|2018/9/20 12:30||Green Car Congress||
Columbia University engineers make breakthrough in understanding electroreduction of CO2 for conversion to electrofuels
Electrocatalysis and photocatalysis (artificial photosynthesis) are among the most promising ways to achieve effective storage for renewable energy. CO2 electroreduction has been capturing the imagination of researchers for more than 150 years because of its similarity to photosynthesis.
Recent research in electrocatalytic CO2 conversion points the way to using CO2 as a feedstock and renewable electricity as an energy supply for the synthesis of different types of fuel and value-added chemicals such as ethylene, ethanol, and propane. However, scientists still do not understand even the first step of these reactions: CO2 activation, or the transformation of the linear co1 molecule at the catalyst surface upon accepting the first electron.
Knowing the exact structure of the activated CO2 is essential because its structure dictates both the end product of the reaction and its energy cost. This reaction can start from many initial steps and go through many pathways, giving typically a mixture of products. If scientists figure out how the process works, they will be better able to selectively promote or inhibit certain pathways, which will lead to the development of a commercially viable catalyst for this technology.
Researchers at Columbia University have solved the first piece of the puzzle; they have proved that CO2 electroreduction begins with one common intermediate, not two as was commonly thought. Their paper is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
They applied a comprehensive suite of experimental and theoretical methods to identify the structure of the first intermediate of CO2 electroreduction: carboxylate CO2- that is attached to the surface with C and O atoms. Their breakthrough came by applying surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) instead of the more frequently used surface enhanced infrared spectroscopy (SEIRAS). The spectroscopic results were corroborated by quantum chemical modeling.
Our findings about CO2 activation will open the door to an incredibly broad range of possibilities: if we can fully understand CO2 electroreduction, we'll be able to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, contributing to the mitigation of climate change. In addition, our insight into CO2 activation at the solid-water interface will enable researchers to better model the prebiotic scenarios from CO2 to complex organic molecules that may have led to the origin of life on our planet.
—lead author Irina Chernyshova
The researchers decided to use SERS rather than SEIRAS for their observations because they found that SERS has several significant advantages that enable more accurate identification of the structure of the reaction intermediate. Most importantly, the researchers were able to measure the vibrational spectra of species formed at the electrode-electrolyte interface along the entire spectral range and on an operating electrode.
Using both quantum chemical simulations and conventional electrochemical methods, the researchers were able to get the first detailed look at how CO2 is activated at the electrode-electrolyte interface.
Understanding the nature of the first reaction intermediate is a critical step toward commercialization of the electrocatalytic CO2 conversion to useful chemicals. It creates a solid foundation for moving away from the trial-and-error paradigm to rational catalyst design.
With this knowledge and computational power, researchers will be able to predict more accurately the reaction on different catalysts and specify the most promising ones, which can further be synthesized and tested.
—co-author Sathish Ponnurangam
The Columbia Engineering experiments provide such detail that we should be able to obtain very definitive validation of the computational models. I expect that together with our theory, the Columbia Engineering experiments will provide precise mechanisms to be established and that examining how the mechanisms change for different alloys, surface structures, electrolytes, additives, should enable optimization of the electrocatalysts for water spitting (solar fuels), CO2 reduction to fuels and organic feedstocks, N2 reduction to NH3 to obtain much less expensive fertilizers, all the key problems facing society to obtain the energy and food to accommodate our exploding population.
—William Goddard, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics at CalTech, who was not involved with the study
The team is now working to uncover the subsequent reaction steps to see how CO2 is further transformed and to develop superior catalysts based on earth-abundant elements such as Cu (copper) and Sn (tin).
Irina V. Chernyshova, Ponisseril Somasundaran, Sathish Ponnurangam (2018) “On the origin of the elusive first intermediate of CO2 electroreduction” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1073/pnas.1802256115
|2018/9/20 11:59||Green Car Congress||
MAN exhibiting eTGE 4.140 electric van at IAA 2018; production starts in July 2019
The battery-electric MAN eTGE 4.140 van is celebrating its world première at the IAA 2018 Commercial Vehicles in Hanover. The MAN plant in Września will start production in July 2019. With a range of around 160 kilometers and a payload of 1 t–1.75 t (depending on type approval), it is targeted for last mile logistics applications.
Seventy percent of lightweight commercial vehicles used in urban areas average less than 100 kilometers a day. The average speed reached is low. Combined with frequent starting and stopping in dense urban traffic, the set of requirements this entails almost perfectly describes the ideal application for electric vehicles. For this reason, the MAN eTGE 4.140 will launched for these applications in the near future.
The van will initially be available in a high-roofed version. Its cargo space provides almost 11 cubic meters of volume. Depending on the type approval and whether it is a 3.5 tonne or 4.25 tonne variant, it offers a payload of up to 1.75 tonnes and a theoretical range of up to 160 kilometers (NEDC). This capacity covers around two-thirds of all journeys in urban centers that are currently completed using vehicles with internal combustion engines.
The MAN eTGE is charged at an AC wallbox in around five-and-a-half hours. Rapid recharging from zero to 80% is possible within 45 minutes if a DC charging station is available with a combined charging system (CCS) and 40 kilowatts of charging power.
