January 31, 2006
Syntroleum Corporation and Sustec AG, a private company based in Basel, Switzerland, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that provides for exclusive joint business development of projects that will integrate Sustec’s gasification technology (from its Future Energy GmbH portfolio company) with Syntroleum’s Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology.
The joint venture is aimed at converting coal and other carbonaceous materials such as petroleum-coke, residual fuel oil and biomass into synthetic fuels and chemicals. Each company will own 50% of the joint venture.
The British government has published the official report from an international conference on climate change held in February 2005—Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change, also known as the Exeter Conference (earlier post)—as a book.
The book, which is also entitled Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change, pulls together 41 peer-reviewed papers that try to address the critical questions, as characterized by British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “What level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is self-evidently too much?” and “What options do we have to avoid such levels?”
The BEST (BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport) project officially launched in Stockholm last week at a three-day conference for all participants.
BEST is a four-year project, partly funded by the European Union (EU), in which three vehicle manufacturers, ten locations, five ethanol producers and four universities will cooperate cross-functionally to accelerate the introduction of bioethanol as alternative automotive fuel in Europe.
Nikkei. Honda Motor said Tuesday that it intends to reduce production from April to December at its minivan and sport utility vehicle factory in Alabama due to falling demand caused by rising gasoline prices.
The plant, which manufactures the Odyssey minivan and Pilot SUV has an output capacity of 300,000 units. Honda will trim production by 27,000, or 9%.
|The new compact inline-six|
Volvo has introduced a new high-efficiency, compact six-cylinder engine to accompany its all new Volvo S80.
The new six-cylinder engine, designed by Volvo, is of an all-new, compact design. Its main structure is made entirely of aluminium and has a larger displacement than its predecessor, 3.2 liters as against the previous 2.9. Power increases to 175 kW (235 hp) as is torque, at 320 Nm.
|Scheme for a biodesulfurization process. Click to enlarge.|
Energy & Environmental Partners, a privately held technology company led by the former President and COO of Clean Diesel Technologies, has launched a new commercial licensing program for US and Canadian patents covering the use of microorganisms for the desulfurization of high-sulfur crude and bitumen petroleum products (biocatalytic desulfurization).
The EMULSOx patent family offers a way to upgrade the high-sulfur crudes in the western hemisphere (Orinoco bitumen, oil shale, tar sands) with lower energy and environmental impact.
|One of the pair: the C4 diesel hybrid.|
As promised, PSA Peugeot Citroën unveiled two prototypes featuring diesel-electric parallel hybrid powertrains, the Peugeot 307 and the Citroën C4 Hybride HDi.
The hybrids deliver average combined city and highway fuel consumption of 3.4 liters per 100 kilometers (69 mpg US), with 90 grams of CO2 emitted per kilometer—a tank-to-wheel record for compact cars, the most popular segment in Europe. This is about 25% better than a similar vehicle equipped with a gasoline hybrid system, or as much as a liter per 100 kilometers in combined city and highway driving.
Sanyo Electric and Volkswagen will jointly develop next-generation Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).
Sanyo has already provided HEV batteries for Ford’s Escape Hybrid and Honda’s Accord Hybrid on the North American market. The agreement with Volkswagen is the company’s first HEV partnership with a European automaker.
January 30, 2006
|Hybrid school bus prototype.|
IC Corporation, North America’s largest school bus manufacturer and a subsidiary of International Truck and Engine, is working with Enova Systems to introduce the nation’s first hybrid school bus. (Earlier post.)
The two companies have developed a prototype school bus with a hybrid diesel-electric drivetrain that is currently undergoing testing.
|Use of the neural network (NN) controller (right) reduces heat release in lean operation (shown) and with high EGR. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla are developing a neural-network-based engine controller in an attempt to increase engine efficiency while reducing NOx emissions.
Artificial neural networks are adaptive software systems which learn based on the successful connections they make between nodes. The goal of the work is to create a controller that essentially learns on-the-fly how to operate an engine more cleanly and efficiently.