July 30, 2010
Nissan International SA will begin taking orders today for the Nissan LEAF EV in Portugal and the Republic of Ireland. Pre-orders in the UK, Nissan’s additional lead market in Europe, will begin 1 September.
GE to Demonstrate First Silicon-Carbide Solid-State Primary Power Distribution Technology Use under USAF Contract
GE Aviation announced an R&D contract worth more than $7 million for the first solid-state primary power distribution technology using Silicon Carbide (SiC) power switches applicable to the latest and future United States Air Force platforms. The contracting office is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Air Force Research Laboratories in Ohio.
LS9 Researchers Discover Microbial Biosynthesis Pathway for Hydrocarbon Fuel Components; Direct Sugar-to-Renewable Hydrocarbon Fuels
Researchers at LS9 have discovered an alkane biosynthesis pathway in cyanobacteria; i.e., a metabolic pathway that produces alkanes—the major hydrocarbon constituents of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel—in a direct, simple conversion from sugar.
When the newly identified alkane operon is expressed in E.coli, the bacteria produce and secrete C13 to C17 mixtures of alkanes and alkenes. This discovery is the first description of the genes responsible for alkane biosynthesis and the first example of a single step conversion of sugar to fuel-grade alkanes by an engineered microorganism. A paper on the work was published in the 30 July issue of the journal Science.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied 10 petitions challenging its 2009 determination that climate change is real, is occurring due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, and threatens human health and the environment.
The Supervisory Board of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has approved the development of a production model based on the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in concept, introduced at the Geneva Auto Show and at Auto China in Beijing earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
July 29, 2010
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today concluded that companies that sell electric vehicle charging services to the public will not be regulated as public utilities pursuant to the Public Utilities Code.
|Gevo’s production process. Click to enlarge.|
Gevo, a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company (earlier post), has successfully produced isobutanol from fermentable sugars derived from cellulosic biomass. The company also successfully converted the cellulosic isobutanol into isobutylene and paraffinic kerosene (jet fuel).
The production of isobutanol from cellulosic biomass is the subject of a previously announced $1.8 million award from the US Department of Energy and Agriculture’s Biomass R&D Program. The grant supports the ongoing development of a cellulosic biocatalyst that Gevo exclusively licensed from Cargill.
The first vehicle converted to propane Autogas under the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program is on the road, with thirty more program vehicles slated to be running on Autogas by the end of August.