January 31, 2009
The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corp.’s group operating loss for the year ending March 31 is likely to jump to ¥400 billion (US$4.5B) from the ¥150 billion it projected last month (earlier post).
|Overview of the Bioliq process. Source: Henrich et al. Click to enlarge.|
The Bioliq biosyncrude gasification process (earlier post) used in a large plant with a capacity of > 1 Mt/a can produce biosynfuel for about €1.04 per kg or €0.8 per liter (US$3.08/gallon US), according to an analysis by researchers at Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany, which is co-developing the process with Lurgi.
With ±30% estimate error, this is between €0.56 and €1.04 per liter (US$2.72-5.03/gallon US), they note in a paper published in the journal Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining. A crude oil price of US$100/bbl results in an approximate cost of €0.56/L (US$2.72/gallon US) without tax for conventional motor fuel.
ATCO Energy Solutions and Praxair Canada Inc. are pursuing the development of hydrogen storage and pipeline infrastructure in Alberta, focusing on opportunities northeast of Edmonton where the growth in heavy-oil processing in Alberta has created an increased demand for hydrogen. Hydrogen is used to remove sulfur so that the end-product fuels are cleaner-burning and meet environmental standards.
Washington Governor and Legislators Introduce Climate Action Plan; $419M for Transportation Projects
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and legislative leaders have introduced a Green Jobs and Climate Action legislative package that proposes investments totaling $455 million in the next biennium for energy-reducing transportation projects, energy efficiency projects, green buildings and clean-energy technology.
Turbine Truck Engines Enters Strategic Alliance With China Corporation; Two New Engine Designs to Result
Turbine Truck Engines, Inc. (TTE), the developer of the concept Detonation Cycle Gas Turbine (DCGT) for heavy-duty vehicle applications (earlier post), has signed a strategic alliance agreement with China-based Aerospace Machinery & Electric Equipment Company, Ltd. (AMEC).
January 30, 2009
Risø, the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), is developing an electrochemical method for purifying exhaust, especially exhaust gases from diesel engines. The four-year project has received DKK 17 million (US$2.9 million) from the Danish Council for Strategic Research (the Programme Commission on Sustainable Energy and Environment).
Electrochemical exhaust treatment is based on selective membrane processes, where only an electrical current is used as a reagent. The electrochemical membrane consists of an electrolyte that separates a set of porous electrodes, similar to a fuel cell. The electrolyte can conduct ions, but not electrons. The electrodes act as catalysts for the electrochemical reactions.
The US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) will provide up to $25 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value bio-based products, subject to annual appropriations.
USDA and DOE are issuing a joint funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for several types of projects aimed at increasing the availability of alternative renewable fuels and bio-based products. The projects will aim to create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass. Advanced biofuels produced from these types of sources are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50%.
Japan Airlines (JAL) became the first airline to conduct a demonstration flight using a biofuel primarily refined from the energy crop camelina. (Earlier post.) It was also the first demo flight using a combination of three sustainable biofuel feedstocks—camelina (84%), jatropha (less than 16%), and algae (less than 1%)—as well as the first one using Pratt & Whitney engines.
Azure Dynamics’ Balance Hybrid Electric shuttle bus on the Ford E-450 chassis (earlier post) has been certified by Altoona testing, thereby enabling purchasers of these hybrid vehicles to apply for financial assistance from the federal government.
Marine Scientists Issue Monaco Declaration Calling for Immediate Action to Reduce Ocean Acidification
More than 150 leading marine scientists from 26 countries are calling for immediate action by policymakers to reduce CO2 emissions sharply so as to avoid widespread and severe damage to marine ecosystems from increasing ocean acidification—the “other CO2 problem”. They issued this warning in the Monaco Declaration, released on 30 January.
The scientists note that ocean acidification is already detectable, and that it is accelerating. They caution that its negative socio-economic impacts can only be avoided by limiting future atmospheric CO2 levels.