November 30, 2006
The redesigned 2008 Escape and Escape Hybrid feature the first US automotive applications of 100% recycled fabric seating surfaces. The new fabric significantly exceeds Ford’s internal target of introducing seating fabrics with 25% recycled content into production by 2009.
The 2008 Escape’s new fabric is supplied by Atlanta-based InterfaceFABRIC Inc., a global leader in the manufacturing of environmentally responsible floor coverings and commercial fabrics. The bolster and seating fabrics—named “Eco” and “Nature”—are a dobby weave that is piece-dyed in six colorways exclusive to Ford. The fabric is constructed from a polyester created from off-quality soda bottle resin.
Inco Limited (Inco), a leading nickel and nickel specialties producer based in Toronto, Canada, and Süd-Chemie AG, Munich, Germany (Süd-Chemie), a leading supplier of catalysts for the chemicals and refining industry and for environmental applications, are establishing a joint venture company for the production and marketing of catalyzed diesel emission control materials for the automotive industry.
The two companies will hold equal equity shares in the new company, which will be named Alantum.
Neste Oil has decided to build a second plant to produce premium-quality synthetic NExBTL diesel at its Porvoo refinery in Finland.
The capital costs of the plant, scheduled to begin production towards the end of 2008, are estimated to be around €100 million (US$133 million). The plant will have the same capacity, 170,000 tonnes per year, as the first one at Porvoo due to start up in summer 2007.
Phoenix Motorcars has installed the first Altairnano NanoSafe production battery pack system in a Phoenix Motorcars all-electric sports utility truck (SUT), and completed initial testing with satisfactory results.
The lithium-ion battery pack is a 35 kWh configuration that will enable Phoenix to equip a SUT that can be charged in 10 minutes and achieve up to 130 miles between charges (earlier post). This SUT will be used as a demonstration vehicle for initial sales, and already it is committed for multiple prospect demonstrations and a trade show in December.
Acheson Industries has introduced Dag EB-012, a versatile conductive, protective coating for lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer batteries. In addition, Dag EB-012 can be used as a current collector primer coating for electric double layer capacitor (EDLC) applications and as a conductive coating on screw threads.
Earlier this year, Acheson introduced Dag EB-023 and Dag EB-030, new coatings for lithium-ion batteries that are highly conductive, tough, and chemical- and solvent-resistant to withstand the environment inside polymer lithium-ion batteries.
The presidents of 22 locals of five unions—the American Federation of Government Employees, the Engineers and Scientists of California, the National Association of Government Employees, the National Association of Independent Labor, and the National Treasury Employees Union—that represent public employees signed a petition calling on Congress to take immediate action against global warming.
Among the employees represented by the unions are more than 10,000 scientists, engineers and other technical specialists working in the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—more than half of the agency workforce.
Tamarack Energy, Inc., and Mascoma Corporation, a developer of biomass-to-ethanol technologies will collaborate on the joint development of cellulosic ethanol facilities in New York, as well as follow-on opportunities in Pennsylvania and New England states, leveraging wood mills and other production facilities.
This partnership enables Mascoma to apply its licensed and internally-developed cellulosic conversion technologies, processes, engineering and design expertise, to Tamarack Energy’s alternative energy development, permitting, operational, and financing abilities.
November 29, 2006
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is working with the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) to develop a scheme for offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from travel.
ABTA views the scheme—to be launched next year—as an important and practical way for the industry to deal with carbon emissions.
AGCO Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has approved a broad range of biodiesel mixtures for its SisuDiesel engines. Depending upon the engine model, blends of up to B100 can be used without engine modification or any change in warranty coverage for the specified warranty period.
The biodiesel—the only approved alternative fuel for SisuDiesel engines—must adhere to the European standard EN 14214 or the US standard ASTM D6751.
Researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) in China have quantified the improvement of combustion and reduction in emissions with the use of gasoline-methanol blends of up to 30% (M30) in spark-injection engines.
Increasing the methanol fraction of the blend shortens the flame developing period and the fast burning period, and the indicated mean effective pressures become higher during the first 50 cycles.