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Sn@C/graphene nanocomposite as Li-ion anode offers superior cycle performance and high rate capability

Researchers from South China University of Technology and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics have fabricated a novel anode material for lithium-ion batteries consisting of tin nanoparticles coated with carbon embedded in graphene (Sn@C/graphene). The reversible specific capacity of the nanocomposite is 662 mAh g-1 at a specific current of... Read more →


Report: scale of planned Russia-Japan LNG project doubles

The Nikkei reports that a Russian-Japanese liquefied natural gas project in Vladivostok will kick off with an eye toward producing 10 million tons of LNG a year, twice as much as initially planned. Japan is the world’s No. 1 LNG importer, taking in roughly 70 million tons in 2010. Following... Read more →


Report finds that 26% of global CO2 emissions come from traded goods and services

Global CO2 emissions from the production of traded goods and services have increased from 4.3 Gt CO2 in 1990 (20% of global anthropogenic emissions) to 7.8 Gt CO2 in 2008 (26%), according to a new open access study by researchers from Germany and the US, published in the Proceedings of... Read more →


A scheme of an M13 virus and its cloning vector for genetic engineering. Click to enlarge. Researchers at MIT led by Drs. Angela Belcher and Paula Hammond have synthesized single-walled carbon nanotube–TiO2 nanocrystal core–shell nanocomposites using a genetically engineered M13 virus as a template. Using the nanocomposites as photoanodes in... Read more →


Dresser-Rand supplying equipment for Diamond Green renewable diesel project

Houston Business Journal. Dresser-Rand Group Inc. will supply rotating equipment for the first full-scale production of renewable diesel fuel in the US. The Houston-based oil and gas equipment maker received the order from Diamond Green Diesel LLC. (Earlier post.) In January, the US Department of Energy offered Diamond Green Diesel,... Read more →


Report: Increasing fuel prices drive hybrid, diesel and small car sales in US to outpace market in 1Q 2011

US Sales of hybrid, diesel, and very small cars outpaced overall growth in the market, according to a new report by auto analyst firm Baum and Associates. Sales of hybrids grew 33.9% in 1Q 2011 compared to 1Q 2010; diesel grew 42.9%; and small cars such as the Ford Fiesta... Read more →


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 Red Wolf Refining, has licensed exclusive rights to a technology portfolio developed at North Carolina State University (NCSU) for producing drop-in diesel, jet and gasoline... Read more →


UAE opens Gulf region’s largest industrial battery plant; focus on motive power

The UAE inaugurated Eternity Technologies’ industrial battery manufacturing plant at the Industrial Park in Al Jazeera Al Hamra. Owned by the UAE-based Al Dobowi Group, the plant was established with an investment of Dh200 million (US$54.6 million). It is the Gulf region’s largest industrial battery plant, which will design and... Read more →


Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes show high activity as cathode for lithium-air batteries

Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes (N-CNTs) uses as cathode materials for lithium-air batteries show a specific discharge capacity of 66 mAh g-1, which is about 1.5 times as that of CNTs, according to a new study by a team from the University of Western Ontario (Canada). Their paper appears in the journal... Read more →


Wormald’s roadmap to an 80% reduction in automotive GHG by 2050. Source: Wormald 2011. Click to enlarge. Addressing automotive environmental and energy supply problems would be better done by working from the market end first, rather than through technology push, according to a recent report by Dr John Wormald, Managing... Read more →


Comparison of optimized start of injection of advanced diesel combustion for brake thermal efficiency, NOx, PM, THC, and CO of diesel (open bar); HTFT (gray bar); and LTFT (black bar) fuels. Credit: ACS, Lilik and Boehman. Click to enlarge. A high ignition quality (high cetane number) fuel is well suited... Read more →


Sinopec signs binding agreement with Origin Energy, ConocoPhillips JV for 20-year LNG supply, 15% equity interest

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) has signed binding agreements for LNG supply from and a 15% equity interest in Australia Pacific LNG, a joint venture between Origin Energy and ConocoPhillips, on completion for a net consideration of US$1.5 billion. The Sale and Purchase Agreement, worth an estimated A$90 billion (US$96.6 billion),... Read more →


LC-GHG emissions for the alternative diesel fuel pathways in the study. Uncertainty bars represent the variability captured by the low emissions, baseline, and high emissions scenarios. Note the different scales for the top and bottom portions of the figure. Credit: ACS, Stratton et al. Click to enlarge. In a paper... Read more →


GM to participate in Shanghai EV International Pilot City Partnership

General Motors signed a letter of intent to participate in the Shanghai EV International Pilot City Partnership during the 2011 International Forum on Electric Vehicle Pilot City and Industrial Development. The Shanghai EV International Pilot City Partnership was organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers of China, the Jiading District... Read more →


USDA changes corn for ethanol reporting category to reflect fuel vs. animal feed usage

Delta Farm Press. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has changed a reporting category in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report to reflect that for a given bushel of corn used for ethanol, some of it returns as byproducts including animal feed. When USDA first started reporting... Read more →


Wheego Electric Cars delivered the first Wheego LiFe, a two-seat subcompact highway-speed 100% electric compact car. The Wheego LiFe travels approximately 100 miles on a single charge and retails for $32,995. Wheego LiFe. Click to enlarge. It qualifies for a $7,500 Federal tax credit, as well as many state incentives... Read more →


Effect of cloud-scattered sunlight on earth’s energy balance depends on wavelength of light

Atmospheric scientists trying to pin down how clouds curb the amount of sunlight available to warm the earth have found that it depends on the wavelength of sunlight being measured. This finding will help researchers improve how they portray clouds in climate models. Additionally, the researchers found that sunlight scattered... Read more →


Groundbreaking set for TransGas Coal-to-Liquids project

The Mingo County Redevelopment Authority (MCRA) and its partner TransGas Development Systems, LLC will conduct a groundbreaking ceremony on 9 May 2011, to launch the construction phase of the Mingo County coal-to-liquids project, to be called Adams Fork Energy. (Earlier post.) The Adams Fork Energy plant will convert regional coal... Read more →


Panasonic to boost Li-ion battery output in China; looking for reductions in manufacturing expenses

The Nikkei reports that Panasonic Corp. will ramping up lithium-ion battery output in lower-cost China to reduce manufacturing expenses as much as 30%. Panasonic hopes to retain the top position in the global market through cost cuts. Japanese companies once enjoyed an edge in development and mass production of these... Read more →


Ford rolls out electrified vehicle plan at Shanghai show; new energy vehicle demonstration fleet

At Auto Shanghai 2011, Ford outlined its electrified vehicle plan in China with the Asian debut of the company’s latest electrified vehicles and a plan to have a demonstration fleet of new energy vehicles in the country early next year. The debut of the Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid... Read more →


Texas study finds PHEV use could increase ozone at night, decrease ozone during the day

A study by researchers at the University of Texas found that in general, use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) can lead to an increase in ozone during nighttime hours (due to decreased scavenging from both vehicles and EGU stacks) and a decrease in ozone during daytime hours. In addition,... Read more →


API: US petroleum demand rose in March, first quarter

Steadily rising fuel costs during the first quarter of 2011 appear to have had little impact on total US petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand), according to figures from the American Petroleum Institute (API). First quarter deliveries rose by 5.5% compared with the first quarter in 2010, led by a... Read more →


Demonstration plant for small-scale offshore GTL on site at Petrobras refinery; production targeted for September

A recently-arrived integrated 6 barrel per day (bbl/day) microchannel GTL (gas-to-liquids) demonstration plant, designed to test the feasibility of small-scale offshore GTL, will produce a raw FT (Fischer-Tropsch) liquid and wax which can be further processed to provide a range of products or integrated into a crude oil stream for... Read more →


New nickel-based catalyst could lead to more efficient production of biomass-derived fuels and chemicals

Chemists at the University of Illinois report the development of a nickel-based homogeneous catalyst that could more effectively support the production of fuels and chemical feedstocks from biomass as well as improved liquefaction of coal. A paper on their work is published in the current issue of Science. The catalyst... Read more →


BP to provide $1B toward early restoration projects in GOM

BP will provide $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico to address injuries to natural resources under an agreement with the Natural Resource Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Trustees involved are: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, the Department of the Interior (DOI), and... Read more →


