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December 2011

December 31, 2011

Boston College team demonstrates nanonet-based heterostructure strategy for high-performance Li-ion cathode materials; high-power and high-capacity vanadium oxide electrode

Schematic illustrations of the TiSi2/V2O5 heteronanostructure design. The TiSi2 nanonet is directly grown on a current collector; V2O5 is deposited onto TiSi2 by a hydrolysis process. Upon annealing at 500 °C in O2, V2O5 nanoparticles form. Credit: ACS, Zhou et al. Click to enlarge.

Using a highly conductive two-dimensional TiSi2 nanonet technology they had earlier developed, a team from Boston College has synthesized a vanadium oxide (V2O5)-based cathode material that demonstrates a specific capacity of 350 mAh/g, a power rate of 14.5 kW/kg, and capacity retention of 78% after 9,800 cycles of repeated charge/discharge. In a paper published in the journal ACS Nano, they note that these results demonstrate “a cathode material significantly better than V2O5 of other morphologies.”

The strategy of having multiple components at the nanoscale—heteronanostructures—offers a critical advantage of achieving desired electronic and ionic properties on the same material by tailoring the constituent components, the team suggests in its paper.


December 31, 2011 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (30) | TrackBack

US EIA reminder: Strait of Hormuz world’s most important oil chokepoint; almost 20% of oil traded worldwide

With Iran’s current threat to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to sanctions as a backdrop, the US Energy Information Agency issued an update to its “World Oil Transit Chokepoint” brief (earlier post), noting that “Hormuz is the world’s most important oil chokepoint due to its daily oil flow of almost 17 million barrels in 2011, up from between 15.5-16.0 million bbl/d in 2009-2010. Flows through the Strait in 2011 were roughly 35 percent of all seaborne traded oil, or almost 20 percent of oil traded worldwide.


December 31, 2011 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

China’s State Grid and BYD launch 36 MWh battery system for grid energy storage

BYD and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) have finished construction on what may be the world’s largest battery energy storage station. This large utility-scale project, located in Zhangbei, Hebei Province, combines 140 MW of renewable energy generation (both wind and solar), 36 MWh of energy storage and a smart power transmission system.


December 31, 2011 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

California gasoline consumption declined 2.1% in September, 2.0% in Q3; diesel consumption Up 7.0% in September and 6.6% in Q3

In California, gasoline consumption decreased 2.0% in the third quarter 2011 and declined 2.1% in September, according to figures from the state Board of Equalization. Diesel fuel consumption increased 6.6% in the third quarter and rose 7.0% in September compared to last year.


December 31, 2011 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

California ARB witholding enforcement of LCFS post Federal Court injunction; appealing and seeking stay of injunction; Judge O’Neill’s 3 rulings

On Thursday (29 December 2011), Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the US District Court for the Eastern District of California issued three separate rulings in a set of federal lawsuits challenging the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) (Rocky Mountain Farmers Union et al v. Goldstene). (Earlier post.) One of the court’s rulings preliminarily enjoins the California Air Resources Board (ARB) from enforcing the LCFS regulation during the pendency of the litigation.

On Friday (30 December), ARB issued a short statement that it intends to appeal these rulings and will seek an order staying the preliminary injunction. However, as long as the injunction remains in effect, ARB will withhold enforcement of the LCFS requirements, including enforcement of requirements described in a newly issued supplemental regulatory advisory.


December 31, 2011 in Climate Change, Emissions, Fuels, LCFS, Lifecycle analysis, Policy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 30, 2011

UK awards 46 new licenses to explore for oil and gas in North Sea

UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry set out his hopes for a “prosperous 2012” in the oil and gas sector, as he awarded 46 new licences to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea.


December 30, 2011 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Shanghai OnStar launches Mobile Application II for smartphone-based turn-by-turn navigation

Shanghai OnStar unveiled Mobile Application II – Turn-by-Turn Navigation. The cloud-based mobile application enables OnStar subscribers across China to access the instant remote vehicle navigation service via their smart phones.The new application allows users to locate a point of interest on their mobile phones and then send it directly to their vehicles, where OnStar’s voice-operated navigation will be automatically activated.


December 30, 2011 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BOEM completes draft environmental review for Central and Western Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sales

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed a draft environmental impact statement regarding multiple oil and gas lease sales tentatively scheduled between 2012 and 2017 in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico planning areas, offshore the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017 schedules five annual area-wide lease sales in the Western Gulf and five in the Central Gulf.


December 30, 2011 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ford targeting 30% reduction in water used per vehicle by 2015

Ford plans to cut the amount of water used to make each vehicle 30% globally by 2015, compared with the amount of water used per vehicle in 2009. If Ford meets the 30% goal, the amount of water used to make a vehicle will have dropped from 9.5 m3 (2,510 gallons US) in 2000 to approximately 3.5 m3 (925 gallons US) in 2015.

Ford is also developing year-over-year efficiency targets as part of its annual environmental business planning process and has established a cross-functional team spanning several divisions to review water usage more holistically.


December 30, 2011 in Manufacturing, Sustainability, Water | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ford brand US sales top 2 million for first time since 2007

US sales of the Ford brand this week topped 2 million vehicles for the first time since 2007. The milestone makes Ford the best-selling brand in America and the first automotive brand to hit the 2 million mark in the US since 2007. In 2010, Ford brand sales reached 1,756,439 units, up 21.5% from 2009. Total Ford Motor Company sales (Ford, Lincoln and Mercury) in 2010 totalled 1.935 million, up 19.4% versus 2009.

At the end of November 2011, Ford reported 1,861,178 Ford brand units sold. Of those, 33.4% (621,971) were cars; 28% (521,638) were utilities; and 38.6% (717,569) were trucks. Year-to-date Ford brand car sales have grown 16% compared to the same period in 2010.


December 30, 2011 in Sales | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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