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Melzer J.,The Innovation Group | Slevinsky J.,Technology Innovation
Digest of Technical Papers - IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics | Year: 2011

We present and compare architectures for using a fleet of high-speed internet subscriber residential gateways to build a hotspot network for offload of cellular data-traffic. We address the central challenges of meeting the security and ease of use expectations of cellular telephony in implementation on popular smartphones and gateways. Attention is given to security shortcomings in the client software of handsets and to the difference between support of security protocols and user interaction that promotes security. ©2011 IEEE. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.greencarcongress.com/

« Continental presenting Intelligent Glass Control for car windows; targeted shading can reduce CO2 emissions or increase EV range | Main | FEV-developed plug-in hybrid battery pack moves into series production » Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities have developed a catalytic process to convert corn stover lignin into hydrocarbons (C –C )—primarily C –C cyclic structure hydrocarbons in the jet fuel range. The work is featured on the cover of the December issue of the RSC journal Green Chemistry. The developer of the process, Bin Yang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering at WSU and his team are working with Boeing Co. to develop and test the hydrocarbons targeted to be jet fuel. Yang has filed for a patent on the process, with WSU as the assignee. Lignin is an organic polymer that makes plants woody and rigid; after cellulose, it is the most abundant renewable carbon source on Earth. Ordinarily, it is wasted when plant biomass, including cellulose, is converted into biofuels such as ethanol. Between 40 and 50 million tons of lignin are produced annually worldwide, mostly as a non-commercialized waste product, according to the International Lignin Institute. Due to its availability, low oxygen to carbon (O/C) ratio, and markedly low total oxygen content compared to biomass-derived carbohydrates (~36% versus ~50%, respectively), lignin is a promising feedstock for production of renewable hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals. However, lignin’s native molecular structure is, approximately C -C —far higher than the carbon chain lengths required for fuel applications (~C -C ). To be used as a source for fuel, the lignin must be depolymerized, its H/C ratio increased, and its O/C ratio must be further decreased. To date, virtually no approach has proven successful for converting lignin into hydrocarbon liquids or chemicals. Yang’s procedure involves the aqueous-phase hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of dilute alkali-extracted corn stover lignin catalyzed by a noble metal catalyst (Ru/Al O ) and acidic zeolite (H+-Y), yielding a range of hydrocarbons. The resulting product must be separated and purified to obtain the jet-fuel hydrocarbons. In addition to hydrocarbons suitable for jet turbine engines, Yang is using lignin to produce a variety of other chemicals and materials. Through two recent grants funded by the US Department of Energy, both headed by Texas A&M University, he leads WSU’s effort to produce lipids and bioplastics created from lignin. He also is working with the nearby Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado on projects to convert lignin into a range of chemicals, including supercapacitors. Yang and his team’s research is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the US Department of Defense, as well as the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Sun Grant from the US Department of Transportation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Seattle-based Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation.

News Article | December 10, 2015
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

Car owners in South Africa can save significant amounts of money by switching over to electric models, according to a new study from the uYilo e-Mobility Technology Innovation Programme at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The new study asserts that using an all-electric vehicle (the Nissan LEAF was used in this case) can save South Africans up to R18,000 a year in petrol (gasoline) costs — assuming that the drivers in question travel 30,000 kilometers in a year (the average in the region). The research was done using a fleet of Nissan LEAFs provided specifically for the study — which was supported by the South African government, Eskom, and various car manufacturers. A car with a fuel economy of approximately 6 – 8 litres per 100 kilometres at current prices of R12.40 for 95 ULP, translates to the following annual cost: 6 ℓ/100 km costs R74.4 = R22,320 annually 8 ℓ/100 km costs R99.2 = R29,760 annually For an electric car, it would cost approximately R4,620 to charge over the course of a year. Regarding the cost of charging a Nissan Leaf, if the vehicle is completely flat, it takes 24 kilowatt-hours to charge – which will cost just over R30, Nissan said. …The Nissan Leaf however, comes with a starting price of R499,800, while a medium equivalent petrol sedan, like a Ford Focus, starts from R219,000. Most Leaf owners charge their car at home. A full charge takes 12 hours on a standard domestic plug, however, Nissan has rapid chargers, installed at its Leaf Dealerships, which provide an 80% charge in just 30 minutes. It’s worth noting here that only 80 Nissan LEAFs have been sold in the South African market since 2013. Aside from the LEAF, it seems the BMW i3 and BMW i8 are the only other EVs on sale in South Africa. Nissan is currently working to improve the country’s charging infrastructure, so perhaps that uninspiring number of 80 will change sometime soon. → Related: South Africa Nissan Leaf Launched With Amusing Gas Station Prank    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

Home > Press > QD Vision Named to the 2015 Global Cleantech 100 Under the Radar List: Quantum Dot Leader Recognized for Clean Technology Innovation Abstract: QD Vision, the global leader in quantum dot display technology, today announced it was named to the 2015 Global Cleantech 100 Under the Radar list, produced by Cleantech Group. This inaugural list puts the spotlight on companies that are flying “under the radar,” but who have strongly caught the interest of the Global Cleantech 100 Expert Panelists. The diversity of panelists results in a list of companies that command an expansive base of respect and support from many important players within the global cleantech innovation ecosystem. This year, a record number of nominations were received: 6,900 distinct companies from 60 countries. “To be recognized as a cleantech leader among such a large group of qualified nominations is a true honor, and a testament to QD Vision’s commitment to creating energy-efficient products that are aligned with the principles of responsible development,” said Mustafa Ozgen, CEO of QD Vision. “Our quantum dot technology improves performance while reducing energy consumption and environmental waste, and it is gratifying to be recognized for our dedication to this cause.” Nominated companies were weighted and scored to create a short list of 323 companies. Short-listed nominees were reviewed by Cleantech Group’s Expert Panel, resulting in the Under the Radar list, in addition to the annual Global Cleantech 100 list. To qualify for both lists, companies must be independent, for-profit, cleantech companies that are not listed on any major stock exchange. · The complete list of the Global Cleantech 100 Under the Radar list was revealed on January 26th. See the full list at: www.cleantech.com/indexes/global-cleantech-100/2015-under-the-radar/ · For access to all of the Global Cleantech 100 lists and in depth company profiles visit https://i3connect.com/gct100 · For complete information on QD Vision’s leadership within the cleantech space, access i3 by visiting i3connect.com—Cleantech Group’s leading market intelligence platform—and search for QD Vision. · The complete list of Global Cleantech expert panel members is available at www.cleantech.com/indexes/global-cleantech-100/expert-panelists/ About QD Vision, Inc. QD Vision, Inc. is a leader in quantum dot display technology for QLED displays. Quantum dot technology is a superior next-generation alternative to OLED displays, providing unparalleled color representation at a highly competitive LCD cost structure. Color IQ quantum dot technology from QD Vision provides a unique optical component solution capable of delivering “full-gamut” color to the display industry. Founded in 2004, the company has raised more than $100 million in financing from top-tier venture capital firms and is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts. About Cleantech Group Founded in 2002, Cleantech Group’s mission is to accelerate sustainable innovation. Core to this mission is i3, an online platform that connects corporates with innovation, at scale, by allowing them to find, vet, and connect with start-ups—efficiently building an innovation pipeline. The i3 platform comes to life at our global Events, which convene corporates and start-ups, along with other players shaping the future of sustainable innovation. Cleantech Group is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in London. For more information, visit: www.cleantech.com For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

