« September 2006 | Main | November 2006 »

Volkswagen Research Introduces High-Temperature PEM Fuel Cell

Volkswagen Research has developed a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell that operates at temperatures about 50% higher than the conventional low-temperature fuel cells prevalent in current hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle prototypes. Low-temperature PEM fuel cells (LTFC) operate at a membrane temperature of approximately 80° C. If the temperature greatly exceeds... Read more →

Energy Conversion Devices Awarded D&D Contract for Hydrogen Hybrid Tow Tractor and Metal Hydride Fuel Cell

Ovonic metal hydride fuel cell. Click to enlarge. Energy Conversion Devices (ECD Ovonics) has received a contract to develop and to demonstrate a hydrogen engine electric hybrid airport tow tractor and to further develop its advanced Ovonic metal hydride fuel-cell technology for the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and... Read more →

Mayor of London Introduces Hybrid Double-Deck Bus

Mayor Livingstone looks out the rear window of the new series hybrid double-decker. Click to enlarge. The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, today unveiled the first hybrid double-deck bus in the world and announced plans for a hybrid bus fleet for London. (Earlier post.) Built by Wrightbus, the double-decker is... Read more →

China’s Chery to Supply Engines to Fiat

One of Chery’s new 1.8-liter, Euro-4 engines. Chery Automobiles and Fiat Auto have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) according to which Chery Automobile will supply 1.6- and 1.8-liter gasoline engines for application in Fiat cars to be produced in China and outside China. The two companies expect an annual... Read more →

Sharp Expands Solar Cell Production Capacity to 600 MW Per Year, World’s Largest

Sharp Corporation has invested ¥3.5 billion (US$30 million) to increase annual production capacity for solar cells at its Katsuragi Plant by 100 MW to meet burgeoning demand in Japan and abroad. The new line will be in full production in November 2006. Solar cell production capacity at the Katsuragi Plant... Read more →

Eaton Introduces Next-Generation Supercharger

Eaton Corporation has unveiled its newest generation of Roots-type supercharger design that will enable automakers to use smaller, more efficient compressors to create more engine boost. The new design, called Twin Vortices Series (TVS), features four-lobe rotors and high-flow inlet and outlet ports that greatly enhance thermal efficiency, enabling greater... Read more →

GM and Jay Leno Show Biodiesel-Fueled, Turbine-Powered Concept Car

The Eco-Jet biodiesel turbine car. General Motors Advanced Design Studio and Jay Leno and his garage’s team have designed a biodiesel-fueled, turbine-powered concept car they call the “Eco-Jet.” Leno and Ed Welburn, GM Vice President of Global Design, introduced the car at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. The... Read more →

NextEnergy to Provide Additional Michigan Gas Retailers with Incentives to Sell Biofuels

NextEnergy, Michigan’s alternative energy accelerator, will offer cash incentives to Michigan gas station retailers to install or convert fueling equipment to ethanol (E85) and/or biodiesel (B20). The incentives are funded by a $150,000 grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG). This is the second round... Read more →

EPA Approves Diversa’s Purifine Enzyme for Biodiesel Production

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Diversa Corporation’s Purifine enzyme for non-food applications, including its use in increasing the efficiency of oilseed processing for the production of biodiesel. Traditionally, enzymes have not been used extensively in the vegetable oil refining process. Diversa’s approach reduces the need for harsh... Read more →

Enova Hybrid Drive Systems for New Line of Commercial Buses Include Plug-In Option

The Enova hybrid drive systems provided for IC Corporation’s new line of hybrid commercial buses (earlier post) will be available with either a charge-depleting (i.e., plug-in hybrid) or charge-sustaining battery technology. The technologies are expected to improve fuel economy up to 100%. Enova is offering the same range of battery... Read more →

Showa Shell Beginning Sales of Gas-to-Liquids Kerosene for Heaters in Japan

Shell’s MDS F-T process for GTL. Click to enlarge. Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (Showa Shell) is beginning the sales of Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) kerosene for heaters through 15 gasoline stations in Kanagawa prefecture and a part of Gunma prefecture. Showa Shell imports the GTL kerosene from the Shell Group GTL plant... Read more →

UNFCCC Reports Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trending Upward; Transport a Key Problem

Percentage change in greenhouse emissions from industrialized countries, 1990-2004. Click to enlarge. The secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) today released new data showing an upward trend in greenhouse gas emissions of industrialized countries (Annex I parties to the UNFCCC) in the period 2000–2004. Overall,... Read more →

Stern Review Lays Out Economic Argument for Urgent Action on Climate Change

Projected losses in GDP per capita due to climate change over the next 200 years, according to three of the main scenarios of climate change and economic impacts. The range of estimates from the 5th to the 95th percentile is shaded grey. Click to enlarge. HM Treasury (UK) today published... Read more →

Report: Nissan To Roll Out Heavy-Duty Diesel Pickups In US by 2009

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Nissan is introducing heavy-duty pickup trucks in the US models equipped with 6,000cc to 7,000cc diesel engines by 2009. According to the report, Nissan will procure the diesel engines from a third-party, and will market the trucks primarily for use in construction. The vehicles... Read more →

London Plans Hybrid Bus Fleet

The Guardian. London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone wants every new bus from 2012 to be a hybrid that will generate 40% less carbon dioxide than their diesel-powered predecessors. The City will begin putting 500 hybrid buses in service each year. Transport is a significant contributor to London’s carbon emissions, accounting for... Read more →

Chino Mandates Natural Gas Vehicle Refueling Appliances in All New, Private Garages

The City of Chino, California has adopted an ordinance which requires that all privately-owned, newly-constructed, residential garages in the city have a refueling connection for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-fueled cars. The ordinance went into effect 1 July 2006. The city staff has already notified all developers and builders doing work... Read more →

Shell Eco-Marathon Returns to US

The Shell Eco-marathon is coming back to the US as the Shell Eco-marathon Americas. The Eco-marathon concept started as the Shell Mileage Marathon in 1939 after a friendly wager between employees of Shell Oil’s research laboratory in Wood River, Illinois, as to whose car could get the better fuel mileage.... Read more →

Dyadic Enters into R&D Agreement with Abengoa Bioenergy in the Area of Cellulosic Ethanol Production

Chrysosporium lucknowense is the basis for Dyadic’s enzyme work. Dyadic International, a biotechnology company, has signed a three-year research and development (R&D) agreement and a $10-million stock purchase agreement with Abengoa Bioenergy R&D (ABRD). Dyadic will use the proceeds from this private sale to fund its R&D obligations under the... Read more →

Eaton Acquires Catalytica Energy Systems’ Diesel Fuel Processing Technology

Catalytica fuel processor + LNT. Click to enlarge. Eaton Corporation has acquired the diesel fuel processing technology and associated business assets of Catalytica Energy Systems Inc. for US$2.4 million. Catalytica’s Xonon diesel fuel processing (XFP) technology (earlier post) converts a portion of diesel fuel to reactive reductants that regenerate and... Read more →

Report: EU Must Take Immediate Action on Kyoto Targets; Transport Emissions Represent Largest Increase

EU-15 greenhouse gas emissions from transport compared with transport volumes, compared to 1990 levels (Index: 1990 emissions=100) Click to enlarge. All Member States must seriously tackle greenhouse gas emissions immediately, if the EU-15 is to meet its collective Kyoto target, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency... Read more →

DOE Awards $8.6 Million to Increase Use and Availability of Alternative Fuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $8.6 million for 16 projects to expand the use of alternative transportation fuels. Combined with funding from the participants, the projects will total more than $25 million. The grants are part of the Clean Cities program and were selected under three topic... Read more →

Middle East May Have 1 Million Natural Gas Vehicles by 2010

Despite being home to 65% of the world’s oil reserves, pressure to improve air quality and maximize crude oil revenues is driving Middle Eastern governments to implement alternative fuel schemes that dwarf many of those in oil-dependent nations. Government and private organizations in Egypt, Iran, United Arab Emirates and other... Read more →

Solar Systems to Build A$420 million, 154MW Solar Power Plant in Australia

An artist’s concept of the HCPV technology: the field of heliostats and the tower-mounted PV modules. A A$420 million (US$321 million), 154MW solar power plant—designed to be the biggest and most efficient solar photovoltaic power station yet in the world—is to be built in north-west Victoria, Australia by Australian company... Read more →

Parker Hannifin Joins Get Nitrogen Institute to Promote N2 Tire Inflation

Parker Hannifin Corporation has joined the Get Nitrogen Institute, a non-profit organization formed in 2005 to promote the use of nitrogen rather than air in filling tires. (Costco, the first retailer to offer nitrogen in its tire centers throughout North America, is a sponsor of the Institute.) The use of... Read more →

EPA Expands SmartWay Transport Partnership with Biofuels Program

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the SmartWay Grow & Go program, an expansion of the SmartWay Transport Partnership that encourages companies to make commitments toward improving the environment through the use of renewable fuels. The goal of the SmartWay Grow & Go program is to have 25%... Read more →

Cummins Westport Completes First Commercial Sale of 2007 ISL G Natural Gas Engine

The new ISL G engine. Cummins Westport Inc (CWI), a leading provider of high-performance alternative fuel engines for the global market, announced its first commercial order for the new ISL G natural gas engine. Sacramento (California) Regional Transit has ordered 91 ISL G engines to be installed in 40’ Low-Floor... Read more →

Broin and Novozymes to Collaborate on Development of Ethanol from Stover

Broin and Novozymes announced a new collaboration to take the next steps needed to bring cost-effective ethanol derived from corn stover (cellulosic ethanol) to market. The collaboration is an extension of earlier significant partnerships between the two companies. In January 2001, supported by funds from the US Department of Energy... Read more →

SwRI Benchmarking Program to Evaluate Seven 2007 Diesel Engines

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will evaluate seven new engines for the Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Benchmarking program, focusing particularly on the engine performance and fuel consumption associated with new exhaust emissions control technology. Manufacturers developed this new control technology, which uses the ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel now available nationwide, to meet 2007... Read more →

Bosch and Denso Establish European Joint Venture for Diesel Particulate Filters

Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart/Germany), and Denso Corporation, (Kariya/Japan) have agreed to establish a fifty-fifty joint venture in eastern Europe to develop and to manufacture diesel particulate filters. The joint venture is planned for early 2007. As a result of the coming Euro 5 emission standard for cars, Bosch and Denso... Read more →

Joint DOE, USDA Grant Funds Development of Poplar Trees Optimized for Ethanol Feedstock

A scientist at North Carolina State University has received a $700,000 grant funded jointly by the US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) to develop optimized versions of the eastern cottonwood tree (poplar) that can more easily be converted into ethanol. The poplar is the only tree with a... Read more →

London Council Proposes Emission-Based Charging for Resident Parking

Richmond upon Thames Council in southwest London has drawn up proposals to charge more for residents’ parking permits for those with cars that produce higher CO2 emissions and less for the least polluting cars. Under the proposals, which go before the council’s cabinet on 6 November, those with the lowest... Read more →

Startup Working to Commercialize Direct Injection Ethanol Boosting + Turbocharging

Ethanol boost with turbocharging promises a cost-effective means to obtain high fuel efficiency in gasoline and flex ethanol/gasoline powered engines. MIT scientists and engineers earlier this year founded a company—Ethanol Boosting Systems, LLC (EBS)—to commercialize their work on direct-injection ethanol boosting combined with aggressive turbocharging in a gasoline engine. (Earlier... Read more →

75% of Major European Car Brands Not Tracking to Meet Voluntary CO2 Reduction Commitments

Performance of top 20 brands relative to projected 2005 reduction target (100% line) required to meet 140g/km commitment. Click to enlarge. Three-quarters of the 20 major car brands sold in Europe last year have failed to improve fuel efficiency at the rate needed to meet a key EU greenhouse gas... Read more →

GCEP Awards $1.15 Million for Biofuels and Carbon Sequestration Research

The Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) has awarded $1.15 million to four research projects into biofuel production and coal utilization with carbon sequestration. GCEP, which is administered at Stanford University, is a collaborative scientific and engineering effort of academic research institutions and industry. Its purpose is to conduct fundamental,... Read more →

China’s Lifan Appoints Ricardo as Development Partner for New Light-Duty Engine and Transmission Family

Chongqing Lifan Industry Group Co. Ltd (Lifan) of China has signed a Heads of Agreement with Ricardo plc to develop a new family of car engines and transmissions. The initial focus for the collaboration is the design and development of a completely new family of car engines of 0.8-2.4 liters... Read more →

DOE Awards $100 Million in Fuel Cell R&D

The Department of Energy (DOE) will award $100 million to fund 25 hydrogen research and development projects. DOE will negotiate these 25 cost-shared projects for an approximate total of $127 million ($100 million DOE cost; $27 million applicant cost) over four years (Fiscal Years 2007 – 2010). These projects seek... Read more →

Report: Carbon-Neutral Oil Sands SCO Possible for an Extra $1.76 to $13.65 a Barrel

Annual Projected GHG Emissions (Mt CO2e) from Canada’s Oil Sands, 2003–2020 (showing the range between low and high projections). Click to enlarge. In a report released by the Pembina Institute, a detailed cost analysis demonstrates that the oil sands industry could achieve carbon-neutral (no net greenhouse gas emissions) production of... Read more →

IC Corporation Launches Hybrid Commercial Bus Line with Enova Systems

IC’s new commercial buses will be available in hybrid versions. IC Corporation, North America’s largest combined school bus and commercial bus manufacturer, is launching a new line of diesel-electric hybrid commercial buses. IC Corporation launched its new line of conventional commercial buses this summer, and also introduced a hybrid-electric school... Read more →

DOE Offers $16 Million for Research In Power Electronics and Motors for PHEVs, HEVs and FCVs

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) recently issued a solicitation for the development of power electronics and electric motors for use in plug-in hybrid (PHEV), hybrid (HEV) or fuel-cell (FCV) vehicles. DOE estimates that $16 million will be available over three or four years to support two to six awards... Read more →

Honda to Increase Production of Civics in North America

Civics on the production line in Ontario. Honda will enhance its ability to match flexible manufacturing capacity with market demand in a move that will make it possible to increase North American production of 4-cylinder Civic models in early 2007 by up to 60,000 units on an annual basis. Honda... Read more →

FuelCell Energy and DOE Finalize $36.2-Million Award for Coal-Fueled Multi-Megawatt Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

FuelCell Energy, a leading manufacturer of stationary fuel-cell power generation systems, has finalized terms with the US Department of Energy (DOE) for a $36.2 million Phase I award to develop a coal-based, multi-megawatt solid oxide fuel cell-based hybrid power generation system. This award provides funding for the first stage of... Read more →

DOE Awards Nearly $24 Million in Grants for Carbon Capture and Sequestration Research

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded nine projects nearly $24 million to support the development of novel and cost-effective technologies to capture the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced in coal-fired power plants and store it. Grant recipients will contribute nearly $8 million in cost-sharing for the program. DOE’s Energy Information... Read more →

Rinehart Motion Systems Debuting New Compact 100kW-Class Traction Drive at EVS-22

Rinehart Motion Systems LLC (RMS) is debuting a new 100kW-class traction motor controller for Electric (EV), Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles (PHEV) at the 22nd Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS-22), held this week in Yokohama, Japan. The drive system is roughly half the volume of comparable motor drives... Read more →

ORNL Launches Nationwide Heavy-Duty Truck Efficiency Test; Single Wide Tires a Prime Focus

The performance of single wide tires is one of the main areas of focus of the test. Shown here are Michelin X-One tires. Source: Michelin. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched a nationwide test of heavy-duty trucks that will include special monitoring equipment on six instrumented tractors and nine... Read more →

Vectrix to Launch Electric Maxi-Scooter in November

The Vectrix Maxi-Scooter. Vectrix has announced that it will launch its high-powered electric Maxi-Scooter (earlier post) during the 64th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan in November. The Maxi-Scooter combines a 3.7 kWh Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack and a 20 kW electric motor that delivers 65 Nm (48 lb-ft)... Read more →

Enova Evaluating Valence Li-Ion Batteries for Hybrid School Bus

Valence U-Charge U24-12XP. Enova Systems is evaluating Valence Saphion lithium-ion batteries as an energy storage system in its new line of hybrid school buses, developed with IC Corporation. (Earlier post.) The hybrid school bus features Enova’s parallel-architecture, post-transmission 80kW hybrid drive system, and is expected to offer double the fuel... Read more →

Toyota Launches Auris in Japan; Europe Targeted for Spring 2007

Auris compact, launched today in Japan. Toyota launched the Auris—a new strategic compact passenger vehicle for both Japan and Europe and the replacement for the Corolla—in Japan today. The European release is scheduled for the spring of 2007. The Auris in Japan is offering a choice of 1.5-liter VVT-i and... Read more →

Researchers Develop Large-Pore Zeolite with Potential Benefits to Catalysis

The main channels of ITQ-33 are 12.2Å in diameter. The secondary channels are not visible in this view. Researchers at the Spanish National Research Council and Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) have created a new zeolite material that features unusually large pores and interconnecting channels. Zeolites are used in numerous... Read more →