|2019/6/26 16:00||Green Car Congress||
First snapshots of CO2 molecules trapped in MOFs shed new light on carbon capture
Scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have taken the first images of carbon dioxide molecules within a molecular cage—part of a metal-organic framework (MOF), with great potential for separating and storing gases and liquids. Cryo-EM (cryogenic electron microscopy) images show a slice through a single MOF particle in atomic detail (left), revealing cage-like molecules (center) that can trap other molecules inside. The image at right shows carbon dioxide molecules trapped in one of the cages—the first time this has ever been observed. Bottom right, a drawing of the molecular structure of the cage and the trapped CO2. (Li et al.) The images, made at the Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Facilities, show two configurations of the CO2 molecule in its cage, in what scientists call a guest-host relationship; reveal that the cage expands slightly as the CO2 enters; and zoom in on jagged edges where MOF particles may grow by adding more cages. The new cryo-EM images also reveal step-like features at the edges of MOF particles (upper right) where scientists think new cages may form as the particle grows (bottom right). (Li et al.) The research team, led by SLAC/Stanford professors Yi Cui and Wah Chiu, described the study in the journal Matter. This is a groundbreaking achievement that is sure to bring unprecedented insights into how these highly porous structures carry out their exceptional functions, and it demonstrates the power of cryo-EM for solving a particularly difficult problem in MOF chemistry.—Omar Yaghi, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a pioneer in this area of chemistry, who was not involved in the study MOFs have the largest surface areas of any known material. A single gram can have a surface area nearly the size of two football fields, offering plenty of space for guest molecules to enter millions of host cages. Despite their enormous commercial potential and two decades of intense, accelerating research, MOFs are just now starting to reach the market. Scientists across the globe engineer more than 6,000 new types of MOF particles per year, looking for the right combinations of structure and chemistry for particular tasks, such as increasing the storage capacity of gas tanks or capturing and burying CO2 from smokestacks to combat climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require some form of carbon capture technology. These materials have the potential to capture large quantities of CO2, and understanding where the CO2 is bound inside these porous frameworks is really important in designing materials that do that more cheaply and efficiently.—Yuzhang Li, Stanford postdoc and lead author One of the most powerful methods for observing materials is transmission electron microscopy, or TEM, which can make images in atom-by-atom detail. But many MOFs, and the bonds that hold guest molecules inside them, melt into blobs when exposed to the intense electron beams needed for this type of imaging. Cryo-EM is a version of electron microscopy, which was invented in the 1930s. In the mid-1970s, scientists came up with the idea of freezing samples to preserve the natural structure of biological specimens and reduce damage from the electron beam, and cryo-EM was born. The technology slowly evolved, and then a few years ago took a giant leap, thanks to significant advances in detectors and software. In 2017 three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their roles in developing cryo-EM. A few years ago, Cui and Li adopted the method and used an advanced TEM instrument at the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities to examine flash-frozen samples containing lithium dendrites in atomic detail for the first time. For this latest study, Cui and Li used instruments at the Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Facilities, which have much more sensitive detectors that can pick up signals from individual electrons passing through a sample. This allowed the scientists to make images in atomic detail while minimizing the electron beam exposure. The MOF they studied is called ZIF-8. It came in particles just 100 billionths of a meter in diameter. It has high commercial potential because it’s very cheap and easy to synthesize. It’s already being used to capture and store toxic gases.—Stanford postdoc Kecheng Wang Cryo-EM not only let the team make super-sharp images with minimal damage to the particles, but it also kept the CO2 gas from escaping while its picture was being taken. By imaging the sample from two angles, the investigators were able to confirm the positions of two of the four sites where CO2 is thought to be weakly held in place inside its cage. Major funding for this study came from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy.
|2019/6/26 10:00||Green Car Congress||
Updated Audi Q7 SUV has 48V MHEV as standard, new PHEV option
Audi’s updated Q7 SUV will have the company’s 48V mild-hybrid system (MHEV) as standard. In customer operation, this technology can reduce consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers. Its central component, the belt alternator starter (BAS), powers a 48-volt main electrical system in which a compact lithium-ion battery stores the energy. During braking, the BAS can recover up to 8 kW of power and feed it back into the battery. If the driver takes their foot off the accelerator at speeds between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph), the Audi Q7 recuperates energy, rolls in idle or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. The BAS restarts the engine the next time the accelerator is depressed, and does so faster and more gently than a conventional starter. The start‑stop range begins at 22 km/h (13.7 mph). A choice of two diesel engines will be available at market launch. Shortly after the market introduction in September, a gasoline unit, followed also by a plug-in hybrid model, will join the lineup. All of the engines in the Audi Q7 are coupled to an eight-speed tiptronic and permanent all‑wheel drive. Audi connect and assist systems. The MMI navigation plus features LTE Advanced, a Wi-Fi hotspot, natural voice control and the extensive Audi connect portfolio. The latter ranges from traffic information online, navigation with Google Earth, to the hybrid radio. The cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is integrated into the MMI operating system, is also new. The same applies to the Car-to-X service traffic light information, which is being rolled out in stages in selected European cities. Interconnection with the city’s infrastructure allows the vehicle to receive information from the central traffic light computer via a server, enabling the driver to select a speed to match the next green-light phase. The all-digital Audi virtual cockpit—and the optional head-up display—provide an individual speed recommendation as well as the remaining time until the next green-light phase if the driver is already waiting at a red light. The system thus contributes to a predictive and efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic. The adaptive cruise assist, which combines the functions of adaptive speed assist, traffic jam assist and active lane assist, reduces the driver’s workload—particularly on long journeys. In combination with efficiency assist it brakes and accelerates the Audi Q7 in anticipation of the conditions ahead. The emergency assist is also new: If the driver is inactive, the system brings the car to a stop and initiates protective and rescue measures. This function is active in assisted and manual modes.
|2019/6/26 9:30||Green Car Congress||
Voltaiq survey on battery industry finds analytical challenges and resource constraints as major obstacles to product development
Voltaiq, a developer of advanced battery analytics solutions, has released, in partnership with Total Battery Consulting, an industry survey examining many of the challenges and opportunities battery manufacturers, suppliers and integrators currently face. The global battery industry is facing unprecedented growth and change. Over the next decade, as we continue the shift to an electric economy, we will see an increase in demand and production for lithium-ion battery technologies. Performance, capability, and reliability of batteries are paramount to industry growth, but there are significant challenges standing in the way. This survey sheds light on some of these challenges, and we hope it will kickstart a conversation on how to best address them to ensure the industry remains on a path to keep up with demand.—Tal Sholklapper, CEO of Voltaiq Conducted in Q1 2019, the survey polled professionals from a broad spectrum of industry segments, including battery cell producers, battery pack and component developers, academic and national labs, and companies involved in transportation, consumer electronics, and energy storage. While more than half of the respondents were located in North America, other regions, including Europe and Japan, were also represented. Nearly 35% of respondents said that time to market was their biggest concern about their latest battery project. (Battery reliability was number two at 19%.) This survey sheds light on what might be hindering time to market. When asked to note the biggest bottlenecks in their workflow, respondents’ answers fell into three main themes: Scarcity of expertise and resources. Nearly 40% of respondents cited a shortage of battery engineers as a constraint in their development work. An even greater proportion—more than 44% of respondents—noted that there were insufficient resources for the number of battery projects underway. Time-consuming evaluations. More than a quarter of respondents—nearly 27%—listed the amount of time required to estimate battery life as a key bottleneck. Nearly the same number—just over 25%—said there were too many battery vendors to evaluate, while more than 20% said there were too many battery materials to evaluate. Data challenges. Survey participants also highlighted their difficulties working with battery data. More than 22% cited the challenge presented by data silos: information they needed was available but not readily available to their team. Another 17% noted problems with data quality: often the required data was messy, inconsistent, or hard to use. Looking at data issues specifically, the survey found several key trouble spots: Data management is a time sink. Nearly a third of respondents spend 1 to 5 hours per week looking for and preparing data before it analyzed. And engineers and scientists are not the only ones devoting sizeable chunks of their time to data. The survey revealed that two thirds of managers and directors are working directly with battery data—with a full third devoting more than six hours a week to that work. Data volume is expected to grow. Most respondents—approximately 68%—expect the volume of battery data to at least double in the next five years. Indeed, more than a third believe it will grow by 5x or more in that time period (with nearly 5% expecting it to increase more than 100 times over). The challenges of extracting insights and leveraging them to spark fast-paced but astute decision-making are only going to increase. Not only will data volumes grow, but so too will the complexity of the requisite analytics. For those who responded that they work with battery data, more than 40% of respondents anticipate a doubling or more of analytical effort over the next five years. Nearly 24% expect at least a 5x increase.
|2019/6/26 8:30||Green Car Congress||
Volvo Trucks to introduce next iteration of Volvo Active Driver Assist in VNR, VNL & VNX models
Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0, a comprehensive collision mitigation system, will be made standard in the new Volvo VNR and VNL models, and available on VNX models, later this year. The system enhances the original VADA platform by integrating radar and camera capabilities to help drivers maintain a safe following distance through alerts and improved traffic awareness, as well as emergency braking to reduce the risk of collisions. The Volvo Active Driver Assist technology we first introduced with Bendix Wingman Fusion in 2017 was a groundbreaking achievement for increased efficiency and safety through automation. Continuing that partnership, we have improved the capabilities of this collision mitigation technology across the board and are confident that VADA 2.0 will further enhance safety for all motorists.—Johan Agebrand, product marketing director, Volvo Trucks North America VADA is a comprehensive collision mitigation system launched by Volvo Trucks North America in 2017 which uses camera and radar sensors to detect motorized vehicles within the vehicle’s proximity. The technology enables a series of features to activate driver alerts and foundation braking according to information detected by these advanced sensors. Available in Q3 2019, with improvements scheduled to roll out through late 2020, VADA 2.0 offers enhancements to many features including: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) uses camera and radar sensors to determine how traffic is behaving around the truck. When a vehicle is detected, audible and visual warnings alert the driver to take action. If the driver does not respond, AEB engages to mitigate potential collisions. VADA 2.0 expands the capability of AEB beyond the current VADA, allowing it to operate across multiple lanes of traffic. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) alerts the driver when an unintentional lane departure occurs. VADA 2.0 allows for adjustable volume and audio mute override options and enables drivers to turn off the system momentarily (10 minutes) for select functions. Highway Departure Warning and Braking (HDB) automatically activates if the driver does not take corrective action after a Lane Departure Warning and the system detects that the vehicle may leave the drivable roadway, slowing the vehicle by a pre-defined mph. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Cruise Auto Resume enables the truck to revert back to cruising speed with Cruise Auto Resume (also known as “Slow & Go”) at speeds above 10 mph, an improved feature in VADA 2.0. Driver Awareness Support offers an in-cab windshield-mounted camera with data capture support to enhance driver coaching and data availability. Future updates to VADA 2.0 will include Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Stop & Driver Go, Lane Change Support with audible alert adjustment, and standalone data capture options without the need for Lane Departure Warning.
|2019/6/26 8:01||Green Car Congress||
Hyundai dealers that subscribe to CDK Hailer service to offer Lyft rides for service customers
In the next several months, Hyundai dealers in the US that subscribe to CDK Global’s Hailer service can offer Hyundai owners easy access to Lyft rides while their vehicles are being serviced. The Lyft rides can either be offered free of charge or at a cost that can be automatically added to the customer’s service bill for seamless payment at each individual dealership’s discretion. These Lyft rides help address significant customer hurdles around transportation while a vehicle is being serviced or inspected, minimizing time spent waiting at the dealership. Previously, service customers could take the dealer-offered shuttle or loaner vehicle, wait for their car to be serviced or find their own transportation to and from the dealership. Hailer has the opportunity to increase customer satisfaction through a decline in wait times, which reflects an industry shift that has the potential to improve customer experience and business efficiency. As an example, a Hyundai customer calls their service advisor to schedule an appointment at a participating dealership. At the dealership, the service advisor offers a Lyft ride after writing up the work order. The Lyft ride arrives a few minutes later to take the customer to work, and when the work is complete, the service advisor arranges another Lyft ride back to the dealership. The customer gets a text message through Hailer when the Lyft ride is in route, and the rides are automatically added to the customer’s service bill by the dealership. The process is simple for customers and does not require that they have the Lyft app on their smartphone to order rides. The integration is also easy for participating Hyundai dealers because it allows them to automate billing, set ride spending limits and approve service. The improved Hailer experience simplifies a dealership’s service to customers and ultimately reduces the number of customers waiting in service lounges.