July 31, 2011
Korea Herald. A Korean consortium including Korea Resources Corp. (KORES) and steelmaker POSCO has entered an agreement with Bolivia’s state-run miner Comibol (Corporación Minera de Bolivia) to set up a joint venture to produce lithium intended for lithium-ion batteries. KORES said that Korean Li-ion manufacturers SK Innovation and LG Chem are also likely to participate in the project.
AlixPartners study finds post-crisis auto industry facing new set of challenges; sales projected below historical levels for foreseeable future
A recently released annual automotive industry review by AlixPartners, the global business-advisory firm, concludes that the automotive industry—after surviving the crisis of the past few years—now faces a new set of formidable competitive challenges and decisions ranging from keeping costs and capacity under control with the slow, “post-bubble” sales recovery in the US, to placing the right bets on vehicle-propulsion and other technology systems, to focusing on the right emerging markets.
The AlixPartners 2011 Automotive Outlook finds that while automakers and suppliers have seen profits bounce back—North American original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) posted $12.5 billion in 2010 profit on a net margin of 4.6% and North American suppliers pulled in $8.2 billion on a net margin of 4.3%—things are far from back to “normal,” or at least the normal defined by the consumer-incentive-induced sales levels of the past.
The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) of the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) plans to competitively select 10 Tier 1 University Transportation Centers (UTCs); two Tier 1 Transit-Focused UTCs; and 10 Regional UTCs to advance US technology and expertise in the many disciplines comprising transportation through the mechanisms of research, education, and technology transfer; and to provide a critical transportation knowledge base outside the US DOT and address workforce needs for the next generation of transportation leaders.
Siemens water purification unit generates enough methane to power its own operations; Singapore scaling up to larger pilot facility
A new biological water purification facility developed by Siemens generates enough methane gas to power its own operations. It also produces much less sludge than conventional systems.
The Dow Chemical Company plans to invest in a best-in-class manufacturing facility for Dow FILMTEC reverse osmosis (RO) elements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The proposed facility would deliver local supply security of advanced technologies for water desalination and water re-use for potable, non-potable and industrial water serving Saudi Arabia, the surrounding Middle East and North Africa region and emerging markets worldwide.
July 30, 2011
Denbury poised to begin construction on Greencore CO2 pipeline for EOR operations in Wyoming and Montana
Billings Gazette. Denbury Resources, a CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) company, will soon begin construction on the Greencore Pipeline—a 232-mile, 20-inch pipeline through Wyoming to Montana that will move CO2 to mature and depleted oil fields in both states for EOR. Denbury expects work to begin on the line in mid-August, pending a final go-ahead from federal regulators, and complete work in late October or early November.
Montana State University finalized negotiations with the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to begin work on an $85-million, eight-year project that will involve permitting, injecting and monitoring one million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into deep porous rock formations in northern Montana. MSU received the preliminary award in 2009 and has been finalizing details on site selection, logistics, and project partners for the project to proceed.
Australia-based Galaxy Resources Limited has signed a technology license agreement with US-based lithium-ion battery producer K2 Energy Solutions Inc. (Earlier post.) Under the agreement, K2 Energy will provide Galaxy with battery technology expertise, licensing and commercial support for the construction and operation of Galaxy’s proposed Jiangsu plant in China.
Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft Vision Award goes to PC-Aero for electric aircraft system with solar-charging hangar
Erik Lindbergh, founder of the electric-aviation promotion organization LEAP and grandson of pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, announced the award of the LEAP Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft Vision to PC-Aero for its development, along with SolarWorld, of a solar-enabled electric aircraft system complete with solar-charging hangar.
The CAFE Foundation announced that Google will sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge flight competition known as the Green Flight Challenge (GFC). CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) will conduct the event from 25 September through 2 October 2011 at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County (California) Airport. The NASA-funded prize purse of $1.65M makes this the largest ever prize for aviation, according to CAFE. (The $10-million Ansari-X Prize was for suborbital spaceflight.)