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PNNL team develops new low-cost method to convert captured CO2 to methane

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Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new method to convert captured CO 2 into methane, the primary component of natural gas. Different methods for converting CO 2 into methane have long been known. In addition to geologic production, methane can be produced from renewable or recycled CO 2 sources, and can be used as fuel itself or as an H 2 energy carrier.

Japan team evaluates battery-assisted low-cost hydrogen production from solar energy

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Researchers from Japan’s NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science), the University of Tokyo and Hiroshima University have jointly conducted a techno-economic analysis for hydrogen production from photovoltaic power generation (PV) utilizing a battery-assisted electrolyzer. This approximately converts to US$1.92 For comparison, the US DOE’s 2020 target for the levelized cost of hydrogen (production only) is $2.30/kg. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Solar

2019 319
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Exeter team develops low-cost photoelectrode for spontaneous water-splitting using sunlight

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A promising way of storing solar energy is via chemical fuels, in particular hydrogen as it is considered as a future energy carrier. The greatest challenge is to develop a suitable technology for large scale and cost effective solar fuel production to compete with fossil fuel. One way this could be achieved is by using photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting which directly converts water and sunlight to solar fuel (hydrogen).

2018 274

LeMond Composites licenses ORNL low-cost carbon fiber manufacturing process; transportation, renewable energy, & infrastructure

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LeMond Composites, founded by three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, has licensed a low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber manufacturing process developed at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The agreement will make Oak Ridge-based LeMond Composites the first company to offer carbon fiber produced by the process to the transportation, renewable energy, and infrastructure markets.

EPFL team develops low-cost catalyst for splitting CO2

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EPFL scientists have developed an Earth-abundant and low-cost catalytic system for splitting CO 2 into CO and oxygen—an important step towards achieving the conversion of renewable energy into hydrocarbon fuels. A paper on the work appears in the journal Nature Energy. Tin oxide suppresses the generation of side-products, which are commonly observed from copper oxide catalysts, leading to the sole production of CO in the electroreduction of CO 2.

2017 150

Calysta Energy engineering organisms to convert methane to low-cost liquid hydrocarbons; BioGTL process

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Calysta is using its proprietary BioGTL biological gas-to-liquids platform to convert natural gas to liquid hydrocarbons. Start-up Calysta Energy plans to use methane as a feedstock for engineered organisms to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels and high value chemicals that are cost-effective, scalable and reduce environmental impact. Comparison of biofuel platform efficiency (source: Calysta Energy).

2012 196

TM4 receiving $3.7M to develop low-cost wheel motors

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million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) SD Tech Fund, through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, to develop low-cost wheel motors for electric and hybrid vehicles. The objective of this project is to design an in-wheel motor electric drive system with one of the highest power densities in the world, and at the lowest possible cost. TM4, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, is receiving $3.7

2015 185

Energy Vault to provide 1.6 GWh of gravity energy storage to support DG Fuels SAF projects

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Energy Vault, a company developing grid-scale gravity energy storage solutions, has entered into an energy storage system agreement with DG Fuels, a developer of renewable hydrogen and biogenic-based, synthetic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and diesel fuel.

Transform Materials plasma process converts abundant natural gas into high-value hydrogen and acetylene

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Transform Materials has developed a novel and sustainable microwave plasma reactor process to convert natural gas into high-value hydrogen and acetylene, thereby opening up a new pathway for green chemical manufacturing. Oxidation of methane also introduces impurities in the product stream.

2020 325

Thai researchers find waste chicken fat a good low-cost feedstock for renewable diesel

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In a study investigating the effect of the water and free fatty acid (FFA) content in waste chicken fat from poultry processing plants on the production of renewable diesel (not biodiesel), researchers in Thailand have found that both higher FFA and water content improved the biohydrogenated diesel (BHD) yield. In Thailand, chicken fat/oil and other wastes from the food industry have been used as important feed stocks for biodiesel production.

2015 214

AW-Energy entering green hydrogen market with wave energy device

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AW-Energy Oy is entering the commercial hydrogen market by introducing a combined WaveRoller and HydrogenHub process for the production of green hydrogen. In AW-Energy’s concept, wave energy complements solar power production to enable large-scale green hydrogen.

Saudi Aramco R&D proposes SuperButol as new low-cost high-octane blend component

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A team from Saudi Aramco Research and Development Center has developed a novel low-cost, high-octane gasoline blend component it calls SuperButol. SuperButol is made from low-value mixed butenes using a new process the team has named Butenes to Butanol (BTB); it has slightly lower blending RON compared to MTBE but has lower blending vapor pressure and higher energy content compared to ethanol.

2017 163

New nickel-gallium catalyst could lead to low-cost, clean production of methanol; small-scale, low-pressure devices

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Scientists from Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark have identified a new nickel-gallium catalyst that converts hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methanol at ambient pressure and with fewer side-products than the conventional catalyst. Comparison with conventional Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalysts revealed the same or better methanol synthesis activity, as well as considerably lower production of CO.

2014 218

MIT Researchers Identify New Low-Cost Water-Splitting Catalyst

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The Ni-B i films can be prepared with precise thickness control and operate at modest overpotential providing an alternative to the Co catalyst for applications in solar energy conversion. This could ultimately form the basis for new storage systems that would allow buildings to be completely independent and self-sustaining in terms of energy. By doing so, he aims to imitate the process of photosynthesis, by which plants harvest sunlight and convert the energy into chemical form.

MIT team outlines path to low-cost solar-to-fuels devices; the artificial leaf

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The new work outlines a research program to improve the efficiency of these systems, and could quickly lead to the production of a practical, inexpensive and commercially viable prototype. The original demonstration leaf in 2011 had low efficiencies, converting less than 4.7% This process would liberate solar energy for use when the sun isn’t shining, and open up a host of potential new applications. Fuels Hydrogen Production Solar

2013 191

Georgia Tech team develops simple, low-cost process for oxide nanowires; superior separators for Li-ion batteries

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The process could significantly lower the cost of producing the one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures, enabling a broad range of uses in lightweight structural composites, advanced sensors, electronic devices—and thermally-stable and strong battery membranes able to withstand temperatures of more than 1,000 ˚C. The process is believed to be the first to convert bulk powders to nanowires at ambient conditions.

2017 163

GM investigating ultracap-based Active Energy Recovery Buffer as low-cost mechanism to improve conventional vehicle fuel economy

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GM is exploring the use of an ultracapacitor-based Active Energy Recovery Buffer (AERB) scheme as a low-cost means to improve fuel economy in conventional vehicles; results of a simulation study presented at SAE 2011 World Congress showed improvement of up to 1.3% When the vehicle starts after a Stop event, the ultracap discharges its energy to power the accessory loads, thereby relieving the generator torque load on the engine, resulting in a decrease in fuel consumption.

2011 207

CalSEED awards $4.2M to early-stage clean energy innovations

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The California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (CalSEED) program announced that the fourth cohort of innovative clean energy concepts has been approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC); 28 companies out of 212 were selected to receive grants of $150,000 each. This novel technology would deliver safe, reliable, resilient, and cost-effective electric power in the grid. the cost of energy storage?by

2020 290

KIST team develops membrane reactor system to produce pure H2 from ammonia with high productivity

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Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have developed a steam-carrier-adopted composite membrane reactor system to produce pure H 2 (>99.99%) from ammonia with high productivity (>0.35 Membrane reactor for production of H 2 from NH 3.

2020 307

ARPA-E awarding ~$14.4M to four projects for production of hydrogen and carbon products from methane

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The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced approximately $21 million in funding for 7 projects in the next two cohorts of the agency’s OPEN+ program. million), or to produce super strong, durable concrete with lower cost and environmental impact (3 projects, $6.1 Converting Hydrocarbons to Recyclable Materials for Metal Replacement with Positive Hydrogen Output, $3,300,000. ARPA-E Hydrogen Hydrogen Production

2018 194

Porsche, Siemens Energy and partners advance climate-neutral eFuels development; Haru Oni pilot in Chile

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Porsche, Siemens Energy and partners are developing and implementing a pilot project—the “Haru Oni” project—in Chile that is expected to yield the world’s first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate-neutral fuels (eFuels).

Chile 209

EERC working with Fuel Cell Energy on $3.5M ARPA-E project for electrochemical cell to convert natural gas to methanol

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The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) is working with FuelCell Energy, Inc., an integrated stationary fuel cell manufacturer, to develop a durable, low-cost, and high-performance electrochemical cell to convert natural gas and other methane-rich gas into methanol, a major chemical commodity with worldwide applications in the production of liquid fuels, solvents, resins, and polymers.

