Thursday, January 21, 2021

Electric car battery that can recharge in 10 minutes and last for 250 miles

Back to the steam car! You've got to wait for it to heat up before you can drive off

US experts have developed a new electric car battery that charges in just 10 minutes and lasts for 250 miles on a single charge.

The EV batteries are made from lithium iron phosphate, which is known for its 'unsurpassed safety', and can quickly heat up and cool down – key to rapid charging and a long life.

They quickly heat up to 140°F for charge and discharge and then cool down when the battery is not being used.

The system could tackle 'range anxiety' – drivers' fears that they don't have sufficient charge on their electric vehicle (EV) to get them to their destination.

Researchers say their battery should last more that 2 million miles in a lifetime and would be 'a well-rounded powertrain for mass-market EVs' if commercialised.

'There is no more range anxiety and this battery is affordable,' said Chao-Yang Wang at Penn State University in the US.

'The very fast charge allows us to downsize the battery without incurring range anxiety.'

According to Wang, these batteries can produce a large amount of power upon heating – 40 kilowatt hours and 300 kilowatts of power.

An EV with this battery could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and would drive like a Porsche, he said.

'We developed a pretty clever battery for mass-market electric vehicles with cost parity with combustion engine vehicles,' said Wang.

'This is how we are going to change the environment and not contribute to just the luxury cars. Let everyone afford electric vehicles.'

Batteries have three main components – the anode, cathode and electrolyte.

The electrolyte is typically a chemical that separates the anode and cathode and moves the flow of electrical charge between the two.

Because lithium is a highly-reactive element it stores a large amount of energy.

Lithium-ion batteries use a liquid electrolyte – a flammable, carbon-based liquid. But this liquid electrolyte is often flammable and has been blamed for lithium ion batteries bursting into flames when overheated, for example.

Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, a type of lithium ion battery, are an alternative. They use lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as the cathode material, are already used in EVs and are renowned for safety.

This new battery is also lithium iron phosphate but is described as a 'thermally modulated LFP'. It uses a self-heating approach previously developed in Wang's lab, the Electrochemical Engine Center at Penn State.

The self-heating battery uses a thin nickel foil with one end attached to the negative terminal and the other extending outside the cell to create a third terminal.

Once electrons flow it rapidly heats up the nickel foil through resistance heating and warm the inside of the battery.

Once the battery's internal temperature is 140°F, the switch opens and the battery is ready for rapid charge or discharge.

Wang's team have also used low-cost materials for the battery's cathode and anode and a safe, low-voltage electrolyte.

The cathode is thermally stable lithium iron phosphate, which does not contain any of the expensive and critical materials like cobalt.

While the anode is made of very large particle graphite, a safe, light and inexpensive material.

Because of the self-heating, the researchers said they do not have to worry about uneven deposition of lithium on the anode, which can cause lithium spikes that are dangerous.

'This battery has reduced weight, volume and cost,' said Wang, who authored a paper on the findings that's been published in Nature Energy.

'I am very happy that we finally found a battery that will benefit the mainstream consumer mass market.'

Biden Cannot Legally Get Us Back Into the Paris Climate Accords; Here's Why

Joe Biden has made no secret of his intention to get us back into the Paris climate accords. It’s high up there on his laundry list of things to do upon taking office—even though the United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions, despite not being a part of it anymore.

But the truth is, the United States was never actually legally a part of the Paris climate accords. The United Nations describes it as “a legally binding international treaty on climate change,” and it also meets the definition of a treaty under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which states that a treaty is “an international agreement concluded between [two or more] States in written form and governed by international law.”

And what does the United States Constitution say about treaties?

It says that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.” It’s right there in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2.

Yes, Obama unilaterally signed the United States into the treaty in the final months of his presidency, which was a very telling move. Nearly 200 countries signed the treaty on December 12, 2015, but Obama didn’t sign it until nearly a year later, during the final stretch of the 2016 presidential election. Obama, who fancied himself a constitutional scholar, never even attempted to go to the Senate for ratification. Instead, he avoided referring to the agreement as a treaty publicly, in order to argue that Senate ratification wasn’t constitutionally mandated.

Obama’s move was clearly designed to benefit him politically while also punting the legal ramifications of the unratified treaty to another president. As such, less than six months into his presidency, Trump announced, to much fury from the left, that the United States would no longer be a part of the Paris climate accords—negating the need for a potential dispute over the legality of the treaty.

Just as easily as Barack Obama got us into the treaty, President Trump was able to get us out. This back-and-forth will continue ad infinitum each time the presidency changes parties. This is why the Founders established a system where neither the top executive nor the Senate can enter into a treaty without the consent of the other.

“The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a President of the United States,” wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #75. “To have intrusted the power of making treaties to the Senate alone, would have been to relinquish the benefits of the constitutional agency of the President in the conduct of foreign negotiations.”

Whereas the election of Donald Trump, whose opposition to the Paris climate treaty was well-established, precluded the need for any legal battles over the legitimacy of the United States’ entry into the treaty, Biden’s promise to get us back into it unilaterally will bring this issue back to the forefront, and I suspect confrontation is inevitable. Senator Ted Cruz, for example, previously called on Trump to send the Paris climate treaty to the Senate for a vote—knowing full well it would not be ratified.

With any luck, the moment Biden illegally gets us back into the Paris climate treaty, Republicans will mount a legal challenge to it, and the Supreme Court will rightfully strike it down.

Biden Administration: Yes, We Are Following Through With a Fracking Ban

Speaking at the White House Tuesday night, Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed President Biden will follow through with campaign promises to ban new fracking on federal land.

"President Biden promised to end all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands when was a candidate," a reporter asked. "Does the administration still have that commitment today? To end that lease?"

"We do and the leases will be reviewed by our team we just have only been in office for less than a day now," Psaki said.

Earlier Tuesday, Biden signed an executive order placing the United States back into the Paris Climate Agreements, despite the country reducing emissions without being in the global agreement. He also revoked permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, eliminating 11,000 jobs and destroying $2 billion in wages.

From Fox Business:

The move could happen on President-elect Joe Biden's first day in office, after the Trump administration spent four years trying to further construction of the $9 billion, 1,200-mile pipeline that would transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska.

An existing Keystone pipeline currently transports oil from Alberta to Illinois and Texas.

According to the Keystone XL website, the project, initially proposed more than a decade ago, would sustain about 11,000 U.S. jobs in 2021 – including 8,000 union jobs – and generate $1.6 billion in gross wages.

It is unclear how the Biden administration plans to address the job losses, but his $2 trillion clean energy infrastructure plan, with its goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, aims to "create millions of good-paying jobs that provide workers with the choice to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers," according to his website.

Biden Reportedly Putting Keystone Pipeline on the Chopping Block on Day One

Joe Biden is reportedly planning to rescind the Keystone XL pipeline permit during his first day in office. The move marks the fulfillment of a campaign promise Biden made in May of last year.

According to CBC News, sources say the incoming president plans to rescind the Keystone XL pipeline permit through executive action on his very first day in office. The rescinding of the permit, allowing the pipeline to cross the Canadian border into the United States, will effectively kill the pipeline as well as all the jobs and economic activity associated with the project.

In a memo circulated among incoming-senior Biden staffers, the words "Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit" are reportedly among the list of executive actions the new administration is planning for Day 1. A lengthier version of the memo was shown to stakeholders, but a smaller version of the memo was released to the public earlier this weekend.

Biden has also said that he plans to transition America out of the oil industry. During his second and final presidential debate against President Trump, Biden said he plans to transition America out of the oil industry.

"Would you close down the oil industry?" President Trump, not the moderator, asked Biden the important question.

"I would transition from the oil industry, yes," Biden answered.

When asked why Biden was planning to eliminate the oil industry, Biden replied, "Because the oil industry pollutes significantly." Biden later clarified that he would not ban the oil industry outright, but reiterated the "need" to transition away from oil.

The Keystone XL pipeline was rejected by the Obama administration in 2015, when Biden was vice president, but subsequently approved two years later by President Trump.




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