« June 2006 | Main | August 2006 »

Ford Reports Unanticipated 2Q Loss; Drop in SUV and Truck Sales Partly to Blame

Ford’s 2Q06 automotive sector results. Although North American results improved compared to 2Q2005, it remains a very large problem. Ford Motor Company reported a net loss of $123 million for the second quarter of 2006—results worse than expected. This compares with net income $946 million in the second quarter of... Read more →


Malaysia and Indonesia Set Aside 40% of Palm Oil Crop for Biodiesel Production

The Star. Malaysia and Indonesia—the world’s top palm oil producers—are allocating about 40% of their combined crude palm oil output for biodiesel production, according to a statement from Malaysia’s Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities. Malaysia currently produces 44% of the world’s palm oil (15.1 million tonnes of a total... Read more →


Hawai‘i Companies, Khosla and Brazil to Investigate Renewable Fuels, Including Cellulosic Ethanol

An international consortium including Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Grove Farm Company, and Kamehameha Schools today announced the formation of Hawai‘i BioEnergy, LLC. The group will join forces to research the viability of renewable energy crops, products and services in the state of Hawai‘i. In addition to the Hawai‘i companies,... Read more →


New Flyer Lands Order for 465 More Buses; 18% Hybrids, 11% CNG

New Flyer Industries has closed orders for 465 buses in North America, of which 381 are firm orders and 84 are options, representing a total of approximately US $181.8 million in revenue. Of those, 84 are diesel-electric hybrids (18%) and 51 are CNG-fueled (11%). For its diesel hybrids, New Flyer... Read more →


DaimlerChrysler Announces First Corporate Partners for smart ev; CO2 Mitigation/Offset Plans

Fill ’er up. smart partners with the smart ev and recharging stanchion at the stand at the British International Motor Show. DaimlerChrysler UK announced the first four corporate partners for the market trial of the all-electric smart ev (earlier post). In addition, the company announced that it is working on... Read more →


VW, Shell and Lurgi Propose Taxation Scheme for 2nd-Generation Biofuels

At the recent Forum for Future Energies in Berlin, Volkswagen, Shell and the engineering company Lurgi proposed a fuel duty model based on CO2 efficiency and sustainability criteria as an alternative to the planned quotas. The model takes a market-based, technology-neutral approach for the long-term promotion of biofuels at a... Read more →


Volkswagen Joins Clean Energy Partnership for Hydrogen Trials

Touran HyMotion FCV Volkswagen AG has joined the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) (earlier post), increasing the hydrogen demonstration project’s membership to 11 companies and 17 hydrogen vehicles. Volkswagen brings a VW Touran HyMotion to the CEP passenger car fleet. The vehicle was developed at the Volkswagen Technology Center in Isenbüttel... Read more →


Tesla Reveals High-Profile Electric Roadster; Calculates EV is More Than 3x as Efficient (WTW) as Fuel Cell Vehicle

The Tesla Roadster. Tesla Motors unveiled its much-anticipated all-electric two-seater roadster. The lithium-ion battery powered sportscar features a 248hp (185 kW) electric motor that accelerates the car from 0 to 60 in four seconds. Built by Lotus for Tesla, the Roadster has a range of about 250 miles and a... Read more →


China Issues Some Restrictions On Coal-to-Liquids Developments

The Chinese government has issued a circular on regulating the coal-chemical industry, urging local governments to tighten control of new projects. The government will not approve coal liquefaction (Coal-to-Liquids) projects with an annual production capacity of less than three million tons; coal to methanol or dimethyl ether (DME) projects of... Read more →


New CNG, LPG Cars for India

Maruti’s new LPG WagonR Several major automakers, including Maruti Udyog, Tata, Ford India, and Hyundai, are expanding their line-up or introducing their first-time offerings of alternative-fueled cars in the Indian market. Maruti Udyog, Suzuki’s Indian subsidiary, introduced India’s first LPG-powered car—the WagonR Duo—on Wednesday along with a new version of... Read more →


OBVIO! to Introduce Electric Cars to North America (updated)

The 828. Brazilian automotive company OBVIO! will develop and introduce lithium-ion-powered electric cars based on its 828 and 012 microsport car designs (earlier post) for export to North America. OBVIO! has a strategic partnership with California automobile distributor ZAP, which has agreed to be the exclusive North American distributor and... Read more →


Sharp Decline Forecast for World Cereal Stocks; Ethanol Demand a Contributor

Global cereal production and consumption. Click to enlarge. World cereal end-of-season stocks are expected to decline 10% in 2006, due to a slight 1% decrease in global cereal output and growth in utilization, according to the latest forecast of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Increased demand is expected... Read more →


Microbial Fuel Cells Generate Electricity from Corn Stover

Design of a microbial fuel cell (MFC). Click to enlarge. A team of Penn State researchers is exploring the use of microbial fuel cells (MFC) to convert corn stover directly into electricity following the pre-treatment of the biomass to release the sugars. Previous work has shown that these fuel cells... Read more →


Biodiesel Particles Facilitate Diesel Particulate Filter Regeneration

A new study by a team of researchers found that the characteristics of particulate matter resulting from the combustion of 100% biodiesel fuel should facilitate the regeneration of diesel particulate filters (DPF). In a paper published in Environmental Science and Technology, the team examines the characteristics of diesel particulate emissions... Read more →


Berlin Transit to Buy Up to 250 Hydrogen Buses by 2009; 20% of the Fleet

A new MAN H2ICE Bus. The Berliner Zeitung reports that state-owned BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), the city’s mass-transit company, will buy up to 250 hydrogen buses by 2009. At that figure, roughly one out of every five buses in the city would be hydrogen-fueled. Manufacturers will be asked to provide offers... Read more →


Ford Land Rover Introduces Carbon Offset Program

Ford Land Rover UK has introduced a wide-ranging pilot CO2 offset program—the largest and most comprehensive programme of its kind ever undertaken by an automotive manufacturer in the UK. Announced at the British International Motor Show in London, the program has two key components: offsetting emissions generated by Land Rover... Read more →


GM Opel Introduces Fourth-Generation Corsa; Diesel Model Offers 51 MPG US

GM’s fourth-generation Corsa GM is introducing its fourth-generation Opel Corsa in three- and five-door versions at the British International Motor Show. The company has sold more than 9.4 million units of the predecessor models in Europe since 1982. The small-car segment, into which the Corsa fits, is the second-largest in... Read more →


Toyota Introduces New Diesel Engines for Hilux Pickup in Europe

New Hilux pickup. At the upcoming British International Motor Show, Toyota will introduce a new range of diesel engines for the latest generation Toyota Hilux pickup truck. New to the lineup is a high-torque 171 hp (126 kW) 3.0-liter D-4D diesel derived from the Toyota Land Cruiser and targeted at... Read more →


Hydrogenics Receives Contracts From Linde AG for HyPM Fuel Cell Power Packs

The STILL RX 60-40 Hydrogenics Corporation has received orders for four HyPM Fuel Cell Power Packs for STILL International, a wholly-owned company of Linde AG, the market leader in Europe for electric forklifts. Two Fuel Cell Power Packs (FCPP) will be integrated into STILL Class 1 forklifts, used extensively throughout... Read more →


Ford Flex-Fuel Focus Emits Less Than 100g CO2/Kilometer Net

The Focus FFV Researchers at Imperial College, London, have led the first study into actual CO2 output for a Ford Focus Flexible Fuel Vehicle reflecting its use of a renewable fuel. While Ford’s 1.8-liter FFV emits 169g CO2/km from its exhaust pipe, the Imperial College research says this drops to... Read more →


Toyota NA President: Toyota Pursuing Plug-in Hybrid; Considering Flex-Fuel

In a speech before the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Jim Press, president of Toyota Motor North America said that Toyota is pursuing a plug-in hybrid vehicle. He also said that the company is strongly considering introducing flex-fuel vehicles for the US. These remarks came as confirmation of some... Read more →


