Development and Demonstration of a New Technology Complex for Sustainable Energy and Transportation

Focus Area

Energy

Subcommittee

Air Quality

Status

Archived

Cost

Over $750,000

Timeframe

2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

TERI Database Administrator Notes:  Not recommended at present time by 2009 Air Quality Subcommittee. 

The purpose of this project is to integrate and demonstrate several innovative technologies that have been developed in the USA over the past 27 years.  A new MixAlco biofuel technology can use available biomass feedstocks and produce low-cost and readily available transportation fuel all over the world.  Thus, American energy technology and companies can solve the US and global transportation fuel problem using the market economy.  An innovative non-thermal plasma reformer for hydrogen production uses MixAlco biofuels (or others such as ethanol) to produce on-board hydrogen for the vehicle powertrain. Thus, low-cost, compact, efficient, and on-demand means for hydrogen production becomes available for either fuel cells or internal combustion engines (ICE) with much higher fuel efficiency, with virtually no toxic emissions, than today’s best cars.  Applicable technologies of fuel cell hybrid and ICE hybrid vehicles use the above two technologies to produce the highest fuel mileage in a full-size car.  We will build a prototype vehicle and demonstrate that the integration of the above technologies will support our claims.  High vehicle efficiency will reduce the production footprint of biofuels for transportation, thus minimizing their negative impact on food production, land, water, air and other resources.  This will be the technological breakthrough needed to make environmentally sustainable transportation commercially viable and also make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles practical and widespread.  With availability of funds we will also demonstrate that a MixAlco (or ethanol)-cold plasma reformer system can power conventional ICE and hybrid vehicles with 40% improved fuel efficiency.

Urgency and Payoff

The result will be a new environmentally sustainable energy and transportation industrial complex and new start up companies.  At the heart of this project are three key technologies: (1) the production of low-cost, abundant, CO2-neutral, liquid fuels from widely available biomass; (2) a low-cost, compact, fuel-to-hydrogen reformer for on-board vehicle use; and (3) a hybrid vehicle power train system that is capable of over 100 miles per gallon with better performance and comfort than conventional vehicles. 

Suggested By

Mark Ehsani, Ph.D., P.E., F. IEEE, F. SAE, Texas A&M University, Telephone: 979.845.7582

[email protected]

Submitted

05/14/2008