Honda hydrogen fuel cell car stylishly envisaged PDF Print E-mail

Honda hydrogen fuel cell car stylishly envisaged

Honda, on the heels of Toyota and Hyundai, will launch a hydrogen fuel cell next year. Unlike the others, however, the new car’s final design is still under wraps. 

The design of clean energy cars is often argued. Some believe that an innovative powertrain should be reflected by avant-garde design, like the Nissan LEAF or BMW i8. Others think a traditionally attractive aesthetic is important if you don’t want to scare of potential customers, which is an attitude Tesla has adopted for the Model S.

Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell is simply a converted version of the regular, gasoline-powered model. It’s hardly exciting, but it’s a safe bet. Toyota has gone a little further, developing a new design language that, although still largely conventional, tells us that the car is different from other vehicles.


That leaves Honda, who, were things to balance up nicely, would come along with a prophetic vision of what mobility should look like in the future. It’s unlikely this scenario will unfold, as the Japanese carmaker is targeting relatively strong sales, but there’s certainly scope for originality.

concept car revealed during last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show (above) is clearly too adventurous to accurately portray what the car will look like, but the radical design suggests that the successor to the FCX Clarity will be anything but dull.

The render pictured at the top of the page, by Dillion C, aka Hondatalover, shows a production version of the AC-X plug-in hybrid concept (below) showed us at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show.

That the AC-X was a plug-in hybrid and the upcoming fuel cell car will be hydrogen-powered is irrelevant. What matters is the progression of Honda’s clean-energy design language – the LA concept clearly followed on from the concept at Tokyo, but its the former car that’s closer to reality.


With a low nose – permitted by the lack of a cumbersome engine – and a raised, elongated tail providing space for high-pressure hydrogen tanks, this steeply raked vision of Honda’s 2016 fuel cell sedan seems close to the mark for us. I even borrows the rear light styling from the hotly anticipated Acura NSX hybrid sportscar.

With a 300-mile range it’s easy to imagine such a car going up against the Tesla Model S.

Biofuels are included in latest U.S. Navy fuel procurement PDF Print E-mail

JULY 25, 2014


Source: U.S. Navy, used with permission
Note: Above, clockwise from left: Fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), and cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59). Great Green Fleet demonstration, July 2012.

Recently the Department of Defense (DoD) released its annual procurement for bulk fuels to be delivered to its facilities in the eastern and inland United States and Gulf Coast. For the first time, this procurement requests military-specification diesel fuel and jet fuel that are blended with biofuels. The biofuels components, however, are optional and will only be accepted if certain cost and performance requirements are met. A similar procurement for the Rocky Mountain and West Coast regions is expected to be released later this year.

The U.S. Navy's interest in biofuels is part of its goal to generate 50% of its energy from alternative sources by 2020: nuclear energy, electricity from renewable sources, and biofuels. The Navy currently sources about 17% of its energy supplies from renewable and nuclear sources of electricity. No biofuels are currently included in that percentage.

The Navy's interest in biofuels is limited to those fuels that can be used as direct replacements for petroleum-based gasoline and distillate fuels, also known as drop-in biofuels. These fuels require no modification or operational changes to distribution infrastructure, aircraft, or ships. Although biodiesel blends readily with diesel fuel or jet fuel, and is compatible with most diesel engines, it is not a drop-in fuel. Certain properties limit biodiesel blends from being used in some applications: potential fuel system clogging and poor performance at low temperatures prevent its use in jet fuel for civilian or military use, and water separation problems prevent its use as a marine diesel fuel. Drop-in biofuels are available today on a limited commercial basis, and operable U.S. production capacity is about 210 million gallons per year.

Drop-in biofuels tend to be more expensive than petroleum fuels. The 2014 National Defense Authorization Actprohibits DoD from paying prices for alternative fuels that are higher than it would pay for traditional fuels. To address these economic issues, the Navy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Farm-to-Fleet program in December 2013. The program intends to increase the production of drop-in biofuels in the short term to allow producers to improve yields and lower feedstock costs through experience, and to achieve economic competitiveness by 2020.

Firms wishing to offer drop-in biofuels under the current solicitation can apply to the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation for grants to offset the cost of feedstocks used to produce the biofuels. Some drop-in biofuels may also qualify for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which can be used to comply with the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) or sold to other parties. The RFS has encouraged the production and import of drop-in diesel that can meet DoD's requirements. It remains to be seen whether the combination of the USDA grants and RIN value is enough to bring drop-in jet fuel to market at a price comparable to traditional jet fuel.

For this year's fuel procurements, there are two acceptable sources of drop-in biofuels: hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA), and Fischer-Tropsch (FT) liquids. HEFA biofuels are produced through the reaction of vegetable oil or animal fat with hydrogen to yield hydrocarbons that are nearly identical to those found in petroleum-based diesel fuel or jet fuel. FT liquids are hydrocarbons produced from coal-, natural gas-, or biomass-based synthesis gas and are suitable for blending into diesel fuel and jet fuel.

In the near term, EIA projects that HEFA fuels likely will be used in much greater quantities than FT liquids. Unlike with HEFA, the United States has no commercial-scale production of FT fuels. Other nations produce FT liquids, but their production is more often based on coal and natural gas, not biomass. The U.S. therefore does not import large volumes of FT liquids, because coal- and natural-gas based fuels do not qualify for credit under the RFS or the California Low Carbon Fuels Standard.

Principal contributor: Tony Radich

Exxon License Methanol to Gasoline Technology PDF Print E-mail

press release

July 21, 2014, 9:52 a.m. EDT

ZeoGas Awarded Methanol-to-Gasoline Technology License by ExxonMobil

Proven ExxonMobil technology to support new ZeoGas gas-to-liquids project on U.S. Gulf Coast



HOUSTON, Jul 21, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ZeoGas LLC (ZeoGas), a developer of natural gas-to-gasoline projects, has entered into a license agreement to use ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s (ExxonMobil) methanol-to-gasoline technology in the development of a natural gas-to-gasoline plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

ZeoGas is developing a portfolio of projects to convert natural gas to gasoline to take advantage of the abundant and relatively low cost of natural gas in North America. Coupled with the 5,000 tons-per-day of planned methanol production, ZeoGas will produce more than 16,000 barrels per day of ASTM-spec, 87 Octane gasoline with zero sulfur and about 50 percent less benzene than allowable standards.

“We are pleased with this milestone in our development. ExxonMobil’s proven methanol-to-gasoline technology is a critical element of our strategy to use only market-proven, production-scale component technologies, thereby eliminating the technology risk associated with many gas-to-liquids projects,” said Timothy D. Belton, founder and chief executive officer of ZeoGas.

ExxonMobil’s methanol-to-gasoline technology was first commercialized in 1985 by New Zealand Synfuels, a 14,500 barrel per day gas-to-gasoline plant in New Zealand. “Our methanol-to-gasoline technology is not only flexible and scalable, but it has also proven to be a reliable option for producing gasoline,” said Vince Alberico, manager of Technology Sales and Licensing at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

About ZeoGas LLC

ZeoGas is developing a portfolio of plants to convert plentiful and clean natural gas into gasoline, employing proven component technologies like ExxonMobil’s MTG and Air Liquide’s MegaMethanol® technology. Its management team represents over 100 years of direct experience managing complex organizations and the engineering, permitting, construction and operation of large-scale chemical processing plants. For more information, visit .

About ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE)

EMRE is the research and engineering arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation, a leading global oil, natural gas, and petrochemicals company whose subsidiaries have operations in nearly 200 countries and territories. Additional information regarding ExxonMobil and technologies it licenses can be found at .


for ZeoGas LLC
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Copyright Business Wire 2014


Air Liquide gas to methanol PDF Print E-mail

Press Release

Major Investment in the U.S.: Air Liquide Expands its Relationship with OCI N.V. in Beaumont, Texas

>PRWEB.COM Newswire<="">

> PRWEB.COM Newswire

Lurgi MegaMethanol® process technology to OCI's Natgasoline facility. The MegaMethanol® Technology which converts natural gas to methanol is part of Air Liquide's proprietary Lurgi technology portfolio.

The supply of oxygen, combined with this natural gas-to-methanol conversion technology, will provide this customer with an industry leading solution for large-scale methanol production. Through this combination of offerings, Air Liquide provides increased value for the customer.

Michael J. Graff, Air Liquide Executive Committee Member and Senior Vice-President for the Americas, commented: "Our recent agreements with OCI demonstrate Air Liquide's unique turnkey capabilities as a global technology provider and industrial gas supplier of choice. We are pleased to grow our relationship with OCI and create value for them with safe, reliable and high-quality solutions."

Air Liquide in the U.S.
Air Liquide employs more than 5,000 people in the U.S. in over 200 locations. The company offers industrial and medical gases, technologies and related services to customers in energy, industrial, electronics and healthcare markets.

The Large Industries business line of Air Liquide
offers gas and energy solutions that improve process efficiency and help achieve greater respect for the environment, mainly in the refining and natural gas, chemicals, metals and energy markets. In 2013, revenues were €4,940 million.

The Engineering and Construction activity (Global E&C Solutions)
The Engineering and Construction activity (Global E&C Solutions) builds the Group's production units – mainly air separation units (ASUs) and hydrogen production units – and provides plants for third-party customers.

Air Liquide worldwide
World leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 80 countries with more than 50,000 employees and serves more than 2 million customers and patients. Air Liquide's ambition is to be the leader in its industry, delivering long-term performance and acting responsibly.

Air Liquide ideas create value over the long term. At the core of the company's development are the commitment and constant inventiveness of its people.

Air Liquide anticipates the challenges of its markets, invests locally and globally, and delivers high-quality solutions to its customers and patients, and the scientific community.

The company relies on competitiveness in its operations, targeted investments in growing markets and innovation to deliver profitable growth over the long-term.

Air Liquide's revenues amounted to € 15.2 billion in 2013, and its solutions that protect life and the environment represented around 40% of sales. Air Liquide is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (compartment A) and is a member of the CAC 40 and Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 indexes.

Read more:

Chinese firm to build methanol plant near Baton Rouge PDF Print E-mail

Methanol plant plans 400 jobs in St. James Parish

By: Jessica Gonzalez, Reporter July 17, 2014 1 Comment

Chinese chemical company Yuhuang Chemical Inc. and Governor Bobby Jindal announced today plans for a $1.85 billion methanol manufacturing complex on the Mississippi River in St. James Parish.

The project by Yuhuang Chemical Inc., a subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd., is the major foreign direct investment by a Chinese company in Louisiana.

Its newly formed Yuhuang Chemical subsidiary will make its first major U.S. investment.

“Louisiana was the right choice for our company to locate our first operation in the United States,” said Yuhuang Chemical Inc. CEO Charlie Yao in a news release. “This facility’s location fits well with our strategy to leverage the advantage that natural gas feedstock provides.”

Yuhuang Chemical will create 400 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $85,000, plus benefits, according to Greater New Orleans, Inc. In addition, Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 2,365 indirect jobs, for a total of more than 2,700 new jobs in the southeastern region of the state. At peak building activity, the company estimates the project will generate 2,100 construction jobs.

Work on the complex will begin in 2016, with the first phase of the methanol plant beginning operations by 2018.

After the first methanol plant is completed, the company will build a second methanol plant and reach an annual capacity of 3 million metric tons per annum of the chemical.

A methanol derivatives plant will be the third phase that will produce intermediate chemicals, the company says.

Most of the project’s methanol will be exported by oceangoing vessels for use in the parent company’s production of downstream chemicals in China, with approximately 20 percent to 30 percent of the methanol to be shipped by barge and rail and sold to North American customers.

Shandong Yuhuang Chemical recorded more than $4 billion in 2013 sales and employs more than 5,600 people worldwide.

The state began discussing the potential project with Yuhuang Chemical in February 2014. The company was offered two performance-based grants: $9.5 million to be paid over five years beginning in 2017 to offset infrastructure costs of the project and $1.75 million to be paid over 10 years to partially defray the costs of necessary riverfront access and development.

The company will receive the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, and will be utilizing the Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

Hiring will begin in 2015, with employment reaching 200 by 2017 and 400 six years later.

Reporter Jessica Gonzalez can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or @Jess_GonzalezCB

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