October 31, 2009
EU-Funded Project Targets Sustainable Production of Ethyl Levulinate from Biomass as Diesel Miscibile Biofuel
|Representation of DIBANET processes, products and linkages. Source: Carbolea. Click to enlarge.|
An EU-funded research project is seeking to develop new technologies that will enable the sustainable production of diesel miscible biofuels (DMB) from cellulosic biomass wastes in Europe and Latin America.
Specifically, the DIBANET (Development of Integrated Biomass Approaches Network) project will advance the art in the production of ethyl levulinate from organic wastes and residues. Ethyl levulinate (EL) is a novel diesel miscible biofuel (DMB) produced by esterifying ethanol with levulinic acid. The project will also use fast pyrolysis to convert the residue left over from biofuel production to bio-oil for subsequent upgrading to DMB.
GE Energy has signed a technology licensing agreement with Hydrogen Energy (HEI) for a proposed 250-megawatt power plant that would use integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology. The plant, to be located near Bakersfield, in Kern County, Calif., would be designed to capture up to 90% of its carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration in an adjacent oil field. (Earlier post.)
Cyclone Power Technologies Successfully Completes Engine Tests for Raytheon Company; > 30% Thermal Efficiency
Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. successfully completed performance tests of its external combustion engine for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). The tests demonstrated that Cyclone’s prototype water-cooled Mark II engine achieved thermal efficiencies of more than 30%, results that exceeded original engineering calculations.
Michigan State University Receives $2.5M ARPA-E Award to Build Wave Disc Engine/Generator for Series Hybrid Applications
|Schematic model of a wave disk engine, showing combustion and shockwaves within the channels. Source: MSU. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers from Michigan State University have been awarded $2.5 million from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program (earlier post) to complete its prototype development of a new gasoline-fueled wave disc engine and electricity generator that promises to be five times more efficient than traditional auto engines in electricity production, 20% lighter, and 30% cheaper to manufacture.
The wave disc engine, a new implementation of wave rotor technology, was earlier developed by the Michigan State group in collaboration with researchers from the Warsaw Institute of Technology. About the size of a large cooking pot, the novel, hyper-efficient engine could replace current engine/generator technologies for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
October 30, 2009
US ethanol demand, as calculated by the Renewable Fuels Association, continued to exceed production in August. According to RFA calculations, demand was 734,000 bpd in August, up 11% from 661,000 b/d a year ago.
New research by a team at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York suggests that gas-aerosol interactions can amplify the global warming impact of some greenhouse gases. In particular, the study led by Drew Shindell found that methane emissions have a larger warming impact due to those interactions than accounted for in current carbon-trading schemes or in the Kyoto Protocol.
Among other conclusions, they found that the 100-year global warming potential (GWP) of methane is ~10% greater (~20 to 40%, including aerosol indirect effects AIE) than earlier estimates that neglected interactions between oxidants and aerosols. Calculations for the shorter 20-year GWP, including aerosol responses, yielded values of 79 and 105 for methane, including direct and direct+indirect radiative effects of aerosols, respectively. The UNIPCC AR4 estimates the 100-year GWP for methane at 25, with a value of 72 for the 20-year GWP.
Navistar, Inc. and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC) will explore a potential engine joint venture to develop, build and market advanced diesel engines for commercial vehicles in China. The potential joint venture, if formed, would have a 50/50 ownership between Navistar, and JAC, a leading China-based maker of commercial and consumer vehicles and engines.
Ford and Smith Terminate Partnership on Electric Transit Connect Project for US; Ford Now Partnering with Azure Dynamics to Deliver the Vehicle in 2010; Smith Partnering with AM General on Electric Vans for USPS
In a trading statement issued today, UK-based Tanfield Group, SEV US’ parent, said that given the growth in demand for its production-ready Smith Newton, the forecast volumes of the electric Transit Connect did not, in the short- to medium-term, justify the investment requirement to deliver the vehicle, and also limited the working capital available to support the growth of Newton. SEV US has commenced production of the Smith Newton electric truck platform at its assembly facility in Kansas City, Missouri, and currently has an order book of 255 trucks.
|The new Opel Corsa ecoFLEX debuts in January 20109. Click to enlarge.|
Starting in January 2010, the new Opel Corsa ecoFLEX will offer improved fuel economy with increased power compared to its model year 2009 predecessor. (Earlier post.) Powered by a 70 kW/95 hp 1.3 CDTI diesel engine boosted by a turbo with a variable geometry, the new Corsa ecoFLEX offers 28% more power than the previous generation Corsa ecoFLEX even though fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are cut by some 10%. The price is the same as the standard 90 hp Corsa 1.3 CDTI.
With N·m 190 of torque available between 1750 and 3250 rpm, the new Corsa ecoFLEX needs only 3.7 L/100 km (63.6 mpg US), releasing just 98 g/km CO2 as a three-door. The five-door Corsa emits 99 g/km. The 2009 model year Corsa ecoFLEX has a fuel consumption rating of 4.1 L/100km (57.4 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 109 g/km.
The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board approved Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC (JCS) for an Anchor Jobs incentive. Under this designation, a company that attracts or influences a supplier or customer to locate or expand in Michigan can qualify for tax credits. The company was also approved for a Plug-In and all-electric traction battery pack credit valued at up to $20 million over three years to support the manufacture of battery packs using lithium-ion technology.