February 29, 2008
Chevron Corporation and Weyerhaeuser Company have created a 50-50 joint venture company focused on developing the next generation of renewable transportation fuels from nonfood sources. The joint venture, Catchlight Energy LLC, will research and develop technology for converting cellulose-based biomass from a variety of sources into economical, low-carbon biofuels.
The formation of Catchlight Energy is the first milestone of a biofuels alliance announced by Chevron and Weyerhaeuser in April 2007 and reflects the companies’ shared view that nonfood biofuels will play an important role in diversifying the nation’s energy supply. (Earlier post.)
Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., a provider of advanced nanomaterials technology for use in energy, life sciences and industrial applications, announced that Alan Gotcher, Ph.D., has agreed to resign as an officer of the company and that the Board of Directors has begun a search for a new Chief Executive Officer. The Board has appointed Terry Copeland, Ph.D., to serve as interim President.
|Mitsubishi Motors will emphasize its environmental strategies primarily in mature markets. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has unveiled its new mid-term business plan—Step Up 2010—for fiscal years 2008 through 2010 (ending March 31, 2011). Target FY 2010 sales is 1,422,000 units, a 6.4% increase over the fiscal 2007 forecast of 1,337,000 units. For new product planning, Mitsubishi draws a distinction between financial responsibility and environmental responsibility.
In the area of financial responsibility, the company plans to expand the number of its mid-sized platform models, and to add a new SUV based on its one-ton pickup. In the area of environmental responsibility, the company will add a smaller, “lower impact” SUV, adapt its minicars for overseas markets and add a global model, and bring its i MiEV electric vehicle to mature world markets.
Volkswagen will make seven international premiere presentations at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show (6-16 March), including a Golf TDI diesel-electric hybrid concept and the new 150-PS Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel natural gas vehicle. Other Volkswagen world premieres will be the fuel-efficient Sharan BlueMotion, the four-wheel-drive Golf Estate 4Motion, and the completely re-engineered Scirocco sports car. The Passat CC will also be on display for the first time in Europe.
Xinhua. China is considering charging fees on some of its traffic-congested urban roads, according to Wang Fengwu, deputy director of the Ministry of Construction’s urban construction department, speaking at a forum in Shanghai.
|The organic hydride dehydrogenation reactor is mounted inline in the exhaust system. Click to enlarge.|
Hrein Energy, in cooperation with Futaba Industrial Co., Ltd, ITO Racing Service Co. Ltd.. and Dr. Ichikawa Masaru, a professor emeritus of Hokkaido University, has successfully test-driven a 1.2-liter Nissan March retrofitted with an on-board organic hydride system (earlier post) that delivers supplemental hydrogen to the gasoline engine.
Adding several percent of hydrogen dehydrogenated from the organic hydride to the intake air supported very lean-burn combustion. Fuel efficiency was improved by 30%; CO2 emissions were cut by 30%; and concentrations of CO and NOx were “considerably reduced”, according to the company.
Southern California Gas Co. to Demonstrate CNG Drayage Trucks at SoCal Ports; CNG-Hydrogen Blend to Follow
Southern California Gas Co (The Gas Company), California Cartage Co. (Cal Cartage) and Autocar will collaborate to develop and put into service the nation’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks used to transport containers off-loaded from ships. Five trucks will be delivered in June 2008 and used to move containers between the San Pedro Bay ports, which include the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, to nearby freight-consolidation yards.
Israel Prime Minister Says Developing Electric Vehicles is “National Project”; Seeking Partnership with Japanese
Nikkei. On a visit to Japan, Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the country intends to make the development of electric vehicles a national project and will seek to partner with Japanese companies.
|The C 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY.|
Mercedes-Benz will add three fuel-efficient variants to its C-Class range: the C 180 KOMPRESSOR, C 200 CDI and C 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY models. Fuel consumption of the high-volume C 180 KOMPRESSOR and C 200 CDI models will be reduced by up to 12%.
The BlueEFFICIENCY version of the 100 kW/136 hp C 200 CDI consumes 5.1 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (46.1 mpg US), while the C 180 KOMPRESSOR BlueEFFICIENCY with 115 kW/156 hp covers 100 kilometers with 6.5 liters of premium gasoline (36.2 mpg US). This corresponds to 135 and 156 grams of carbon dioxide, respectively, per kilometer. The C 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY features spray-guided gasoline direct injection and burns around 10% less fuel than the model with the current V-6 engine.
San Francisco Chronicle. The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California must get a waiver from the US Environmental Protection Agency before it can limit sulfur emissions from ocean-going ships that enter the state’s waters.