April 29, 2011
CALSTART, the California operating division of WestStart, a North American advanced transportation technologies consortium, is creating an E-Truck Task Force (E-TTF) to accelerate the development of electric and zero-emissions medium-and heavy-duty vehicles.
Opposed-piston engine maker Pinnacle initially targeting developing markets, with vehicles expected in 2013
Startup Pinnacle Engines, the developer of a four-stroke, spark-ignited (SI), opposed-piston, sleeve-valve architecture engine (earlier post), is initially targeting lower power applications (such as tuk tuks) in developing markets in its commercialization strategy. The company has signed a licensing and joint development agreement with a major, as yet unnamed, Asian vehicle OEM, with products expected to be available in the first quarter of 2013.
Pinnacle has logged more than 500 hours of operation on its research engine so far (in multiple builds, but with the same components). Pinnacle says its engine achieves 30-50% better fuel economy in various drive cycle comparisons without the large cost penalty that can be associated with significant fuel economy improvement. The performance of the Pinnacle Engines design has been independently verified by FEV, Inc., a Pinnacle Engines development partner.
|BYD all-electric e6 Taxi in service in Shenzhen. Click to enlarge.|
In conjunction with the one-year anniversary of its all-electric vehicle Taxi fleet test, BYD announced high-level results of several pilots of its plug-in electric vehicles—the F3DM, e6 and eBUS-12—in fleet testing across the world.
In total, BYD plug-ins have accumulated more than 1.769 million all-electric miles (2.847 million km) and have seen no diminished range or capacity due to rapid-charging. BYD vehicles are estimated to have already saved $360,000 in fuel costs and more than 2.776 million lbs (1.26 million kg) of carbon-dioxide.
Annual American Lung Association report shows continued progress in air quality, but more to be done
The American Lung Association released its annual report on air quality, State of the Air 2011, which includes lists of the nation’s most polluted metropolitan areas. This year’s report finds that the majority of American cities most-polluted by ozone (smog) or year-round particle pollution (soot) have improved, showing continued progress in the cleanup of toxics under the requirements of the Clean Air Act.
However, the report also finds that just over half the nation—154.5 million people—live in areas with levels of ozone and/or particle pollution that are often dangerous to breathe.
Petrobras, the Brazilian oil, gas and energy company, has become the world’s eighth-largest publicly traded company, according to a ranking prepared by Forbes magazine. In this edition of the ranking, the Company moved up ten positions compared to 2010, when it held the 18th place.
April 28, 2011
Avjet Biotech negotiating strategic relationship with BioJet international for distributed refineries for drop-in renewable aviation fuel
Avjet Biotech, Inc. (ABI), a developer of small distributive refining systems in the 10 to 15 million gallon per year range and parent company of drop-in biofuel company Red Wolf Refining (RWR), is in negotiation for a strategic relationship with BioJet International Ltd, an international supply chain integrator, for renewable (bio) jet fuel and related co-products.
Under the agreement with ABI, BioJet will use the patented RWR System (earlier post) to build refineries that will produce drop-in renewable aviation biofuels from native feedstocks at locations around the globe.
UC Davis ITS researchers take a detailed look at water consumption and withdrawal requirements for ethanol
|Water consumption intensity of ethanol from corn grain and crop residue and the avoided/displaced water use credits assigned to coproducts: DGS and electricity. Credit ACS, Mishra and Yeh. Click to enlarge.|
While a number of studies have tired to assess the water consumption required for ethanol production, the results differ by orders of magnitude, with estimates ranging from 1.1 to 335 L/vehicle kilometer traveled (VKT) for Iowa and from 59 to 214 L/VKT for Nebraska.
The major difference between these studies stems from the debate existing in the water life cycle analysis (LCA) literature regarding whether, and how, to include consumption of green water (GW), which comes from precipitation before and during the crop season and is stored as soil moisture, note UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) Gouri Shankar Mishra and Sonia Yeh in a new paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Altech-Eco Corporation has obtained a Certificate of Conformity (COC) from the EPA for their dedicated 2011 Ford E-Series 5.4L compressed natural gas (CNG) conversion system. The dedicated system runs entirely on natural gas.
Ceria is an important catalyst, primarily used in oxidation reactions because of its outstanding ability to store oxygen and release it. Now, Christopher B. Murray and a team at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a simple synthetic technique to produce ceria in the form of 2D nanoplates. As the researchers report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, these have proven to be better at storing oxygen than conventional three-dimensional nanoparticles.
Among the UK engineering innovations to be showcased by the LowCVP at the upcoming Challenge Bibendum in Berlin is the electromechanical turbocharging system being developed by Aeristech. (Earlier post.)