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Methane hydrate can form in Arctic and marine environments. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 14 new research projects that will be a part of an expanding portfolio of projects designed to increase the understanding of methane hydrates’ potential as a future energy... Read more →


ALTe Powertrain Technologies to form $200M JV in China; 4 factories plus $70M services contract for range-extended plug-in light commercial powertrain

US-based ALTe Powertrain Technologies, the developer of a range-extended plug-in electric hybrid powertrain for light commercial vehicles (earlier post), has entered into a Joint Venture agreement in China with MESA Century New Energy Technology, Inc. A total of US$200 million has been committed to the JV at this stage. Under... Read more →


AMP heavy-duty electric step van passes initial testing

AMP Electric Vehicles, an electric drive motor vehicle manufacturer, and Navistar International, jointly announced the successful initial testing of an all-electric 1,000 cubic foot step van as the first results of their development agreement. The delivery of the van marks AMP’s first step in its development deal with Navistar for... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to build new transmission plant in China

The Volkswagen Group is expanding its production network in China with a new transmission plant in Tianjin. The plant in Tianjin is designed for an annual production capacity of 450,000 units. Investment in the first stage of the plant totals approx. €230 million. Production is scheduled to begin at the... Read more →


US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James A. Watson announced that Shell will be allowed to move forward with certain limited preparatory activities on the seafloor for drilling in the Chukchi Sea offshore Alaska; these activities are limited to non-oil-bearing zones of the seabed. Shell said that... Read more →


FC Bus Power Supply System and the V2H System. Click to enlarge. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed an external power supply system that uses electricity generated within a fuel cell bus (FC bus) to supply electrical power to devices such as home electrical appliances. An FC bus—based on the... Read more →


eCo-FEV project concept. Click to enlarge. Hitachi Europe Ltd., through its Information and Communication Technologies R&D Laboratory (ICTL), will a project funded by the European Commission aimed at developing an integrated IT electric mobility platform that enables the connection and information exchanges between multiple infrastructure systems—such as road IT infrastructure,... Read more →


Australian shipping emissions identified

Ship engine exhaust emissions make up more than a quarter of nitrogen oxide emissions generated in the Australian region according to a recently-published study by CSIRO and the Australian Maritime College in Launceston. Nitrogen oxide is a non-greenhouse gas, unlike similarly named nitrous oxide. The remainder comes from road and... Read more →


Aisin Seki electric water cooling pump installed in engine (red circle). © Aisin Seiki. Click to enlarge. Aisin Seki Co., Ltd has developed a smaller, cheaper electric cooling pump through some effective efficiency optimisations. Cars traditionally use mechanical water cooling pumps, which have a flow rate dependent on the engine... Read more →


India adopts National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020; 6-7M electrified vehicles by 2020, total investment up to $4.1B

India’s National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) has adopted the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP 2020), which is the mission document for National Mission for Electric Mobility (NMEM). The NEMMP 2020 lays the vision, sets the targets and provides the roadmap for achieving significant penetration of electric vehicles... Read more →


Sciaky, Inc. to showcase additive manufacturing solution at TCT Live 2012; near-net shape parts from high-value metals

Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries (PSI) and a supplier of electron beam, advanced arc and resistance welding solutions, will feature its Additive Manufacturing (AM) process at TCT Live 2012 in Birmingham, UK. Sciaky says that its Direct Manufacturing technology is the only large-scale, fully-programmable means of achieving... Read more →


In September, Statoil will begin transporting by rail Bakken crude from North Dakota to customers in the US East, West and Gulf Coasts, and Canada. Statoil plans to boost its North American production from less than 100,000 barrels oil equivalents per day (boepd) in 2011 to more than 500,000 boepd... Read more →


Tel Aviv bus operator introducing BYD full-size battery-electric buses

BYD will provide its electric buses to Dan Bus—the bus operator in Tel Aviv—via BYD’s local importer and distributor Clal Motors. The aim of this trial is to replace approximately half of Dan Bus’s fleet, which now amounts to 1,300 buses and minibuses. Investment in the importation of electric buses... Read more →


President Obama issues executive order promoting industrial energy efficiency; targeting 40GW of CHP capacity by 2020, up 50% form today

US President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order to facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency, including combined heat and power (CHP) systems. The Order establishes a new national goal of 40 gigawatts of new combined heat and power capacity by 2020, a 50% increase from today. Meeting this CHP goal... Read more →


Japanese group to employ OriginOil’s algae harvesting systems in trials of toxic remediation and biofuels production; potential for use at more than 100 sites

OriginOil, Inc. announced that its research partner in Japan will receive government funding for an ambitious algae biofuels program to provide renewable fuels and help eliminate radioactive materials, for which it intends to use OriginOil algae harvesting technology. Dr. Takaaki Maekawa, President of the Research Institute of Tsukuba Bio-tech (RITB)... Read more →


The new Fiat Panda 4x4—the only A-segment four-wheel drive model—will make its debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. The third-generation four-wheel drive Panda will offer a choice of two engines: 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II. Panda 4x4. Click to enlarge. The TwinAir Turbo... Read more →


Potential large methane reservoirs beneath Antarctic ice sheet

The Antarctic Ice Sheet could be an overlooked but important source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, according to a report in Nature by an international team of scientists. The new study demonstrates that old organic matter in sedimentary basins located beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet may have been converted... Read more →


Clean Air Power to develop Genesis EDGE dual-fuel natural gas-diesel system for US market

Clean Air Power, the developer of Dual-Fuel combustion technology that enables heavy-duty diesel engines to operate on a combination of diesel and natural gas, will develop a Genesis EDGE solution for the US market. (Earlier post.) The company’s Technical Advisory Board, chaired by Prof. Dr Karl Viktor Schaller, successfully completed... Read more →


California Energy Commission to showcase two converted electric heavy-duty trucks for LA ports

The California Energy Commission and industry partners will unveil two heavy-duty electric-powered vehicles at the 3rd Annual PortTechEXPO in San Pedro on 6 September. Designed to provide cleaner transportation at Southern California’s ports, these electric trucks—a Navistar International Pro-Star on-road tractor and a Kalmar Ottawa off-road tractor—have been converted from... Read more →


NOx emissions results of biodiesel, renewable, and GTL diesel fuel blends, and CARB diesel fuel for 2006 Cummins ISM. Credit: ACS, Hajbabaei et al. Click to enlarge. A study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) and colleagues... Read more →


Li-ion maker EnerDel launches services and aftermarket group

Li-ion battery manufacturer EnerDel, Inc. has formed a new services and aftermarket group to provide its customers with an expanded offering of extended warranty and post-warranty services, technical support and maintenance programs. EnerDel’s existing, and future service offerings, will also be available to companies using competitive products. As part of... Read more →


Mexico President Calderón announces first PEMEX deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil discovery; preliminary indication of 350M barrels oil equivalent

Mexico President Felipe Calderon today announced PEMEX’ first oil discovery in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The state-owned company’s Trion 1 well, 177 km off the coast of Tamaulipas, confirmed the presence of light oil reservoirs in the province of the Perdido fold belt. The well, located 39 km. south... Read more →


EPA approves emergency fuel waiver for Louisiana

As Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in the US Gulf Coast, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive certain federal clean gasoline requirements for Louisiana. This waiver will allow greater flexibility for the fuel distribution system to support an adequate... Read more →


GlobalData: Hurricane Isaac to have minimal impact on Gulf refining

Category 1 Hurricane Isaac will have a minimal impact on Gulf manufacturing, according to GlobalData’s managing analyst for the downstream oil & gas sector, Jeffrey C. Kerr. In a precautionary move, US Gulf Coast refiners shut in more than 1.3 million barrels per day (mmbd) of capacity ahead of Hurricane... Read more →


Ford breaks ground on new site for $760M assembly plant in Hangzhou

Ford Motor Company broke ground on its new assembly plant in Hangzhou, China, which will double production capacity in China to 1.2 million passenger cars annually by 2015. (Earlier post.) As part of its largest expansion in 50 years, Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) will... Read more →


Aisin Seki develops eyelid monitor to assess driver drowsiness

Aisin Seki Co., Ltd, has developed an eyelid monitor and identified symptoms in eyelid behavior that indicate drowsiness in motorists. The new automated technology is intended to eliminate the fallibility of human judgement in gauging when drowsiness is becoming a driving hazard. Drowsiness is a serious driving hazard worldwide and... Read more →


This year’s Balex Delta oil spill response exercise, which is held annually under the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, is taking place today in the sea area outside Helsinki, Finland. This year’s exercise is larger than ever before: participants include dozens of... Read more →


E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID awarded Environmental Certificate; 23% less CO2 emissions over its life cycle than diesel version

Along with its market launch, the diesel Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID (earlier post) has obtained its Environmental Certificate in accordance with ISO standard 14062. This award is based on a Life Cycle Assessment, in which the independent inspectors of TÜV Süd subject the vehicle to comprehensive tests covering the... Read more →


Neste Oil plans to use yeast and fungi to convert waste into oil for NExBTL feedstock. Click to enlarge. Neste Oil has completed the first phase of its project to build a pilot plant for producing microbial oil for use as a feedstock for NExBTL renewable diesel. Construction of the... Read more →


Electrification Coalition and FleetAnswers launch partnership to provide electrification resources for commercial fleets

The Electrification Coalition (earlier post) and FleetAnswers have formed a partnership to provide online resources on plug-in electric vehicle deployment to US commercial fleet operators. Resources will include information on best practices in vehicle deployment and case studies from early-adopter companies. The content will be available in the Alternative Fuel... Read more →


Foss Maritime to build first three of new Arctic Class of deep-sea tugs for oil and gas industry

Responding to new oil and gas industry opportunities, Foss Maritime Company will build the first three tugs in an innovative Arctic Class of tugs, a fleet expansion that broadens its capacity to take on large projects in extreme environments. Construction on the first tug starts in early 2013 at Foss’... Read more →


Höganäs selects AllCell as battery partner for new e-bike drive system

Swedish metal powder giant Höganäs AB introduced the company’s new electric bike drive system at the Eurobike 2012 show and announced the selection of AllCell Technologies as battery partner for the system. A new entrant into the e-bike drive system market, Höganäs has been developing soft magnetic composites (SMC) for... Read more →


STMicroelectronics and FAW Group establish joint laboratory to drive innovation in automotive electronics

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a leading supplier of automotive electronics, and China FAW Group Corporation (FAW) have established a joint laboratory in the FAW Group Research and Development Center emphasizing advanced research covering comprehensive cutting-edge solutions in power train, chassis,... Read more →


An example of the evaluation “diamonds” for one technology in each of the research, development and commercial stages. These diamonds report a weighted average score for technical, environmental, social and economic criteria, and in addition indicate the quality of the data that was available. Click to enlarge. A collaboration of... Read more →


Statoil stepping up activities in the Arctic; to drill 9 wells in 2013 campaign, triple Arctic technology budget

Statoil is stepping up its Arctic activities and will drill nine wells during a non-stop 2013 Norwegian Barents exploration campaign. The company plans to meet development challenges here by tripling its Arctic technology research budget. Statoil already has extensive exploration experience in the Barents; of the 94 exploration wells drilled... Read more →


NHTSA and EPA issue final CAFE/GHG rule for MYs 2017-2025; 40.3–41.0 mpg for MY 2021, estimated 48.7–49.7 mpg for MY 2025, 163 gCO2/mile for MY2025

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the final rule for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for MYs 2017-2025 for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles. (Earlier post.) These rules represent the continuation of a harmonized and consistent... Read more →


