« October 2007 | Main | December 2007 »

Oak Ridge Lab and FEV Join Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and FEV Engine Technology have joined the Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium. The Consortium is made up of a growing number of automotive suppliers, manufacturers and other organizations working together to accelerate the commercial production of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). The Oak Ridge National... Read more →

EC Issues Calls For Research Proposals Under FP7

The European Commission, which manages the EU’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7), has issued calls for proposals in 32 research areas, making available about €1.75 billion (US$2.6 billion) in funding. The research areas range from environmental science to sustainable transport, from biotechnology to nanotechnology. The FP7-Transport theme, which encompasses both... Read more →

New EcoCAR Engineering Challenge Uses California ARB ZEV Requirements as Framework

GM, the US Department of Energy, Natural Resources Canada and others are sponsoring a new national collegiate competition series to re-engineer a GM vehicle to achieve improved fuel economy and reduce emissions while retaining the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal. EcoCAR: the NeXT Challenge will begin in the Fall of... Read more →

Valence Technology Introducing New Large Format Li-Ion Battery Technology at EVS-23

Valence Technology will unveil its new large-format lithium-ion battery technology at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition (EVS-23) starting Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The new generation of phosphate-based lithium-ion battery systems, branded Epoch, are equipped with an advanced management system that will monitor and... Read more →

Altair Nanotechnologies Completes $40M Private Placement with UAE Commercial Group

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., provider of advanced nanomaterial-based products and technology for a range of applications including lithium-ion batteries for transportation, has completed a $40 million private placement of its common stock to Al Yousuf LLC. Al Yousuf LLC was founded in Dubai in 1953 and since that time has steadily... Read more →

Neste Oil to Build 245M Gallon/Year NExBTL Renewable Diesel Plant in Singapore

Neste Oil plans to invest approximately €550 million (US$812 million) to build a plant in Singapore to produce NExBTL Renewable Diesel. The plant will have a design capacity of 800,000 t/a—about 245 million gallons US annually—making it the world’s largest facility producing diesel fuel from renewable feedstocks to date. The... Read more →

San Francisco Launches First City-Wide Program to Collect FOG for Biodiesel

San Francisco, California, known for its atmospheric fog, recently launched the nation’s first citywide program to collect fats, oil and grease (FOG) as a feedstock for biodiesel for use in the city fleet. SFGreasecycle is a program that was developed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) as a... Read more →

China’s Energy Intensity Fell in First Three Quarters 2007

People’s Daily. China’s energy intensity—its energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product—dropped three percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2007. China has vowed to cut the energy consumption used to generate per unit of GDP by 20 percent and major pollutants emissions by ten percent between 2006... Read more →

EPA Issues Plans for New Emissions Standards for Ocean Vessels

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued plans for new emission standards for diesel engines on board large ocean-going vessels. The agency is considering standards for achieving large reductions in oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particulate matter, as well as sulfur oxides (SOx) through the use of technologies such as in-cylinder... Read more →

Firefly Energy Earns Continued R&D Funding for Microcell Carbon-Foam Lead-Acid Battery

Firefly Energy is obtaining a $3.2 million appropriation from the 2008 defense bill for further development of “3D Advanced Battery Technology”. Firefly Energy is developing a version of its award-winning 3D Microcell carbon-foam lead-acid battery technology for the US Army. Firefly Energy is slated to begin shipping prototypes of the... Read more →

MAHLE and India Pistons Forming Joint Venture

MAHLE GmbH and India Pistons Ltd. are forming a joint venture for the manufacture of pistons for new gasoline and diesel engines for the fast growing Indian market requiring compliance with future emission regulations, such as Euro 4 and above. It will also introduce new piston designs with oil-cooled galleries... Read more →

New Research Casts Doubts on Efficacy of Ocean Fertilization as a Solution for Carbon Sequestration

Research performed at Stanford and Oregon State Universities, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, suggests that ocean fertilization may not be an effective method of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming. Ocean fertilization, the process of adding iron or other nutrients to the... Read more →

Azure Dynamics’ Series Hybrid Shuttle Bus Successfully Completes Altoona Testing

Azure Dynamics’s series hybrid shuttle bus (earlier post) ration has successfully completed the durability testing at the US Government’s bus certification test facility in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The successful completion of this test qualifies Azure’s gasoline series hybrid drive system for federally-supported hybrid bus purchases by public transit agencies across the... Read more →

