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June 2010

June 30, 2010

Ceres Develops Plant Trait for Salt Tolerance; Potential Use for Millions More Acres of Marginal Cropland

Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. has developed a plant trait for salt tolerance that could bring millions of acres of abandoned or marginal cropland damaged by salts into use. Results in several crops, including switchgrass, have shown levels of salt tolerance not seen before.

Ceres reported that its researchers tested the effects of very high salt concentrations and also seawater from the Pacific Ocean, which contains mixtures of salts in high-concentration, on improved energy grass varieties growing in its California greenhouses. Energy grasses, such as sorghum, miscanthus and switchgrass, are highly productive sources of biomass, a carbon-neutral feedstock used for both biofuel production and electricity generation.

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June 30, 2010 in Biomass, Biotech | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Toyota, Hino and Showa Shell to Test FT Diesel and Renewable Diesel Blend in Hybrid Transit Bus

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Hino Motors Ltd. (Hino) and Showa Shell Sekiyu K. K. (SSSKK) plan to begin trials on 1 July of a diesel-electric hybrid transit bus fueled by a mixture of Fischer-Tropsch diesel (FTD)—specifically, Shell’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel—and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), a type of renewable diesel offering similar characteristics to FTD.

The trials, which are funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) under the National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory (NTSEL)’s Next-Generation Environmentally Friendly Vehicles Development and Commercialization Project, aim to verify that a FTD-HVO mixture can be used for extended periods with unmodified vehicle components, such as fuel hoses and fuel injectors.

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June 30, 2010 in Bio-hydrocarbons, Diesel, Gas-to-Liquids (GTL), Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Toyota, Hino and Showa Shell to Test FT Diesel and Renewable Diesel Blend in Hybrid Transit Bus

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Hino Motors Ltd. (Hino) and Showa Shell Sekiyu K. K. (SSSKK) plan to begin trials on 1 July of a diesel-electric hybrid transit bus fueled by a mixture of Fischer-Tropsch diesel (FTD)—specifically, Shell’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel—and hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), a type of renewable diesel offering similar characteristics to FTD.

The trials, which are funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) under the National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory (NTSEL)’s Next-Generation Environmentally Friendly Vehicles Development and Commercialization Project, aim to verify that a FTD-HVO mixture can be used extendedly with unmodified vehicle components, such as fuel hoses and fuel injectors.

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June 30, 2010 in Bio-hydrocarbons, Diesel, Gas-to-Liquids (GTL), Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

SouthWest NanoTechnologies and OU Receive $500K Grant to Develop Carbon Nanotube Enhanced Cathode Materials to Improve Cycle Life for EV Batteries

SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. (SWeNT), a manufacturer of single-wall and Specialty Multi-Wall (SMW) Carbon Nanotubes (CNT), and the University of Oklahoma (OU) have been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). SWeNT was created in 2001 to spin off nanotube research developed at the University of Oklahoma.

This Oklahoma Nanotechnology Applications Project (ONAP), “Advanced Cathode Materials for Next Generation Batteries used in All Electric Vehicles,” is aimed at improving the Li-ion battery cyclability using SWeNT'’s SMW CNTs.

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June 30, 2010 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dynamotive and IFP Co-operate in Pyrolysis Oil Upgrading to Bio-Hydrocarbon Fuels

Canada-based fast pyrolysis company Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation and France-based IFP signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the field of pyrolysis oil upgrading with the aim to produce second-generation hydrocarbon biofuels.

Pyrolysis oils present several challenges for transportation applications as they are typically high in water, solids and acids and do not meet the specifications of fossil fuels. The US Department of Energy recently issued a funding opportunity announcement for up to $11 million over three years, seeking applications to develop integrated upgrading processes of bio-oils (biomass fast pyrolysis oils) at the bench scale. (Earlier post.)

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June 30, 2010 in Bio-hydrocarbons | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ZeaChem Confirms Production of Cellulosic Ethanol at Capacity That Can Scale to Commercial Production; Expanding the Product Portfolio of the Biorefinery

Zeachem3
ZeaChem’s process. Click to enlarge.

ZeaChem Inc. announced the successful production of ethanol at a capacity that can be scaled to commercial production. ZeaChem currently uses harvested hybrid poplar trees as the feedstock of choice in its combined biochemical and thermochemical process for the production of ethanol. (Earlier post.)

A recent lifecycle analysis by CH2M HILL calculates that ZeaChem ethanol produced from the farmed hybrid poplar trees offers a 94-98% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum-derived gasoline. Results are based on a farm yield of 10 bone dry tons (BDT) per acre and 135 gallons of ethanol per BDT.

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June 30, 2010 in Biobutanol, Biorefinery, Cellulosic ethanol | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

OnStar Attracts 29,000+ Subscribers in China in First 6 Months, Expecting Nearly 200,000 by End of Year; The “Mobility Internet”

Six months after being launched, General Motors’ OnStar has become the largest in-vehicle communications provider in China with more than 29,000 subscribers. OnStar President Chris Preuss said he expects to have nearly 200,000 users in China by the end of this year.

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June 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Cooperative Project for Electric Powertrains Between PSA Peugeot Citroën and Mitsubishi Motors

PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) have started a feasibility study for the development and supply of powertrains for electric vehicles, including an analysis on the packaging of batteries and its business viability. The first application of this new agreement will focus on light commercial vehicles.

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June 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Buehler to Supply Brushless Pump Drive for Inergy SCR Systems for US Diesel Cars

Buehler Motor, Inc., an international provider of mechatronic drive and pump solutions will supply brushless pump drives to Inergy Automotive Systems, a global Tier One automotive supplier of complete plastic fuel systems, energy and fluid storage technologies. The Buehler solution will drive Inergy’s DINOX select catalytic reduction (SCR) system designed for diesel-fuel cars.

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June 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DOE-Sponsored Field Test Demonstrates Viability of Simultaneous CO2 Storage and Enhanced Oil Recovery in Carbonate Reservoirs

A field test conducted by a US Department of Energy (DOE) team of regional partners has demonstrated that using carbon dioxide (CO2) in an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) method dubbed “huff-and-puff” can help assess the carbon sequestration potential of geologic formations while tapping US oil resources.

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June 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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