2015 184

Avantium acquires Liquid Light; electrocatalysis to convert CO2 to chemicals

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Liquid Light has developed proprietary process technology to make major chemicals from low-cost, globally-abundant carbon dioxide. This acquisition will enable the development of a powerful technology platform on the basis of CO 2 feedstock, meaning it turns waste into valuable products such as chemicals and plastics. Renewable chemicals company Avantium has acquired the assets of Liquid Light.

2017 150

DOE awards $3.7M for high performance computing research at national laboratories for energy applications

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded $3.7 As part of DOE’s High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative, the 13 selected teams will work with the DOE’s national laboratories to apply advanced modeling, simulation, and data analysis to projects that improve manufacturing efficiency and explore new materials for energy applications. Robust Film Cooling Under Manufacturing Uncertainty for Improved Jet Engine LifeCycle Energy Efficiency.

Energy 268

Researchers use chemical looping process to produce hydrogen from hydrogen sulfide gas

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The process uses relatively little energy and a relatively cheap material—iron sulfide with a trace amount of molybdenum as an additive. Herein, we demonstrate a sulfur looping scheme in a one-reactor system using a low-cost and environmentally safe iron-based sulfur carrier.

Desktop Metal qualifies 4140 low-alloy steel for high-volume additive manufacturing of end-use parts with the Production System

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Desktop Metal is the first and only company to qualify 4140 low-alloy steel for use with metal binder jetting systems, enabling its use in mass production end-use part applications. million per year at a fully burdened part cost as low as $2.45. The Production System.

DOE to award up to $6.7M to projects to convert captured CO2 to useful products, including fuels

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award approximately $6.7 million in federal funding for cost-shared projects that will develop technologies that utilize CO 2 from coal-fired power plants to produce useful products. Another option is to use the CO 2 as a reagent to create useful products, such as cement, plastics, or liquid fuels. carbon fibers or plastics) while significantly reducing the energy demand/over potential required for the conversion process.

2016 150

Ceramic pump moves molten metal at a record 1,400 ?C; new avenues for energy storage and hydrogen production

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A ceramic-based mechanical pump able to operate at record temperatures of more than 1,400 ˚C (1,673 K) can transfer high-temperature liquids such as molten tin, enabling a new generation of energy conversion and storage systems. The research was supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and reported in the journal Nature. It appears likely that storing energy in the form of heat could be cheaper than any other form of energy storage that exists.

2017 163

Researchers develop new non-catalytic process for converting lipids from sewage sludge to biodiesel; high yield and economic production

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They also demonstrated that the production of biodiesel using the lipids extracted from sewage sludge (SS) could be economically feasible because of its remarkably high yield of oil and low cost, as compared to conventional biodiesel feedstocks. Despite the bright prospect of biodiesel production, efforts to commercialize it have been very limited. 75% of the total production costs. the activation energy can be reached by providing thermal energy.

2012 231

AIST, Toyota, and Toyota Central R&D Labs to consider joint research on advanced energy and environment technologies

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CRDL) have commenced discussions on joint research aimed at accelerating development and implementing advanced technologies in the field of energy and the environment. Carbon neutrality means achieving net-zero CO 2 emissions for the entire life cycle of a product in a recycling-based society—from its production, transportation, and use—followed by ensuring that it is recycled.

ARPA-E awards $33M to 13 intermediate-temp fuel cell projects; converting gaseous hydrocarbons to liquid fuels

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The US Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) is awarding $33 million to 13 new projects aimed at developing transformational fuel cell technologies for low-cost distributed power generation. Current advanced fuel cell research generally focuses on technologies that either operate at high temperatures for grid-scale applications or at low temperatures for vehicle technologies. Further, PARC’s cell will operate at relatively low temperatures of 200-300 ?C,

2014 237

Stanford GCEP awards $6.6M to 7 projects; focus on combining energy conversion with carbon-neutral fuel production

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Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) is awarding $6.6 million to seven research teams—six from Stanford and one from Carnegie Mellon University—to advance research on technologies for renewable energy conversion to electricity or fuels and for capturing CO 2 emissions and converting CO 2 to fuels. Researchers will create a low-cost silicon/gallium-based solar cell that’s more than twice as efficient as conventional thin-film cells.

2013 185

EC JRC finds delivery of large amounts of green hydrogen over long distances could be cost-effective

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The European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) published a policy brief showing that delivery of large amounts of renewable hydrogen over long distances could be cost-effective. Europe Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Hydrogen Storage Market Background

Caltech team proposes taxonomy for solar fuels generators; different approaches to converting sunlight to chemical fuels

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Researchers at the California Institute of Technology are proposing a nomenclature and taxonomy for solar fuels generators—devices that harness energy from sunlight to drive the synthesis of chemical fuels. In an open-access paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science , Dr. Lewis and colleagues outlined their method of using the source of the asymmetry that separates photogenerated electronics and holes as the basis for their taxonomy.

2014 210

Virginia Tech team develops process for high-yield production of hydrogen from xylose under mild conditions

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Percival Zhang, has developed a process to convert xylose—the second-most abundant sugar in plants—into hydrogen with approaching 100% of the theoretical yield. The findings of their study, published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, International Edition , suggest that cell-free biosystems could produce hydrogen from biomass xylose at low cost. Bio-hydrogen Biomass Biotech Hydrogen ProductionFlow of the new process; enzymes are in red.

2013 267

Toshiba opens Hydrogen Energy Research & Development Center

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Toshiba Corporation has opened the Toshiba Group Hydrogen Energy Research & Development Center (HRDC) at its Fuchu Complex in western Tokyo. The new Center will drive forward the development and demonstration of solutions integrating hydrogen-related energy technologies; Toshiba Group aims to increase the sales of hydrogen-related business to ¥100 billion (US$840 million) by 2020.

2015 240

DOE announces more than $65M in public and private funding to commercialize promising energy technologies

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $30 million in federal funding, matched by more than $35 million in private sector funds, for 68 projects that will accelerate the commercialization of promising energy technologies—ranging from clean energy and advanced manufacturing, to building efficiency and next-generation materials. Application of Advanced Materials Processing to Enable Direct Production of Fast Reactor Fuel Alloys, $1,000,000.

Company that biochemically converts coal to methane raises Series B funding

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Ciris Energy, Inc., an emerging natural gas production company which uses proprietary technology to convert both underground and mined low-rank coal to pipeline-quality methane biochemically at large scale and low cost, has raised equity in its second round of financing, led by new investor Khosla Ventures. Existing investors Braemar Energy Ventures, Rho Ventures, and GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, also participated in the funding.

2011 179

Los Alamos and Oberon Fuels receive DOE funding to produce renewable hydrogen from renewable DME (rDME)

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DME is a hydrogen-rich molecule that can be produced from waste and/or renewable resources using Oberon’s modular production technology. This project will produce the final step—technology that can convert rDME into rH2 fuel at the point of use.

ORNL exclusively licenses plasma processing technology for carbon fiber production to RMX Technologies; 75% less energy, 20% lower cost

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RMX Technologies and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have signed an exclusive licensing agreement for a new technology that significantly reduces the time and energy needed in the production of carbon fiber. Combing these benefits with a low-cost precursor currently in development, the result can be a carbon fiber product that is 40% less expensive to manufacture than current commercial products.

2016 150

bp plans UK’s largest hydrogen project; 1GW of blue hydrogen

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bp is developing plans for the UK’s largest blue hydrogen production facility, targeting 1GW of hydrogen production by 2030. bp’s hydrogen business and make a major contribution to the UK Government’s target of developing 5GW of hydrogen production by 2030.

INL researchers develop high-performance oxygen electrode for PCEC cell; high-temperature electrolysis

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Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory have developed a new electrode material for a protonic ceramic electrochemical cell (PCEC) that can efficiently convert excess electricity and water into hydrogen. Hydrogen Hydrogen Production

2020 288

Wisconsin Researchers Devise Process to Convert Biomass Intermediate Product into Drop-in Transportation Fuels Without Use of External Hydrogen or Precious Metal Catalysts

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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, led by Dr. James Dumesic, have developed a process to convert aqueous solutions of ?-valerolactone Not requiring hydrogen or precious metal catalysts could contribute to a lower cost for a commercial-scale version of the process than some other renewable hydrocarbon fuel technologies. GVL has previously been identified as a potential feedstock in the production of both energy and fine chemicals.

2010 185