Fri.Aug 23, 2019

Kopernikus Project P2X integrated container-scale test facility produces first fuels from air-captured CO2 and green power

Green Car Congress

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. Carbon Capture and Conversion (CCC) Fuels Power-to-Gas Power-to-Liquids

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2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV gets 259 miles of range, nudges past Kona Electric

Green Car Reports

For 2020, Chevrolet boosted the range of the Bolt EV to 259 miles—from 238 miles in 2019 and earlier models. According to the company, small tweaks in the chemistry of its battery cells accommodated the new range, though it says the capacity remains the same at 60 kilowatt-hours.

2019 110

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Robert Allan and MTU partner to develop first LNG-fueled shallow-draft pushboat design

Green Car Congress

Robert Allan Ltd. and MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH have developed the first LNG-fueled shallow-draft pushboat design: the RApide 2800-G pushboat.

2019 105

2020 Porsche Taycan could beat Tesla to market with vegan interior

Green Car Reports

Look out, Tesla. Some versions of the upcoming Porsche Taycan electric car are going vegan, too—perhaps before Tesla can get there. Well, for now let’s call it vegan-ish. In a first release of information about the production Taycan interior.

2019 110

Study finds road conditions in US states worsening in important categories

Green Car Congress

Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report finds that, after decades of incremental progress in several key categories, US highway conditions are deteriorating, especially in a group of problem-plagued states struggling to repair deficient bridges, maintain Interstate pavement and reduce urban traffic congestion. In looking at the nation’s highway system as a whole, there was a decades-long trend of incremental improvement in most key categories, but the overall condition of the highway system has worsened in recent years. This year we see some improvement on structurally deficient bridges, but pavement conditions on rural and urban highways are declining, the rise in traffic fatalities is worrying, and we aren’t making needed progress on traffic congestion in our major cities. —Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation. The 24 th Annual Highway Report, based on data that states submitted to the federal government, ranks each state’s highway system in 13 categories, including traffic fatalities, pavement condition, congestion, spending per mile, administrative costs and more. This edition of the Annual Highway Report uses state-submitted highway data from 2016, the most recent year with complete figures currently available, along with traffic congestion and bridge data from 2017. Overall Rankings, 24 th Annual Highway Report. North Dakota ranks first in the Annual Highway Report’s overall performance and cost-effectiveness rankings of state highway systems for the second year in a row. North Dakota’s rural and urban Interstate pavement conditions both rank in the top 10 and the state has kept its per-mile costs down. Virginia jumps 25 spots in the rankings—from 27 th overall in the previous report—into second-place in performance and cost-effectiveness. Missouri, Maine and Kentucky round out the top five states. The state highway systems in New Jersey (50 th ), Alaska (49 th ), Rhode Island (48 th ), Hawaii (47 th ), Massachusetts (46 th ) and New York (45 th ) rank at the bottom of the nation in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. Despite spending more money per mile than any other state, New Jersey has the worst urban traffic congestion and among the worst urban Interstate pavement conditions in the country. The study finds pavement conditions on both urban Interstates and rural Interstates are deteriorating, with the percentage of urban Interstate mileage in poor condition increasing in 29 of 50 states. One-third, 33%, of the nation’s urban Interstate mileage in poor condition is concentrated in just five states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, and New York. It’s not just urban Interstates with the rougher pavement, however, the Annual Highway Report finds the percentage of rural arterial principal roads in poor condition at its worst levels since 2000. Similarly, the study’s three traffic fatality categories—overall, urban and rural—all show more fatalities in 2016 than in any year since 2007. The most positive news is on bridges, where 39 states lowered the percentage of bridges deemed structurally deficient. Unfortunately, 18% or more of bridges remain structurally deficient in five states: Iowa, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Traffic congestion remains about the same from the previous report, with Americans spending an average of 35 hours a year stuck in traffic. Drivers in New Jersey, New York, California, Georgia and Massachusetts experience the longest delays due to urban traffic congestion in their metro regions. The Annual Highway Report finds states disbursed about $139 billion for state-controlled highways and arterials in 2016, a 4% decrease from approximately $145 billion spent in 2015. Some may point to the slight decrease in overall state highway spending in 2016 as a cause of the lack of improvement in key highway metrics, but 21 states made overall progress in 2016. Examining the 10-year average of state overall performance data indicates that the national system performance problems are largely concentrated in the bottom 10 states. Towards the bottom of the rankings, you have highly populated states, like last-place New Jersey, along with Massachusetts, New York, and California to a lesser extent, that are spending a lot but often failing to keep up with traffic congestion and road maintenance. There are also a few very problematic low-population states like Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii and Alaska, which contribute an outsized share of the nation’s structurally deficient bridges, poor pavement conditions, and high administrative costs—money that doesn’t make it to roads. —Baruch Feigenbaum. New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut spent the most on their highways on a per-mile basis, with each state spending more than $200,000 per mile of highway it controls. In contrast, Missouri, which ranks third overall in performance and cost-effectiveness, did so while spending just $23,534 per mile of highway it controls. Massachusetts ranks low in the overall rankings but shows the nation’s lowest traffic fatality rate, while South Carolina reports the highest. Infrastructure Market Background

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EVgo and Electrify America team up to make chargers more accessible

Green Car Reports

Finding a fast charger in the U.S. just got a lot easier for a lot of electric-car drivers. Two of America's largest fast-charging networks announced an agreement Thursday to allow each other's users to charge at their charging sites without signing up for new memberships or payment plans.

2019 106

Volkswagen Group begins expanding EV charging points at its German sites; 4,000 by 2025

Green Car Congress

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.

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Study: no one knows which city has the highest concentration of PM2.5

Green Car Congress

Exposure to ambient PM 2.5 is the leading global environmental risk factor for mortality and disease burden, with associated annual global welfare costs of trillions of dollars, However, no one knows what city has the highest level of the pollution. In an open-access paper recently published in Atmospheric Environment: X , an international team of researchers outline the extent of the gap between what researchers know and don’t know about on-the-ground levels of fine particulate matter.

2019 77

Chevy Bolt EV range boost, Porsche Taycan interior, dirty VW diesels: Today's Car News

Green Car Reports

GM has eked out more range for the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV. Porsche goes vegan for at least one interior choice in its new Taycan electric car. Volkswagen faces more trouble over diesels in a German court. And an agreement between Electrify America and EVgo makes charging access easier. All this and more on Green Car Reports. Porsche revealed much of. Today in Car News

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EVgo, Electrify America in interoperability agreement to increase EV public charging accessibility across the US

Green Car Congress

Electrify America and EVgo announced an interoperability agreement that increases access to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the US. The roaming partnership allows drivers to charge their EVs on both EVgo and Electrify America public chargers without additional fees. Drivers will be able to access public chargers on either the EVgo or Electrify America networks without having to create new memberships, registrations, or payment methods.

2019 70

Top five things we’ve learned this week

Green Cars News

This week saw police in Devon tackle a plastic crocodile, and we discovered the upcoming Bond film will be titled No Time to Die

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