Phinix, LLC Awarded DOE Funding for Recycling Project

Phinix has been awarded funding by the Department of Energy‘s agency Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for its recycling project, “Electrochemical Extraction of High Quality Magnesium from Scrap”.

With this funding, Phinix will develop a new electrochemical cell technology that can recover high-quality magnesium from aluminum magnesium scrap. This technology could lower costs, energy inputs, and emissions from magnesium production, expanding its use in transportation industries. By recovering and reusing aluminum-magnesium scrap, Phinix’s technology could reduce the need for manufacturing new, expensive primary metals, while developing a sustainable and low-cost advanced manufacturing process.

Kentucky — Phinix’s homestate — Congressman Andy Barr congratulated the company in a press release sent out on October 9th:

Based on the strength of its application, Phinix will receive over $600,000 for the research and development of an electrochemical process to extract high-quality magnesium from scrap metal for reuse in manufacturing, as part of ARPA-E’s brand new METALS program.

ARPA-E is a Department of Energy agency charged with identifying and supporting cutting edge technologies to provide clean, affordable energy for American families and businesses. It is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which, among other breakthroughs, developed the basis for the modern Internet. ARPA-E seeks to develop similarly valuable innovations within the energy sector by leveraging the power of public-private partnerships.

Phinix, LLC was founded in September 2008 in Lexington by Dr. Subodh Das, following an illustrious academic and professional career. Dr. Das served for four years as an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky, during which time he founded UK’s Center for Aluminum Technology. Phinix provides concept development and consulting services in the areas of aluminum production, metal recycling, energy efficiency and conservation, and carbon management.

“I congratulate Phinix, LLC as it is announced that the company’s innovative metal recycling project will receive funding from ARPA-E following a competitive review process,” said Congressman Andy Barr. “Phinix’s presence in Lexington, established following Dr. Subodh Das’s tenure at the University of Kentucky, demonstrates the important role of the Commonwealth’s university system in providing an educated workforce for the industries of the future. The University of Kentucky is an important component of what makes the environment in central Kentucky ideal for attracting the entrepreneurs and high-tech startups, such as Phinix, which are poised to revolutionize our economy and create highly skilled manufacturing jobs.”

See ARPA-E’s announcement of allocating $66 million for transformational energy technologies, and a complete list of the projects.

October 9, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

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“Greenhouse-Gas Fight Escalates” – Wall Street Journal, 2 September 2013

The Obama Administration is seeking to increase prices on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a move that has inevitably stirred up trouble in Congress, causing Congress to introduce new legislation.

In May, the DOE publicized estimates of how much a ton of carbon dioxide emissions costs the US — the estimate in 2010 dollars was $21, a decrease from the 2007 estimate, which was $36 per ton.

Carbon dioxide emissions fell out of demand, and prices plummeted, between those years because the administration did not lawfully require companies to buy CO2 stock. But Obama has found that those estimates are significant because the pricier carbon pollution becomes, the greater impact it can have on both the US environment and economy. The EPA is planning to introduce additional, similar regulations, which also include limits for new power plants.

This August, House Republicans passed a bill, prohibiting the use of those estimates; House Republicans would rather have Congress price out estimates, rather than the administration.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has concluded that the 2007 $36 estimate is similar, or lower, than estimates used by major oil companies. Exxon Mobil Corp, for instance, has priced carbon dioxide emissions at $80 per ton by 2040, while BP currently prices carbon at $40 per ton.

The great assumption behind placing a price tag on carbon emissions is that climate change is rapidly developing, and that more CO2 in the atmosphere will give way to more natural disasters and growing sea levels. The Bush Administration was also moving to price carbon emissions, though unsuccessful. The Obama Administration has employed many computer economic models in order to ascertain current estimates, though such estimates are not trusted by all. A $36/ton estimate could surely lead to stricter regulations on coal-fired power plants, meaning higher electricity costs for consumers.

Yale economics professor William Nordhaus is the innovator behind the best-known climate change model. While numerous scientists have tried to deny the fact that climate change exists, Nordhaus, though “no climate hawk”, continues to present key facts as to why it is important that CO2 emissions be regulated. Read more here.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

September 13, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

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“Mexico Oil Giant Seeks US Shale” – Wall Street Journal, 19 August 2013

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Mexico’s state oil monopoly, is looking to extend its reach — from a solely crude-producing, Mexico-based company — to include shale oil and gas from the US. The purpose of Pemex’s new company is to generate shale oil and gas as a way to counteract Pemex’s decreased production. Pemex is the fifth-leading crude producer in the world, but rarely does business outside of Mexico.

Though Pemex has no experience generating natural gas, it will begin exploring the techniques and technologies that US gas and oil companies use to extract natural gas from shale rock. The company’s only collaboration so far has been a refinery with Shell Oil Co. in Texas; but Pemex is looking to partner with an international company, and hopes to launch its new company by the end of next year.

Pemex’s move coincides with new energy reforms made by the Mexican government. In 1938, the country nationalized private oil companies; but now, for the first time since 1938, private oil companies will be able to have a portion of oil profits.

Mexico’s waters have a lot of potential for natural gas; the US government and other experts believe Mexico to have the fourth-largest shale-rock resources in the world. For years, rather than exploring the oil and gas fields in nearby Gulf of Mexico, Pemex and the Mexican government have been concentrating on crude, to the detriment of the country’s energy production.

Pemex’s new president Emilio Lozoya aims to complete a gas pipeline that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Such a pipeline will boost Mexico’s profits by allowing Mexico to sell to Asia, while also supplying inexpensive energy for Mexico. Mexico does not currently generate any natural gas, only imports it.

This goes to prove one more time that the biggest exports for the US are innovation and technology. US is capitalizing on new technologies from Apple, Google, and now energy, developed by the US DOE with taxpayer’s money, and commercialized by US companies. Innovate or Perish.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

September 4, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

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