July 31, 2012
BMW partners with Green Mountain Energy Company to offer renewable energy certificates to BMW ActiveE Drivers
BMW of North America will partner with Green Mountain Energy Company to offer drivers of the BMW ActiveE the choice to support renewable energy for their cars. The ActiveE drivers can purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Green Mountain to cover the estimated electricity that will be used to charge their electric vehicles.
Pioneer Natural Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company, is adding 225 bi-fuel, Westport WiNG natural gas powered Ford F250 Super Duty trucks to its fleet. (Earlier post.) Pioneer has begun transitioning a number of its fleet vehicles from gasoline- and diesel-powered to those able to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) for light duty, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for heavy-duty applications.
Amyris, Inc. signed an amendment to its existing technology collaboration agreement with Total. (Earlier post.) Under the enhanced collaboration, Total reaffirms its commitment to Amyris’ technology and dedicates its $82-million funding budget over the next three years exclusively for the deployment of Biofene, Amyris’ renewable farnesene, for production of renewable diesel and jet fuel.
Farnesene is a 15-carbon isoprenoid hydrocarbon molecule that forms the basis for a wide range of products varying from specialty chemical applications to transportation fuels. Upon completion of the research and development program, Total and Amyris intend to form a joint venture company that would have exclusive rights to produce and market renewable diesel and/or jet fuel, as well as non-exclusive rights to other specialty products.
Kureha Battery Materials Japan (KBMJ) partners with Kuraray and the INCJ to support global growth of Li-ion battery hard carbon anode technology
|Pattern diagram of Li-ion containment in CARBOTRON P. Click to enlarge.|
Kureha Corporation, Itochu Corporation, Kuraray Co., Ltd. and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) have concluded an agreement intended to further accelerate the growth of Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd. (KBMJ). Under the agreement, Kuraray and the INCJ will acquire new equity stakes in KBMJ through participation in a third-party allocation, with the four companies together investing up to ¥20.0 billion (US$256 million) in KBMJ.
The partnership aims to support KBMJ’s global expansion, with a focus on its CARBOTRON P LIB anode material. CARBOTRON P is an activated anode material which makes use of Kureha’s structure control technology. Although CARBOTRON P is classified as non-graphitizable carbon (called “hard carbon” due to its structure), it differs from other hard carbons because of its specially designed structure which can diffuse Li ions inside of particles.
ORNL team demonstrates high-performance lithium-sulfur battery with nitrogen-doped carbon/sulfur cathode and ionic liquid electrolyte
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a high-performance lithium-sulfur battery using nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon (NC) and sulfur to prepare a composite cathode and an ionic-liquid electrolyte of 0.5 m lithium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) in methylpropylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl)imide ([MPPY][TFSI]). Their study is published in the journal ChemSusChem.
Take up of grants for the purchase of electric and hybrid cars rose by nearly 20% in the UK in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. Overall, 134 more claims were registered according to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) the cross-departmental body which oversees the plug-in grant program.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography and SoCalGas to explore system using algae to capture CO2 from natural gas equipment and power plants
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego (Scripps) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) have entered into an agreement focusing on the design of a novel system in which algae consume carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas combustion and cost-effectively convert it into valuable byproducts such as biomethane, biodiesel and animal feed.
Dual-powered locomotives—the first in the US to be powered by the overhead catenary or by twin diesel engines—recently made their debut in New Jersey. The first Bombardier ALP-45DP locomotive to run on NJ TRANSIT arrived at Montclair State University Station in Montclair, NJ, under diesel power, raised its pantograph arm to make contact with the overhead catenary wire, and left the station for Hoboken Terminal under electric power.
A day-long workshop organized by the China Association for Standardization (CAS) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) focusing on new energy standardization—specifically electric vehicles—was held 23 July in Beijing. The bilateral workshop provided a unique opportunity for experts from both sides to learn about EV standardization efforts taking place in the other country.
The UK’s TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) reports that new regulations soon to be brought in by the European Commission will mean that all new cars will be fitted with autonomous emergency braking technology (AEB). TRL has carried out several analyses of AEBS (Advanced Emergency Braking Systems) and LDWS (Lane Departure Warning Systems) for the European Commission.
AEB systems work using radar, lidar (laser) or video technology, which sends a signal to warn the driver of a collision about to occur and primes the brakes. Some versions of the technology are also able to deal with collisions likely to occur when vehicles are travelling at a higher speed. These systems will also be able to see if a pedestrian has ventured onto the road and apply the brakes before impact.