Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Going Green, One Moped at a Time

Abstract:
A Vespa scooter is a scooter with a history - it's credited as the affordable form of mass transportation that reignited Italy's post-World War II economy. The scooter's unique, timeless design makes it the "Rolls Royce" of scooters, an heirloom that can last 20 years in the care of a faithful owner.

Going Green, One Moped at a Time

Madison, WI | Posted on March 2nd, 2009

Yet, even for a Vespa, there's room for improvement, and 16 University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering students spent last fall figuring out how to make the already environmentally friendly Vespa even more green.

While enrolled in civil and environmental engineering professor Marc Anderson's section of InterEngineering 160, Introduction to Engineering, the students designed, built and tested a hydrogen-based system that ultimately reduced the amount of gasoline necessary to run a Vespa moped by 10 percent. The system is based on electrolysis, the process of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen via an electrical charge.

"As freshmen, they're just starting to get used to things, and I usually pick out projects that are difficult so they'll learn a lot," says Anderson, adding the project offered exposure to environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, electrochemical engineering, materials science and construction engineering.

The students experimented on a yellow 50 cc steel-body Vespa moped provided at a substantial discount by Jeff Dunn, the owner of Vespa Madison at Dunn's Import in Middleton. While the bike already averages 90 miles to a gallon of gasoline, Dunn says even Vespa needs to do better environmentally, and he's more than willing to help the students.

"I think what they're doing is very exciting. I believe wholeheartedly that it's good for Vespa," he says.

The students divided their work into three components: the electrolysis device, the battery and the engine. For the electrolysis device, they designed rectangular electrodes to split the water using carbon plates coated with a nanoparticle thin film Anderson developed. They set the plates inside a container called an electrolyzer, which they positioned near the moped engine beneath the driver's seat. The electrodes are powered by a charge from the moped's alternator and separate the water into oxygen and hydrogen, funneling the hydrogen directly to the engine's cylinder via a stainless steel tube.

Once in the engine, the hydrogen produces a more complete combustion, according to Anderson, which means the engine more efficiently uses the fuel.

The electrolyzer system could, in addition to reducing the amount of gasoline necessary, also reduce moped emissions. While the students did not have time to test emissions levels their system produced, Anderson anticipates the more complete combustion caused by hydrogen in the engine would make the moped run cleaner. From here, the electrolyzer system may benefit the UW-Madison vehicle teams, which frequently experiment with hybrid vehicle technologies. In fact, mechanical engineering faculty associate Glenn Bower, who oversees the vehicle teams, offered additional advice and support to the moped project.

Not all college freshmen delve into their majors via practical, hands-on projects in their first semester on campus, and the experience has been valuable for mechanical engineering freshman Steven Burbach.

"The project was very cutting-edge - we weren't building things that had already been done, and I really appreciate Professor Anderson's willingness to trust us with this," he says. "Engineering isn't just sitting at a desk. It's getting out there, tackling real-world problems."

####

Contacts:
Sandra Knisely

Copyright © UW-Madison

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in three dimensions: International team seamlessly bonds CNTs and graphene September 5th, 2015

Multi-million pound project to use nanotechnology to improve safety September 4th, 2015

Magnetic wormhole connecting 2 regions of space created for the first time: The device could have applications in medicine, opening up ways to make MRIs more comfortable for patients September 4th, 2015

Tongfang Global and QD Vision Partner to Bring Wide Color Gamut to Global Television Lines: Color IQTM quantum dots help boost company’s focus on superior color reproduction September 3rd, 2015

Announcements

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in three dimensions: International team seamlessly bonds CNTs and graphene September 5th, 2015

Multi-million pound project to use nanotechnology to improve safety September 4th, 2015

Magnetic wormhole connecting 2 regions of space created for the first time: The device could have applications in medicine, opening up ways to make MRIs more comfortable for patients September 4th, 2015

Making fuel from light: Argonne research sheds light on photosynthesis and creation of solar fuel September 3rd, 2015

Automotive/Transportation

QEOS and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Industry’s First CMOS Platform for MillimeterWave Markets: GLOBALSOLUTIONSSM Partnership will enable next-generation wireless technologies for applications in IoT, 5G and automotive September 3rd, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell: Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more August 27th, 2015

Lehigh University-DuPont tribology research seeks to reduce wear and waste August 13th, 2015

Flexible dielectric polymer can stand the heat August 6th, 2015

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in three dimensions: International team seamlessly bonds CNTs and graphene September 5th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell: Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more August 27th, 2015

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products August 19th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic