|2019/8/24 11:00||Green Car Congress||
Polish study links pollution and winter with rise in heart attack treatment
Heavily polluted areas have a higher rate of angioplasty procedures to treat blocked arteries than areas with clean air, according to research to be presented at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology. Procedures are even more common in winter, the most polluted time of year. Epidemiological studies have reported negative impacts of pollution on the cardiovascular system but the effects on specific diseases were unclear. We also show for the first time that patients from areas with cleaner air are more sensitive to changes in pollution, while those from more polluted cities can adapt to fluctuations.—Dr Rafal Januszek of the University Hospital in Krakow, Poland Using PM10 levels published by the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection in Poland, six unpolluted cities and five polluted cities were selected for the study. PM10 are particles ten micrometers or less in diameter. Sources include industrial processes such as iron making and quarrying, lawn mowing, wood and coal stoves, bushfires, dust storms, and vehicle exhaust emissions. The study enrolled 5,648 patients from unpolluted cities and 10,239 patients from polluted cities. All patients underwent stent insertion (percutaneous coronary intervention; PCI) to open arteries blocked due to acute coronary syndromes (heart attack or unstable angina). PCI data were obtained from the ORPKI Polish National PCI Registry. Dates of PCI procedures were matched with air quality on the same day during a 52-week period. Analyses were also performed to compare winter versus non-winter weeks because pollution levels rise during winter. The annual average PM10 concentration was significantly higher in polluted cities (50.95 μg/m3) compared to unpolluted cities (26.62 μg/m3). In both polluted and unpolluted areas, a rise in PM10 concentration was significantly associated with a greater frequency of PCI. Patients in cities with clean air were more sensitive to pollution rises, with each 1 μg/m3 increase in PM10 concentration linked to 0.22 additional PCIs per week. While in polluted cities, the same rise in PM10 was linked with just 0.18 additional PCIs per week. Regarding the seasonal effect, the PCI rate was significantly lower in non-winter, compared to winter, weeks in both polluted and clean cities. The higher incidence of PCI in winter is related to greater air pollution during this period. This is due to several factors such as artificial heating and the resulting smog. The study shows that the incidence of acute coronary syndromes treated with PCI was higher in winter and rose along with increasing pollution, and this rise was higher in regions with initially cleaner air, if taking the same increment in pollution into account. This is further evidence that more needs to be done to lower pollution levels and protect the public’s health.—Dr Rafal Januszek
|2019/8/24 10:00||Green Car Congress||
California ARB announces grant solicitation for Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced a competitive grant solicitation for one or more grantees to implement the Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19. This solicitation includes an option for new Grant Agreements for fiscal years FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21, if additional funds become available. The current funding available for the FY 2018-19 Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Program is $10 million. This solicitation is open to California public school districts and County Offices of Education that operate at least one school serving from kindergarten up to 12th grade, located in a disadvantaged community. The Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project grant offers school communities an opportunity to showcase their ability to create meaningful spaces that inspire future generations, realize impactful air quality improvements, and develop real solutions to the climate crisis. CARB’s vision for the Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project is to support transformative, synergistic emissions reduction strategies for transportation options within a school(s) located in a disadvantaged community. The project’s goal is to increase the visibility of, and accessibility to, zero-emission transportation options by placing various commercially-available zero-emission technologies, along with the supporting charging/fueling infrastructure, in one or more schools. In addition, the program intends to provide a platform to test clean, shared mobility concepts, assess key factors in developing viable and sustainable local projects, share the stories and lessons learned, and build a knowledge base to apply these lessons to future, larger-scale projects at other school districts throughout the State. In October 2018, CARB approved the FY 2018-19 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives, which allocates $275 million for light-duty vehicle and transportation equity investments, including $10 million in funding for the Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project. Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project is part of the Low Carbon Transportation Investments as part of the California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities. At least 35% of these investments are located within, and benefit residents of, disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California.
|2019/8/23 10:30||Green Car Congress||
Kopernikus Project P2X integrated container-scale test facility produces first fuels from air-captured CO2 and green power
Partners of the P2X Kopernikus project on the premises of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have demonstrated the production of fuel from air-captured CO2 using—for the first time—a container-based test facility integrating all four chemical process steps needed to implement a continuous process. World’s first integrated Power-to-Liquid (PtL) test facility to synthesize fuels from the air-captured carbon dioxide. (Photo: P2X project/Patrick Langer, KIT) Worldwide, wind and sun supply a sufficient amount of energy, but not always at the right time. Moreover, a few important transport sectors, such as air or heavy-duty traffic, will continue to need liquid fuels in the future, as they have a high energy density.—Professor Roland Dittmeyer, KIT, coordinator of the “Hydrocarbons and Long-chain Alcohols” research cluster of the Power-to-X (P2X) Kopernikus project Dittmeyer suggests that is thus only reasonable to store unused green power in chemical energy carriers. The project partners Climeworks, Ineratec, Sunfire, and KIT recently combined the necessary chemical process steps in a compact plant, achieved coupled operation, and demonstrated the functioning principle. This combination of technologies promises optimal use of the carbon dioxide and maximum energy efficiency, as mass and energy flows are recycled internally. The existing test facility can produce about 10 liters of fuel per day. In the second phase of the P2X Kopernikus project, it is planned to develop a plant with a capacity of 200 liters per day. After that, a pre-industrial demonstration plant in the megawatt range, i.e. with a production capacity of 1500 to 2000 liters per day, will be designed. That plant may theoretically reach efficiencies of about 60%—i.e., 60% of the green power used can be stored in the fuel as chemical energy. Four steps to fuel. In a first step, the plant captures carbon dioxide from ambient air in a cyclic process. The direct air capture technology by Climeworks, a spinoff from ETH Zürich, uses a specially treated filter material for this purpose. As air passes across them, the filters absorb the carbon dioxide molecules like a sponge. Under vacuum and at 95°C, the captured carbon dioxide releases from the surface and is pumped out. In the second step, the electrolytic splitting of carbon dioxide and water vapor takes place simultaneously. This co-electrolysis technology commercialized by the technology venture Sunfire produces hydrogen and carbon monoxide in a single process step. The mixture can be applied as synthesis gas for a number of processes in chemical industry. Co-electrolysis has a high efficiency and theoretically binds in the synthesis gas 80% of the green energy used in chemical form. In a third step, the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is used to convert the synthesis gas into long-chain hydrocarbon molecules, the raw materials for fuel production. For this, Ineratec, a spinoff of KIT, contributes a microstructured reactor that offers a large surface area on smallest space to reliably remove the process heat and use it for other process steps. The process can be controlled easily, handle load cycles well, and can be scaled up in a modular way. In the fourth step, the quality of the fuel and the yield are optimized via hydrocracking. This process was integrated into the process chain by KIT. Under a hydrogen atmosphere, the long hydrocarbon chains are partly cracked in the presence of a platinum-zeolite catalyst and, thus, shift the product spectrum towards more directly usable fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene, and diesel. Due to its modular character, the process is of great potential. As a result of the low scaling risk, the implementation threshold is far lower than for a central, large-scale chemical facility. The process may be installed decentralized at locations where solar, wind or water power is available. P2X Kopernikus Project. “Power-to-X” refers to technologies converting power from renewable sources into energy storage materials, energy carriers, and energy-intensive chemical products. Power-to-X technologies enable use of energy from renewable sources in the form of customized fuels for vehicles or in improved polymers and chemical products with a high added value. Within the framework of the government-funded Kopernikus program, a national “Power-to-X” (P2X) research platform was established to study this complex issue. Altogether, 18 research institutions, 27 industrial companies, and three civil society organizations are involved in the P2X project. Within a period of ten years, new technological developments are planned to be developed to industrial maturity. The first funding phase focuses on research into the complete value chain from electrical energy to energy-carrying materials and products.
|2019/8/23 10:00||Green Car Congress||
Robert Allan and MTU partner to develop first LNG-fueled shallow-draft pushboat design
Robert Allan Ltd. and MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH have developed the first LNG-fueled shallow-draft pushboat design: the RApide 2800-G pushboat. This challenging project is a preliminary design which utilized the proven shallow draft RApide 2800-Z2 pushboat that currently operates on the Amazon River system. The vessel design was modified to suit a complete LNG (liquified natural gas) propulsion system with two 746 kW MTU 8V4000M55R-N Tier III gas safe main engines. Additional to the engines, MTU also acts as the system integrator, which means that MTU will also provide the complete LNG package: LNG tank system and an integrated ship monitoring, LNG control and safety systems. While keeping the existing hull shape, the design was reconfigured to allow the installation of the LNG tank while still providing adequate space for other machinery and a comfortable work environment for the crew. The lower crew cabins, mess, and galley moved up a deck and the deckhouse was enlarged. While challenging, the project complies with the rules for the gas system hazardous zones of a compact 28-meter tug. To ensure redundancy there are two independent tank connection spaces attached to the LNG tank, one for each engine. For continuous operation on a river system, the design accommodates a crew of 14, with master and chief engineer having single cabins and double cabins for the balance of the crew. The vessel is designed to comply with DNV-GL rules. Robert Allan Ltd.’s team is experienced in LNG systems and has a number of gas dual-fuel tug designs in operation. Natural gas is quickly becoming the “fuel of choice” for the maritime industry, not only for its potential in reducing environmentally hazardous gas emissions, but also for its reduced cost when compared to other fossil fuel-based alternatives. For natural gas to become a preferred marine fuel, its availability needs to improve, and this fact alone has hindered its growth in some parts of the world. Some of Robert Allan Ltd.’s clients are actively engaged in developing the required infrastructure to make natural gas more readily available.
|2019/8/23 9:30||Green Car Congress||
Volkswagen Group begins expanding EV charging points at its German sites; 4,000 by 2025
The Volkswagen brand is systematically driving its electric offensive and will be installing some 4,000 charging points at its German sites by 2025. The Volkswagen Group is investing some €250 million in expanding the charging infrastructure at its European sites. When combined with the activities at dealerships, this means the Volkswagen Group is providing some 36,000 new charging points in Europe. The first charging center has been commissioned at the Volkswagen Group Components plant in Braunschweig. The 60 charging points are located on the Ohefeld parking lot bordering on the site. The charging power level is 11 kW and the charging center uses a Type 2 plug, the European standard system. The sole source of power for charging is Volkswagen Naturstrom from renewable sources. The power has been certified by TÜV Nord and is 100% CO2-free, originating from sources such as wind and hydropower. Further charging centers will be successively phased in at the other German sites by 2025. Volkswagen is active in all areas where electric vehicles are charged: at home, at the workplace, in public spaces and on highways. Charging at the workplace is becoming increasingly important because it is a good alternative for all those who cannot charge at home. Going forward, some 20% of all charging operations could take place at the workplace. Charging centers are also an attractive option for companies because construction conditions are often favorable and it is relatively easy for firms to create an additional benefit for their employees. In light of this, Volkswagen is not only active at its own sites, but the Volkswagen subsidiary Elli (Electric Life) also offers other companies complete charging solutions for employee parking lots and fleet operations. Volkswagen is pursuing the largest electric offensive in the automotive industry, with the Group launching almost 70 new models in the next ten years.