Raser Finalizes Agreement with a Major Vehicle OEM to Develop a Plug-in-Hybrid Vehicle Using Symetron Motor Technology

Raser Technologies, Inc. has signed an agreement with a global automotive manufacturer in its effort to produce a plug-in-hybrid electric demonstration vehicle incorporating Symetron electric motor and electronic drive technology. Raser also announced previously that it teamed with FEV Engine Technology, Inc. as the integrator for this plug-in-hybrid vehicle project.... Read more →

GM, SAIC and OnStar Announce China Telematics JV

General Motors, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) and OnStar announced are establishing a telematics joint venture called Shanghai OnStar Telematics Company Limited. This is OnStar’s first venture outside of North America in its 11-year history. The Shanghai-based joint venture will provide a range of OnStar’s in-vehicle safety, security and... Read more →

VeraSun Energy and US BioEnergy to Merge; 1.6B Gallons of Combined Ethanol Production Capacity by End of 2008

VeraSun Energy Corp. and US BioEnergy Corp. have entered into a definitive merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company. The merger is expected to close during the first quarter of 2008, pending shareholder approval, anti-trust regulatory clearance and the completion of other... Read more →

Study Raises Concerns Over Amount of Corn Stover Biomass Available for Cellulosic Ethanol

Researchers at the USDA-ARS have concluded that the corn stover needed to maintain soil organic carbon, and thus productivity, are a greater constraint to environmentally sustainable cellulosic feedstock harvest than that the use of stover to control water and wind erosion. Wally Wilhelm, USDA-ARS scientist with the Agroecosystems Management Research... Read more →

ExxonMobil Chemical to Showcase New Lithium-ion Battery Separator Film Technology at EVS-23

ExxonMobil Chemical and ExxonMobil’s Japanese affiliate, Tonen Chemical, will present new separator film technologies for lithium-ion batteries at the upcoming 23rd Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition (EVS-23) in Anaheim, Calif. on December 2-5, 2007. In May at the AABC event in Long Beach, ExxonMobil and Tonen introduced new separator film... Read more →

Coca-Cola Enterprises to Have 5 Hybrid Delivery Trucks in New York Fleet

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is adding three more hybrid-electric trucks to its distribution center fleet in the Bronx, New York, for a total of five. Currently, the Bronx sales center has 90 trucks servicing 8,700 customers in Manhattan and the Bronx, delivering more than 8 million cases of product annually. The... Read more →

New Mexico Becomes 13th State to Adopt California GHG Limits on New Cars

Thirteen states (green) have adopted the California Clean Car Standard, including the limits on greenhouse gases from new vehicles. Six (yellow) are currently in the process of adopting the limits. Click to enlarge. After two days of joint hearings, the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) and hte New Mexico... Read more →

Total US Greenhouse Gas Emissions In 2006 Down 1.5% From 2005; Transportation Sector Up 0.5%

Greenhouse gas emissions in the US economy. Click to enlarge. Total US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 7,075.6 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2006, a decrease of 1.5% from the 2005 level, according to Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2006, a report by the... Read more →

Second Major F1 Team Licenses Torotrak Technology for KERS System

A second F1 team has entered into a licence agreement with Torotrak for full-toroidal traction drive technology in a mechanically based kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) for the 2009 season. (Earlier post.) The FIA has defined the amount of energy recovery for 2009 season as 400kJ per lap giving the... Read more →

Galp Energia Licenses UOP/Eni Ecofining Hydroprocessing Technology for Renewable Diesel Production

The UOP/Eni Ecofining process supports the possible co-production of propane, naphtha, and high quality jet fuel. Click to enlarge. Portugal’s largest refiner, Galp Energia, will use the UOP/Eni Ecofining catalytic hydroprocessing technology to produce renewable diesel fuel from vegetable oils. Galp Energia is the second European refiner to license the... Read more →

EPA Announces 2008 Renewable Fuels Standard

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is setting a new renewable fuels standard (RFS) of 4.66% to meet the 2005 Energy Policy Act’s mandate that at least 5.4 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into transportation gasoline in 2008. Based on the standard, each party determines the minimum volume... Read more →