The 36 kWh battery only loses 15% of its capacity after around 2,000 charging cycles with appropriate care. Individual modules consisting of six or twelve cells can also be replaced separately. The 264 lithium-ion HV cells are stored underneath the slightly raised load floor, which is constructed in the same way in the rear-wheel drive body version with a diesel engine. This rules out the excuse of batteries eating up space.
A permanently activated synchronous motor is used for the drive system in the MAN eTGE. The three-phase motor is mounted right at the front on the drive axle in combination with the single-speed gearbox. This provides a maximum of 100 kW of power, delivering around 50 kW in continuous operation, while the vehicle’s immediately available 290 N·m of torque ensures agile handling.
The MAN eTGE is equipped with parking assistance systems including side protection, a multi-function camera, rear-view camera, cruise control system, maximum speed limitation, a surroundings monitoring system, a city emergency braking function, plus, of course, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) advanced emergency braking system.
|2018/9/20 11:30||Green Car Congress||
MAN introduces practical 26-tonne electric truck based on TGM at IAA 2018
During the IAA 2018 from 20th to 27th September 2018 in Hanover, MAN will present a fully electric eTruck solo distributor chassis with a swap body frame and a 6x2 axle configuration. The 26-tonne truck, based on the MAN TGM, incorporates batteries that can be installed under the cab and on the side of the frame, providing a range of up to 200 km.
The air suspension on the front and rear axles ensures adaptability to any urban loading scenario. The electric motor, mounted in the center of the frame, supplies 264 kW of power, transmitting 3100 N·m of torque to the drive wheels without the use of a manually operated gearbox.
Designed to handle classic city logistics tasks, the vehicle is suitable for a wide variety of different body applications, from dry freight carrying or refrigerated box vans to refuse collector units. The additional drive systems needed for such applications are also electric.
At the IAA, MAN will be offering daily test drives in the eTGM on the outdoor grounds of the trade fair.
The new fully electric MAN TGM 6x2 chassis forms the technical basis for nine vehicles that were released to nine member companies of the Austrian Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) for practical trials in mid-September 2018. (Earlier post.)
The vehicles are primarily 6x2 chassis units featuring refrigerated box van units, swap bodies and beverage units. However, they also include a tractor-trailer unit based on the MAN TGM. MAN will incorporate the findings of these practical trials in the development of its future product portfolio of series-produced electric trucks.
The eTruck development and testing program forms part of the MAN Truck & Bus eMobility Roadmap for urban transport solutions, which are scheduled to be included in the product portfolio starting in 2022. The concept involves trucks and buses using a shared eMobility kit, which will be available in future for a wide variety of applications.
MAN Truck & Bus introduced the MAN Metropolis concept vehicle back in 2012. (Earlier post.) The electrically powered, 26-tonne series hybrid refuse collector vehicle ran CO2-free in local waste disposal operations and could even be used in the city center at night, thanks to its low noise levels.
An integrated range extender expanded its radius by up to 150 km per day. With the range extender, fuel consumption was reduced by up to 80% compared with a regular diesel-powered vehicle. The extensive practical deployment of the MAN Metropolis provided a valuable source of experience for ongoing projects.
At the IAA 2016, MAN Truck & Bus presented a further development of the Metropolis concept: an entirely battery-electric powered tractor-trailer unit for overnight urban delivery services.
It was technically based on a MAN TGS 4X2 BLS tractor-trailer unit with an 18-tonne gross vehicle weight rating. Optimized to operate with single or twin-axled City trailers, the concept vehicle fulfilled the demands that will be imposed on vehicles involved in the urban logistics of the future: plenty of load space combined with a light empty weight, zero emissions (CO2, NOx), very quiet and highly maneuverable.
|2018/9/20 11:00||Green Car Congress||
MAN Truck & Bus presents electric delivery truck CitE at IAA 2018
At the IAA 2018, MAN Truck & Bus is presenting the MAN CitE 15-tonne electric truck concept, designed specifically for city cargo traffic. MAN engineers developed the concept in 18 months, leveraging the concepts of the short product development cycles of the software industry.
A cross-functional team was drafted on this basis that, with the agile scrum method, organized its work flexibly and dynamically. Reviews with project participants at regular intervals accelerated the decision processes significantly. Using this agile approach, the MAN CitE could thus be implemented in a period of only 18 months and finally presented ready to drive at the IAA 2018.
As the diesel drive train with a combustion engine over the front axle is no longer required, this permits the design of a low-floor vehicle with very low floor and maximum freedom of movement for the driver in the cab.
The drive of the CitE is taken over by a centrally arranged electric motor from MAN’s eMobility module. The lithium-ion batteries are located under the vehicle frame and enable a range of at least 100 kilometers.
The chassis is completely cladded which increases safety for other road users additionally. Moreover, this guarantees a better protection of the batteries in event of an accident.
The clear goal of the CitE was, despite its individual concept with standard superstructures, that it could still be equipped with conventional constructions. Basically, the CitE can therefore be considered for all superstructure applications typical for city delivery traffic; the main focus however, is the dry freight bodies for the distribution of products and goods to small businesses.
