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Blue World Technologies signs strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese EV manufacturer AIWAYS; methanol fuel cell vehicles

Blue World Technologies has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China-based new energy vehicle manufacturer AIWAYS, with the purpose of supplying the market with vehicles powered by methanol fuel cells for fast refueling and long range.

During the Chinese International Import Expo 2019 (CIIE 2019) in Shanghai, Blue World Technologies joined partners, German Gumpert AIWAYS, developer of methanol fuel cell performance cars, and AIWAYS, Chinese manufacturer of high-end electric vehicles, in the presentation of the methanol fuel cell technology.

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We strongly believe that methanol is the way to go in the transition for green liquid fuels—but we also need to create a technology for our cars that will help us overcome the environmental challenges we are facing with severe air pollution. Therefore, we have made this strategic cooperation with Blue World Technologies to provide both the methanol fuel cell components to our cars as well as to support the development with their extensive knowledge and experience with the methanol fuel cell technology.

—FU Qiang, President and Co-founder of AIWAYS

Later this year, AIWAYS will launch the battery-electric version of their SUV U5; towards the end of 2021, the U5 will also be launched in a methanol fuel cell hybrid version. Blue World Technologies and AIWAYS are already in the process of developing the system design ensuring easy integration in the existing platform, in addition to long-range and fast refuelling by liquid methanol.

In March, eight Chinese ministries led by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a Methanol Vehicle Policy with an aim to deploy methanol-fueled vehicles across China.

China has the largest production and consumption of methanol worldwide. The potential of producing methanol as a CO2-neutral fuel with recycled CO2 from either a concentrated CO2 source or using direct air capture was of high value to AIWAYS when making the decision to enter the cooperation with Blue World Technologies on the development of methanol fuel cell technology.

With an electrical efficiency of 45%, the Blue World Technologies methanol fuel cell system based on high-temperature PEM technology enables efficient and cost-effective use of methanol as an alternative to fossil fuels.

Blue World Technologies is focused on the High-Temperature PEM-technology combined with methanol-reforming. The combination ensures a simple system design with high conversion efficiency and compliance with automotive design requirements. The end solution is a vehicle with long range, fast refueling, zero harmful emissions, and low fuel cost.

Denmark-based Blue World Technologies closed its first investment round earlier this year.

Comments

Davemart

Here is a previous story on this technology:
https://www.greencarcongress.com/2019/08/20190822-bw.html

Note:

'Typical specifications would include a 15 – 25 kWh battery pack; a 10 – 20 kW methanol fuel cell system; and a 50 – 80 L liquid tank.'

That is a totally different ball game to the ~100KW hydrogen fuel stacks in operation in the Mirai etc.

Engineer-Poet

Yup.  It's ideally suited for PHEV operation, too.  The more liquid fuel you can replace with electricity delivered by wires, the easier it is to replace the remaining fuel.

Davemart

China is the world's largest producer of methanol, and it also lends itself well to coal to liquiid, so the attraction is not surprising:
https://www.refiningandpetrochemicalsme.com/products-services/26743-impressive-start-for-clariants-megamax-800-methanol-synthesis-catalyst-in-yinchuan-china

DME is much more benign in the event of spills etc, but I am not a believer in trying to rule fuels out arbitrarily.

Fixes are often possible.

SJC

Methanol will not be at gas stations in the U.S. we can not even get E85.

Engineer-Poet

YOU can't get E85, you mean.  It's sold less than 20 miles from me (albeit, just that one—but big—station).

Davemart

@SJC?

I am at a loss to work out why you have made that comment?
The article and discussion is on methanol and China.

If everything were judged by the glacial pace of infrastructure roll out in the US, then one would imagine high speed rail impossible, instead of in daily operation over thousands of miles of tracks in several countries.

I am not sure whether China will choose methanol or hydrogen, but whatever they choose it will roll out fast.

Actually, they will probably roll out both, and maybe others like DME.

SJC

We might want to do it here, with many fuel stations owned or under contract by the oil companies, we can not get E85 widely distributed let alone methanol.

Engineer-Poet

Methanol would be very easy to distribute if it was allowed as a gasoline blendstock.  Blending pumps could dispense everything from A20 to M100.  However, it is not allowed in motor gasoline in the USA.

SJC

Many changes could be made if the people controlling it allow.

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