Entity

Time filter

Source Type


News Article
Site: http://news.mit.edu/topic/mitenergy-rss.xml

Road vehicles are a key part of the climate change challenge, representing both an important source of petroleum demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Changes to our transportation system — how much we travel, the vehicles we use, and the fuels that power them — offer the potential for substantial reductions in GHG emissions, and are necessary to mitigate climate change. Likewise, changes in policy, driving behavior, and the development of alternative fuels and energy sources are required to meet this challenge. "On the Road Toward 2050: Potential for Substantial Reductions in Light-Duty Vehicle Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions," a new report spearheaded by MIT professor of mechanical engineering John Heywood, identifies three important paths forward for light-duty vehicles (LDVs, i.e., cars and light trucks): improve the existing system and technologies for shorter-term benefits; conserve fuel by changing driver habits for nearer- to longer-term benefits; and transform the transportation system into one that is radically less carbon-intensive for longer-term benefits. Each element is separately important, but must collectively be pursued aggressively to achieve necessary emissions reductions. More research, development, and demonstration studies are needed to lay the foundation for such a long-term transformation. The report addresses topics related to the evolution of vehicle technology and its deployment, the development of alternative fuels and energy sources, the impacts of driver behavior, and the implications of all of these factors on future GHG emissions in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan. In the United States, LDVs alone currently account for 43 percent of petroleum demand and 23 percent of GHG emissions, when fuel production is considered. The United States, Europe, China, and Japan consume over half of the world’s petroleum, making these countries particularly critical in efforts to reduce petroleum consumption and the associated emissions. “Overall, we have substantial opportunities for reducing environmental and climate impacts from light-duty road vehicles,” said Heywood. “Achieving reductions in vehicle-related greenhouse gas emissions will require a major global shift towards more efficient personal and freight vehicles — including those powered with alternative, low-carbon energy sources — along with a corresponding reduction in demand for energy-intensive vehicles that is strongly incentivized with supportive policies, and ongoing research towards the technology breakthroughs needed to achieve a transition to a truly low-carbon transportation system.” The results of the report’s plausible yet aggressive scenarios for the United States show the potential for technological improvements to more than offset fleet growth and, by 2050, reduce fuel use and GHG impacts by up to 50 percent. In Europe, the anticipated fleet growth is less, as are the potential reductions from technology improvements, but the overall percentage reduction potential is similar to that in the United States. In Japan, fleet size and use are declining, so the overall reduction in impacts could be larger. In China, though current growth in fleet size is large, reductions in that growth rate and substantial technology improvements over time are expected to level off fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by about 2040. The report makes several recommendations that should be implemented to attain the 40-50 percent reductions in fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 2050 that the overall assessment indicates are feasible in North America, Europe, and Japan. Larger reductions on this time scale will need additional major efforts, and would likely require a significant reduction in travel demand, and more rapid development and substantial distribution and use of low-GHG-emitting alternative sources of transportation energy, such as electricity and hydrogen. "On the Road toward 2050" is a synthesis of research conducted in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at MIT over the past five years, primarily under the direction of Heywood, with support from the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) as well as MITEI Founding Member Eni S.p.A. It is the third report in a series that records the research findings of this group; "On the Road in 2020" was published in 2000 and "On the Road in 2035" was published in 2008. Because MIT has other ongoing research programs in many domains vital to transportation and mobility, MITEI has recently organized a multi-disciplinary study team from across the Institute to examine how the complex interactions between engine technology options, fuel options, vehicle characteristics, refueling infrastructure, consumer choice, public transit options, new mobility business models, and government policy will shape the future landscape of mobility. MITEI’s study on "Mobility of the Future" will explore these and other questions. “The question of how to get from point A to point B has driven the development of transportation — but now, the question we need to ask is: How can we get there most efficiently, with the least impact on the environment and climate? At the same time, we need to make these new modes enticing to consumers,” said Robert Armstrong, director of MITEI. “'On the Road toward 2050' provides an excellent roadmap for answering many of these questions, which MITEI will build on in our 'Mobility of the Future' study.” The MIT Energy Initiative is MIT’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Through these three pillars, MITEI helps develop the technologies and solutions that will deliver clean, affordable, and plentiful sources of energy. Founded in 2006, MITEI’s mission is to create low- and no-carbon solutions that will efficiently meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts and mitigating climate change. BP, Chevron, Concawe, the Department of Energy U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center’s Clean Vehicle Consortium, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and the MIT Portugal Program also provided support for the underlying research for this report.