The MAN CitE is also equipped with special design tires from Continental. The tire study Conti e.MotionPro matched specifically to the layout of the CitE is equipped with a specially manufactured tread and with its distinctive blue stripes on the side wall and blue groove bottom on the tread, fits perfectly to the design of the CitE.
All displays around the driver’s workplace are in the direct field of vision. The display has been designed fully digital for the optimum visualization of all information for the driver. The switches arranged logically according to how frequently they are used are easily reached from a normal sitting position, as well as the cup holder and stowage trays.
A universal tablet / smartphone holder in the dashboard is available within the immediate sight and reach of the driver. This makes it possible to integrate a customized tablet or smartphone into the driver’s workstation in such a way that the logistical and goods flow-oriented processes are optimally integrated into the workflow. Detached from the vehicle, the device can be operated in the customer’s own network. USB charging sockets are provided immediately next to the holder. Thus, customer-related functions for the fleet, such as a digital delivery note, are integrated into the workflow.
The air conditioning of the CitE is designed for the particular requirements in city delivery traffic. The driver gets in and out many times per tour and is always on the move. The doors are opened frequently. Heat escapes in winter and cooling requirement increases in summer—this means an undesired loss of energy for an electric vehicle. For this purpose, the air conditioning concept of the MAN CitE applies a reduced cab air conditioning and instead of that, contact heat or ventilation through the driver’s seat.
In the summer months, the heat and sweat is transported away by the ventilation, in the winter months, the immediate heat is pleasant through the seat and relieves the musculoskeletal system. When the weather is cold, an additional steering wheel heating warms the drivers hands.
MAN is initially presenting the CitE to the public at the IAA 2018. With respective positive response and queries, the production of further vehicles on the basis of the MAN CitE is a possible option.
|2018/9/20 10:30||Green Car Congress||
MAN Engines showcasing D3876 diesel engine for EU Stage V locomotives without exhaust after-treatment systems
At InnoTrans 2018, the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology, MAN Engines is exhibiting the D3876 LE63x for locomotives, which produces 471 kW (632 hp) at 1,800 rpm. One of its outstanding features is the in-line six, which meets the EU Stage V emission standard for locomotives without the need for an exhaust after-treatment system (EATS).
This means that a single technical solution equally covers emission requirements for all currently recognised emissions threshold values up to EU Stage V.
The MAN D3876 LE63x meets EU Stage V for locomotives without the need for exhaust after-treatment systems.
As a result of not including an EATS, our engines can be used all around the world – whether at EU Stage V or in less strictly regulated markets. This provides a clear benefit for customers in terms of global vehicle sales and giving vehicles a second life.
—Lorenz Panknin, Head of Rail Sales at MAN Engines
There are also advantages for operators working in situations involving large proportions of light loads, as they can increase technical operational reliability while enjoying low overall operating costs.
The MAN D3876 LE63x, designed for use in locomotives and featuring a 138 mm bore as well as 170 mm stroke, generates a maximum torque of 3,000 N·m at 1,200 to 1,500 rpm. The 15.3-liter engine achieves its high torque plateau and optimum torque curve thanks to the VTG (variable turbine geometry) turbocharger and the injection system (which offers up to 2,500 bar).
The combustion this generates, which is optimized for the scope of application, ensures low fuel consumption—one of MAN Engines’ leading development objectives.
The modular EATS’ components from MAN Engines can be flexibly positioned. This allows customers to choose between a wide range of installation scenarios.
The D3876 in-line six engine is a system with top-class performance that has been an established fixture and a practical success in trucks since 2014. It was also released for agricultural technology applications in 2015 and applications in the construction industry in 2016.
The D3876 earned the Diesel of the Year 2016 title, in particular for its basic concept and high-strength materials. Now, in its D3876 development for locomotives which was previously presented as a concept at InnoTrans 2016, MAN Engines is closing the performance gap between the established in-line six and V12 motors for train applications.
Modular EATS. In addition to the D3876, which meets EU Stage V for locomotives without EATSs, MAN Engines will be exhibiting a modular EATS at its booth to meet current and future emissions thresholds for rolling stock.
The modular EATS’ components from MAN Engines can be flexibly positioned. This allows customers to choose between a huge range of installation scenarios.
MAN’s engineers have designed the system (which has also become established in the truck sector) for the tough requirements away from the road and modified it for industrial needs.
Along with its robustness, the flexibility due to the separate positioning of mixers, SCR catalytic converters and particulate filters also offers a significant advantage. This gives customers more options to efficiently design their machines’ equipment areas, enabling them to take better account of criteria such as ease of maintenance and accessibility.
Aside from the D3876 and the modular EATS, MAN Engines will be exhibiting its tried and tested D2862 V12 engine, with a displacement of 24.2 liters. At its highest performance level (735 kW – or 986 hp – at 1,800 rpm), this produces 5,000 N·m in torque at 1,300 to 1,400 rpm. The top performance and efficiency of the MAN locomotive engine is available for railway vehicles at the current emission stages in power levels from 588 to 735 kW (789 to 986 hp).