It's the year 2060, and 75 percent of drivers in the Greater Los Angeles area have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that emit only water vapor.
Look into Shane Stephens-Romero's crystal ball - a computer model called STREET - and find that air quality has significantly improved. Greenhouse gas emissions are more than 60 percent lower than in 2009, and levels of microscopic soot and ozone are about 15 percent and 10 percent lower, respectively.
"For the first time, we can look at these future fuel scenarios and say how they're going to impact things like ozone and particulate matter, which have severe effects on people's lungs and quality of life," said Stephens-Romero, a UC Irvine doctoral candidate in the Advanced Power & Energy Program.
His 2060 analysis appeared online recently in Environmental Science & Technology. It's the first peer-reviewed test of the computer model, which has caught the attention of California policymakers and auto industry leaders trying to integrate alternative fuels into the transportation system.
"We're transitioning to new technologies. How do we do this while maintaining our lifestyle and keeping our economy robust?" Stephens-Romero said. "We don't know how these changes could affect the future."
The Spatially & Temporally Resolved Energy & Environment Tool, he says, can help.
STREET considers variables in extreme detail - not just which fuel vehicles will use but how the fuel is made, where it comes from, how it's transported and along which routes, and where fueling stations might be located.
The computer model also can determine what changes must occur to achieve a desired result. For example, to bring pollution below federal limits, what percentage of the vehicle fleet would need to run on alternative fuel?
"California policymakers could use the tool in this way to improve air quality in the region," Stephens-Romero said.
Scott Samuelsen, director of the Advanced Power & Energy Program, says Stephens-Romero's work is getting high praise from leaders at Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Shell, Air Products, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.
"The research is well positioned," Samuelsen said, "considering the development of a hydrogen infrastructure is at the crossroads of global climate change, the future of the automobile, the state economy, and California's leadership in addressing the conflict between energy and the environment."
Samuelsen led the development of UCI's hydrogen fueling station, the most technologically advanced, publicly accessible station in the world. It was the first of its kind in Orange County and is a key component of the California Hydrogen Highway Network.
In addition to Stephens-Romero and Samuelsen, UCI scientists Marc Carreras-Sospedra, Jack Brouwer and Donald Dabdub worked on the 2060 study, which was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,200 staff. The top employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.
Jennifer Fitzenberger | EurekAlert!
A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies
Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences