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2014 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon blends function, aesthetics

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2014-04-15 17:45
Transmission: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic. EPA Fuel Economy: 14 city/19 hwy. (manual); 12 city/18 hwy. (automatic) Cargo capacity: 58.0 ...

arbcombo -- Training Webinar for Electric Power Entities on Greenhouse Gas Reporting under Section 95111 of Mandatory Reporting Regulation

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 17:10
California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff will conduct a training webinar for reporting greenhouse gas emissions required by the Regulation for the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (MRR) related to electric power entity reporting requirements in section 95111 on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 from 10:00 am to approximately 12:00 noon.

newsclips -- Newsclips for April 15, 2014

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 15:55
ARB Newsclips for April 15, 2014.

PNNL team develops composite sulfur/Ni-MOF composite cathode for Li-S batteries showing excellent capacity retention

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 15:19

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have used a novel Ni-based metal organic framework (Ni-MOF) significantly to improve the performance of Li-sulfur batteries by immobilizing polysulfides within the cathode structure through physical and chemical interactions at molecular level.

In a study reported in the ACS journal Nano Letters, the use of a sulfure/Ni-MOF composite cathode resulted in capacity retention of up to 89% after 100 cycles at 0.1 C. The research team attributed the excellent performance to the synergistic effects of the interwoven mesopores (2.8 nm) and micropores (1.4 nm) of Ni-MOF, which provide an ideal matrix to confine polysulfides, as well as the strong interactions between Lewis acidic Ni(II) center and the polysulfide base, which significantly slow down the migration of soluble polysulfides out of the pores.


Left: Crystal structure of Ni-MOF containing two different types of pores represented by dark yellow sphere and blue sphere: mesopore (yellow sphere indicates pore volume; gray, C; red:,O; green, Ni; blue, N); micropore (blue sphere indicates the pore volume).
Right: Cycling performance of Ni-MOF/S composite at 0.1 and 0.2 C rates at a voltage range of 1.5−3.0 V; inset of panel is a schematic diagram illustrating the interaction between polysulfides (e.g., Li2S8/ Li2S6/Li2S4, and so forth) and paddle-wheel unit in Ni-MOF. C, O, N, S, Li and Ni atoms are represented by gray, red, blue, yellow, pink, and green spheres, respectively.
Credit: ACS, Zheng et al. Click to enlarge.

Lithium–sulfur (Li–S) batteries promise high specific capacity (1,675 mAh g–1 based on sulfur). However, they suffer from rapid capacity degradation, mainly caused by polysulfide dissolution, hampering many practical applications. Developing a solution for that problem is thus a key focus.

Li-S anode work Lead PNNL Jie Xiao and some of her PNNL colleagues earlier reported designing a lithium–sulfur battery using electrically connected graphite and lithium metal as a hybrid anode to block polysulfides. Lithiated graphite placed in front of the lithium metal functions as an artificial, self-regulated solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layer that actively controls the electrochemical reactions and minimizes the deleterious side reactions, leading to significant performance improvements. Lithium–sulfur cells incorporating such hybrid anodes deliver capacities of >800 mAh g−1 for 400 cycles (4x the cycle life compared to a conventional anode) at a high rate of 1,737 mA g−1, with only 11% capacity fade and a Coulombic efficiency of more than 99%. (Earlier post.)

In recent years, many efforts have been pursued to overcome the hurdles in Li−S battery technology. Various approaches have been proposed, spanning from immobilization of sulfur in different kinds of hosting materials, sulfur cathode surface modification, electrolyte modification, and anode protection by employing LiNO3 as the electrolyte additive. While the development of new electrolyte/additive and lithium anode protection remain challenges for a long history in lithium batteries, more progress was achieved in the sulfur cathode modulation.

… Recent work from this group further correlates carbon properties with the real current density and revisits their functions at different current densities. Polymers, porous aromatic framework (PAF), intercalation compounds, and silica have also been extensively investigated for Li−S battery system. Another type of high surface area hosts, metal organic framework (MOF), however, has received much less attention probably due to its poorly conducting nature compared to the carbon scaffold.

… In the present work, we report a novel nickel-based MOF (Ni-MOF) for sulfur impregnation. … Here, we demonstrate that polysulfides can be effectively harnessed by this novel Ni-MOF, displaying remarkably improved cycling performances.—Zheng et al.

Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystal-like compounds made of metal clusters connected to organic molecules, or linkers. Together, the clusters and linkers assemble into porous 3-D structures. MOFs can contain a number of different elements. PNNL researchers chose the transition metal nickel as the central element for this particular MOF because of its strong ability to interact with sulfur.

The framework’s positively charged nickel center tightly binds the polysulfide molecules to the cathodes. The result is a coordinate covalent bond that, when combined with the framework’s porous structure, causes the polysulfides to stay put.

Having shown the effectiveness of their MOF cathode, PNNL researchers now plan to further improve the cathode’s mixture of materials to improve its energy capacity. The team also needs to develop a larger prototype and test it for longer periods of time to evaluate the cathode’s performance for real-world, large-scale applications.

MOFs are probably best known for capturing gases such as carbon dioxide. This study opens up lithium-sulfur batteries as a new and promising field for the nanomaterial.—Jie Xiao

This research was funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Researchers analyzed chemical interactions on the MOF cathode with instruments at EMSL, DOE’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at PNNL.

Resources

  • Jianming Zheng, Jian Tian, Dangxin Wu, Meng Gu, Wu Xu, Chongmin Wang, Fei Gao, Mark H. Engelhard, Ji-Guang Zhang, Jun Liu & Jie Xiao (2014) “Lewis Acid-Base Interactions Between Polysulfides and Metal Organic Framework in Lithium Sulfur Batteries,” Nano Letters doi: 10.1021/nl404721h

Google iLUC alert: Etanol (motorbränsle) – Wikipedia

ICCT ILUC - Tue, 2014-04-15 15:16
Enligt allt fler rapporter är inte bränslen som etanol bra för miljön, till följd av vad som kallas ILUC (Indirect land-use change). [1] [ förtydliga ] Status i Sverige [ redigera | redigera wikitext...
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Toyota Corolla hits 1.22M global sales in 2013

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:37

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., announced Corolla global sales of 1.22 million units in 2013, according to the company’s internal data based on individual vehicle sales reporting from its distributors. The 5% year-over-year increase confirms the Corolla’s popularity among customers in approximately 150 countries and regions around the world.

Corolla’s worldwide cumulative sales since its introduction in 1966 topped 40.72 million units as of February 2014, making it the all-time best-selling vehicle model, according to Toyota’s analysis.

Toyota says that various “competitive claims” based on “single nameplate” registrations may have excluded data for Corolla Axio, Corolla Altis, Corolla EX, Corolla Fielder and Corolla Rumion, which are identified and marketed as Corolla sedans and wagons. Toyota is referring to Ford’s claims for the Focus (earlier post.) Based on Polk data, Ford estimated Focus sales globally reached about 1.1 million in 2013.

Based on Polk new vehicle registration data from IHS Automotive, which captures 96% of global new vehicle volumes, Toyota says that the Corolla is the world’s best-selling vehicle model for 2013 with global registrations of 1,098,524 million units.

This figure includes Corolla sedan and other variations in name such as Corolla Axio, Corolla Altis and Corolla EX 4-door sedans. The subscripts “Axio” “Altis” and “EX” denote trim levels of the 4-door Corolla sedan sold in various global regions, including Japan. Also included are the Corolla-badged Fielder and Rumion 5-door wagons.

In the US, the all-new Corolla posted sales of more than 300,000 units in 2013, a 4% increase year-over-year. In 2013, 97% of all Corollas sold in the US were built in North America.

Corolla was named a top safety pick in 2013 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and was awarded a 5-star rating for overall safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is the highest grade given by the agency.

Chevrolet and GMC CNG pricing starts at $9,500

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 14:17

Bi-fuel options, allowing either compressed natural gas or gasoline to power the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD pickups, will start at $9,500. A dedicated CNG option on the 2015 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo and passenger short-wheelbase vans starts $10,825 for the three-tank system and $12,090 for the four-tank system.

The bi-fuel CNG option will be available on all 2015 Silverado and Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD single-rear-wheel models. The Express and Savana vans have fully dedicated CNG fuel systems—available in three- or four-tank models on cargo vans and exclusively with the three-tank design on passenger vans.

GM warrants and validates the fuel systems on all of its CNG trucks, vans and the upcoming bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala sedan through its five-year/100,000-mile—whichever comes first—powertrain limited warranty. All major components associated with the CNG system also carry GM service part numbers for availability throughout the largest dealer network in the United States.

CNG versions of the Silverado and Sierra 2500HD double cab and crew cab and the full-size Express and Savana vans are on sale now. The Silverado and Sierra 2500HD regular cab and all 3500HD pickups go on sale in July.

US Appeals Court Upholds EPA Rule on Power Plant Emissions -- Update

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:48
The emissions standards were a notable environmental accomplishment for the Obama administration and a blow to the coal industry. The regulations ...

LowCVP and Cenex team up to host Awards Dinner during LCV2014, Sept 10

Pipe: Europe - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:39

Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies and the organiser of the UK’s largest technology showcasing and networking event for the UK low carbon vehicle community has announced a collaboration with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership for this year’s Low Carbon Vehicle Event, LCV2014. For the first time, Cenex will be hosting an LCV2014 networking dinner on Wednesday 10 September 2014, at Jury’s Inn, Milton Keynes. The central feature of this year’s dinner will be the LowCVP's Low Carbon Champions Awards. 

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Biologists develop nanosensors to visualize movements and distribution of plant stress hormone

Pipe: Climate and Health - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:38
Biologists have succeeded in visualizing the movement within plants of a key hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. The achievement will allow researchers to conduct further studies to determine how the hormone helps plants respond to drought and other environmental stresses driven by the continuing increase in the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide, or CO2, concentration.

Shanghai's worsening smog blamed on industry, vehicles

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:26
Industrial enterprises, vehicles and sources from outside Shanghai are the cause of 80 percent of the city's air pollution, the local environment ...

Buckeye Power Sales Adds Mobile and Towable Generators to the Lineup

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:26
Its cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) helps it reach the industry's toughest emissions standards. Both of the new models, the 35REOZT4 and ...

Google iLUC alert: Ipcc Bioenergy Assessment Dismisses Indirect Land Use Models

ICCT ILUC - Tue, 2014-04-15 13:12
...Bliss Baker said. Indirect Land Use Change Indirect Land Use Change modeling, which is used to predict ... modelling," the report said. GRFA said ILUC relies on assumptions, not facts, to predict future land use patterns...
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New ceramic materials for hydrogen storage

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 12:37

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have created new ceramic materials that could be used to store hydrogen safely and efficiently. The researchers have created for the first time compounds made from mixtures of calcium hexaboride, strontium and barium hexaboride. They also have demonstrated that the compounds could be manufactured using a simple, low-cost manufacturing method known as combustion synthesis.


The researchers have created for the first time compounds made from mixtures of calcium hexaboride, strontium and barium hexaboride. The resulting ceramics are essentially crystalline structures in a cage of boron. To store hydrogen, the researchers would swap the calcium, strontium and boron with hydrogen atoms within the cage. Credit: Olivia Graeve/Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Click to enlarge.

The resulting ceramics are essentially crystalline structures in a cage of boron. To store hydrogen, the researchers would swap the calcium, strontium and boron with hydrogen atoms within the cage.

The work is at the proof of concept stage and is part of a $1.2-million project funded by the National Science Foundation, a collaboration between UC San Diego, Alfred University in upstate New York and the University of Nevada, Reno.

The manufacturing process for the ceramics is faster and simpler than traditional methods used to manufacture these types of materials. The researchers presented their work in March 2014 at the third International Symposium on Nanoscience and Nanomaterials in Mexico.

Engineers mixed boron with metal nitrates and organic fuels, such as urea, in a box furnace at temperatures below 400 ˚C. The nitrates and organic fuels ignite, generating heat that then drives the reaction without the need for an external source of power. This method is known as combustion synthesis.

New ceramic materials for hydrogen storage

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 12:37

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have created new ceramic materials that could be used to store hydrogen safely and efficiently. The researchers have created for the first time compounds made from mixtures of calcium hexaboride, strontium and barium hexaboride. They also have demonstrated that the compounds could be manufactured using a simple, low-cost manufacturing method known as combustion synthesis.


The researchers have created for the first time compounds made from mixtures of calcium hexaboride, strontium and barium hexaboride. The resulting ceramics are essentially crystalline structures in a cage of boron. To store hydrogen, the researchers would swap the calcium, strontium and boron with hydrogen atoms within the cage. Credit: Olivia Graeve/Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Click to enlarge.

The resulting ceramics are essentially crystalline structures in a cage of boron. To store hydrogen, the researchers would swap the calcium, strontium and boron with hydrogen atoms within the cage.

The work is at the proof of concept stage and is part of a $1.2-million project funded by the National Science Foundation, a collaboration between UC San Diego, Alfred University in upstate New York and the University of Nevada, Reno.

The manufacturing process for the ceramics is faster and simpler than traditional methods used to manufacture these types of materials. The researchers presented their work in March 2014 at the third International Symposium on Nanoscience and Nanomaterials in Mexico.

Engineers mixed boron with metal nitrates and organic fuels, such as urea, in a box furnace at temperatures below 400 ˚C. The nitrates and organic fuels ignite, generating heat that then drives the reaction without the need for an external source of power. This method is known as combustion synthesis.

omb -- CARB Truck and Bus Regulation Information Session Bay Area, APRIL 17

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 12:37
The California Air Resources Board is offering a free information session in the California Bay Area for diesel truck owners, operators, fleet managers, motor carriers, and brokers in the process of complying with the Truck and Bus Regulation.

Europe champions cycling as green alternative

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2014-04-15 12:30
... are enormous and include new jobs and healthier people from more physical activity, fewer road traffic injuries, less noise and better air quality.”.

Weltpremiere Land Rover Vision Discovery: Was fürs Auge

Pipe: Europe - Tue, 2014-04-15 12:14
Statt eines knorrigen SUV zeigt Land Rover auf der Automesse in New York eine Art Hightech-Labor mit Allradantrieb. Bei der Studie Vision Discovery wird die Motorhaube auf Knopfdruck durchsichtig, steuern lässt sich das Modell per Fernbedienung.
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Achates: LD opposed-piston, 2-stroke diesel can meet 2025 final CAFE, Tier 3 standards for full-size pickup; 30% better FE than Cummins ATLAS

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2014-04-15 12:12

Brake specific fuel consumption map for the LD Achates opposed-piston engine. The map is extremely flat, with the engine’s high efficiency extending to low loads. Source: Achates Power. Click to enlarge.

Achates Power, Inc., the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), has performed an in-depth study on the performance and emissions of light-duty version of its engine packaged for a full-size pickup truck.

The results of the exercise, reported by Fabien Redon, Achates VP of Technology Development at the recent SAE 2014 High Efficiency IC Engine Symposium and the SAE 2014 World Congress, show that the Achates Power two-stroke opposed piston engine could meet and exceed—with no hybridization—the final 2025 light-truck CAFE fuel economy regulation for a full-size 5,500 lb pick-up truck and has the potential to achieve the engine-out emissions targets to meet the fully phased in LEV III/ Tier 3 emissions with the appropriate aftertreatment. Furthermore, the study shows the potential for a 30% improvement in fuel economy over the equivalent performance Cummins ATLAS Tier 2 Bin 2 engine (earlier post) as well as a significant improvement in NOx and PM (42-74%, depending upon drive cycle and pollutant).

Background. Founded in 2004, Achates Power is designing and developing engines based on a two-stroke, opposed-piston, compression-ignition technology. The company has demonstrated the engine and delivered validated performance results based on more than 5,000 test hours on several engine generations, notes CEO Dave Johnson.

The company, which recently raised $35.2 million in Series C financing (earlier post) is partnering with AVL to develop the Next-Generation Combat Engine for the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) (earlier post).

In 2011, studies found that the Achates two-stroke opposed-piston engine could support an indicated thermal efficiency of up to 53% (earlier post).

Opposed-piston, two-stroke engines have been around for more than 100 years; initially produced for their manufacturability and high power density, they offer several fundamental advantages compared to conventional four-stroke engines. As embodied in the Achates Power engine, these include:

  • Reduced heat losses. With two pistons facing each other in the same cylinder, the opposed-piston (OP) engine offers the opportunity to combine the stroke of both pistons to increase the effective stroke-to-bore ratio of the cylinder working volume. This, in turn, has a direct mathematical relationship to the area-to-volume ratio of the combustion space.

    Heat transfer is proportional to the combustion chamber surface area-to-volume ratio; the smaller the ratio, the better. One of the main reasons larger displacement engines are more efficient than smaller ones is the reduction in area-to-volume ratio.

    At equivalent displacement, the OP engine has more than a 30% lower area-to-volume ratio. Looked at another way, the OP engine surface area-to-volume ratio is equivalent to that of a 4-stroke engine of more than twice the displacement. E.g., the area-to-volume ratio of a 6-liter OP engine is equivalent to that of a 15-liter conventional diesel.

  • Lean combustion. The larger cylinder volume per fuel injected leads to leaner combustion at the same boost level, which increases the ratio of specific heat. Increasing the ratio of specific heat increases the pressure rise during combustion and increases the work extraction per unit of volume expansion. Leaner combustion also leads to lower soot, CO and HC emissions.

  • Faster and earlier combustion at same pressure rise rate. The larger volume also enables shorter combustion duration while preserving the maximum pressure rise rate. Faster combustion improves thermal efficiency.


  • Schematic of the combustion system with plumes from two side-mounted injectors. Source: Achates Power. Click to enlarge.

    Combustion system. The combustion system is defined by the coming together of the two identical pistons per cylinder to form an elongated ellipsoidal volume; the injectors are located at the end of the long axis.

    The proprietary combustion system design provides high turbulence, mixing and air utilization with both swirl and tumble charge motion. The shape of the chamber results in air entrainment into the spray plumes form two sides; further, the engine offers improved control at lower fuel flow rates due to the use of two smaller injectors instead of a single higher flow rate.

  • Air system. Two-stroke engines need to maintain an appropriate pressure difference between the intake and exhaust ports to scavenge exhaust out of the cylinder after combustion and push in fresh air. For automotive applications, with their need for transient changes in speed and load, external means of air pumping are required, Redon noted. Achates prefers a system combing supercharger and turbocharger.

    Among the benefits of such a configuration is an increased capability to drive EGR with a lower pumping penalty compared to a conventional, turbocharged four-stroke engine. Further, the ability to cool both air and EGR together reduces fouling of the cooler.

There are also a number of challenges that two-stroke opposed pistons have faced, including piston thermal management; cylinder thermal management; wrist pin oil film replacement; and oil consumption and durability. Achates has addressed these as part of its IP portfolio of 1,800 claims in 46 issued and 87 pending patents.

The study. For the study, Achates Power modeled a 2.25-liter, 3-cylinder (i.e., 6-piston) OP2S engine producing 200 hp (150 kW) and compared it with the Cummins ATLAS 2.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine.

Engine specifications   Achates Power OP Cummins ATLAS Cylinders Inline 3 OP Inline 4 Pistons 6 4 Injectors 6 4 Swept volume (L) 2.25 2.8 Bore (mm) 75.75 98 Stroke (mm) 166.65 100 Stroke/bore ratio 2.2 1.02 Nominal power (kW@rpm) 150@3600 156 Max torque (N·m@rpm) 500@1600-1200 522

The OPS2 engine has two crankshafts, phased with respect to each other. The phasing is adjustable for different speeds and loads; the variable crank phasing mechanism can also provide variable compression and expansion ratios, Redon noted, which can be useful for good fuel economy at low speed and loads, while still requiring high power density.

Achates Power measured more than 30 points on its single-cylinder research engine and used the, as inputs for a multi-cylinder GT Power 1D model. Balancing the trade-offs of emissions, combustion noise and maximum rate of pressure rise, temperatures and efficiency were all considered in the optimization process.

Cummins shared the 10-mode points that are being used to determine the predicted cycle fuel economy and emissions on their ATLAS project. Achates ran four of the more heavily weighted of the 10 points on the single-cylinder engine to generate combustion data as input for the multi-cylinder model. The other six points used combustion profiles from the 30 points, which were similar in speed and load.

Results of the study for the LA-4 cycle and the highway fuel economy cycle were:

LA-4 Cycle   Fuel economy
(mpg) NOx
(g/mile) PM
(g/mile) HC
(g/mile) Cummins ATLAS 26.7 0.82 0.13 – Achates 34.1 0.47 0.03 0.12 (THC) % Improvement 28% 42% 74% –


HFET Cycle   Fuel economy
(mpg) NOx
(g/mile) PM
(g/mile) HC
(g/mile) Cummins ATLAS 34.4 0.94 0.09 0.10 (NMHC) Achates 45.7 0.34 0.04 0.12 (THC) % Improvement 33% 63% 55% -16%



The Achates Power opposed piston engine showed a flat brake thermal efficiency map. Source: Achates Power. Click to enlarge.

Achates Power attributed the sizeable fuel economy advantage of more than 30% shown in the exercise to several reasons:

  • The engine operating range for these operating cycles is focused on low speed and low load. The ability of the opposed piston engine to manage pumping losses and maintain high indicated efficiencies at low loads leads to an advantage.

  • Engine-out NOx requirements for light-duty applications are much lower than for heavy-duty applications. The charging system flexibility of the Achates Power engine enables high levels of EGR with minimal pumping loss. Thus, at low load operation, EGR can be used more extensively, and lowers the pumping requirements. In other words, the lower the engine-out requirements, the greater the advantage for the opposed piston engine.

The engine concept also exhibited excellent vibration characteristics, and can be packaged in a typical full-size, light duty truck.

Resources

  • Redon, F., Kalebjian, C., Kessler, J., Rakovec, N. et al. (2014) “Meeting Stringent 2025 Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Regulations with an Opposed-Piston, Light-Duty Diesel Engine,” SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-1187 doi: 10.4271/2014-01-1187

EU Approves Legislation to Spur <b>Clean Fuels</b> for Vehicles, Ships

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2014-04-15 11:33
The European Union gave a legislative boost to clean fuels for cars, trucks and ships in a bid to reduce air pollution and reliance on fossil fuels.

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