« $67 Oil Has All The Majors Converging in Argentina | Main | Fleet of 150 Renault ZOE EVs for smart solar charging project » The US Department of Energy is soliciting applications (DE-FOA-0001542) for the formation of a Consortium to pursue five identified R&D topic areas related to improving the operating efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The Consortium that is funded through this solicitation will form a new technical track under the US-China Clean Energy Research Center, a bilateral initiative to encourage R&D collaboration and accelerate technology development and deployment in both countries. Funding available is $12.5 million, and will support the US Consortium. In parallel, and with equivalent resources, Chinese funding will support a collaborative counterpart Chinese Consortium. The US consortium will pursue five topics; responsive application will address all five. These are: In the 5 topics areas of the FOA, the proposed project will focus on cost-effective measures to improve the on-road freight efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty trucks by greater than 50% (compared to the 2016 baseline truck) to reduce transportation’s fuel use and climate change impacts. To the extent that advanced technologies will be demonstrated to improve freight efficiency, they will conform to a customer-tailored drive cycle that meets the needs of the particular customer application and the EPA Phase 2 GHG/fuel efficiency regulatory cycles for the appropriate vocation. Additionally, vehicle freight efficiency improvement must be achieved within the constraint of prevailing federal emission standards and applicable vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. Projects that demonstrate systems-level fuel efficient technologies must be matched with the duty cycle of the specific truck application to deliver the expected fuel savings. Background. To encourage the rapid development and commercialization of technologies with strong climate change applications, the US DOE, Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA) agreed in November 2009 to establish a US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). (Earlier post.) Over the six years since this agreement, the CERC has successfully conducted joint research and development on clean energy topics by teams of scientists and engineers from the US and China. Under CERC, 4 pairs of US and Chinese consortia are operating collaboratively on 4 technical tracks: Each track comprises the equivalent of a $50 million bilateral commitment over 5 years, that is, $25 million for the US effort and $25 million for the China effort. In the US, this is broken down per track as $5 million per year, composed of $2.5 million per year in DOE funds, which is matched by another $2.5 million per year in non-Federal cost-share by the non-Federal partners in each consortium. President Obama and President Xi Jinping announced a renewal and expansion of the CERC in November 2014. (Earlier post.) In September 2015, Obama and Xi announced a fifth CERC track on improving the energy efficiency of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The current funding opportunity is the US’ effort to operationalize this new track. The US consortium selected under this announcement will be funded by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The principal DOE coordinator of CERC activities within DOE, and internationally with the Chinese, is DOE’s Office of International Affairs (IA). Both IA and EERE will work in collaboration with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) for the administration of this award.


