Western Hydrogen produces first hydrogen from Molten Salt Gasification pilot plant

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Molten Salt Gasification Process. Western Hydrogen Limited reported first production of hydrogen from its Molten Salt Gasification (MSG) pilot plant in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Click to enlarge.

Sumitomo considering marketing new lower-temperature molten-salt electrolyte battery to automakers for EVs and hybrids

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Construction of the molten-salt electrolyte battery. is considering targeting its lower-temperature molten-salt electrolyte battery, being developed in partnership with Kyoto University ( earlier post ), to makers of electric and hybrid passenger cars, according to Bloomberg. A drawback to the general class of molten salt batteries (e.g., In a joint project with Kyoto University, Sumitomo developed a molten salt with a melting point as low as 57 °C.

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Report: Sumitomo and Kyoto University developing lower temperature molten-salt battery; about 10% the cost of Li-ion

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in partnership with Kyoto University, has developed a lower temperature molten-salt rechargeable battery that promises to cost only about 10% as much as lithium ion batteries. Molten-salt batteries use highly conductive molten salts as an electrolyte, and can offer high energy and power densities. The ZEBRA battery is an example of a molten salt battery. The Nikkei reports that Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.,

GE unit invests with KGAL in 50-Mw Spanish concentrated solar power plant featuring molten salt energy storage

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million in a 50-megawatt parabolic trough concentrated solar power plant using molten salt energy storage in Torre de Miguel Sesmero, Badajoz, Spain. ACS has built more than €2 billion worth of concentrated solar power facilities with molten salt storage in Spain. This investment is GE Energy Financial Services’ first in a concentrated solar power plant using molten salt storage.

SDTC awards C$1.5M to support Molten Salt Catalyzed Gasification for hydrogen production; targeting reduced GHG footprint for oil sands synthetic crude

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will receive a $C1.5-million investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada to support the development and commercialization of a new hydrogen manufacturing technology called Molten Salt Catalyzed Gasification (MSG), originally developed at the US Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Receives $10.2M Contract for Concentrated Solar Power Tower with Thermal Storage Technology

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Liquefied molten salt is circulated into the receiver, where it is heated to about 1,000 °F (about 538 °C), then stored in a large insulated tank. The energy from this stored molten salt is available on-demand to drive a steam turbine to create electricity. Because hot molten salt can be stored for days with little heat-loss, it can be used at night or on cloudy days to generate electricity. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne received an award of up to $10.2

Sadoway and MIT team demonstrate calcium-metal-based liquid metal battery

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All the active components in a liquid metal battery (LMB) are liquid: a low-density liquid metal negative electrode; an intermediate-density molten salt electrolyte; and a high-density liquid metal positive electrode.

2016 78

Lux Research: grid storage battery cost to fall to $500/kWh by 2022, short of expectations

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Lithium-ion and molten-salt battery costs will approach $500/kWh by 2022, reducing the high capital cost of emerging grid storage technologies. Molten-salt batteries hold the most potential to be the cheapest large-scale systems, with manufacturing improvements playing the largest role, accounting for 95% of the cost reduction.

BASF announces winners of the open innovation contest on energy storage

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The winning concepts were: A molten air battery that uses a molten salt electrolyte at elevated temperature from Professor Stuart Licht at George Washington University. BASF announced the winners of the BASF Energy Contest at the “Creator Space Summit” in Ludwigshafen. From 122 applications submitted on the online platform NineSights, a jury of BASF experts and external specialists chose the four best proposals which will be funded with €100,000 (US$106,000) each.

2015 60

Lux: Li-ion dominating grid storage market with 90% of 2014 proposals

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Molten salt batteries still account for a majority of installations by energy capacity, because of NGK Insulators’ early lead, but are no longer the technology of choice, according to Lux. Molten salt batteries—consisting almost entirely of sodium-sulfur (NaS)—account for 23% of all deployed MW and 64% of deployed MWh respectively.

DOE requesting information on critical energy materials, including fuel cell platinum group metal catalysts

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Solid oxide solid acid Phosphoric acid molten carbonate Polymer electrolyte membrane. Mirrors Molten salts. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a Request for Information (RFI) on critical materials in the energy sector, including fuel cell platinum group metal catalysts.

2016 60

Stanford team devises new bio-inspired strategy for using CO2 to produce multi-carbon compounds such as plastics and fuels

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In the paper in Nature they showed that intermediate-temperature (200 to 350 ˚C) molten salts containing caesium or potassium cations enable carbonate ions (CO 3 2– ) to deprotonate very weakly acidic C–H bonds, generating carbon-centered nucleophiles that react with CO 2 to form carboxylates. She then heated the mixture to about 200 ˚C to form a molten salt. After five hours, 89% of the molten-salt mixture had been converted to FDCA.

2016 60

JBEI team develops one-pot, wash-free process for pretreatment and saccharification of switchgrass; avenues for driving down biofuel cost

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In their efforts to develop cost-effective ways to deconstruct cellulosic biomass into fuel sugars, the researchers focused on pretreatments of the biomass with ionic liquids—environmentally benign organic salts often used as green chemistry substitutes for volatile organic solvents.

2013 104

ORNL and Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics in CRADA for development of fluoride salt-cooled high-temp reactors

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) are engaged in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) focused on accelerating scientific understanding and technical development of salt-cooled reactors, specifically fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactors ( FHRs ). Samples of the new alloys show promise for application in high stress applications at higher temperatures along with good fluoride salt corrosion resistance.

2015 65

GE Launches Durathon Sodium-Metal Halide Battery for UPS Market

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The cathode structure of a sodium-metal halide cell consists of a conductive Ni network, molten salt electrolyte, metal current collector, carbon felt electrolyte reservoir, and the active sodium-metal halide salts.

Team develops electroplating method for Li-ion cathode production; high performance and new form factors, functionalities

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In an open-access paper in the journal Science Advances, the team reports using a low-temperature (260 °C) molten salt electrodeposition approach directly to electroplate the Li-ion cathode materials layered LiCoO 2 , spinel LiMn 2 O 4 , and Al-doped LiCoO 2.

2017 85

MIT team calls initial performance results of magnesium-antimony liquid metal battery “promising”

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Because of density differences and immiscibility, the salt and metal phases stratify into three distinct layers: Schematic of a Mg||Sb liquid metal battery comprising three liquid layers that operates at 700 °C.

2012 104

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

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Fluoride-salt High-Temperature Reactor. The award extends funding for the integrated research project (IRP) between MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison to develop a test reactor and, ultimately, a commercial high-temperature salt-cooled reactor, also called a Fluoride-salt High-Temperature Reactor [FHR].

2014 60

AIST researchers synthesize new class of high-voltage, high-capacity cathode materials for Li-ion batteries

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Recently, we reported that a thermal treatment after the ion-exchange reaction using a molten salt improved the charge- discharge performance of O3-Li 0.7 The team attributed the performance of the new composition to the predominant retention of the layered rock-salt structure over the spinel phase.

2016 65

GE to expand sodium-halide battery plant with $70M investment

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The structure of a sodium-metal halide cell consists of a conductive Ni network, molten salt electrolyte, metal current collector, carbon felt electrolyte reservoir, and the active sodium-metal halide salts. The batteries thus are produced using abundantly available raw materials such as salt and nickel and are non-toxic and fully recyclable.

Honda develops process to reuse rare earth metals extracted from old NiMH batteries for new NiMH batteries for hybrid vehicles

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Now, by applying molten salt electrolysis to this oxide, Honda has succeeded in extracting metallized rare earth that can be used directly as negative-electrode materials for nickel-metal hydride batteries. Honda’s process for recycling NiMH batteries. The new portion of the process is outlined in red. Click to enlarge. Honda Motor Co.,

ARPA-E Selects 6 Projects for $9.6M in Funding, Including Improving Efficiency and Power Density of Electric Machines

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Two-tank molten salt is currently the preferred state-of-the-art thermal energy storage for solar thermal power plants. The UCLA-led team will develop and implement a supercritical fluid based thermal energy storage system which will potentially increase the energy density by over a factor of two compared to the two-tank molten salt system, with a cost less than 70% of the molten salt system.

MIT team proposes ARC fusion reactor: affordable, robust, compact

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ARC uses an all-liquid blanket, consisting of low pressure, slowly flowing fluorine lithium beryllium (FLiBe) molten salt.

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.

2017 85

German researchers improve catalyst for steam reforming of methanol with salt coating; enabler for renewable energy storage systems

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This is a temperature level too low for operating the MeOH steam reforming reaction with high hydrogen yields.Herein, we report that Pt on alumina catalysts exhibit an exceedingly enhanced activity and selectivity after surface modification with a thin-film coating of hygroscopic and basic inorganic salts. Liquid salts have very low vapor pressures so that even under the conditions used for a continuous reaction in the gas phase, they remain on the surface of the catalyst.

GWU team uses one-pot process to co-generate H2 and solid carbon from water and CO2; solar fuels

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Molten hydroxides are important as conductive, high-current, low-electrolysis-potential electrolytes for water splitting to generate hydrogen, the team notes in the paper. In general, we have found an energy advantage in applying STEP to liquid, molten electrolyte cells.

2014 85

JBEI scientists use CO2 to control toxicity of ionic liquids in biomass pretreatment; lowering production costs

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Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories working at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have demonstrated that adding CO 2 during the deconstruction phase of biofuel production successfully neutralizes the toxicity of ionic liquids, the room-temperature molten salt solvent used at JBEI to break down cellulosic plant material.

2016 60

ARPA-E to award $30M to increase performance of solid ion conductors for batteries, fuel cells

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There are many classes of ion conductors, including aqueous and nonaqueous salt solutions; solid ceramics; polymers and polymer gels; molten salts; and others.

2016 85

Oak Ridge-GM prototype low-viscosity ionic liquid-additized engine oil delivers 2% fuel economy improvement over 5W-30

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Ionic liquids are “room temperature molten salts”, composed of cations & anions, instead of neutral molecules. A team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Motors, led by ORNL researcher Dr. Jun Qu, has developed a new group of ionic liquids as lubricant additives that could help improve the energy efficiency of cars and trucks.

2013 92

ARPA-E awarding $30M to 12 hybrid solar projects; conversion and storage

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The engine and solar cell are surrounded by salts that store heat as needed by melting when the sun shines and releases the heat to make electricity by solidifying when the sun is not shinning. Hybrid Solar Converter with Solar Pond Receiver Otherlab will develop an integrated system that splits the solar spectrum, converting the most suitable wavelengths of sunlight into electricity via high-efficiency solar cells and using the rest of the spectrum to directly heat a pool of molten salt.

2014 76

US DOE Offers Abengoa Solar a Conditional Commitment for $1.45B Loan Guarantee for Concentrating Solar Power Plant

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Solana will include six hours of molten salt thermal energy storage capability, which will allow energy to be dispatched as needed during cloudy periods and after sunset. President Obama announced in his weekly video address on 3 July that DOE has offered a conditional commitment for a $1.45 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar, Inc.

Start-up Proposes Ionic Liquid - Amine Systems for Carbon Capture and Natural Gas Processing

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Ionic liquids are molten salts that do not evaporate, and can be used to replace the current aqueous amine technology with proprietary ionic liquid – amine technology. ION Engineering , a start-up founded by scientists at the University of Colorado, is integrating room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) solutions into amine-based carbon capture and emissions control technology.

2009 69

OSU researchers explore mechanism behind the production of a new high-strength, ductile steel; could enable auto frames 30% thinner and lighter

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The flash process consumes only a kW of energy per kilogram of steel processed; water is used instead of polluting oils or molten salt. Researchers at Ohio State University are working in collaboration with the inventor to understand the science behind a new flash-processing treatment that produces steel at least 7% stronger and with 30% greater elongation than published results on martensitic advanced high-strength steel.

2011 73

Researchers Propose Solar-Driven Biomass Gasification Pathway for Synthetic Fuel Production

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High temperature heat for biomass gasification is obtained from a molten-salt system in a solar concentrating tower. One of the feasible approaches is heating sand (Olivine, also the catalyst of gasification reaction) by hot molten salt from a solar concentrator tower, using a gasifier designed as a fluidized-bed of olivine particles. Schema of synfuel synthesis through solar-driven biomass gasification.

2009 69

Boulder Ionics raises $4.3M for high-throughput production of ionic liquid electrolytes for energy storage devices

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Ionic liquids (room-temperature molten salts) are a relatively new class of materials that show promise for electrolytes in energy storage applications. Boulder Ionics Corporation, a startup that has developed a novel, high-throughput, low-cost synthesis platform for producing ionic liquid electrolytes for use in advanced energy storage devices, completed a $4.3-million Series A financing. With this $4.3

JBEI team develops new one-pot process to extract biomass sugars from ionic liquid solutions

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The use of ionic liquids (molten salts with melting points. reported that certain hydrophilic ILs could form an aqueous biphasic system (ABS) in the presence of concentrated kosmotropic salts.

2013 78

MIT team improves liquid metal batteries for grid-scale storage; lower operating temperature, cost

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Professor Donald Sadoway and colleagues have already started a company, Ambri (initially Liquid Metal Battery Corporation), to produce electrical-grid-scale liquid batteries, which comprise layers of molten material which automatically separate due to their differing densities. Researchers at MIT have improved a proposed liquid battery system that could enable renewable energy sources to compete with conventional power plants.

2014 60

US Naval Research Lab scientists developing ionic liquid batteries

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Ionic liquids are room temperature molten salts that possess many important characteristics, such as nearly no vapor pressure, non-flammability and lack of reactivity in various electrochemical or industrial applications. From left to right: (A) a Zn anode (1 cm in diameter), (B) an EMIHSO 4 - PVA separator (laying on a syringe needle to illustrate thickness and transparency), and (C) a PbO 2 - carbon cathode. Source: NRL. Click to enlarge.

JBEI researchers develop “bionic” liquids: ionic liquids derived from lignin and hemicelullose; towards closed-loop biorefineries

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Researchers at JBEI have been cost-effectively deconstructing biomass into fuel sugars by pre-treating the biomass with ionic liquids—salts that are composed entirely of paired ions and are liquid at room temperature. The ionic liquids that have emerged from this JBEI effort as a benchmark for biomass processing are imidazolium-based molten salts, which are made from nonrenewable sources such as petroleum or natural gas.

2014 60

California Energy Commission awards more than $5.5M for green transportation projects and $1.8M for 20 energy research projects

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The device would also capture a wide range of solar temperatures, including those too high to be captured by current state-of-the-art molten-salt heat storage devices. The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects including biodiesel production, power control electronics for medium-and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles, and buydowns for propane vehicles.

2013 88