News Article | April 24, 2017
« UC Riverside team fabricates nanosilicon anodes for Li-ion batteries from waste glass bottles | Main | Oil sands production accounted for 28.8% of total Canadian gas demand in 2016 » The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot has selected eight DOE national labs for collaborations with 38 small businesses in the third round of funding. Among these are two projects in the fuel cells area and four projects in the vehicle area. Other projects address advanced manufacturing, bioenergy, buildings, geothermal, solar, water and wind technologies. In the first two rounds of the program, 12 DOE national labs received funding to partner with 76 small businesses. With the latest announcement, SBV will have awarded approximately $22 million to support partnerships between 114 US small businesses and the national labs. Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers. Savannah River National Laboratory has been awarded $300,000 to work with Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers to perform analysis on the performance and design of low pressure hydrogen storage systems to power mobile applications of Proton Exchange Membrane hydrogen fuel cells. Using SRNL’s unique modeling and system testing capabilities for metal hydride-based systems will help provide potential partners with realistic performance and cost estimates. Emerald Energy NW. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been awarded $160,000 to work with Emerald Energy NW, LLC to fabricate and test a low-friction, low-loss, versatile rotary magnetic wheel seal test apparatus in collaboration with the PNNL magnetic liquefier team. This project could result in the design of a breakthrough rotary wheel to allow for a more rapid transition to cleaner, domestic, and less expensive gaseous fuels for the transportation sector. Efficient Drivetrains. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been awarded $140,000 to work with Efficient Drivetrains to test a lightweight, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain. This project will help get the first heavy-duty Class 6 vehicle to the commercial market, offering consumers an option that provides significant fuel economy without limiting driving range or fuel options. Phinix. Argonne National Laboratory has been awarded $300,000 to work with Phinix, LLC to validate and scale up a method for extracting magnesium from magnesium aluminide scrap metal alloys. This energy, environmental, and cost-efficient method of sourcing magnesium has the potential to reduce the amount of magnesium—the third most commonly used structural metal—needed to import from foreign countries. Precision Polyolefins. Argonne National Laboratory has been awarded $180,000 to work with Precision Polyolefins LLC, of College Park, MD, to test its new technology that converts inexpensive and abundant feedstocks derived from natural gas into synthetic oils for use in auto lubricant. This project could potentially improve fuel economy by up to 0.5%, as well as have applications beyond vehicles, such as for industrial gear oils and wind turbine gear oils. Advano. Argonne National Laboratory has been awarded $180,000 to work with Advano to develop functionalized silicon nanoparticles, which are used in the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries. By partnering with ANL, this project seeks to lower the cost of silicon nanoparticles which could significantly increase the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries. In the advanced manufacturing area, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been awarded $70,000 to work with BASiC 3C, Inc. towards developing a new semiconductor as a replacement for silicon. This would provide greater efficiency, voltage capability, temperature operation, and higher tolerance to harsh operating conditions than existing models. The project will work with NREL to identify any remaining impurities in the current model, with the goal of disrupting the silicon power switch industry, currently a $12B market. Additionally, according to Toyota, development of a semiconductor material will increase the range of electric vehicles by 10%.
Das S.K.,Phinix LLC |
Green J.A.S.,JASG |
Kaufman G.,Kaufman Associates
Light Metal Age | Year: 2010
Recycling of aluminum is anticipated to beneficially impact the carbon footprint of the aluminum industry. The production of primary aluminum, when all the electrical generation, transmission losses, and transportation fuels have been accounted for, requires 45 kWh of energy and emits 12 kg of CO2 for each kilogram of metal. By contrast, the recycling of aluminum requires only 2.8 kWh of energy and emits only 0.6 kg of CO2 for each kilogram of metal. Thus, 95% of the energy and 95% of the environmental emissions are saved when the metal is recycled. The collection of aluminum components for recycling breaks down into several streams. Beverage cans and similar packages are generally captured in MRFs and find their way back to an aluminum recycler through an established dealer network. Laser induced break-down spectroscopy (LIBS) demonstrates the ability to separate Al-Mg (5xxx) alloys from Al-Si-Mg (6xxx) alloys. Both these alloy series are used extensively in automotive construction, thus this sorting capability will undoubtedly be useful in the future.
