ExxonMobil optimistic on carbon capture technology
June 13, 2016 | Argusmedia
Washington, 13 June (Argus) — ExxonMobil researchers are talking up the viability of a new fuel cell technology they say could economically capture CO2 emissions from coal and gas power plants without requiring subsidies or carbon taxes.
The developers of these "carbonate fuel cells" say they could represent a breakthrough in making carbon capture and storage (CCS) commercially viable. The power company FuelCell Energy is developing the fuel cells, which so far have only been demonstrated in laboratory tests. ExxonMobil last month announced an agreement with FuelCell to further develop the technology.
Industrial facilities have been able to capture CO2 emissions since the 1970s. But existing CCS technology can consume up to 25pc of the electrical output of a power plant and is difficult to implement on a large scale. Southern Co.'s efforts to build a coal-fired power plant with CCS in Kemper, Mississippi, is now expected to cost $7bn, three times higher than initial estimates.
The carbonate fuel cells, in contrast, would use the exhaust stream of a power plant and natural gas to fuel a process that would generate additional electricity and produce a chemical feedstock called syngas. FuelCell is trying to use the technology to eventually build a 2-3MW demonstration plant that would be paired with a coal-fired power plant.
"This is very clever, this is very unique," ExxonMobil Research and Engineering vice president Vijay Swarup said today in Washington, DC. "You put this on the back end of a power plant, you concentrate the CO2 while creating some byproducts that could be valuable in other processes." [Read More]
DOE Issues Request for Information on Medium- and Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Truck Targets
June 10, 2016 | Energy.gov
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) has issued a request for information (RFI) to obtain feedback and opinions from truck operators, truck and storage tank manufacturers, fuel cell manufacturers, station equipment designers, and other related stakeholders on issues related to fuel cell electric truck targets.
Fuel cell technology provides a means to create net zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) for larger weight classes due to scalability and performance comparable to conventional powertrains. The medium-duty/heavy-duty market spans multiple weight classes (i.e., classes 3–8 or 10,000–80,000+ pounds) and vocational uses (i.e., delivery van, tractor trailer, flatbed, etc.)
A key activity within FCTO, with industry input, is setting technology targets for future years (e.g., 2020) based on what is required to be competitive with incumbent or other advanced technologies. These can then be used by stakeholders to help track performance and set technology benchmarks. [Read More]
Toyota, Honda and Nissan join hands to develop Hydrogen Fuel Cell infrastructure
June 10, 2016 | Autocar Pro
Three of the biggest Japanese carmakers in the world, Toyota, Honda and Nissan have agreed to join hands for the development of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) technology and infrastructure in Japan. Not an entirely new concept but there are rarely any FCV vehicles on the road as of now. Toyota released its first FCV Mirai in late 2014, meanwhile Honda is bound to release one in 2016 and Nissan is making plans for release as early as 2017. Where three of the biggest contenders in the market have agreed to work on a project together, Hitoshi Kawaguchi, senior vice president of Nissan, said the companies will continue to compete on products, but they must come together on supporting hydrogen fueling stations and other needed infrastructure. [Read More]