAURON Polska Energia S.A., Poland’s second-largest energy company.


June 28, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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