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Reston, VA, United States

Ebaid M.S.Y.,ASME
Jordan Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering | Year: 2011

Emissions of CO and CO2 are understood to be the main cause of global warming, melting of glaciers, heavy rain fall in some areas resulting in catastrophic floods and severe draughts in others. Introduction of national quotas is a political solution to limit carbon emissions; however, it cannot provide answers to the complex problem of climatic change. A permanent solution would require combustion free technologies for converting the chemical energy of fuels directly into electricity. In this respect, devices such as fuel cells are highly efficient direct energy conversion devices which have the true potential to reduce carbon emissions. This paper describes a conceptual hybrid power plant comprising a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and a closed cycle gas turbine. A simple analysis of the plant has been carried out to demonstrate that significant gains can be made in reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy utilisation efficiency and minimising the impact of thermal loading on the environment. © 2011 Jordan Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

« EPA nudges up volume of renewable fuel in final requirements for 2014-2016 under RFS | Main | Study finds high concentration of CO2 protects sorghum against drought and improves seeds » The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) will award approximately $1.9 million to a project to develop a high-efficiency engine system that integrates a compact micro-hybrid configuration of a supercharger with an electric waste heat recovery system and employs high rates of recirculated exhaust gases. When combined with a sophisticated control strategy, this approach provides a solution for suboptimal engine breathing that is typical of transient engine operation. The performance is projected to match that of a naturally aspirated engine and have a 20% increase in fuel efficiency compared to a turbocharged downsized engine, at a cost that is half that of a mild-hybrid system. The project—Split Micro-hybrid Boosting Enabling Highly Diluted Combustion—is headed by Anna G. Stefanopoulou, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, ASME Fellow and director of the U-M Automotive Research Center. Modern engines are becoming smaller and smaller with high levels of dilution for efficiency. But the lack of extra muscle makes them slower to respond than their bigger counterparts. If we improve the responsiveness of small engines, then we can push for more efficient cars at low cost. To get small and diluted combustion engines to perform more like their larger cousins, Stefanopoulou has plans to help them breathe faster. An engine’s response depends on its ability to take in fresh air and convert it to power. Her method will augment traditional turbocharging to provide frugal yet instant air flow control while utilizing stored energy from regenerative braking and exhaust energy in a small 48V battery shared with start-stop functionality. The award was one of 41 announced by US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz under ARPA-E’s OPEN 2015 program for a total of $125 million in awards. (earlier post) Open solicitations—also issued in 2009 and 2012—serve as an open call to scientists and engineers for transformational technologies across the entire scope of ARPA-E’s energy mission.

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Dr. John Carson, president of Jenike & Johanson Inc, an engineering consulting firm specializing in the storage, flow and processing of powder and bulk solids, has been awarded the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 2015 Particle Technology Forum award. The Award recognizes a forum member’s lifetime outstanding scientific/technical contributions to the field of particle technology, as well as leadership in promoting scholarship, research, development, or education in this field. ‘John Carson has provided outstanding leadership to the bulk solids handling community for many years,’ said Timothy A. Bell, engineering fellow, DuPont Particle Technology Group. ‘Recognition of his contributions to technology, teaching, mentoring, and ASTM standards was long overdue.’ Dr. Carson is an author of more than 140 articles on various topics dealing with solids flow, including bin and feeder design, flow of fine powders, design of purge vessels, and structural failures of silos, he also lectures extensively on these and related topics. Besides being a founding member of AIChE’s Powder Technology Forum, Dr. Carson belongs to ASME, ASCE, and ASTM International, where he is chair of subcommittee D18.24, ‘Characterization and Handling of Powders and Bulk Solids.’ This story is reprinted from material from Jenike & Johanson Inc, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

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Nikhil Koratkar, the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Professor of Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The organization recognized Koratkar for his “exceptional achievement in the science and technology of one-dimensional (carbon nanotubes) and two-dimensional (graphene) nano-materials, leading to important breakthroughs in nanotechnology, energy and sustainability.” ASME is devoted to using engineering to improve the quality of life worldwide. Its members provide expertise to meet diverse global challenges and help shape government policy. The ASME Fellow Grade, which recognizes exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession, is bestowed on less than three percent of over 125,000 members. “Being elected a fellow of ASME is a wonderful recognition of Professor Koratkar’s outstanding research which represents a creative blend of fundamentals of advanced materials with high impact applications,” said Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering. “Nikhil continues to be a leader in his field, and differentiates himself from his peers by his unconventional thinking and extraordinary intuition. His work is harnessing modern micro and nanoscale materials science for important applications in energy and sustainability. We congratulate him on this special honor.” Koratkar’s research is positioned at the intersections of nanotechnology, energy, and sustainability. His research focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and application of nanoscale materials, such as graphene, phosphorene, carbon nanotubes, transition metal dichalcogenides, as well as metal and silicon nanostructures. He is studying the fundamental mechanical, electrical, thermal, magnetic, and optical properties of these one- and two-dimensional materials and developing a variety of composites, coatings, and device applications using these low-dimensional materials.

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Polaris Partners, a Boston-based venture capital firm with heavy historical ties to MIT’s biotech research labs, has raised $450 million for a seventh fund. The new fund is slightly larger than the $400 million targeted in initial SEC filings earlier this year, likely buoyed by a string of recent portfolio company IPOs in the healthcare sector. In its announcement, Polaris was sure to highlight entrepreneurs from both the software and life sciences halves of its business. That’s notable as venture firms wrestle anew with the question of whether to specialize or tackle multiple industries at once. Just a few months ago, Cambridge, MA-based Atlas Venture went the other direction, splitting its life science and tech teams. Another example of specialization is Lightstone Ventures, which was founded in 2012 by healthcare investors from Advanced Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. The time is certainly right for healthcare investors to count some returns: companies from the sector have made up the largest share of IPOs in the past year or so, according to research from IPO Scoop. Polaris has seen several life sciences companies go public in the past couple of years, including Acceleron Pharma, Bind Therapeutics, Genocea Biosciences, T2 Biosystems, and Cerulean Pharma. Notable investments on the tech side include real estate website Trulia, which was acquired by competitor Zillow, and Automattic, the company behind the widely used WordPress website publishing software. Polaris’s last fund was $375 million, raised in 2010. That was a huge downsizing from the previous fund, a 2006-vintage vehicle that was worth $1 billion. Of course, plenty changed in the financial markets in that span. Since its last fund, Polaris has also seen strategic changes on the tech side—it launched a startup incubator called Dogpatch Labs, which expanded from San Francisco to Boston, New York, Silicon Valley, and Dublin. Today, only the Dublin site remains.

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