Different cages within NU-109 (d-g) and NU-110 (k-n). Hydrogens and disordered solvent molecules are omitted for clarity. Carbon = gray; oxygen = red; copper = teal. Purple spheres are included to guide the eye in distinguishing between th cages. Credit: ACS, Farha et al. Click to enlarge. A team at... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to build own engine plant in Russia; production to begin in 2015

The Volkswagen Group is expanding its capacities in Russia with the construction of a new engine plant in Kaluga, Russia. The Volkswagen Group will invest approximately €250 million (US$314 million) at the new location, where a a 1.6-liter gasoline engine from the EA 211 series will be produced locally as... Read more →


Rockwood Holdings to acquire Talison Lithium for C$724M

Specialty chemicals and advanced materials company Rockwood Holdings Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement with Talison Lithium Limited to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Talison in an all-cash transaction for C$6.50 per share for an equity purchase price of approximately C$724 million, on a fully diluted basis... Read more →


Terranol strain V1 is capable of completely fermenting glucose and xylose in different pretreated lignocellulosic materials within a short period of time. Shown here is NREL corn stover hydrolysate obtained after pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis using Novozymes Cellic Ctec2. Source: Terranol. Click to enlarge. Enzyme leader Novozymes and Terranol, a... Read more →


Better Place secures €40M European Investment Bank loan

Better Place has secured a €40-million (US$50-million) loan from the European Investment Bank. The loan marks the first-ever credit facility from a financial institution for Better Place. The majority of the proceeds from the loan (approximately €30 million, US$37 million) will be used to finalize network deployments and fund operations... Read more →


California state fleet reduces petroleum consumption 13% compared to 2003

The California state fleet has reduced its petroleum consumption by 13% compared to a 2003 baseline, according to a state progress report. Key to this reduction has been the development and implementation of a plan that has improved the State fleet’s overall use of alternative fuels, the reduction of unneeded... Read more →


Remy Motor powering concept heavy-duty hybrid truck for MAN

Remy International, Inc. has completed a project with Benteler Engineering to develop a progressive concept heavy-duty hybrid truck for MAN. The vehicle, called the Metropolis, will use Remy’s HVH410 electric traction motor and generator, a customizable assembly that has been shown to have the highest efficiency and most power density... Read more →


The BioRID ATD. Click to enlarge. General Motors, which has a long history of crash test dummy design, is leading current research on the potential for global auto industry use of a test dummy that would help automakers and safety experts better understand how crash victims are hurt in rear... Read more →


The extent of the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean is now the smallest observed in the three decades since consistent satellite observations of the polar cap began, according to scientists from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. The extent of Arctic... Read more →


Gulf Oil adds LNG-powered trucks to its transportation fleet

Gulf Oil LP, a national branded supplier of motor fuels throughout the United States and its territories, has deployed 34 transport trucks that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). In addition, Gulf will soon be supplying and distributing LNG to customers in the transportation sector and other interested bulk users.... Read more →


MIT study suggests carbon tax could help reduce US deficit, lower other taxes, reduce emissions

A new report from MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change suggests that a tax on carbon emissions could help raise the money needed to reduce the US deficit, while improving the economy, lowering other taxes and reducing emissions. In the report—Carbon Tax Revenue and the... Read more →


EnerDel secures second order to supply Li-ion battery pack for Volvo C30 Electric Car

EnerDel, Inc. has received a second supply order from Volvo Car Corporation to manufacture its 24 kWh, lithium-ion battery pack to power Volvo’s C30 Electric car. EnerDel was initially selected by Volvo as its battery supplier for the Volvo C30 Electric back in September 2009 when the car was announced... Read more →


Last August, Engineers at the University of Southampton (UK) flew the first “3D printed” aircraft. The SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft) plane is an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) the entire structure of which—including wings, integral control surfaces and access hatches—were fabricated on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering... Read more →