TEAMFAST: Ants hold the key to worlds sustainable fuel demand
Students from Technical University (TU) of Eindhoven will revolutionize the mobility industry
TEAM FAST is a group of honorary students from TU of Eindhoven that managed to make a small model car run on formic acid. This achievement triggered them to apply this technology to an actual size car and in 2015 TEAM FAST was born to develop this technology into a reality. The team consists of 23 students with different academic backgrounds who work relentlessly to meet their first milestone of an actual working scale model which they will present on 14th of January. And their next milestone, a live size working prototype car, is also on the horizon of these visionaries.
Formic acid is a substance that is naturally created by Ants. But for this application the developers need a larger supply. The Heart of the innovation was inspired by a catalyst developed by dr. Georgy Filoneko of the research group Molecular Catalysis at the Chemical Engineering faculty of the TU of Eindhoven. Dr Filonenko developed a catalyst that transforms formic acid to hydrogen. The faculty stimulated Team FAST to use the technology to develop a way to make the automotive industry more sustainable. Tim van Lohuizen, PR&Marketing TEAM FAST: “by now it has become quite clear that the world needs to be sustainable. We as Team FAST want to make our own contribution to that.”
At the moment the students are developing a prototype which they will present on the 14th of January to convince the automotive industry that is works and that they showed embrace this idea. In this process a 3D-printer is indispensable as every aspect of the driving has to be developed. Max Weetzel TEAM FAST: “3DPrinting allows us to speed up the prototyping cycle significantly. Lots of parts are unique and have to be specifically designed. The fact that we can do that right inside our office is simply amazing.”
In a meeting on development and sustainability TEAM FAST met with Jan Willem Slijkoord, owner of CIORC and Roger Sijlbing, Sales Manager Innofil3D.
Jan Willem and Roger where immediately impressed by the scope of project and wanted to support this initiative with Innofil3D sustainable product line InnoCirle. Materials from this product line are made of recycled materials so this was a perfect match. At this time TEAM FAST was using a 3D-printer that was developed and built by Max Aerts (Team Manager Team FAST) three years ago. Although the printer did it’s duty it was clear the engineers needed an upgrade. So Roger, of Innofil3D, contacted Marcella van den Burg responsible for education within 3D-printer manufacturer Ultimaker and she immediately wanted to support the project with a printer.
“This project is amazing. Young entrepreneurial students that want to shake the (fuel) establishment are initiatives Ultimaker wants to support. The way these guys use 3D-printing as tool really shows the possibilities of 3D-printing. And of course we hope they will remember us when they hit it big with their idea” said Marcella with a smile.
What’s to come
After the prototype is finished we shift our focus to a much bigger scale. We will develop a 30kW system which is roughly a thousand times more powerful than that in the model car. We want to integrate this into a vehicle and demonstrate to the world that formic acid has a lot of potential as an sustainable fuel. The ambition is to get this done in the summer of 2016!
Updates via the TEAM FAST website!
Update; video added 15-january 2016