|2019/8/18 10:30||Green Car Congress||
Scandlines installing Norsepower’s rotor sail solution on board hybrid ferry
Ferry operator Scandlines signed an agreement with Norsepower Oy Ltd, leading clean technology and engineering company pioneering modern wind propulsion technology, to install Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution on board the M/V Copenhagen, a hybrid passenger ferry. Illustration of Scandlines hybrid ferry M/V Copenhagen with Rotor Sail. Operating between Rostock in Germany and Gedser in Denmark, the M/V Copenhagen belongs to the world’s largest fleet of hybrid ferries, which combines diesel and battery power. Since 2013, Scandlines has invested more than €300 million in building and retrofitting ferries from conventional diesel-driven to hybrid ferries. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions. The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor (earlier post)—a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect—a commonly observed effect in which a spinning ball or cylinder in this case curves away from its principal path to harness wind power to thrust a ship. The Magnus effect observes that a revolving body moving relatively to a surrounding fluid—in this case, air—is subjected not only to drag, but also to lift. As the speed of the cylinder—spinning at right angles to the flow—increases, the pressure decreases on the side of the cylinder where the natural flow and the spin-induce flow combine. The decrease in pressure generates lift, and the lift increases as the surface velocity increases (per Bernoulli’s theorem). The thrust induced by the Magnus effect can be utilized in ship propulsion by placing a cylinder on the open deck of the vessel and by rotating it around its vertical axis. A variable electric drive system, which is powered by the ship's low voltage network, is used for rotation of the Rotor Sail. The Norsepower Rotor Sail is the first data-verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry. When wind conditions are favorable, it enables the electric propulsion thrusters and center propel to be throttled back, reducing emissions, while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time. Because it generates supplementary thrust from wind, the solution is compatible with all other emissions saving technologies. The route between Gedser to the north and Rostock to the south is almost perpendicular to the prevailing wind from west giving Scandlines favorable conditions for using Rotor Sails on the ferry crossing. Preparations for the retrofit will take place in November 2019 with the installation scheduled for Q2 2020. M/V Copenhagen is set to be retrofitted with one large-sized Norsepower Rotor Sail unit that is 30m in height and 5m in diameter. By installing a Rotor Sail, we can reduce CO2 emissions on the Rostock-Gedser route by four to five per cent.—Scandlines CEO Søren Poulsgaard Jensen
|2019/8/18 10:00||Green Car Congress||
DOE researchers develop energy-efficient, cost-effective process to extract rare earth elements from scrapped magnets
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and colleagues have developed a process to extract rare earth elements from the scrapped magnets of used hard drives and other sources. They have patented and scaled-up the process in lab demonstrations and are working with ORNL’s licensee Momentum Technologies to scale the process further to produce commercial batches of rare earth oxides. In 2017, Momentum Technologies licensed ORNL’s 3D-printed magnet technology and plans to produce the first 3D-printed magnet made from recycled materials. We have developed an energy-efficient, cost-effective, environmentally friendly process to recover high-value critical materials. It’s an improvement over traditional processes, which require facilities with a large footprint, high capital and operating costs and a large amount of waste generated.—co-inventor Ramesh Bhave, who leads the membrane technologies team in ORNL’s Chemical Sciences Division Through the patented process, magnets are dissolved in nitric acid, and the solution is continuously fed through a module supporting polymer membranes. The membranes contain porous hollow fibers with an extractant that creates a selective barrier and lets only rare earth elements pass through. The rare-earth-rich solution collected on the other side is further processed to yield rare earth oxides at purities exceeding 99.5%. Typically, 70% of a permanent magnet is iron, which is not a rare earth element. We are essentially able to eliminate iron completely and recover only rare earths.—Ramesh Bhave Extracting desirable elements without co-extracting undesirable ones means less waste is created that will need downstream treatment and disposal. Supporters of the work include DOE’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) for separations research and DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) for process scale-up. ORNL is a founding team member of CMI, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub led by DOE’s Ames Laboratory and managed by the Advanced Manufacturing Office. Bhave’s “mining” of an acidic solution with selective membranes joins other promising CMI technologies for recovering rare earths, including a simple process that crushes and treats magnets and an acid-free alternative. No commercialized process currently recycles pure rare earth elements from electronic-waste magnets. That’s a huge missed opportunity considering 2.2 billion personal computers, tablets and mobile phones are expected to ship worldwide in 2019, according to Gartner. Bhave’s project, which began in 2013, is a team effort. John Klaehn and Eric Peterson of DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory collaborated in an early phase of the research focused on chemistry, and Ananth Iyer, a professor at Purdue University, later assessed the technical and economic feasibility of scale-up. At ORNL, former postdoctoral fellows Daejin Kim and Vishwanath Deshmane studied separations process development and scale-up, respectively. Bhave’s current ORNL team, comprising Dale Adcock, Pranathi Gangavarapu, Syed Islam, Larry Powell and Priyesh Wagh, focuses on scaling up the process and working with industry partners who will commercialize the technology. To ensure rare earths could be recovered across a wide spectrum of feedstocks, researchers subjected magnets of varying composition—from sources including hard drives, magnetic resonance imaging machines, cell phones and hybrid cars—to the process. Most rare earth elements are lanthanides, elements with atomic numbers between 57 and 71 in the periodic table. ORNL’s tremendous expertise in lanthanide chemistry gave us a huge jump start. We started looking at lanthanide chemistries and ways by which lanthanides are selectively extracted.—Ramesh Bhave Over two years, the researchers tailored membrane chemistry to optimize recovery of rare earths. Now, their process recovers more than 97% of the rare earth elements. To date Bhave’s recycling project has resulted in a patent and two publications documenting recovery of three rare earth elements—neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium—as a mixture of oxides. The second phase of separations began in July 2018 with an effort to separate dysprosium from neodymium and praseodymium. A mixture of the three oxides sells for $50 a kilogram. If dysprosium could be separated from the mixture, its oxide could be sold for five times as much. The program’s second phase will also explore if ORNL’s underlying process for separating rare earths can be developed for separating other in-demand elements from lithium ion batteries. The expected high growth of electric vehicles is going to require a tremendous amount of lithium and cobalt.—Ramesh Bhave Industrial efforts needed to deploy the ORNL process into the marketplace, funded over two years by DOE’s OTT Technology Commercialization Fund, began in February 2019. The goal is to recover hundreds of kilograms of rare earth oxides each month and validate, verify and certify that manufacturers could use the recycled materials to make magnets equivalent to those made with virgin materials. DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, part of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, funded this research through the CMI, which was established to diversify supply, develop substitutes, improve reuse and recycling and conduct crosscutting research of critical materials. ORNL has provided strategic direction for these areas since CMI began in 2013. This includes providing leaders for focus areas and projects that led to new innovations in aluminum-cerium alloys and magnet recycling. Resources US Patent Nº 9,968,887 “Membrane assisted solvent extraction for rare earth element recovery” Daejin Kim, Lawrence Powell, Lætitia H. Delmau, Eric S. Peterson, Jim Herchenroeder & Ramesh R. Bhave (2016) “A supported liquid membrane system for the selective recovery of rare earth elements from neodymium-based permanent magnets,” Separation Science and Technology, 51:10, 1716-1726, doi: 10.1080/01496395.2016.1171782 Daejin Kim, Lawrence E. Powell, Lætitia H. Delmau, Eric S. Peterson, Jim Herchenroeder, and Ramesh R. Bhave (2015) “Selective Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Permanent Magnet Scraps with Membrane Solvent Extraction” Environmental Science & Technology 49 (16), 9452-9459 doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01306
|2019/8/17 10:30||Green Car Congress||
Startup licenses ORNL technology for converting organic waste to hydrogen
Electro-Active Technologies has exclusively licensed two biorefinery technologies invented and patented by the startup’s co-founders while working at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The technologies work as a system that converts organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel. The system combines biology and electrochemistry to degrade organic waste—such as plant biomass or food waste—to produce hydrogen. During the microbial electrolysis process, a diverse microbial community first breaks down organic material. There are usually thousands of microbes that are required to convert a complex organic mixture from biomass into electrons. We developed an enrichment process to create this [microbial] consortium to efficiently extract electrons from organic materials.—Alex Lewis, CEO An electrolysis method designed by co-founders Abhijeet Borole and Alex Lewis then combines the protons and electrons into hydrogen molecules. Although they originally developed both processes to address the problems of liquid waste formed during biofuel production, Electro-Active Technologies will focus on fighting food waste. We waste about 40% of food that is produced in the world today, which generates methane in landfills. This is also considerable in context of how much energy and effort is put into the food industry. We can deliver a zero-emission fuel that reduces transportation emissions, while also using food waste to make the hydrogen—Abhijeet Borole The duo selected food waste as a microbial feedstock after interviewing 80 customers across waste-to-hydrogen industries while participating in DOE’s Energy I-Corps, a program that helps accelerate commercialization efforts at DOE laboratories. Because customers often must pay to dispose of food waste, the food waste-based feedstock presents economic advantages over using biomass, which must be purchased. The company is creating prototypes for modular waste conversion systems that customers can place onsite. Founded in 2017, Electro-Active Technologies is working to move industries and communities towards closed-loop operations that save money and improve sustainability. The startup was selected to participate in San Francisco’s IndieBio Accelerator program in February and was recently accepted into the H2 Refuel Accelerator, which is sponsored by Shell, Toyota and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Abhijeet Borole spent more than 20 years at ORNL, where he led research on microbial fuel cells and electrolysis cells for the development of bioelectrochemical systems for waste conversion. He is now a research professor at the University of Tennessee, while also working with the startup. Alex Lewis researched under the mentorship of Borole as a doctoral candidate in Energy Science and Engineering through the University of Tennessee’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. As the CEO of Electro-Active Technologies, he was recently selected as a fellow in ORNL’s third Innovation Crossroads cohort with support from the Tennessee Valley Authority. The initial research that enabled this technology development was supported by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office. The technology was jointly patented by ORNL and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of the UT system that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property.
|2019/8/17 10:00||Green Car Congress||
DOE awarding $59M to 43 projects to accelerate advanced vehicle technologies research
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $59 million to 43 projects for new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research. Funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, these projects include solid-state batteries (15 projects) and power-dense electric motors (5 projects); co-optimized engine and fuel technologies (3 projects); materials for more efficient powertrains (2 projects); and alternative fuels and new energy efficient mobility systems (11 projects). Annually, vehicles transport 11 billion tons of freight—more than $35 billion worth of goods each day—and move people more than 3 trillion vehicle-miles. The average US household spends nearly one-fifth of its total family expenditures on transportation, making it the most expensive spending category after housing. Projects selected will accelerate the development of lithium-metal solid state batteries (materials, tools, and modeling); novel materials and designs for advanced electric motors; and combine new powertrain materials with new combustion regimes to improve fuel economy significantly. The projects are:
|2019/8/16 21:45||Green Car Congress||
Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopts zero-emission vehicle standard
The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopted a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard for Colorado early today in an 8-1 decision. The new zero-emission standard adopts California ZEV requirements, with automakers to sell more than 5% zero-emission vehicles by 2023 and more than 6% zero-emission vehicles by 2025. Eleven states now have a ZEV standard. Certification for ZEV emission standards of the new 2023 and subsequent model year passenger cars, and light-duty trucks will be made pursuant to the California code. The standard is based on a matrix of credits given for each electric vehicle sold, depending on the vehicle’s zero-emission range. The new requirement does not mandate consumers to purchase electric vehicles, but experts say it will result in manufacturers selling a wider range of models in Colorado, including SUVs and light trucks. The zero-emission standard does not compel anyone to buy an electric vehicle. It only requires manufacturers to increase ZEV sales from 2.6% to 6.23%. It’s a modest proposal in the face of a critical threat. —Garry Kaufman, director of the Air Pollution Control Division at the department The commission invited public comment at various hours of the day and evening, and also invited remote testimony by telephone to make it easier for those who could not travel to the Front Range. The commission’s decision came after a robust public comment period, as well as significant written and oral testimony from parties providing information on all aspects of the standard.