Thursday, November 8, 2012

Automobiles, Composites and CO2 Emissions

It is great to work on composites, the work on composites is still in nascent stage, lot to learn, lot to explore; this is what makes Composites a challenging career field!  Recently during my composite manufacturing trials, I came across few facts. The research on composites is on a full blow, lot of work is going and in many directions, but the work has just begun and it’s still a long way to go to industrialize the research on composites to be used in automobiles.  The selection of materials, process and properties suiting a particular application is to be identified and established and then commercializing the process parameters to the large scale production is another big job as due to strict and specific property requirements for composites. Fuel efficiency, performance characteristics and environmental load, all these together makes the research problem more critical.

It is to be noted that the problem of climatic change is one of the most serious consequence of the emissions of large quantities of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in atmosphere. Automobiles and transport sector contributes about 25% of all the CO2 released in atmosphere. Composites are the substitutes for heavy weight metals due to their Weight and strength advantages. Also it is found that an average European car contains 20 Kgs of textile and fiber materials into it, these also have got some scope of weight reduction or substitute for other non-textile material.

European Union announced a comprehensive legal framework to tackle reduction of CO2 emissions. According to me the rules in the framework requires a great deal of courage and determination. It says Reduction of CO2 emissions in grams per kilometer of running vehicle from 160 g/Km in 2010 to 130 g/Km in 2015 and to 95g/Km in 2020. CO2 labeling of a car is to be established, so that the customer should get to know the fuel efficiency and the CO2 emission of the car along with its price during buying. The third and the best part was involving the stake holders to do their best by providing incentives and penalties if required. As of now they say the manufacturer would be charged between 5 Euros to 95 Euros for per g/Km of extra CO2 released. And some form of taxes would also be collected by the vehicle owner depending on the CO2 emission from his car. This is phenomenal!

To achieve this task researchers in all fields of automotive division are working on various aspects. And the most promising field in the CO2 emission reduction is attributed to use of Composites which replaces metals. Hence comes the role of textile and polymer engineers along with mechanical and simulation experts to make trials, develop and confirm a product qualifying safety and performance standards. Hence as of now millions of euros are spent and still spending on composites research, as they say it is just beginning.

-  India’s Case:

  • It is still a long-long way for India to explore the composites field, many predicts the scope of composites if far wider in India and it can also be seen that though late but the work on composites Is progressing day by day.
  • In the developed countries the CO2 emissions are reducing while in India the facts are opposite as suggested by a research by CSE (Center of Science and Environment). It states that post 2000 petrol cars with less than 1400cc engines had CO2 emission of 143 g/Km, while cars manufactured after 2005 have emissions of 173 grams of CO2 per Km. The same trend is also observed for diesel engines where post 2000 the values of CO2 emission was 129 g/Km and post 2005 the value is 149 g/Km. Where are we heading is a serious question on our part!
  • Energy policy in India estimates that if 50% improvement in fuel efficiency can save 8.63 cr tons of fuel by 2030 and the CO2 emission reduction which is equal to removing 70 lakh of todays 4 wheeler vehicles.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sickness away from home: The first Responsibility

I know in life there is a time when an unknown place, willingly or unwillingly becomes your home and as they say "Time heals anything and everything" , you start loving the things as they are. During the course of reading I have also come across the difference between a House and a Home.  The House in particular needs essentially few walls and a roof, but Home is something where the wall and a roof are not the necessity, the primary necessity is a bunch of people you love to have around you (your family), to share your success, happiness, love, sorrow and pain.

My home in my village: view after a little rain.
Leaving home and living at other place never bothered me much, but the thought which bothered me was getting sick at the other place. No one to care, to sit beside your pillow with their palm on your forehead, no one to male you a garam chai or a khichdi. You: A sick man is responsible for your own things, as they say in a hindi proverb "Yatri apne samaan ka khud zimmedar hai".

When I am sick I feel really bad, its hard to eat, sleep or interact to others, this is terribly rare but it sometimes happen to me. The first thing I wish that should happen to me when I am sick is to get back to normal within a flash of a second.  I look for available medicines and symptoms, get some advice from friends and family for some gharelu upchar. For this sickness I called my bro ( MBBS Doc) He suggested a paracetamol, cetrizine and an anti-biotic, but here in Germany getting an antibiotic without doctors prescription is a myth. The next thing was I went to a doctor but to my misfortune the doctor said "To my understanding, you don't have to take any thing, no pills. Pills only when the symptoms upgrade." Thus asking me to take rest and wait until the sickness situation hikes.

So here I am hoping for either of thee two things to happen, a) Get normal b) get more sick so that I can have pills to get normal. Sounds crazy na..:P

Anyways its a weekend so..Hope all is fine till Monday.
Take care people. Apna khayal rakhna.