May 31, 2008
Short-term exposure to low levels of particulate air pollution may increase the risk of stroke or mini-stroke, according to findings by a University of Michigan team that suggest current exposure standards could be insufficient to protect the public. The study suggests future research on ambient air pollution and stroke is warranted.
The study examined particulate air pollution in a southeast Texas community where there is a large petroleum and petrochemical industry presence. In the study, researchers identified ischemic strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIA)—sometimes called mini-strokes—but that often lead to a stroke later. Ischemic attacks are caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain by a blood clot.
People’s Daily. South African-designed battery-electric passenger vehicles will be unveiled by early next year. The development of the prototype involves a range of stakeholders, including South African universities and industry.
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels unveiled the first of four converted plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) the city of Seattle will test over the next year. (Earlier post.)
The Mercedes-Benz Actros trailer/tractor combination has entered the Guinness World Records as the most fuel-efficient 40-tonne truck, with fuel consumption of 19.44 liters of diesel per 100 km— the equivalent less than 0.8 liters per hundred tonne-kilometers (tkm)—during a test drive of more than 12,728 kilometers.
Almost two-thirds of UK motorists say fuel economy is the number one priority when buying a new car, according to a new survey by Motorpoint, the UK’s leading car supermarket group. The poll found that 64% of people regarded fuel economy as the key consideration when changing their vehicle—a clear indication, according to Motorpoint, that the escalating cost of fuel is having a direct effect of people’s buying behavior.
May 30, 2008
The University Research Corridor (URC), an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University—Michigan’s three research universities—has awarded its first seed fund grants to provide startup support for two “revolutionary but feasible” energy projects: thermoelectric power generation and nano-biocarriers for the production of low-cost cellulosic ethanol. The URC provosts selected the two projects from 13 proposals.
A three-year $523,282 award went to a collaboration of all three universities for the development of bulk thermoelectric materials containing nanostructure with enhanced thermoelectric properties. Improved thermoelectric materials are of interest in vehicle waste heat recovery applications, among others.
Nikkei. Thai oil and gas company PTT PCL is partnering with the Thai unit of Toyota Motor Corp. to study the development of bio-hydrogenated renewable diesel. The study is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
Renault has introduced a new prototype fuel cell vehicle: the Scenic ZEV H2. The Scenic ZEV H2 is a joint Nissan-Renault Alliance project.
Report: Oil Sands Certified Reclamation at 0.2%, Toxic Tailings Production of 1.8 Billion Liters a Day
After 41 years of oil sands mining operations in northern Alberta, only 0.2%—one square kilometer—of disturbed land is certified as reclaimed, according to a new report by environmental group the Pembina Institute.
Integrated Genomics, Inc. (IG), a US microbial genomics company, and TMO Renewables Limited, a UK developer of a cellulosic ethanol production process, are extending their research collaboration on organisms for TMO’s system.