October 31, 2008
Reuters. US District Judge Paul Crotty has granted a preliminary injunction against the implementation of New York City’s rules for more fuel efficient taxis. Approved in December 2007, the regulation required all taxicabs coming into service (with the exception of accessible taxicabs) after 1 October 2008 be capable of achieving a city mileage rating of 25 miles per gallon (mpg). As of October 2009, all new taxicabs vehicles were to have a 30 mpg city rating.
Ricardo has won a multi-million dollar contract to identify the best combinations of technologies for achieving the highest possible fuel efficiency for US military ground vehicles.
|Terrabon’s pathway to renewable hydrocarbon fuel produces ketones, which are then processed using conventional refinery technology. Click to enlarge.|
Terrabon LLC, the developer of a carboxylic acid fermentation platform licensed from Texas A&M University for the conversion of biomass to fuel intermediates that can then be upgraded into industrial chemicals and renewable gasoline, will open its new Advanced Biofuels Research Facility in Bryan, Texas next week.
The facility, which will test the scaled-up commercial feasibility of the Texas A&M MixAlco technology (earlier post), will have a loading capacity of 400 dry tons of biomass, equal to a loading rate of five dry tons per day. The Company will use sorghum as the primary feedstock with the objective of producing organic salts and converting them to ketones, which can be converted to renewable gasoline.
Researchers at Boston College and MIT report achieving a dimensionless thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) of 0.95 in p-type nanostructured bulk silicon germanium (SiGe) alloys—about 90% higher than what is currently used in space flight missions, and 50% higher than the reported record in p-type SiGe alloys.
GM Holden has upgraded its Alloytec V6 engine on Omega and Berlina models within the VE Commodore range. The improvement offers fuel savings of up to 0.4 liters per 100 kilometers for gasoline models and 1.3 liters per 100 kilometers for LPG variants. The upgraded all-alloy V6 engine also reduces emissions of criteria pollutants to Euro 6 levels (due in 2014).
Toyota Motor (TMC) will export the Sequoia SUV made in its Indiana plant to the Middle East and South America, and the Tundra pickup truck made in its Texas plant to South America.
|A splash-blending pump. Click to enlarge. Source: EPIC/ACE|
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) are pushing for wider deployment of mid-range ethanol blends via the use of splash-blending pumps at retail sites. Mid-range ethanol blends (e.g., E15, E20, E30, etc.) can legally be used in flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) in the US. Use in non-FFVs is not currently legal, although it is under focused study. (Earlier post.)
In a webinar primarily targeted to petroleum marketers (e.g., fuel station owners) Ron Lamberty from ACE outlined the organization’s immediate rationale for opposing universal E10 blends, which is derived from the current structure of financial incentives around ethanol provision and use in the US, and its focus on preserving splash blending.
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has teamed with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Northwestern University to form the Illinois Center for Advanced Tribology (ICAT), which will develop solutions to technical issues related to transportation, health and systems that operate in extreme environments.
Tribology is the science and technology of friction, lubrication and interactive surfaces in relative motion that are evident in virtually everything that moves, including human beings.
Financial Times. Royal Dutch Shell has delayed a decision on the second phase of the expansion in its Athabasca oil sands project.
October 30, 2008
Gasoline consumption in California declined 5.6% in July 2008 from July 2007, according to figures released by the State Board of Equalization (BOE). Californians consumed 1.26 billion gallons of gasoline in July—74.2 million gallons below that of July 2007.