December 31, 2009
Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States Agree to Work Together Toward Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fuels; Timeline for Developing a Potential Low Carbon Fuel Standard for Region
Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states signed a Memorandum of Understanding that commits their states to continued participation in a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels for vehicles and other uses. (Earlier post.)
A LCFS (Low Carbon Fuel Standard) program is a market-based, fuel-neutral program to address the carbon content of fuels. If adopted by states, it would apply to the transportation sector, and potentially to fuels used for heating buildings. A regional LCFS has the potential to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, which represent approximately 30% of emissions in the region, reduce regional vulnerability to petroleum price volatility, and facilitate the long-term transition from petroleum-based fuels in the transportation sector.
In the third quarter of 2009, gasoline consumption in California increased to 3.772 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 3.736 billion gallons the third quarter last year, according to figures released by the state Board of Equalization (BOE). This marked the second consecutive quarterly year-on-year increase in California gasoline consumption.
Researchers from the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have identified a way to increase the oil in tobacco plant leaves, which may be the next step in using the plants for biofuel. Their paper was published online in Plant Biotechnology Journal.
According to Vyacheslav Andrianov, Ph.D., assistant professor of Cancer Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, when grown for energy production instead for smoking, tobacco can generate a large amount of inexpensive biomass more efficiently than almost any other agricultural crop. Tobacco possesses potent oil biosynthesis machinery and can accumulate up to 40% of seed weight in oil.
California ARB to Hold Public Workshop on Formation of Expert Group to Work on Land Use and Indirect Effect Analysis for LCFS
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has scheduled a public workshop on 20 January 2010 in Sacramento to discuss the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Among the items to be discussed, staff intends to present information on the formation of an expert workgroup to assist in refining and improving the land use and indirect effect analysis of transportation fuels regulated under the LCFS.
Refineries could trim millions of dollars in energy costs annually by using a new matrix method developed at Purdue University to rearrange the distillation sequence needed to separate crude petroleum into products.
The researchers have demonstrated their method on petroleum plants that separate crude, showing that 70 of the new sequences they identified could enable oil refineries to improve the energy efficiency of this step anywhere from 6% to 48%, said Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.
The California Air Resources Board and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District freed up an additional $3 million in grants for truckers and small businesses to comply with the 1 January deadline for the state’s port truck rule that will reduce toxic diesel emissions in and around port communities.
December 30, 2009
Researchers Publish First Volume of Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea; Resource for Optimizing Biofuels, Bioremediation and Carbon Capture
Genome researchers from the US and Germany have published the initial “volume” of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA)—an analysis of the first 56 genomes sequenced from the two domains. The paper appeared in the 24 December edition of the journal Nature.
The Earth is estimated to have about a nonillion (1030) microbes in, on, around, and under it, comprising an unknown but very large number of distinct species. Close to 2,000 microbes have been and are being decoded to date. The GEBA pilot was launched in May 2007 in collaboration with the non-profit German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, DSMZ to sequence 100 bacterial and archaeal genomes based on the phylogenetic positions of organisms.
|The reaction for carbon dioxide splitting into carbon monoxide with aromatic aldehydes as oxygen acceptors. Credit: ACS, Gu and Zhang. Click to enlarge.|
A team of researchers in Singapore have developed a process for the catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) under mild conditions, using aromatic aldehydes as reductants and N-Heterocyclic Carbenes (NHCs) as organocatalysts.
The resulting CO can be used to convert water to hydrogen via the water gas shift reaction. The reaction also shows a new economical way to oxidize aromatic aldehydes, and could be applied in pharmaceutical synthesis. A paper on the work was published online 29 December in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Guangzhou Toyota will begin production of the Camry Hybrid in China in 2010. Toyota introduced the Camry Hybrid to the China market at the 2009 Shanghai auto show earlier this year.
People’s Daily. China’s largest electric vehicle charging stations were put into service earlier this week at the Universiade Center in Shenzhen. The first batch comprises 2 charging stations with 134 charging stands with a combined charging capacity of 2,480 kVA.