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This Anode may make it to commercialization. SiNode Systems and PPG are making the first steps. This Anode is based on this 2010 paper, "Silicon nanoparticles–graphene paper composites for Li ion battery anodes", Jeong K. Lee,Kurt B. Smith,Cary M. Hayner and Harold H. Kung. This year the Yi Cui Lab of Stanford wrote a paper, "Air-stable and freestanding lithium alloy/graphene foil as an alternative to lithium metal anodes", Nature Nanotechnology (2017) DOI:10.1038/NNANO.2017.129 which describes a similar Anode - a Lithium Silicon Alloy (basically a Lithiated version of this Anode) which in a full cell develops over 500 Whr/kg when paired with Li-free cathodes (sulfur and V2O5). In their research the LixSi/graphene foil maintains a stable structure and cyclability in half cells (400 cycles with 98% capacity retention). An interesting read here (
Good points CheeseEater88. Combined Cycle is definitely an alternative to LNG Compression Ignition engines (Royal Caribbean will probably use the Wartsila engines already in use by all of their other ships except using the duel fuel version designed for LNG). The pollution requirements in most ports is now forcing shipping companies to stop using Bulk Oil, particularly Cruise Lines that spend a lot of time at the port. Combined Cycle plants could even use ULSD diesel even though it has higher CO2 emissions since the powerplant would have higher overall efficiency than an ICE. The 90,228gt Millennium delivered to Celebrity Cruises is an example of a Combined Cycle powered ship. From "Millennium is equipped with a pair of GE Marine Engines’ LM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbines and a single steam turbine instead of the traditional four or five diesel engines on a cruise ship. These three prime movers each drive an AC electric generator. This system, the GE combined cycle gas turbines and steam turbine integrated Electric Propulsion System (COGES), supplies power to two electrically driven podded propulsion units".
@Davemart, Long distance trucking (or any long distance transportation e.g the Alstom Coradia iLint Train) is where Fuel Cells may work if you can solve the H2 infrastructure issue. The H2 tanks on the Nikola One will not weigh any more than the CNG tanks currently used by Class 8 trucks today and Trevor Milton knows a lot about that tech (his previous business). Buses and trucks can store 40-80 kg of H2 where the benefit of H2 energy density pays off.
Power plant lifetime is probably not a big issue with Automotive Fuel Cells. Based on actual results from Fuel Cell Bus studies >20,000 hours has already been achieved (please review this 2017 study - Ballard claims that their FCveloCity®-HD Fuel Cell will last "with >20,000 hours of operation of a fuel cell power module in the field without failure." The real issues with Fuel Cells are initial purchase price and the H2 infrastructure. Due to these reasons Fuel Cells are NOT good solutions for automobiles or buses. However, long range Class 8 trucks have entirely different requirements (e.g. daily mileage >700 miles and ability to recharge quickly). If Trevor Milton and Nikola Motors can solve these issues, then we could start to see the end of the ICE age.
Interesting to see if Nikola Motors also partners with Hyon AS (at Hyon.No) or Nel Hydrogen for Electrolysers and H2 Stations that would complete all the components necessary for the Nikola One truck system. Nikola Energy already has experience as a Solar Panel installer, so maybe they can pull this off. Two interesting articles: Bjørn Simonsen, VP Market Development & Public Relations Nel Hydrogen comments ( talks about need for PV generated H2 costs needs to be below below $0.05/kWh and Apple just signed a deal this week to power to its Sparks, Nevada data center at 3.099¢/kWh (
And it only uses 250 Amps! Actually 3 x 250 Amps. Reference: ABB sis working with EVgo on 350kW Charging Stations ( Looks like Fast Charging will remove the complaint about EV Charging times.
@HarveyD, You maybe correct 400 Amps Max may be too low! Elon Musk thinks the next generation will be greater than 350kW (Note: EVgo already has a 350kW Charging Station at Baker, California. Of course, the BEV battery must be able to handle that load definitely at least 800 Volts). However, some are planning for DC fast-charging power up to 460 kW, 920 volts, and 500 amps (check:
This is a good design for a Sodium Ion battery. My only question is why the Phosphorus anode? According to Yi Cui, "Phosphorus is an attractive negative electrode material for sodium ion batteries due to its high theoretical specific capacity ... it suffers poor conductivity .., slow reaction dynamics, and large volume expansion (440%) during the sodiation process, leading to rapid capacity decay" (reference: Why not use John Goodenough's Sodium Metal anode which appears to have solved that anode's dendrite problem using a solid electrolyte? (reference: "Alternative strategy for a safe rechargeable battery",
Based on what Toshiba has stated, i.e. "energy density by volume of battery is twice that of the current SCiB". Current products like the 23Ah unit has 202Wh/L energy density by volume. This 50Ah prototype has roughly 20% larger dimensions than the 23Ah cell. So expect up to 400Wh/L energy density. Gravimetric energy density probably 180-200Wh/kg again based on the 23Ah cell weight of 550g and 2.4 volts. This is close to Lithium NCA/NCM batteries, though with fast charging and longer life. Looks good for bus/truck applications which will require fast charging. Note: Proterra did use SCiB for some of their buses, new contract with LG Chem for a 160Wh/kg battery system for their long range bus.
Maybe Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola Motor should rethink the H2 Fuel Cell like he did the NG Gas Turbine Truck. Why have a 1000 mile range when a long haul trucker drives 600 - 700 miles a day (USA Regulations only allow 11 hours of driving in a 14 hour period). To cover that daily range requires 1000 kWh which would weigh 5-6000 kg (Nikola claims to have a 107 kWh battery that weighs 1000 lbs or 454 kg). However, long haul truck drivers need to take breaks in their daily routine so a fast charger (up to 350 kW) would reduce the need for a single charge per day, possibly reducing the battery size to less than 500 kWh, e.g. 450 kWh. This size is only 130 kWh larger than the current battery planned and would fit where the fuel cell is located. The 364 H2 stations would be replaced by 350 kW Charging stations. A truck driver's 2 hours of breaks would add 700 kW energy to the 450 kWh battery giving adequate range before overnight charging at a slower rate (reference:
Two Comments: 1. For Automobiles 350kW probably is enough. The Porsche Mission E Concept has an 800 volt electrical system and is a model for future Porsche EV. Check out this discussion which shows the value of an 800 volt/350 kW system. ( 2. Large Class 8 Trucks that travel long distances every day require fast charging like wthat Daimler Trucks is working on with Store Dot (the Tesla "Beast" Semi will also have a similar system no doubt). To supply these high voltage batteries something like the Opbrid Trůkbaar with a 650 kW overhead DC automatic charger would help. Maybe even a 1 MW charger may be needed where a 30 minute charge would supply 500 kW.
EVgo working with ABB already has charging stations with the potential to reach charging speeds of up to 350kW. There is one station in L.A. (
Final Comment: Mazda has a brilliant engine design. This engine has 190 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, lean burn, Atkinson cycle, and high compression (up to 18:1 CR). Make mine a Mazda CX-5 PHEV with a 50 mile electric range.
References on Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI): 1. Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) for high-efficiency clean IC engines ( dam/news/documents/ETH-Reitz-11-09-2016.pdf) 2. 3. Patent US8616177B2 - Engine combustion control via fuel reactivity stratification 4. Fuel reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI): a pathway to controlled high efficiency clean combustion (
The Mercedes-AMG Project One PHEV is amazing in it's use of F1 technology achieving over 40% efficiency using spray-guided direct injection (DI) combustion which allows stratified lean combustion. Just today Mercdes-AMG announced that their Formula 1 engine had achieved greater than 50% thermal efficiency on the dyno ( While they are probably still using spray-guided direct injection stratified lean combustion, some think they may be using some form of HCCI similar to what Mazda is doing with SPCCI. Another interesting twist is that they are also burning a little engine oil! Could they be doing something similar to Rolf Reitz dual fuel RCCI which achieves very high thermal efficiencies? It will be interesting to find out exactly what their secret is.
@Trees, I don't think the Cummins Ethos 2.8L E85 engine went far enough! It had Stoichiometric Combustion with a 3-Way Catalyst and 12:1 compression ratio. Even the Mazda Skyactive-G had 14:1 compression ratio in Japan. In the Final Report Cummins did discuss Lean Burn as one way to improve efficiency. However, they could have gone further. Rolf Reitz at the University of Wisconsin-Madison achieved 58% efficiency with a dual fuel E85/Diesel with Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) engine. Now Oak Ridge National Laboratory is studying many of the different Low Temperature Combustion processes, e.g. RCCI, PCCI, HCCI, Partial Fuel Stratification, Moderate Fuel Stratifucation, etc. Project ID: ACS016 . (continued at Mercedes-AMG Project One PHEV with F1 technology . . .)
@Lad, The original Honda Lean Burn CVCC system goes back to 1975 and used carburetors. This was a very efficient system though it could not meet more strict emission regulations so Honda then opted for 3-way catalytic converters. Honda is also investigating spark assisted HCCI and is using Lean Burn in F1. Lean Burn systems may have some NOx issues like diesels, so they cannot use extreme lean air/gas ratios like in racing. (NOTE: Cummins and GE Jenbacher Natural Gas engines are Lean Burn and have low NOx emissions).
Actually, the MGU-H is used under all load conditions. Mercedes F1 probably uses a combustion system similar to the Ricardo/Petronas T-SGDI lean burn system that has been used on some Mercedes AMG vehicles, e.g. AMG CLA45 (check So F1 tech with proper emission control equipment could meet air quality regulations.