Catalyst-Free Chemistry Material System Offers Cost-Effective Repair for Composite Materials

The catalyst-free system uses microcapsules containing chlorobenzene to repair cracks in composite materials. Click to enlarge. A new catalyst-free, self-healing material system developed by researchers at the University of Illinois offers a less expensive and more practical way to repair composite materials used in structural applications ranging from airplane fuselages... Read more →

China’s SUV Sales Up Almost 59% Year-to-Date

People’s Daily. Sales of SUVs in China rose 58.6% year-on-year for the first 10 months of 2007 to 302,846 units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Great Wall Motor, the first privately-owned auto company on the Chinese mainland to be listed in Hong Kong, ranked first with SUV... Read more →

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Buys 30 All-Electric Miles ZX40 LSVs

The ZX40. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago, one of the nation’s largest water authorities, has purchased 30 all-electric, low-speed Miles ZX40 cars (earlier post) as part of its strategy to slash fleet emissions and costs. The acquisition represents the largest purchase of Miles electric vehicles by... Read more →

UMass Amherst To Host National Fuel Cell Research Center; Focus on Proton Transfer in Fuel Cells

The University of Massachusetts Amherst will create a new research center focused on hydrogen fuel cell science, supported by an initial three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the Fueling the Future Chemical Bonding Center (CBC). The center is one of only three in the nation... Read more →

Bosch Providing Common Rail Systems for New VW Diesel Tiguan

Bosch is providing the common-rail systems for the new Volkswagen Tiguan’s 2.0-liter diesel engine. (Earlier post.) The Tiguan compact 4x4 is the first model in the Volkswagen range to be fitted with a four-cylinder diesel engine featuring common-rail technology from Bosch. The new diesel engine delivers 138 hp (103 kW)... Read more →

Hydrogenics Receives US$1.7 Million Order for Three Fuel Cell Hybrid MidiBuses

Hydrogenics Fuel Cell Hybrid MidiBus. Hydrogenics Corporation has received a US $1.7M order for the delivery of three Fuel Cell Hybrid MidiBuses (earlier post) to the upcoming 2008 International Exposition, EXPOAGUA Zaragoza 2008 to be held next summer in the City of Zaragoza, Spain. The buses will be used to... Read more →

Enova Systems to Show Ultracapacitor Technology for Hybrids at EVS-23

Enova Systems will present ultracapacitor technology for hybrid vehicles at the Electric Vehicle Symposium, EVS 23, in Anaheim, California from 2-5 Dec. Enova is exploring the use of ultracapacitors to provide incremental starting energy to an electric motor. The energy from the ultracapacitors should then feed the electric-drive motor, which... Read more →

Syracuse to Convert CNG Garbage Truck to Hythane

Post-Standard. The City of Syracuse, New York, will convert its newest natural gas-fueled garbage truck to run on Hythane—a mixture of compressed natural gas and hydrogen. To support the truck, the city will build a hydrogen fueling station—one of the first in the state— which could help pave the way... Read more →

Hydrogen Engine Center Restructures to Focus on Commercialization

Hydrogen Engine Center, Inc., a developer of systems and processes used in the design, manufacture and distribution of alternative fuel internal combustion engines, engine controls and generator systems, including those fueled by hydrogen and ammonia (earlier post), is taking a series of steps to expand its advanced technology development while... Read more →

Saft Launches First Li-ion Cell Capable of Operating at +125°C

Saft has launched the world’s first Li-ion cell capable of operating at temperatures of up to +125°C—an innovation that opens up new possibilities for the design of MWD (Measurement While Drilling) tools. At the same time, Saft has also launched a new D-size primary lithium cell. The launch of the... Read more →

Synthesis Energy Systems Plans Coal-to-Methanol Project in China with Multinational Chemical Company

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (SES) has executed a project development agreement with a major and as-yet un-named US-based multinational chemical company to perform feasibility studies and devise plans for the potential development of a coal-to-methanol gasification plant in China. The planned plant would support the company’s existing facilities in China.... Read more →

NSF Awards Grants for Three Critical Zone Observatories; Concentration on Water Resources

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected sites for three critical zone observatories (CZO). The observatories are designed to provide scientists with an understanding of what has come to be called the critical zone—the region between the top of the forest canopy and the base of unweathered rock, i.e., our... Read more →

