Expanded graphite as a superior anode for sodium-ion batteries

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Researchers at the University of Maryland, with colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, report on a new method for expanding graphite for use as a superior anode for sodium-ion batteries in a paper in Nature Communications. Sodium (Na) is an earth-abundant and inexpensive element, and shares many properties with lithium. to enlarge the interlayer lattice distance to accomodate the larger sodium ions.

Sodium 185

BASF investigating sodium-air batteries as alternative to Li-air; patent application filed with USPTO

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In a paper in Nature Materials , a team of researchers from BASF SE and Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen report on the performance of a sodium-air (sodium superoxide) cell. Their work, they suggest, demonstrates that substitution of lithium by sodium may offer an unexpected route towards rechargeable metal–air batteries. However, this system can also suffer from similar high overpotentials and low energy efficiencies when using carbonate-based sodium electrolytes.

2012 241
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PG&E, Calif. Energy Commission launch 4MW sodium-sulfur grid storage pilot in San Jose

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Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the California Energy Commission today unveiled a utility-scale sodium-sulfur battery energy storage system ( earlier post ) pilot project to better balance power needs of the electric grid. NGK Insulators ( earlier post ) is the manufacturer of the sodium sulfur (NaS) battery system which includes the battery modules and control system for managing DC input/output and other parameters for maximizing module longevity.

Study finds high sodium bicarbonate concentrations in water from coal-bed natural gas production harms aquatic life; water treatment can mitigate effects

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Produced water from coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) production may contain sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO 3 ) at concentrations that can harm aquatic life, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the Bureau of Land Management and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Salts such as sodium bicarbonate are found naturally in the water along the coal-bed natural gas seams.

2012 191

Ceramatec licensing molten sodium technology for heavy oil upgrading; removing the need for diluent for bitumen

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Flowchart of Molten Sodium Upgrading process. A new company, Field Upgrading (Calgary, Alberta), has been formed dedicated to developing and commercializing the Molten Sodium Upgrading (MSU) technology. The MSU process involves mixing elemental molten sodium and small quantities of hydrogen or methane to reduce significantly the levels of sulphur, metals, TAN (total acid number) and asphaltenes in heavy oil feedstocks, including oil sands bitumen.

2013 179

GE posts $63M in orders for Durathon sodium-halide battery systems

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GE’s Energy Storage business announced $63 million in new Durathon sodium-halide battery orders since the business launched in July. GE’s Durathon battery technology works by employing sodium chemistry to capture excess energy from the diesel fuel generators. The Durathon battery can help extend mobile phone service to billions of people worldwide by helping generator-powered cell towers operate more efficiently, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

2012 204

Process for Hydrogen Production from Sodium Sulfite Solutions Resulting from Capture of SO2 from Coal Flue Gas

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Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a novel ultraviolet (UV) photolytic process for the production of hydrogen from aqueous Na 2 SO 3 (sodium sulfite) solutions created by the absorption of SO 2 using an aqueous sodium hydroxide solution as a mechanism to treat SO 2 emissions from sources such as coal-fired power plants and refineries. A number of technologies have been employed for the capture and disposal of SO 2 from a flue gas stream.

2010 170

ARPA-E awarding $24M to two SCALEUP projects: battery technology and methane detection

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These SCALEUP “Fast-Track” teams, Natron Energy and Bridger Photonics, will receive $19 million and $5 million, respectively, to further their commercialization efforts in sodium-ion battery development and methane detection technologies, respectively. Natron Energy: Domestic Manufacturing of Sodium-Ion Batteries - $19,883,951. developed the next generation of methane leak detection and quantification, Gas Mapping LiDAR (GML). ARPA-E Batteries Natural Gas Sensors

2020 170

Phillips 66 progressing its conversion of California refinery to renewable fuels

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The conversion is expected to reduce the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and help California meet its lower-carbon objectives. In August 2020, Phillips 66 announced that it planned to reconfigure its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, to produce renewable fuels.

Imperial Oil and E3 Lithium partner on lithium pilot project, redeveloping historic oil field

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The pilot will support E3 Lithium’s Clearwater project, which will draw lithium from under the Leduc oil field, Imperial’s historic discovery that first launched major oil and gas development in Western Canada. calcium, magnesium, sodium); and a 20x-100x lithium concentration factor.

Oil 326

Researchers Develop New Lower-Cost, Efficient Catalyst for Water Gas Shift Reaction for Hydrogen Production

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A team of researchers from Tufts University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard University report that alkali ions (sodium or potassium) added in small amounts activate platinum adsorbed on alumina or silica for the low-temperature water-gas shift (WGS) reaction (H 2 O+CO→ H 2 +CO 2 ) used for producing hydrogen. They also found that the sodium or potassium ions helped to stabilize the catalytic site.

2010 161

Ganfeng Lithium’s Ma Hong Factory adding 50,000 tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide annual production capacity; 81,000t total capacity

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The plant uses natural gas instead of coal as the main energy source; realizes 100% recycling and recycling of condensed water; encourages the utilization of by-products, and transports products such as calcium silicate slag, sodium sulfate, calcium sulfate slag, etc. Ganfeng Lithium’s Ma Hong factory, founded in 2012, is located in the High-tech Development Zone of Xinyu City, Jiangxi Province.

Sodium 179

MIT and Moscow State collaborating on advanced batteries, metal-air batteries and reversible fuel/electrolysis cells

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Other work focuses on sodium as an earth-abundant alternative to lithium, but while it could lower cost, sodium ions also carry just a single charge. High-temperature solid-oxide fuel cells and solid-oxide electrolysis cells have potential over the intermediate term to double energy efficiency from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as over the long-term to enable the shift to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

2015 214

Porous Metal-Organic Frameworks Made from Food-Grade Natural Products; Edible MOFs for Gas Storage and Other Applications

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Suitable candidates include ordinary table salt (sodium chloride), the common salt substitute potassium chloride, or potassium benzoate, an approved preservative. A rendering of an element of a CD-MOF. Click to enlarge. A team of researchers from Northwestern University, UCLA and the University of St. Andrews (UK) have developed new robust nanoporous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) using a sugar—?-cyclodextrin cyclodextrin (?-CD),

2010 170

DOE awards Cummins $5M for automation of electrolyzer cell and stack assembly

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To dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet ambitious climate goals, we must invest now in scaling electrolyzer manufacturing and green hydrogen production to create a viable zero-emissions ecosystem. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers use a solid polymer electrolyte, and alkaline electrolyzers use an electrolyte solution, such as potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide mixed with water.

Sodium 267

New mesoporous crystalline Si exhibits increased rate of H2 production; potential use in Li-ion batteries also

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They then treat the material with a sodium potassium alloy. Micrograph of mesoporous silicon with sodium chloride and potassium chloride salts embedded in the matrix. Once the bonds break, the chlorine binds with the sodium, potassium and silicon, potassium chloride and sodium chloride—table salt—become solid, forming a material composed of crystals of salt embedded in silicon. There are some processes that use sodium potassium alloy at industrial levels.

2014 191

New 3-step process for conversion of kraft lignin from black liquor into green diesel

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The process produces a toxic byproduct referred to as black liquor—a primarily liquid mixture of pulping residues (such as lignin and hemicellulose) and inorganic chemicals from the Kraft process (sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfide, for example). This makes black liquor the fifth most important fuel in the world, next to coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline.

2016 224

Researchers convert atmospheric CO2 to carbon nanofibers and nanotubes for use as anodes in Li-ion and Na-ion batteries

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Researchers from George Washington University and Vanderbilt University have demonstrated the conversion of atmospheric CO 2 into carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for use as high-performance anodes in both lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries. STEP is an efficient solar chemical process, based on a synergy of solar thermal and endothermic electrolyses, designed to convert greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into a useful carbon commodity.

2016 190

UK Technology Strategy Board Awards More Than 12M to 22 Projects to Speed Up Development of Low-Carbon Technology for Vehicles; Includes Gas Turbine Range Extender and Li-S Battery Cells

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Projects to be funded include: Ultra Lightweight Gas Turbine Range Extender for Electric Vehicles. The aim of this project is to develop an ultra-lightweight, gas turbine powered, electric vehicle range extender that will enable vehicle weight savings of 100 kg or more and a modest reduction in CO 2 emissions on the UNECE101 drive cycle. High energy sodium-nickel battery cell for EV application (Acronym: NINACELL).

2010 196

Physicists Spin Up Quantum Tornadoes

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Now comes a report on a quantum gas, called a Bose-Einstein condensate, which scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology first stretched into a skinny rod, then rotated until it broke up. We know what direction we’re pushing, and we see the gas getting longer,” he says.

MIT 89

PNNL: single-crystal nickel-rich cathode holds promise for next-generation Li-ion batteries

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High-energy nickel (Ni)–rich cathode will play a key role in advanced lithium (Li)–ion batteries, but it suffers from moisture sensitivity, side reactions, and gas generation.

2020 339

DOE awards $3.5M for advanced nuclear reactor projects

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Westinghouse’s project will conduct analysis on sodium thermal hydraulics to support advanced nuclear reactor design. The project will provide analytical tools to help quantify heat exchanger performance and improve component engineering for sodium-cooled reactor designs. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $3.5 million for four advanced nuclear reactor projects that go beyond traditional light water designs.