« UPS orders Agility’s new Behind-the-Cab CNG fuel systems | Main | New Buick LaCrosse upgrades computing power from 17 to 31 ECUs; new electronic control system » A new MIT Energy Initiative report spearheaded by John Heywood, Sun Jae Professor of Mechanical Engineering Emeritus at MIT, identifies three important paths forward reducing light-duty vehicle energy use and greenhouse gas emissions: improve the existing system and technologies for shorter-term benefits; conserve fuel by changing driver habits for nearer- to longer-term benefits; and transform the transportation system into one that is radically less carbon-intensive for longer-term benefits. According to the report, “On the Road Toward 2050: Potential for Substantial Reductions in Light-Duty Vehicle Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” each element is separately important, but must collectively be pursued aggressively to achieve necessary emissions reductions. More research, development, and demonstration studies are needed to lay the foundation for such a long-term transformation. There are many options available for reducing the fuel, energy, and GHG emissions impacts of LDVs. As our understanding of these options improves, our ability to better prioritize their usefulness in moving toward significantly reduced impacts increases. We should continue to adopt policies to reduce transportation energy demand and emissions, while using our evolving information base to assess and reassess which options have the greatest leverage. While recommendations like ours can never be “proven” and will always be subject to some disagreement, the sequence of topics we have analyzed here constitutes, in our judgment, a valid basis for identifying pathways that are likely to have the greatest benefit. Achieving our overall goal—reducing fleet fuel and energy consumption and GHGs by three-quarters or more—will be extremely challenging. All of us involved in studying the ways in which we can move toward that goal have a responsibility to provide ever more useful and focused advice. The research for the report was done by a team of graduate students from 2009 to 2014, and includes some 20 projects. The report addresses topics related to the evolution of vehicle technology and its deployment, the development of alternative fuels and energy sources, the impacts of driver behavior, and the implications of all of these factors on future GHG emissions in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan. In the United States, LDVs alone currently account for 43% of petroleum demand and 23% of GHG emissions, when fuel production is considered. The United States, Europe, China, and Japan consume over half of the world’s petroleum, making these countries particularly critical in efforts to reduce petroleum consumption and the associated emissions. The results of the report’s plausible yet aggressive scenarios for the United States show the potential for technological improvements to more than offset fleet growth and, by 2050, reduce fuel use and GHG impacts by up to 50%. In Europe, the anticipated fleet growth is less, as are the potential reductions from technology improvements, but the overall percentage reduction potential is similar to that in the United States. In Japan, fleet size and use are declining, so the overall reduction in impacts could be larger. In China, though current growth in fleet size is large, reductions in that growth rate and substantial technology improvements over time are expected to level off fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by about 2040. The report makes several recommendations that should be implemented to attain the 40-50% reductions in fleet fuel consumption and GHG emissions by 2050 that the overall assessment indicates are feasible in North America, Europe, and Japan. Larger reductions on this time scale will need additional major efforts, and would likely require a significant reduction in travel demand, and more rapid development and substantial distribution and use of low-GHG-emitting alternative sources of transportation energy, such as electricity and hydrogen. Improving the fuel consumption of mainstream vehicles is the primary nearer-term opportunity for reducing fuel use and GHG emissions. Market-based incentives should be implemented to support the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) LDV requirements. The CAFE standard targets for LDVs leading up to the 2025 models need to be clarified as the often-quoted average number of 54.5 miles per gallon will not reflect what most new car buyers should expect to achieve in 2025. Vehicle electrification is a potentially promising alternative energy source and propulsion system technology to move toward lower fleet GHG emissions over time. From our studies of vehicle electrification, we have concluded that PHEVs offer the most viable path toward powering more vehicle miles with electricity. The market for pure BEVs is likely to be limited because their inherently limited driving range and long recharging times, and their high cost, make them less attractive to purchasers looking for an all-purpose vehicle. However, BEVs do appeal because their propulsion system is simpler than an ICE, and they do not dilute their “electric miles” with “gasoline miles,” as does a PHEV. However, the flexibility and lower costs of PHEVs appear to trump this simplicity, certainly in the nearer term. Planning for electrification should be based on growth in the PHEV market over time in contrast to the more limited expected growth in the BEV market. Recharging requirements for PHEVs are not the same as for BEVs: especially, the demand for “fast recharging” stations is really not there. The need to improve mainstream fuels, and to enable a transition to alternative fuels is both obvious and remarkably challenging. Conventional hydrocarbon fuels should be improved in the near term while we continue to develop a portfolio that includes the more promising alternative fuel options, and refine strategies as we learn more about the costs, benefits, and the viability of the pathways of different fuels. The overall strategy should include conserving energy through changes in travel behavior, improving conventional technologies, and transforming the transportation system to increasingly use lower carbon energy sources. Policies should be implemented to enforce a carbon tax combined with an increasing fuel tax; current CAFE regulations should be extended and new regulations should be implemented; and improvements in existing fuels that would achieve fleet-wide GHG emissions reductions should be explored. “On the Road toward 2050” is a synthesis of research conducted in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at MIT over the past five years, primarily under the direction of Heywood, with support from the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) as well as MITEI Founding Member Eni S.p.A. It is the third report in a series that records the research findings of this group; “On the Road in 2020” was published in 2000 and “On the Road in 2035” was published in 2008. Because MIT has other ongoing research programs in many domains vital to transportation and mobility, MITEI has recently organized a multi-disciplinary study team from across the Institute to examine how the complex interactions between engine technology options, fuel options, vehicle characteristics, refueling infrastructure, consumer choice, public transit options, new mobility business models, and government policy will shape the future landscape of mobility. MITEI’s study on “Mobility of the Future” will explore these and other questions. The MIT Energy Initiative is MIT’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Founded in 2006, MITEI’s mission is to create low- and no-carbon solutions that will efficiently meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts and mitigating climate change. BP, Chevron, Concawe, the Department of Energy U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center’s Clean Vehicle Consortium, the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and the MIT-Portugal Program also provided support for the report.


