November 30, 2007
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 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.
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 2008.
Students will design and build advanced propulsion solutions that emulate the vehicle categories from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) requirements. Students will be encouraged to explore a variety of solutions including electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cells.
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 adjust cell performance so battery packs will always operate at their optimum performance capacity.
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.
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 plant will be based on Neste Oil’s proprietary NExBTL technology for the high-pressure hydrotreatment of fatty acids—a second-generation biofuel process that produces a pure hydrocarbon fuel (bio-hydrocarbon). The process can use a flexible input of any vegetable oil or animal fat and produce a product with characteristics similar to Fischer-Tropsch output. (Earlier post.) The first NExBTL facility was commissioned in Finland at Neste Oil’s Porvoo refinery in summer 2007, and a second is due to come on stream there in 2009.
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.
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.
November 29, 2007
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 controls, aftertreatment, and low-sulfur fuel.
The advance notice of proposed rulemaking targets emissions from the largest marine diesel engines. These Category 3 marine engines (those with per-cylinder displacement of 30 liters or greater) are used primarily for propulsion power on ocean-going vessels such as container ships, tankers, cruise ships and bulk carriers.
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.