News Article
Site: http://www.nanotech-now.com/

Abstract: -Your car's bumper is probably made of a moldable thermoplastic polymer called ABS, shorthand for its acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene components. Light, strong and tough, it is also the stuff of ventilation pipes, protective headgear, kitchen appliances, Lego bricks and many other consumer products. Useful as it is, one of its drawbacks is that it is made using chemicals derived from petroleum. Now, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have made a better thermoplastic by replacing styrene with lignin, a brittle, rigid polymer that, with cellulose, forms the woody cell walls of plants. In doing so, they have invented a solvent-free production process that interconnects equal parts of nanoscale lignin dispersed in a synthetic rubber matrix to produce a meltable, moldable, ductile material that's at least ten times tougher than ABS. The resulting thermoplastic--called ABL for acrylonitrile, butadiene, lignin--is recyclable, as it can be melted three times and still perform well. The results, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, may bring cleaner, cheaper raw materials to diverse manufacturers. "The new ORNL thermoplastic has better performance than commodity plastics like ABS," said senior author Amit Naskar in ORNL's Materials Science and Technology Division, who along with co-inventor Chau Tran has filed a patent application for the process to make the new material. "We can call it a green product because 50 percent of its content is renewable, and technology to enable its commercial exploitation would reduce the need for petrochemicals." The technology could make use of the lignin-rich biomass byproduct stream from biorefineries and pulp and paper mills. With the prices of natural gas and oil dropping, renewable fuels can't compete with fossil fuels, so biorefineries are exploring options for developing other economically viable products. Among cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, the major structural constituents of plants, lignin is the most commercially underutilized. The ORNL study aimed to use it to produce, with an eye toward commercialization, a renewable thermoplastic with properties rivaling those of current petroleum-derived alternatives. To produce an energy-efficient method of synthesizing and extruding high-performance thermoplastic elastomers based on lignin, the ORNL team needed to answer several questions: Can variations in lignin feedstocks be overcome to make a product with superior performance? Can lignin integrate into soft polymer matrices? Can the chemistry and physics of lignin-derived polymers be understood to enable better control of their properties? Can the process to produce lignin-derived polymers be engineered? "Lignin is a very brittle natural polymer, so it needs to be toughened," explained Naskar, leader of ORNL's Carbon and Composites group. A major goal of the group is producing industrial polymers that are strong and tough enough to be deformed without fracturing. "We need to chemically combine soft matter with lignin. That soft matrix would be ductile so that it can be malleable or stretchable. Very rigid lignin segments would offer resistance to deformation and thus provide stiffness." All lignins are not equal in terms of heat stability. To determine what type would make the best thermoplastic feedstock, the scientists evaluated lignin from wheat straw, softwoods like pine and hardwoods like oak. They found hardwood lignin is the most thermally stable, and some types of softwood lignins are also melt-stable. Next, the researchers needed to couple the lignin with soft matter. Chemists typically accomplish this by synthesizing polymers in the presence of solvents. Because lignin and a synthetic rubber containing acrylonitrile and butadiene, called nitrile rubber, both have chemical groups in which electrons are unequally distributed and therefore likely to interact, Naskar and Chau Tran (who performed melt-mixing and characterization experiments) instead tried to couple the two in a melted phase without solvents. In a heated chamber with two rotors, the researchers "kneaded" a molten mix of equal parts powdered lignin and nitrile rubber. During mixing, lignin agglomerates broke into interpenetrating layers or sheets of 10 to 200 nanometers that dispersed well in and interacted with the rubber. Without the proper selection of a soft matrix and mixing conditions, lignin agglomerates are at least 10 times larger than those obtained with the ORNL process. The product that formed had properties of neither lignin nor rubber, but something in between, with a combination of lignin's stiffness and nitrile rubber's elasticity. By altering the acrylonitrile amounts in the soft matrix, the researchers hoped to improve the material's mechanical properties further. They tried 33, 41 and 51 percent acrylonitrile and found 41 percent gave an optimal balance between toughness and stiffness. Next, the researchers wanted to find out if controlling the processing conditions could improve the performance of their polymer alloy. For example, 33 percent acrylonitrile content produced a material that was stretchy but not strong, behaving more like rubber than plastic. At higher proportions of acrylonitrile, the researchers saw the materials strengthen because of the efficient interaction between the components. They also wanted to know at what temperature the components should be mixed to optimize the material properties. They found heating components between 140 and 160 degrees Celsius formed the desired hybrid phase. Using resources at ORNL including the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, the scientists analyzed the morphologies of the blends. Scanning electron microscopy, performed by Chau Tran, explored the surfaces of the materials. Jihua Chen and Tran characterized soft matter phases using transmission electron microscopy, placing a thin slice of material in the path of an electron beam to reveal structure through contrast differences in the lignin and rubber phases. Small-angle x-ray scattering by Jong Keum revealed repeated clusters of certain domain or layer sizes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy identified chemical functional groups and their interactions. Future studies will explore different feedstocks, particularly those from biorefineries, and correlations among processing conditions, material structure and performance. Investigations are also planned to study the performance of ORNL's new thermoplastic in carbon-fiber-reinforced composites. "More renewable materials will probably be used in the future," Naskar said. "I'm glad that we could continue work in renewable materials, not only for automotive applications but even for commodity usage." ### ORNL's Technology Innovation Program, which reinvests royalties from the lab's patents in innovative, commercially promising projects, sponsored the study. The researchers conducted polymer characterization experiments (microscopy and X-ray scattering) at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL. About Oak Ridge National Laboratory UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE's Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.--by Dawn Levy For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

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