Peabody and Rentech Partner to Develop Major Coal-to-Liquids Projects in the US

Peabody Energy and Rentech, Inc. have entered into a joint development agreement to evaluate sites in the Midwest and Montana for coal-to-liquids projects that would transform coal into diesel and jet fuel. Projects would be sited where Peabody has large reserves and would be designed using Rentech’s proprietary Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-liquids... Read more →


Azure Dynamics to Produce Series Hybrid Shuttle Buses with StarTrans

The new hybrid shuttles will use the HD Senator bus body, shown here in a conventional application. Azure Dynamics Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the production of hybrid shuttle buses with StarTrans, a business division of Supreme Corporation and one of North America’s leading commercial bus... Read more →


BP and GE Together to Develop Hydrogen Power Plants and Technologies

Elements of BP’s Carson hydrogen power plant. Click to enlarge. BP and GE today announced their intention jointly to develop and deploy hydrogen power projects that dramatically reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from electricity generation. The basic approach of the hydrogen power plant is to gasify a... Read more →


GM Adds Two-Mode Hybrid Transmission to Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept

Advanced Hybrid System. Click to enlarge. At the upcoming British International Motor Show, GM is unveiling a new version of the Saab BioPower Hybrid (earlier post) that incorporates an application of the two-mode hybrid transmission GM is co-developing with DaimlerChrysler and BMW Group. The earlier version of the E100-capable flex-fuel... Read more →


Toyota and Hino Expand Service for Fuel-Cell Bus

The layout of the fuel-cell bus. Click to enlarge. Toyota Motor (TMC) and Hino announced that the hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid FCHV-BUS, which operated on public routes in mid-March around the Central Japan International Airport (Centrair) south of Nagoya (earlier post), is to renew operation on 22 July, including expanded service... Read more →


Delhi Nixes Two-Stroke Three-Wheelers; Conversion to Four-Stroke Mandatory

Hindustan Times. The Delhi Cabinet is mandating that all two-stroke three wheelers—regardless of fuel—convert to four stroke engines in an effort to reduce pollution in the city. The government will provider a Rs 6000 (US$128) subsidy to three-wheelers that had already converted from diesel to CNG to change to four... Read more →


Ford Begins Production of V-10 Hydrogen-Fueled Engines

The Ford Hydrogen V-10. Ford has kicked off production of its dedicated hydrogen-fueled 6.8-liter V-10 engines, making it the first automaker in the world to do so. The engine is based on the same modular engine series that powers many Ford products, but is specially prepared to burn hydrogen as... Read more →


Bosch and Ricardo Working Together on Turbocharged Direct Injection Gasoline Engine

Demonstrator platform for the turbo DI BOOST engine. Robert Bosch Corporation and Ricardo plc are jointly developing an advanced turbo-charged, direct injection gasoline engine system. The prototype system, DI BOOST, will offer superior performance and fuel economy while also being capable of achieving super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV) standards.... Read more →


DuPont Scientists Outline Company’s Biofuels Strategy

Genomic sequence of Z. mobilis—a key player in DuPont’s BioRefinery. Source: Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, TDU Two DuPont research leaders provided an update on the company’s strategy to develop next-generation biofuels at the third annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing. In June, DuPont and BP announced a... Read more →


DaimlerChrysler to Launch Mercedes Mild Hybrid in 2008

Mercedes’s concept “Direct Hybrid”: an S-Class gasoline-electric mild hybrid, shown in 2005 Handelsblatt. DaimlerChrysler will bring a Mercedes gasoline-electric hybrid to the market by the beginning of 2008, according to DaimlerChrysler Board Member Dr. Thomas Weber. In an interview with the magazine WirtschaftsWoche, Weber said that the company will commercialize... Read more →


GS Cleantech Inks Poultry Fat for Biodiesel Agreement

GS CleanTech Corporation, formerly named Veridium, has executed an agreement with an Arkansas-based poultry processing facility to extract more than one million pounds per year of poultry fat from the facility’s waste streams for conversion into a biodiesel feedstock using GS CleanTech’s proprietary animal fat recycling and conversion technologies. (Earlier... Read more →


Ford UK to Invest $1.8 Billion to Reduce Fuel Consumption and Carbon Emissions

Ford Motor in the UK will spend at least £1 billion (US$1.8 billion) to develop a range of global environmental technologies in the UK for its Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands. The project is designed to deliver more than 100 models and derivatives that reduce fuel consumption and... Read more →


PTT and CP to Develop Palm Biodiesel in Thailand

TNA. PTT Public Company, Thailand’s state-owned oil firm, and Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), a leading agro-industrial and foods conglomerate, have signed an initial agreement for the development, production and promotion of palm-oil biodiesel. The move is part of the Energy Ministry’s plan to promote the use of alternative energy, according... Read more →


G8 Backs Hybrids, Diesels, Biofuels, Synthetics and Hydrogen for Transportation

US President George Bush arriving for the first working session in a GEM. Credit: G8russia Following the first working session of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg, the group of eight leaders adopted a document on energy security that—among the other principles it embraced—emphasized diversification of energy supply and demand... Read more →


Syntec Gearing Up to Commercialize its Biomass-to-Ethanol Gasification/Synthesis Process

The Syntec process. Click to enlarge. Syntec Biofuel, a spin-off from the University of British Columbia, is gearing up to enter the second-generation biofuels market with a set of proprietary catalysts that produce ethanol from the syngas resulting from the gasification of biomass. Established as a research company at the... Read more →


BP and Clipper Windpower Enter Into Strategic Alliance

The Liberty turbine. Clipper Windpower and BP Alternative Energy have entered into a strategic alliance for a long-term turbine supply agreement and the joint development of five of Clipper’s wind energy projects in the USA. The five wind projects, with an anticipated total generating capacity of 2,015 MW, are located... Read more →


China and Russia to Join the Generation IV International Forum for Nuclear Systems

Consumption of nuclear power in 2005 by GIF countries and Russia and China. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy announced that China and Russia are expected to join the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), a 11-member R&D consortium chartered in 2001 to investigate next-generation nuclear energy system concepts.... Read more →


Hydrogen Production from Sodium Silicide Powder; Prospects for On-Board Generation

Hydrogen production by the two SiGNa Chem materials. Click to enlarge. SiGNa Chem has developed a promising method for using highly reactive alkali metals to produce different types of strong reducing agents and convenient sources for hydrogen. The latter application could provide an on-board mechanism for hydrogen storage and production... Read more →


Indonesia’s Biofuels Plan May Require $22-Billion Investment

Although still a member of OPEC, Indonesia became a net importer of oil in 2004 due to declines in production and increases in consumption. Source: EIA Antara. Indonesia’s plan to develop biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuels may require a total investment of about 200 trillion rupiah (US$22 billion),... Read more →


European Commission Issues Draft Proposal for Type Approval of Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles

In an effort to encourage and speed up the introduction of hydrogen-powered vehicles—combustion-engine and fuel-cell vehicles—the European Commission has issued for consultation from stakeholders and the general public a draft proposal of new rules to ensure the safe operation of such vehicles. The Commission draft proposal intends to incorporate hydrogen-fueled... Read more →


Denver Mayor Unveils “Greenprint Denver”: 20-Year Sustainable Framework

by Jack Rosebro Sources of Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions. Click to enlarge. In his annual state of the city address on 12 July, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper outlined a series of ambitious long-term initiatives and goals as part of his “Greenprint Denver” plan to make the city more sustainable. Many... Read more →


Survey: Only 11% of Americans Who Can Telecommute Do

The 2005/2006 National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS), sponsored by the Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland and technology research firm Rockbridge Associates Inc., found that despite 25% of respondents citing supportive employer telecommuting policies or jobs that would allow work... Read more →