Cyclone Power Technologies Licenses External Combustion Engine for Lawn Equipment

Cyclone Power Technologies, Inc. has licensed its external combustion engine technology (earlier post) to Revgine, Inc., to develop, manufacture and sell engines utilizing Cyclone’s patented technology for use in lawn and garden equipment, such as lawn mowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, snow blowers and chain saws. Lawn and garden equipment... Read more →

Univ. of Washington to Launch Electric Bike Program on Campus

Seattle Times. The University of Washington is partnering with Intrago to provide electric bikes for students and faculty members across campus. Intrago is a developer of automated local vehicle rental and management systems specifically for combined offerings of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs), Segway Personal Transporters, electric scooters, electric bicycles, and... Read more →

Aisin Seiki to Increase Output of More Fuel-Efficient Transmissions by 42% This Year

Bloomberg. Aisin Seiki Co. says that it will increase its output of its more fuel efficient transmissions—including 6-speed, continuously variable transmissions, and others—by 42% this fiscal year. Output of four-speed and five-speed transmissions will fall about 12% in the year ending March 31, according to President Yasuhito Yamauchi in an... Read more →

Michigan Tech-Michigan State Partnership on Fuels from Forest Biomass

Michigan Technological University and Michigan State University are partnering to create new collaborative research, outreach and economic development programs centered on fuels and energy made from forest biomass. The programs will be overseen by an eight-member Renewable Fuels Working Group made up of four scientists from each university. Michigan State... Read more →

Fuel Cell Materials Company Bac2 Raises $4.1M

Fuel cell materials company Bac2 has raised £2 million (US$4.1 million) of private funding from London Business Angels, enabling the company to commercialize and market its ElectroPhen conductive polymer. (Earlier post.) ElectroPhen is an electrically conductive polymer and polymer composite that can be formed at room temperature. Other plastics are... Read more →

Nickel-Zinc Battery Company Targeting Hybrid Electric Vehicle Market

PowerGenix, a San Diego-based high tech company and leading developer of high-performance, sealed rechargeable nickel-zinc (NiZn) batteries for power tools and other high performance applications, has brought Dr. Franz Kruger on board as Senior Vice President, Product Development. Dr. Kruger, the former CEO of Lithium Technology Corporation, a lithium-ion battery... Read more →

CSIRO Invests in Hybrid Energy Storage System Start-Up

Depiction of hybrid energy storage system (UltraBattery) applied in renewable power generation. Click to enlarge. Australia’s CSIRO and Cleantech Ventures have invested in technology start-up Smart Storage Pty Ltd to develop and commercialize energy storage systems based on a hybrid battery which combines an asymmetric supercapacitor and a lead-acid battery... Read more →

AREVA and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Sign Largest Nuclear Contract Ever

Cutaway of an EPR. (1) reactor vessel, (2) the steam generators,(3) the pressurizer, (4) reactor coolant pumps, (5) inner prestressed concrete housing, (6) metallic liner and outer reinforced concrete shell, (7) special area for collection and cooling of escaping molten core, (8, 9) backup diesel generators, (10) turbine building. Click... Read more →

Leeds Study Indicates that Sequestered CO2 Can React Quickly with Underground Reservoir Rock for Safe Storage

Storing carbon dioxide deep below the earth’s surface could be a safe, long-term solution due to the reaction of the gas with the host pore waters and rocks on a human time scale, according to researchers at the University of Leeds (UK). The study found that sandstone reacts with injected... Read more →

USGS Estimates Laptev Sea Shelf in Arctic to Hold 3 Billion Barrels of Undiscovered Crude Oil

Map showing location of the Laptev Sea Shelf Province and assessment units. Click to enlarge. The Laptev Sea Shelf province, in the Arctic waters off of the Russian Federation, holds an estimated 3.07 billion barrels of crude oil in undiscovered resources, according to an assessment by the US Geological Survey... Read more →

Tokai Carbon to Launch Li-Ion Anode Material Business in 2010

Tokai carbon nanospheres range from 200-500 nm in diameter. Tokai Carbon has developed carbon nanospheres with an average particle diameter ranging from 200-500 nm that the company will use to launch a business in 2010 offering a high-performance anode material for Li-ion cells. Established in 1918, Tokai Carbon’s main current... Read more →