EV Startup AIWAYS Considers Methanol Fuel Cell Setup

FEB 23 2019 BY GASGOO 49

EV maker turned fuel cell supporter?

On February 18, Chinese EV startup AIWAYS announced a strategic technology cooperation with Blue World Technologies, a Denmark-based methanol fuel cell system developer. Both parties will team up on the high-temperature methanol fuel cell and jointly explore the range-extended electric vehicle (EV) technologies and applications of clean energy.

Founded in 2017, AIWAYS has so far unveiled two EV models, namely, the AIWAYS U5 BEV, which is planned to be mass produced and delivered in the fourth quarter of 2019, and the RG Nathalie fuel cell supercar. According to the automaker, the RG Nathalie, adopting a methanol fuel cell pack, achieves a range up to 1,000km at a constant speed and is set to be handed over this year.

Established in 2017 as well and headquartered in Aalborg, Denmark, Blue World Technologies specializes in the design and manufacture of methanol fuel cell system and is going to open a branch in Shanghai.

The methanol fuel cell boasts such advantages as high safety, low cost and long range. Besides, it is also an environmentally friendly technology. The China-based startup pouring capital in Blue World Technologies is to deepen its deployment in the methanol fuel cell area by introducing and integrating the world’s best-quality resources.

On the same day, AIWAYS also announced the completion of its plant located in Shangrao, Jiangxi Province, which will see the AIWAYS U5 roll off the production line in September 2019.

Source: Gasgoo

Categories: China


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49 Comments on "EV Startup AIWAYS Considers Methanol Fuel Cell Setup"

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What are those guys smoking?

Al-least they are not drinking methanol.

I am not sure about that, at all.

If they’re drinking methanol, then they won’t be doing it for long.

Is there a way we can get them to drink MORE methanol?

Probably not they good stuff. They don’t have access to bigoil AstroTurf funding like some bigoil trolls who frequent this forum.

You can usually spot the bigoil trolls by their ad hominem attacks. You know what I’m talking about, right Xcel?

How much carbon released per kWh? How much will the cells costs.

Methanol is easy to make and store, and the fuel cells work https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_methanol_fuel_cell but I want to find out about costs.

It is reformed methanol fuel cell (RMFC), not direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). RMFC is more efficient, and actually quite promising as a sensible and relatively green range extender.

Where did you get that information?

AIUI that requires a reformer *in addition* to an ordinary hydrogen fuel cell — meaning the system is even more expensive… Not really fitting their “low cost” claim.

More expensive and less efficient, since it would need an onboard reformer to reform the fuel before oxidation. But that would be more than made up for by using a fuel which is much less expensive, and much easier to handle and store, than highly compressed hydrogen. The supply chain for methanol would also waste far less energy, so overall the well-to-wheel efficiency should show a marked improvement over using H2 fuel in “fool cell” cars.

The less expensive part is the making, storing, and transporting of the fuel. By several orders of magnitude. And greater total system efficiency as a result. I’m not saying it’s a good idea, just less idiotic than hydrogen.

The feedstock for methanol is scrap wood. The feedstock for hydrogen is fossil fuel. That’s the main reason why methanol fuel cells make sense, and hydrogen fuel cells do not.

Well, except that they don’t work… the power and energy outpt is a joke, massive lag, durability is laughable. A tiny genset will destroy it, and will be cleaner. Big Fail.

Lag should be irrelevant for a range extender.

Total troll post. Xcel has no cogent argument against methanol fuel cells.

You can buy methanol fuel cell generators for marine applications from various retailers online. Here is a pretty detailed review of one.

It’s funny so many paid trolls show up to support hydrogen fool cells, but mention methanol, which actually makes a great deal of sense for fuel cells, and it’s crickets. I wonder why big oil would AstroTurf for hydrogen fool cells, but not methanol. Hmmm, so strange.

Yeah, it’s almost like all fool cell fanboys are shilling for Big Oil. Almost like it’s not even remotely a coincidence…

This does NOT make any sense even in stationary storage applications. All these funky fuel cells are rendered worthless by all kind of batteries, pumped hydro, and also by liquid air storage – proven components, durability, scale.

Methanol fuel cells have been used widely for over a decade in marine applications. Even many camper vans in Europe use methanol fuel cells. So, they do work. You can buy one online right now and have it generating electricity in any number of applications in no time. Just be ready to plunk down about $4000.

Once you include the energy to produce the methanol, including growing the feedstock crops, methanol is a costly scam subsidy, foisted on the American public to get the corn-state Senators to fall in line to support some other political sham. EROI is negative in almost all cases. The only reason methanol worked for Brazil is they were up to their eyebrows in waste from the sugar crops that was useable to produce methanol for a relatively small energy market.

A methanol fuel cell might work as a range extender, but it puts you right back in line at the gas station. Not much of a benefit.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

You’re confusing methanol and ethanol.

Methanol’s big challenge is toxicity.

Gasoline is about the same as methanol for toxicity.

Your thinking of Methane which is released by the flaring off of natural gas. The amount of natural gas being flared off in the Permian Basin amounts to the amount of natural gas used by Montana or Vermont on an annual basis. Texas and the EPA gave permission to exceed the legal limit.

I bet he’s not.

(And flaring natural gas, i.e. methane, still doesn’t release methane…)

Methanol fires are also invisible. Toxicity is not the only problem with that fuel.


When does methanol combust when used in a fuel cell?

Dude, you have heard of wood, right? That is where methanol comes from, bud. I’d rather people use wood to make methanol for use in fuel cells, than burn it.

Some people is not considering that there are petrol cars in all the world, but the electric transition will be available only for a part of the 7 billion people living in Earth, we the lucky guys that were born in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, maybe China, some countries in central and South América and middle East…. But for Some areas in Africa, Asia and América, the electric cars will be not a real choice for decades. But a car mainly electric that can use components from other electric more sophisticated cars, with a fuell cell instead batteries, that could use a cheap and easy to produce, manipulate and transport source like alcohol, may be a good alternative.

Why would it not be an option? Deploying solar-powered EV charging stations is easier than supporting gas stations…

“But for Some areas in Africa, Asia and América, the electric cars will be not a real choice for decades…”

Only in areas where there is no dependable supply of electricity, either from the grid or from solar power. In other areas, even in third-world countries, BEVs will mostly replace gasmobiles within a generation or two. BEVs will be simpler and cheaper to produce, once production is scaled up.

Founded in 2017 and delivering in 2019? Either these cars will be total crap, or this company is a sham.

Methanol takes 10% content in gasoline in China and its used in the form of M15 & M85 just like E15 & E85 in USA.
100% Methanol fuelled vehicles are hitting chinese roads and that fuel will be readily available.
A fuelcell vehicle will achieve much higher mileage since its driven by electric motor like an EV.
Goodluck to that company and lets see whether they are successful.

Combusting methanol is stupid because of the inherent toxic emissions. Using methanol in a fuel cell has no toxic emissions.

Methanol is also used in Europe it increases MPG by 3%.

Um… No one is mentioning that alcohol-based fuels are actually bad for the environment as they take large amounts of feedstock and deplete and contaminate the water table in the areas of production. This is a big problem in the corn belt. I many ways it is worse than hydrogen fool cells.

You need to figure out the difference between wood alcohol and grain alcohol. There is this thing called Google, it can help you.

Methanol (wood alcohol) doesn’t come from corn; ethanol (grain alcohol) comes from corn.

I think the primary source of feedstock for methanol is sawdust, silage, and similar organic waste products. The problem there is that the supply (as compared to overall demand for transportation fuel) is very limited. Unless you’re envisioning large-scale synthesis of methanol, this will never be more than a niche market. It’s not a viable replacement for gasoline or diesel… nor for electricity used to charge batteries in EVs.

Methanol is known as wood alcohol for a reason; it comes from wood, any wood. The supply of scrap wood that can be used to make methanol is virtually unlimited. There is no supply constraint. And yes, I’m envisioning large scale synthesis of methanol for use in fuel cells.

Methanol is called wood alcohol, but that doesn’t mean it’s made from wood (nowadays). Most methanol is synthesized from coal or natural gas, using hydrogen in the process.

I agree with all your points, but with a small clarification regarding the “large-scale synthesis of methanol”: it’s already a multi-billion dollar industry, providing feedstock for manufacturing formaldehyde and methylamine, which are precursors for many industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. I would guess most methanol is produced from fossil hydrocarbons, but it’s because oil and gas are cheap and abundant, but yes, there are special bacteria that can convert cellulose into methanol.

I imagine the future of automotive propulsion as BEV + some EREV. Since the reciprocating ICE as a method of converting chemical energy into mechanical energy doesn’t have much room for improvement left, it will eventually be replaced by something else. The only two already existing “something elses” I can think of are the FC and the gas turbine.

When you think about large scale conversion of wood into methanol it’s not a pretty efficient process. Why it makes sense is wood is free, abundant, and renewable. An added bonus is that clearing the national forests of excess fuel will help control worsening forest fires.

While I agree that it would be desirable, such a replacement would require the price of fuel cells to come down drastically — which is something proponents are hoping for, but there is little evidence thus far of it being a realistic hope…

It’s called economy of scale.

I don’t know how practical it would be to try to distribute methanol widely as a transportation fuel, for FCEVs, but it would certainly be better than trying to use compressed hydrogen!

But then, it would be hard to find any other fuel as impractical, expensive, and difficult to handle as highly compressed H2.

If this catches on (I doubt it will, but let’s imagine) then I might have to stop calling FCEVs “fool cell” cars!

Well they fooled you, you call them EVs.

Credit where credit is due, the hydrogen hoax has been one of the most successful deceptions ever perpetrated with many people believing it’s superior to batteries and many people believing they are electric cars just hydrogen rather than batteries. Okay it is technically possible to define EVs that way but people will know why they intuitively felt that EVs are cars with plugs once they see the fuel bill.

EFOY Comfort M10 Fuel Cartridge 10L – 2.64 Gal (2 per pack)
Your Price: $160.00
12 In Stock!
SKU: EF150-905-099
Condition: New
Manufacturer: EFOY
Mfg. Part No: 150-905-099-2PK

Volume: 10 Liter – 2.64 Gal.
Quantity Per Carton: 2
Nominal Capacity: 11.1 kWh – 925 Ah
Weight: 18.5 lbs.
Capacity in days :30 Days (Based on experience)

That’s why I’m calling them hydrogen cars, not fuel cell cars. (And certainly not EVs.) Fuel cell cars using other fuels might actually make sense — if they can ever bring the price down to something palatable…

Nissan developed an ethanol fuel cell car, that was tested in Brazil, where they produce and sell a lot of ethanol fuel. Search for ‘Nissan Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell’ for details.

(It looks like their prototype testing has ended. Since I see no follow-on, I wonder if it didn’t do as well as expected, or maybe now that Ghosn has been kicked out of the company, the project is over).

Using ethanol or methanol for a fuel cell car is probably a bad idea, but I wonder if it makes sense for vehicles that are hard to electrify, such as ships or even trains.