News / Asia

Chinese Science Minister Visits Argonne Laboratory to Study Alternative Fuel

Chinese Minister Gang Wan's visit to Argonne National Laboratory.
Chinese Minister Gang Wan's visit to Argonne National Laboratory.

In a report recently published by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, China has surpassed the United States as the leading emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Scientists in both China and the United States are working to develop technologies that could replace gasoline as a source of fuel in automobiles and, in turn, reduce the amount of pollution contributing to global warming. 

Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Gang Wan knows automobiles.  His resume includes positions as a technical manager for the German automotive company Audi, and professorships in Germany and China instructing graduate students in the development of fuel cell technology.

He is a leading voice in the push to transform China's automotive industry to clean fuel, something he first introduced to the Chinese government in a report in 2000.  That report helped him earn a position in the ministry of science and technology.

"The development of clean and electric vehicles, it is a national strategic, emerging industry," Wan says, "We will devote every effort to promote this industry."

Speaking through a translator at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, Wan emphasized the importance of clean energy to China's international commitments.

"Now China is devoted to cut emissions and save energy.  And, during the Copenhagen conference, China's government made a commitment," Wan explained. "In order to realize these goals and these commitments, we have to develop clean and electric vehicles."

Researchers at Argonne say by 2020, China is expected to sell more cars per year than the United States and, by 2030, will have more cars on the road than the United States.  More vehicles burning petroleum means more green house gas emissions, which most scientists say contributes to climate change.

It is a problem Wan is hoping can be solved by getting more drivers in China behind the wheel of a vehicle not powered by gasoline.

Argonne National Laboratory is a sort of ground zero (the center) in the field of alternative automobile fuel technology.

In several different buildings throughout Argonne's sprawling campus southwest of Chicago, researchers are working on everything from lithium ion batteries to hydrogen fuel cells as a way to get cars and trucks down the road without polluting the atmosphere.

Scientists and engineers at Argonne's Transportation Technology Research and Development Center have been working with their Chinese counterparts since 2003 to develop those technologies.

Wan's visit helped him better understand how research conducted at Argonne could one day power future Chinese automobiles.

"He's looking for different ways to structure Chinese research," David Sandalow stated. Sandalow is the assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.  Sandalow was part of a team of U.S. officials helping Minister Wan and the Chinese delegation answer questions about what could be learned from the research conducted at Argonne.

"Another question is, 'What do we have to learn from the Chinese?' And the answer to that is, a lot.  The Chinese are world leaders in some of the manufacturing technologies here.  It's an interesting example in my view of where we have a lot to learn from each other," Sandalow said.

China and the United States are the two biggest producers of carbon dioxide, which causes global warming greenhouse gases.  Both countries also import most of the petroleum they consume from third countries.  Wan says energy independence and a cleaner environment is not just a priority for his country.

"For China and the U.S., we both have these national priorities, we have the common goals, then based on these common goals, we will work together more closely," Wan said.

That effort to work closely together will bring some members of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology back to Argonne in September, for a workshop devoted to further developing electric vehicles and battery technology.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs