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US and China Collaborate to Clean the Air for 2008 Olympics

The Department of Energy (DOE) is leading a U.S. multi-agency team to help Beijing achieve World Health Organization (WHO) standards for urban air quality by 2008—in time for the Summer Olympics.

The Chinese government intends to invest $17–$23 billion to meet the goal, and is planning on  major reductions in coal use, tougher fuel-quality and emissions standards and further development of a protective greenbelt that separates north China from silt-laden desert winds.

A US-China Joint Working Group (JWG) for the Green Olympics Protocol identified 10 areas for cooperation:

  • Natural-gas technology
  • Combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP)
  • Clean coal
  • Hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicle demonstration
  • Environmentally friendly buildings
  • Urban transportation
  • Air quality
  • Water quality
  • Solar photovoltaics
  • Beijing-Chicago Friendship Cities Initiative to promote local environmental activities

Among the JWG plans for the transportation side is a Hydrogen Park in the Olympic Village featuring five buses using HCNG (a mix of hydrogen and natural gas). (Related post) GM is donating a zero-emissions electric bus for use during the Olympics.

There are other US-China partnerships tackling related areas that are also using the Olympics in 2008 as a target.

The US/China Energy and Environmental Technology Center (EETC), for example, is working with the DOE and Beijing City to develop a framework of collaborations and specific tasks to transfer US clean energy technologies for improving and the environmental performance of the regional energy sector.

One such EETC project is supporting Powerzinc, a zinc-air fuel cell developer incorporated in the US with headquarters in California and R&D and manufacturing in Shanghai, in the commercial deployment of its zinc-air fuel cell-powered, zero-emission, electric vehicles.

FAW Bus and Coach Wuxi Works are building a prototype electric zinc-air bus using Powerzinc fuel cells. (Related post) The zinc-air bus will be demonstrated this year and ready for operation for the Games. Beijing has set a target of more than 3,000 such clean vehicles. Another major market is Shanghai for its 2010 WorldExpo.

Powerzinc is a member of the new Zinc Energy Storage Consortium (ZEST). (Earlier post.)



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