@Brian P, I was not referring to the MGU-H or MGU-K Energy Recovery Systems that are used during part load in F1, but the combustion system which according to Ferrari is based on the Mahle TJI system that was originally developed by Cosworth Engineering ( a division of Mahle).
@Peter XX, How does Skyactive -X compare to Mahle Turbulent Jet Ignition or Ricardo turbocharged spray-guided gasoline direct injection (or any related Formula 1 lean burn turbocharged GDI) or Ricardo Magma “extreme” Miller cycle concept?
This looks like a re-packaged 2010 TROLZA ECObus-5250 which also has a C65 Capstone MicroTurbine, except now with a larger 47 kWh Li-Ion battery pack. Probably still not cost effective. The real competition are BEV. Cummins who knows a lot about truck engines just introduced an all-electric truck called the Concept Class 7 Urban Hauler EV with a 140kWh battery and a 100 mile range. Cummins also said that its EV would have a optional diesel-engine generator that could extend the range of the battery to 300 miles. In Europe, Lithium Storage GmbH has the E-LKW an electric conversion of an 18-ton Truck (IVECO based) with a 240 kWh battery and a 250-350 km range.
Magnesium Rechargeable batteries (MRBs) are definitely a possible Next Gen battery solution. Though there are still many issues related to these batteries and more research is still required. After reading the article, two possible solutions could resolve some of these issues (like the low voltage problem). 1. There is reference in the article to Toyota research: in the article's Discussion: "halogen-free electrolytes are under development for even wider voltage windows" (reference 24 - Dr. Rana Mohtadi of TRINA is one of the contributors). It further states: "Attempts to use the same approach for high-voltage cathode (e.g., layered vanadium oxide) was not quite successful so far due to the limitation of the nucleophilic nature of the APC electrolyte, which reacts chemically with oxides. It is worthwhile to re-examine this method to layered oxide cathodes, when non-nucleophilic electrolytes with higher voltage stability window become widely available." 2. Other researchers have tried to resolve this by looking into Hybrid Magnesium Lithium Ion Batteries (also called Daniell-type batteries). These add a Mg−Li dual-salt electrolyte to the Battery (with a Magnesium metal anode and appropriate cathode, e.g. Vanadium Oxide. One reference that has open access - "VO2 Nanoflakes as the Cathode Material of Hybrid Magnesium-Lithium-Ion Batteries with High Energy Density", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2017, 9 (20), pp 17060–17066 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b02480 Publication Date (Web): May 3, 2017.
This is important research supported by Toyota. One of the top choices for the next generation batteries is Lithium-Air. The gravimetric energy density of Lithium-Air batteries (3500 Wh/kg at the cell level, as noted in this post), combined with much better power to weight ratio of the Electric Drivetrain vs the ICE Drivetrain (5:1 vs 1:1 typically) will make the ICE obsolete for all transportation purposes.
The Next Gen Lithium battery will very likely be either Li-S of Li-Air. A clear picture of the components of the Li-S battery are starting to be developed. The anode looks like it will be Lithium metal now that the problems with dendrites are being solved. The electrolyte is the next critical component and most work is being done with solid electrolytes - either polymeric or glass ceramic - which are safer than liquid electrolytes. There was an interesting NOVA TV show called "Search for the Super Battery" which reviewed Mike Zimmerman and Ionic Materials Solid Polymer Electrolyte. John Goodenough at U of Texas is doing work on Glass Ceramic Electrolytes. Bruno Scrosati who wrote this paper has an earlier work where his team discusses Solid Electrolytes, "Challenges and prospects of the role of solid electrolytes in the revitalization of lithium metal batteries" ( This paper focuses on the Sulfur Cathode and uses a Gel Polymer Electrolyte (basically a polymeric electrolyte with liquid electrolyte added). Possibly all of the parts of the Li-S battery are ready for the Battery Manufacturers to work on the final development phase.
Interesting fact from the history of Petroleum - Gasoline was around before the invention of the internal combustion engine but for many years was considered a useless byproduct of the refining of crude oil to make kerosene. So todays useless CO2 waste product may be more valuable than just burning Natural Gas. The future of the Fossil Fuel Industry may be the production of CNT and Carbon Fiber from CO2. Net Power ( has a technology which uses a supercritical CO2 cycle that makes carbon capture part of the core power generation process. This could be combined with the GWU process to close the loop creating Carbon Capture and Reuse. Another Carbon Reuse project could use Natural Gas Pyrolysis like the Monolith Carbon Black Plant (see This process uses "waste" Hydrogen to run the electric plant. Again the valuable product is Carbon Black for CNT.