VechainThor, 2D Smart Materials and Sustainability— Ushering In A Classic Car Revival; Updates From Professor Ge
Vechain Foundation Steering Committee Member, Professor Qi Ge, recently joined forces with Paddock Speedshop, a classic car restoration company, at the 2023 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show to unveil something special to attendees.
During the event, vechain’s logo proudly featured on two of racing’s most iconic vehicles; the Mini Cooper S Rally and the revered Shelby Cobra, a merging of old and new. Underneath their bonnets, a green revolution has taken place — their engines, fuels, parts and oils have been replaced, upgraded with sustainability and carbon-reduction at the core.
The efforts of the team will be chronicled in an upcoming TV series airing in May 2024, exploring how these classics — and by extension the humble combustion engine — stand to benefit from breakthroughs in material science, fuel technologies and blockchain.
Blockchain, Nanomaterials and Science - Building Everything Better
With the Mini Cooper and Shelby Cobra engine bays retrofitted with lighter, more durable parts and fuels, Paddock Speedshop are showing how sustainability can be integrated even in the world of classic car racing, and importantly, provide a glimpse of how emerging technologies can lower the impact of existing combustion vehicles while they are phased out in the years ahead.
The cars use P1 Fuel, a 100% fossil free product, and fully compliant with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). The refining process is powered by solar energy and uses organic waste products to create biofuels. As an added benefit, the fuel can be readily mixed with regular fuels, reducing their carbon footprint and cost.
The oils are lubricants were developed by Motul and their new product, NGEN, which utilises waste oils from existing vehicle stocks, regenerating them in to newly usable products. In doing so, Motul are reducing the need for crude oil mining, taking an existing waste product and creating a circular pathway for reuse.
The replaced engine and parts utilised cutting edge materials such as graphene, helping reduce weight, increase durability and improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles.
2D Materials & Blockchain: Reigniting Combustion
Professor Ge’s research in 2D materials, in combination with vechain’s blockchain, are opening up new frontiers in the materials science sector, facilitating the production, tracking and monitoring of all manner of industrial technologies, from catalysts to fuels to nano-engineered materials.
In the nanoengineering process, VechainThor is experimentally being applied to sync the control and registration of chemical and material production, enabling real-time monitoring and verification of machine performance, insights into the health of production processes, the monitoring and recording of gaseous emissions, sustainability data, supply chain information and much more.
The end result is a complete record, from synthesis to end-result, of a given product’s lifecycle, carbon footprint and more, providing industrial players with a more efficient pathway to record and demonstrate their sustainability efforts to customers and regulators.
Nanoengineering: Like Lego, But Smaller
Professor Ge’s research, in combination with vechain, is tackling a wide array of common industrial bottlenecks, with many uses for the automotive industry and beyond. For example, catalysts (the key to speeding up reactions), based on nano-materials and single-atom catalysts can vastly increase the efficiency of petrol production and improve the regeneration cycle of catalysts themselves, reducing overall cost and environmental impact.
Advanced composite materials that leverage graphene, an ultra-strong and light form of carbon, help reduce the weight of vehicles, improve the internal working temperature of combustion engines and make travel-per-mile more efficient via reduced fuel consumption.
Specialised 2D materials can also be applied to mitigate greenhouse and undesirable gaseous waste products at-source, through direct capture and conversion. Contemporary catalytic converters currently consume half of the world’s platinum production, which is both expensive, and unsustainable. Such advances reduce costs, emissions and reliance on destructive mining practices.
Nanoengineered fuel additives represent another significant step towards making combustion even cleaner. Nanomaterials and specially constructed organic molecules can be added to fuels to improve their burn efficiency, and by proxy, the efficiency of the engine, while reducing nitrogen oxide emissions.
Atomic Engineering For A Cleaner Tomorrow
Beyond the show and association with HCVA, advocates for sustainability in the classic car realm, Professor Ge and his cutting edge research continue to actively engage with government entities to promote and enhance the sustainability of classic (and regular) car innovation.
With over 42 million internal combustion vehicles on the roads today, it is imperative technology delivers the pathways to making existing fleets more sustainable, while society transitions toward hybrid, hydrogen and electric vehicle infrastructure.
Vechain’s involvement in the classic car resurgence isn’t merely about branding; it’s about actively steering the narrative towards a sustainable and eco-conscious future, powered by innovative technologies and cutting edge science.
Professor Qi Ge, Vechain Steering Committee Member & 2D Materials Researcher
“With over ten years of expertise in material chemistry and nanotechnologies, his research focuses on energy and environmental issues by developing novel solutions using advanced functional intelligent materials. A forerunner in merging smart materials and Web 3.0 to promote sustainable development. Professor Ge utilizes smart materials to automate waste management procedures and reduce the carbon footprint of waste disposal and industrial processes.”
vechain, headquartered in San Marino, Europe, is the curator of VechainThor, a world-leading smart contract platform spearheading the real-world adoption of blockchain technology.
By leveraging the capabilities of ‘trustless’ data (information without intermediaries), smart contracts, and IoT technologies, VechainThor has enabled solutions across a wide array of fields. Vechain now turns its attention to the greatest challenge of all — building digital ecosystems to drive sustainability and digital transformation at global scale.
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