2013 192

Western Hydrogen produces first hydrogen from Molten Salt Gasification pilot plant

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The MSG process, under license from Idaho National Laboratory, uses a combination of molten sodium salts (sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide) to convert a carbon feedstock and water into hydrogen. Depending on operating conditions, the system can produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide at pressures up to 2000 psig; or synthesis gas (i.e. If required, the hydrogen to carbon monoxide ratio can be adjusted by conducting a water gas shift reaction prior to the FT reactor.

New solid hydrogen-on-demand fuel cell from HES Energy Systems flies UAV for record 6 hours

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Unlike a typical hydrogen fuel cell, the system doesn’t store its fuel as pressurized hydrogen gas, but stores it as a solid chemical material, making it easy for end-users to handle in the field. The company began with various approaches and technologies including the use of costly sodium borohydride. the system designs based on sodium borohydride were complex, fragile, and came with many challenges for end-users.

2016 163

Stanford team develops efficient electrochemical cells for CO2 conversion

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The electrochemical cells created by Kanan and his team combat these inefficiencies with a modified design that produces a concentrated stream of ethylene gas and a sodium acetate solution 1,000 times more concentrated than product obtained with previous cells. The cell uses a gas diffusion electrode (GDE) combined with a carefully designed flow field that greatly improves the delivery of CO to the electrode surface and the removal of products.

2018 195

NSF to award $13M to projects focused on electrochemical and organic photovoltaic systems

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Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources. Advanced systems such as lithium-air, sodium-ion, as well as lithium-ion electrochemical energy storage are appropriate. Photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical processes for the splitting of water into H 2 gas, or for the reduction of CO 2 to liquid or gaseous fuels are appropriate.

2017 161

GE and PowerStream launch Ontario microgrid demonstration project; Durathon batteries

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For the project, GE provided its Grid IQ Microgrid Control System (MCS), as well as the engineering design services, to help PowerStream build a microgrid, which uses renewable energy resources (wind, solar); a natural-gas generator; and energy storage devices (including GE’s Durathon sodium-metal halide batteries, earlier post ) to provide electricity for loads at its head office including lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration and electric vehicle charging.

2014 185

DOE awarding $13M to 5 companies for advanced nuclear reactor projects

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NGNP Industry Alliance partnering with AREVA, UltraSafe Nuclear Company, Westinghouse, and Texas A&M University - High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) Post-accident Heat Removal and Testing. Westinghouse Electric Company partnering with ANL and the University of Pittsburg - Development of thermo-acoustic sensors for Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFR).

2014 161

Ballard conditionally awarded C$7M by SDTC for fuel cell distributed power generation

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The first application of this new lower cost distributed generation solution is expected to be a six-megawatt (6MW) CLEARgen system at the ERCO Worldwide (ERCO) sodium chlorate plant in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The ERCO plant in North Vancouver generates large quantities of hydrogen as a by-product of sodium chlorate production, and this by-product hydrogen can be used to power the Ballard CLEARgen system to generate megawatts of electricity.

2011 179

Nouryon, Tata Steel, Port of Amsterdam to study feasibility of largest green H2 cluster in Europe; 100 MW water electrolysis facility

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Green hydrogen is a realistic alternative for fossil-based raw materials and enables new forms of green chemistry, such as using steel mill gas, CO 2 , or waste to make plastics and move to new, circular value chains. Nouryon already has 1000 MW of electrolysis capacity installed in various facilities, using three processes: chlor-alkali, sodium chlorate, and water electrolysis.

2018 161

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

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Cyclonatix, Inc is developing an industrial-sized motor/controller to operate with either DC or AC power sources, for applications in electric vehicles, solar-powered pumps, HVAC&R, gas compressors, and other commercial and industrial machines which require high efficiency, variable speed/torque, and low cost. EV Life, LLC is building the first online platform that gives drivers everything they need to switch from gas to an electric car.

2020 294

NSF to award $13M for fundamental engineering research on production of electricity and fuels

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Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources. Advanced systems such as lithium-air, sodium-ion, as well as lithium-ion electrochemical energy storage are appropriate.

2015 184

UCLA Health Center receives electric Winnebago as mobile surgical instrument lab; MOTIV EPIC chassis

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The Motiv system features a TM4 electric drivetrain with 250 kW and 2,300 N·m peak motor and a 127 kWh sodium-nickel battery system. HVIP cuts air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while accelerating the development and commercialization of clean transportation technologies. Winnebago Industries, Inc. delivered the first all-electric mobile surgical instrument lab (eMSIL) to University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Health Center.

2019 161

Pedego Electric Bikes and SiGNa Chemistry Demonstrate Battery-Fuel Cell Solution for Electric Bicycles

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A key innovation is the use of sodium silicide to liberate hydrogen from water as needed by the hybrid fuel cell. These products are fundamental components used for general synthesis in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, specialty chemical and environmental remediation industries as well as provide the ability to enable portable fuel cells by producing pure low-pressure hydrogen gas on demand from a safe, stable dry powder at room temperature.

2010 207

Caltech engineers devise new thermochemical cycle for water splitting for H2; recyclable, non-toxic, non-corrosive and at lower temperatures

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Providing a possible new route to hydrogen-gas production, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have devised a new manganese-based thermochemical cycle with a highest operating temperature of 850?°C The new thermochemical cycle devised by the team has four main steps: Thermal treatment of a physical mixture of Na 2 CO 3 (sodium carbonate) and Mn 3 O 4 (manganese (II, III) oxide) to produce MnO (manganese (II) oxide), CO, and ?-NaMnO

2012 185

Self-propelled catalytic microparticles boost hydrogen release from liquid storage media

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The new motion-based H 2 -generation concept relies on the continuous movement of Pt-black/Ti Janus microparticle motors in a solution of sodium borohydride (NaBH 4 ). Among these, sodium borohydride (NaBH4) is an attractive candidate offering several advantages, including high hydrogen density, non-flammable, controllable hydrogen-generation rate, moderate operation temperature, stability in alkaline solutions, and nontoxic hydrolysis by-products.

2015 210

Novel single-site gold WGS catalysts may offer pathway to lower-cost production of hydrogen, fuels and chemicals

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A team of researchers from universities and national laboratories led by Tufts University has developed catalysts composed of a unique structure of single gold atoms bound by oxygen to several sodium or potassium atoms and supported on non-reactive silica materials. The water-gas shift (WGS) reaction (CO + H 2 O = CO 2 + H 2 ) is an important reaction for hydrogen upgrading during fuel gas processing.

2014 179

MAN Diesel & Turbo delivers 1st IMO-certified two-stroke with Tier III NOx control, EGR systems

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two-stroke main-engines that feature integrated Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems. EGR is a NO x emissions-control technology that works by recirculating a portion of an engine’s exhaust gas back to the engine cylinders. A part of the exhaust gas is drawn through a scrubber, cooler, and water mist catcher by suction created from an electrically-driven, specially designed blower. Sodium hydroxide dosing is therefore required to neutralise the acidic scrubber water.

2016 150

Skyonic awards $117M construction contract to Toyo-Thai-USA for commercial-scale carbon capture and utilization plant

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Skyonic’s electrolytic carbon capture technology, SkyMine, selectively captures CO 2 , acid gases and heavy metals from flue gas. The captured pollutants are mineralized into solid products, including sodium bicarbonate, which are stored, transported and sold as safe, stable solids.

2013 161

EPA opens door to consider Carbon Capture and Utilization as part of new Clean Power Plan; algae industry locks on

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Algae biofuel company Algenol, whose pathway for algae-derived ethanol received EPA approval earlier this year as as advanced biofuel (50% greenhouse gas reduction) ( earlier post ), issued its own statement heralding the CPP for acknowledging “ for the first time the value of carbon utilization, the cornerstone of Algenol’s Direct-to-Ethanol technology, as a method for utilities to reduce emissions from electricity production and comply with the Clean Air Act requirements for CO 2 emissions. ”.

2015 210

3 MIT-led teams win DOE NEUP funding for next-gen nuclear technologies

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The FHR is a new reactor concept that combines high-temperature graphite-matrix-coated particle fuel developed for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors; liquid salt coolant developed for molten salt reactors; and safety systems originating with sodium fast reactors. Three MIT-led research teams have won awards from the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs ( NEUP ) initiative to support research and development on the next generation of nuclear technologies.

2014 185

Mercom: battery, smart grid, energy efficiency companies raised $2.3B in VC funding in 2019; 18% lower than 2018

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Other categories that received funding included Gravity storage, Flow batteries, CAES, Energy storage downstream, Fuel cells, Liquid metal batteries, Thermal energy storage, Solid-state batteries, Sodium-based batteries, and Zinc-air batteries.

2020 195

Tuning electrode surfaces to optimize solar fuel production

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To create a bismuth-rich surface, the scientists placed one sample in a solution of sodium hydroxide, a strong base. Both of these charge carriers need to have enough energy to do the necessary chemistry for the water-splitting reaction: holes to oxidize water into oxygen gas, and electrons to reduce water into hydrogen gas.

Solar 170