August 31, 2006
|AC Transit / UTC Power / ISE / Van Hool hybrid fuel cell bus.|
The Greater Hartford (Connecticut) Transit District has contracted with UTC Power of South Windsor, Conn., for the company and its partners to provide a 40-foot hybrid-electric fuel-cell-powered transit bus that will be used in revenue service.
As part of the agreement, UTC Power also will provide two years of program support, including the use of a hydrogen refueling station. UTC Power is a United Technologies Corp.
|Layout of the On Board Distillation System. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the University of Texas have developed an on-board device that dramatically reduces start-up emissions of unburned hydrocarbons.
The on-board distillation system (OBDS) extracts high-volatility components from gasoline and stores them for exclusive during start-up and warming. New tests show that OBDS reduced cranking fuel requirements by 70%, enabled a 57% decrease in catalyst light-off time, cut the emissions of regulated hydrocarbons (NMOG) by 81%, and delivered an apparent 1% increase in fuel economy. The team reports on its work in a paper in Environmental Science & Technology.
|smart fortwo edition red.|
DaimlerChrysler is offering a final special model—the smart fortwo edition red—to mark the phase-out of the current model before the fortwo successor model becomes available in the spring of 2007.
The two-seater will be exhibited at the Paris Motor Show (28 September – 08 October 2006). DaimlerChrysler says that the model is “already as good as sold out.”
Ford Motor Company announced that it has begun the process of “exploring strategic options” for its Aston Martin brand, with particular emphasis on a potential sale of all or a portion of the unit.
Aston Martin is one of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG) brands. Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo are the others. Given Ford’s financial situation, there has been much speculation over the possible sell-off of some or all of the PAG brands.
California legislative leaders and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reached agreement on a compromise version of an assembly bill (AB 32—the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) that is intended to bring statewide emissions of greenhouse gases back down to 1990 levels by 2020—an estimated cut of 25%.
The California Senate approved the measure on Wednesday; it now is in the Assembly, where final approval is expected.
The Star. China has joined Malaysia in a bilateral research and development partnership to further develop biofuel and biomass production technologies.
The Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and the Department of High-Tech Development and Industrialization of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology have entered into a memorandum of understanding aimed at exploring new biomass technologies.
August 30, 2006
|The basic Plasma-Assisted Combustion process concept. Click to enlarge.|
Los Alamos National Laboratory has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with PerriQuest Defense Research Enterprises, LLC to advance Plasma-Assisted Combustion for commercial refinement and implementation.
PerriQuest, based in Meriden, CT, Los Alamos, and Idaho National Laboratory are collaborating on the research and development of Plasma-Assisted Combustion, under a licensing agreement with Los Alamos, for turbine and internal combustion engine applications. The technology enables the development of cleaner-burning or more fuel-efficient engines.
Mascoma Announces SunOpta Exec Joins as CTO; Details on Cellulosic Ethanol Partnership with Dartmouth
Dr. Richard spent more than 10 years with the SunOpta BioProcess Group, driving the deployment of its cellulosic ethanol technology in North America, Europe and China. He also led development of the company’s biomass processing technologies for the preparation, pre-treatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of cellulosic biomass for conversion to ethanol.
FuelCell Energy announced an advanced fuel-cell stack design that boosts the power output of its stationary Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants by 20%. The company is incorporating the enhancement across its entire line of power plants.
By improving thermal management of electrochemical activity within the stack, the company has increased the power output from each cell and can produce more electricity from the same basic power plant components.
Researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have devised a new approach to synthesize an electrode material for lithium-ion batteries that provides superior power and charge retention. They describe their results in the latest issue of Advanced Materials.
Lithium-ion battery electrodes use intercalation materials. These materials are composed of a solid network of lithium atoms together with other metals, such as cobalt, nickel, or manganese meshed together with oxygen atoms.