Fang B.,Korea University | Fang B.,University of British Columbia | Fang B.,Clean Energy Research Center | Kim M.,Korea University | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry | Year: 2011

A simple but very efficient reproducible approach was developed to fabricate novel mesoporous carbon nanofibers (MCNFs) with tailored nanostructure by using porous anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) membrane and colloidal silica as hard templates and phenolic resin as a carbon source. The as-prepared MCNFs with a channel diameter of ca. 200 nm reveal uniform one-dimensional (1D) nanofiber structure, created by the replication of the AAO template, and open interconnected spherical mesopores of ca. 30 nm in diameter embedded in the CNFs, mainly controlled by the particle size of the silica template. Due to their large mesopore size and volume, high specific surface area and unique nanostructure constituted by the 1D macro-scaled porous CNF and 3D interconnected mesopore structure, the MCNFs not only possess a large electrochemically active surface area, but also an open highway network favoring rapid electron transfer and fast mass transport. As a counter electrode in a CdSe quantum-dot-sensitized solar cell, the MCNF has demonstrated higher catalytic activity towards the reduction of polysulfide electrolyte and superior photovoltaic performance to its peers such as activated carbon (AC), hollow core/mesoporous shell carbon and ordered multimodal porous carbon, and the commonly used Pt electrode, revealing a fill factor of 0.60 and a power conversion efficiency of up to 4.81%. Excellent photovoltaic performance demonstrated by the MCNF suggests synergetic effects from the combination of 1D and 3D nanostructures. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source


Wu Z.,Central South University | Fang B.,University of British Columbia | Fang B.,Clean Energy Research Center | Wang Z.,Central South University | And 8 more authors.
ACS Catalysis | Year: 2013

Two-dimensional MoS2 nanosheets (NSs) with high active site density were designed for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) through a microdomain reaction method. The effect of the annealing temperature on the microstructure and the HER performance of MoS2 NSs was examined, and a plausible relation between the stack structures of the MoS2 catalysts and their HER performance was also explored. The MoS2 NS electrocatalyst obtained at 550 C reveals the best HER performance with a relatively small Tafel slope of 68 mV/dec. Both the exposed surface area and active site density are very important for providing a large amount of active sites. The present work has been proved to be an efficient route to achieve a high active site density and a relatively large surface area, which might have potential use in photoelectrocatalytic water splitting. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

Discover hidden collaborations