ALTe Powertrain and Inmatech form JV for hybrid electric storage devices; Li-ion cells, supercaps, and control electronics

ALTe Powertrain Technologies, the developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertrain used to repower light commercial vehicles up to 26,000 GVW (earlier post), has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to form a joint venture with Inmatech, Inc., a spin-off from the University of Michigan and developer of advanced asymmetric... Read more →


New 2012 Kia Rio and Soul feature 1.6L GDI engines; stop-start on the Rio

Kia Motors America (KMA) staged the premieres of the all-new 2012 Rio sub-compact sedan and the upgraded 2012 Kia Soul at the New York International Auto Show. The 2012 Rio features all-new ISG (stop-start) technology and fuel economy of up to 40 mpg US highway. Available in the USA with... Read more →


Schematic diagram of the synthesis of PANI-M-C catalysts. (A) Mixing of high–surface area carbon with aniline oligomers and transition-metal precursor (M: Fe and/or Co). (B) Oxidative polymerization of aniline by addition of APS. (C) First heat treatment in N2 atmosphere. (D) Acid leaching. The second heat treatment after acid leach... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG now features 5.5L V8 biturbo; 22% lower fuel consumption than predecessor

The Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG now features the new M 157 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine (earlier post). This unit, also applied in the CLS 63 AMG, delivers an output of 386 kW (525 hp) to 410 kW (557 hp), along with a 22% reduction in fuel consumption to 9.8 L/100... Read more →


Mn/DOT assessing potential for mileage-based user fee to replace fuel tax; Battelle conducting technology assessment

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) will recruit 500 people from Wright and Hennepin counties to take part in research to test technology that could someday be used to collect a mileage-based user fee (MBUF) in lieu of a gasoline tax. Mn/DOT will start recruiting volunteers for the Minnesota Road... Read more →


Researchers form UC Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI); Agilent first industry partner

An alliance of top researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has formed the UC Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI) to advance efforts to engineer cells and biological systems in ways that promise to transform technology in health and medicine, energy, the environment, new materials, and other critical arenas. The... Read more →


Komatsu America Corp. recently introduced its second-generation hydraulic excavator, the HB215LC-1, into the North American market. The HB215LC-1 is the result of research and development building on the successful first generation Komatsu hybrid excavator (earlier post). The HB215LC-1. Click to enlarge. The HB215LC-1 is powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System,... Read more →


Mavizen to supply Advanced Nanophosphate Lithium Ion Battery Technology from A123 Systems

Mavizen, the technology, advisory and consulting arm of The eGrandPrix, announced a supply and distribution agreement with A123 Systems by which Mavizen will offer A123’s Nanophosphate lithium ion battery technology for two-wheeled high-performance motorsports applications. Initially, Mavizen will offer A123’s AMP20 prismatic cells and over the course of the relationship,... Read more →


Viability of Mitsubishi Heavy cellulosic ethanol technology verified; MHI looking to commercialize it with partners

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has successfully developed technology to produce cellulosic ethanol for automobile fuel satisfying the standards of the Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) from feedstocks such as rice straw and barley straw. Verification of the technology was conducted as a joint project involving the government, academia, and... Read more →


Flow diagram of the battery system, defined by the functional unit of 50 MJ stored and delivered to the powertrain. Credit: ACS, Majeau-Bettez et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have performed life cycle assessments (LCA) of three batteries for plug-in hybrid... Read more →


International study of role of soot’s impact on Arctic climate

Scientists from the US, Norway, Russia, Germany, Italy and China are participating in a study examining the potential role of black carbon, or soot, on the rapidly changing Arctic climate. The Arctic climate is changing faster than some scientists expected. A continuing decline in summer sea ice, warmer temperatures, changes... Read more →


Contribution of biofuels to GHG emissions reduction in the transport sector. Modal shifts (not included) could contribute an additional 1.8 Gt CO2-eq. of emission reductions. Source: IEA. Click to enlarge. By 2050, biofuels could provide 27% of total transport fuel and contribute in particular to the replacement of diesel, kerosene... Read more →


Scion FR-S Sports Coupe Concept features boxer engine with Toyota’s D4-S direct and port injection system

Scion unveiled the rear-wheel drive FR-S Concept sports coupe at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. The FR-S Concept, which stands for Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive, features a flat 2.0-liter boxer engine in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. The engine’s compact size and shape allows the FR-S’ powertrain to be... Read more →


Zhongding and EcoMotors activate their partnership to commercialize OPOC engine

Zhongding Holding (Group) Company, Ltd. and EcoMotors International have activated their partnership (established in 2010, earlier post) to develop and commercialize the opposed-piston, opposed cylinder (opoc) engine for both power-generation and vehicle applications. This important contract with EcoMotors is an expression of our commitment to bringing advanced products to our... Read more →


Top: Schematics of ignition by (a) a spark plug and (b), (c) a laser. (c) shows multipoint ignition. Bottom: Schlieren photographs for early stage of ignition in a constant-volume chamber ignited by (a) spark plug and (b) micro-laser in a stoichiometric mixture. Click to enlarge. Lasers have been discussed as... Read more →


Accent five-door. Click to enlarge. Hyundai Motor America introduced the all-new 2012 Accent at the New York International Auto Show; this marks the US debut of the latest version of the popular subcompact sedan and the new Accent five-door. The 2012 Accent is slated to hit dealerships this summer. The... Read more →


AE Biofuels subsidiary receives $1.88M grant to accelerate cellulosic ethanol plant

AE Biofuels, Inc. announced that its wholly-owned advanced ethanol subsidiary AE Advanced Fuels Keyes, Inc. (AE Keyes), has been awarded a $1.88 million matching grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to accelerate the commercial implementation of its patent-pending, enzyme based, cellulosic ethanol production technology. The integrated cellulose/starch pre-development facility... Read more →


SABIC Innovative Plastics teaming with IAV GmbH to develop EV & hybrid powertrain solutions with advanced lightweight thermoplastics

SABIC Innovative Plastics is collaborating with IAV GmbH to develop advanced thermoplastic solutions that can replace metal in electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid powertrain components. Specifically, the two companies are targeting new ways to optimize vehicle performance and efficiency, including lightweighting to offset heavy battery packs and shielding in areas... Read more →


Primus Green Energy to produce biojet fuel

Globes. Primus Green Energy Ltd., a US subsidiary of Israel Corporation’s renewable energy unit IC Green Energy Ltd., has developed a gasification-based process to convert agricultural biomass into standard automotive fuels at a competitive production cost compared with the price of oil. The final product is 93 octane gasoline, with... Read more →


ARPA-E to award up to $130M in fourth round of funding; focus on biofuels, thermal storage, rare earth alternatives, grid controls, and solar power electronics

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will make up to $130 million available to develop five new program areas including biofuels, thermal storage, rare earth alternatives, grid controls, and solar power electronics. (Related Funding Opportunity Announcements here.) In its first year, ARPA-E awarded $363 million... Read more →


Chevrolet Malibu ECO PowerFlow screen. Click to enlarge. Chevrolet has introduced the 2013 Malibu ECO, its most fuel-efficient midsize sedan yet. The Malibu ECO features GM’s eAssist light electrification technology (earlier post), which is engineered to deliver an estimated 26 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.... Read more →


2012 Mazda3 with SKYACTIV technologies makes US debut in New York; 40 mpg US highway

The 2012 Mazda3 made its US debut at the New York International Auto Show; the face-lifted 2012 Mazda3 is also the first application in North America of Mazda’s SKYACTIV fuel-saving and performance-oriented technologies, achieving 40 mpg US on the highway. The Mazda3 model is Mazda’s best-selling vehicle worldwide and accounts... Read more →


System diagram of EPICC process. Electricity generation in subsurface provides the heat requirement for retorting. Separation of gaseous from liquid HCs can occur in the subsurface at a condensation front or in above ground separation with reinjection. Credit: ACS, Mulchandani and Brandt. Click to enlarge. A team at Stanford University... Read more →


Honda to build solar hydrogen station at Saitama Prefectural Office; FCX Clarity to serve as mobile electric generator

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will build a Solar Hydrogen Station on the grounds of the Saitama Prefectural Office and introduce an electric-power-outlet-equipped FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle within the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. The initiative is part of the Electric Vehicle Testing Program for Honda’s next-generation personal mobility... Read more →