Gesing A.J.,Phinix LLC |
Gesing A.J.,Gesing Consultants Inc. |
Das S.K.,Phinix LLC
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science | Year: 2016
With United States Department of Energy Advanced Research Project Agency funding, experimental proof-of-concept was demonstrated for RE-12TM electrorefining process of extraction of desired amount of Mg from recycled scrap secondary Al molten alloys. The key enabling technology for this process was the selection of the suitable electrolyte composition and operating temperature. The selection was made using the FactSage thermodynamic modeling software and the light metal, molten salt, and oxide thermodynamic databases. Modeling allowed prediction of the chemical equilibria, impurity contents in both anode and cathode products, and in the electrolyte. FactSage also provided data on the physical properties of the electrolyte and the molten metal phases including electrical conductivity and density of the molten phases. Further modeling permitted selection of electrode and cell construction materials chemically compatible with the combination of molten metals and the electrolyte. © 2016 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International
Gesing A.J.,Phinix LLC |
Das S.K.,Phinix LLC |
Loutfy R.O.,MER Corporation
JOM | Year: 2016
An experimental proof of concept was demonstrated for a patent-pending and trademark-pending RE12™ process for extracting a desired amount of Mg from recycled scrap secondary Al melts. Mg was extracted by electrorefining, producing a Mg product suitable as a Mg alloying hardener additive to primary-grade Al alloys. This efficient electrorefining process operates at high current efficiency, high Mg recovery and low energy consumption. The Mg electrorefining product can meet all the impurity specifications with subsequent melt treatment for removing alkali contaminants. All technical results obtained in the RE12™ project indicate that the electrorefining process for extraction of Mg from Al melt is technically feasible. A techno-economic analysis indicates high potential profitability for applications in Al foundry alloys as well as beverage—can and automotive—sheet alloys. The combination of technical feasibility and potential market profitability completes a successful proof of concept. This economical, environmentally-friendly and chlorine-free RE12™ process could be disruptive and transformational for the Mg production industry by enabling the recycling of 30,000 tonnes of primary-quality Mg annually. © 2015, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.
Das S.,Phinix LLC
JOM | Year: 2012
In the 21st century, sustainability is widely regarded as the new corporate culture, and leading manufacturing companies (Toyota, GE, and Alcoa) and service companies (Google and Federal Express) are striving towards carbon neutrality. The current carbon footprint of the global aluminum industry is estimated at 500 million metric tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO 2eq), representing about 1.7% of global emissions from all sources. For the global aluminum industry, carbon neutrality is defined as a state where the total "in-use" CO 2eq saved from all products in current use, including incremental process efficiency improvements, recycling, and urban mining activities, equals the CO 2eq expended to produce the global output of aluminum. This paper outlines an integrated and quantifiable plan for achieving "carbon neutrality" in the global aluminum industry by advocating five actionable steps: (1) increase use of "green" electrical energy grid by 8%, (2) reduce process energy needs by 16%, (3) deploy 35% of products in "in-use" energy saving applications, (4) divert 6.1 million metric tonnes/year from landfills, and (5) mine 4.5 million metric tonnes/year from aluminum-rich "urban mines." Since it takes 20 times more energy to make aluminum from bauxite ore than to recycle it from scrap, the global aluminum industry could set a reasonable, self-imposed energy/carbon neutrality goal to incrementally increase the supply of recycled aluminum by at least 1.05 metric tonnes for every tonne of incremental production via primary aluminum smelter capacity. Furthermore, the aluminum industry can and should take a global leadership position by actively developing internationally accepted and approved carbon footprint credit protocols. © 2012 TMS.
Mukherjee S.,Phinix LLC
2010 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium, RWW 2010 - Paper Digest | Year: 2010
A low cost, fast yet highly accurate method for determining liquid level inside small containers is described. The non-invasive technique can easily resolve sub-1% levels in vials containing a few ml or less of liquid and potentially be an order of magnitude more accurate than capacitive level sensors. The vial is placed inside an electrically conducting holder to guide a radio-frequency wave inside the vial. The holder-vial guide acts like an open circuited transmission line whose reflection coefficient is nominally unity but phase angle is a function of the liquid level. By performing a vector measurement of the reflection coefficient, it is possible to achieve sub-wavelength resolution and therefore measure the level highly accurately. An intentional impedance mismatch between the holder-vial guide and the measurement system can be used enhance the sensitivity to level variations, the optimum sensitivity occurring at multiples of quarter wavelength. The implementation details in the form of a reflectometer and results from an actual level measurement are presented. © 2010 IEEE.
Phinix LLC | Date: 2015-02-13
The invention comprises methods and apparatuses for the electrorefining of Mg from Al or Mg alloy scrap. The invention utilizes the density and charge features of Mg present in a melted alloy to continuously extract Mg and Mg alloys from a melted Al alloy feed.