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Black carbon emissions and BC emissions intensity per year. Credit: ACS, Wang et al. Click to enlarge. A study led by a team from Peking University has estimated that global black carbon (BC) emissions increased from 5.3 teragrams/year in 1960 to 9.1 teragrams per year in 2007 (+72%). These estimates... Read more →

NTSB issues recommendations on certification of Li-ion batteries and emerging technologies for aircraft

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently issued a series of recommendations related to the evaluation and certification of lithium-ion batteries for use in aircraft systems, as well as the certification of new technology. The five safety recommendations, all addressed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), are derived from the... Read more →

Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced the official arrival of the new 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI in US. The MQB-based seventh-generation of the original “hot hatch” (first introduced in the US in 1983) preserves the performance and handling style of its forebears, while being bigger—but lighter—and more powerful—but more fuel efficient—than... Read more →

TransWiseway and IBM partnering to build largest connected vehicles platform in China; Internet of Vehicles

IBM is collaborating with Beijing TransWiseway Information Technology Co. Ltd. to build the largest connected vehicles platform in China. The cloud-based platform will use advanced analytics for applications that offer real-time, in-vehicle services to mobile devices, such as weather advisories, traffic alerts and alternate route suggestions. TransWiseway teamed with IBM... Read more →

Audi adds fuel-efficient ultra models to A3 lineup; 22 Audi ultra models in all

Audi is extending its range of particularly fuel-efficient, low-emission ultra models in the A3 car line with both gasoline and diesel powertrains. The three-door Audi A3 1.4 TFSI ultra, with a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 seconds,... Read more →

The ReShip project, led by the Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI) with R&D partners Aston University (UK) and NTNU (Norway), is developing technology for producing a cost-competitive pyrolysis-oil-based multi-component fuel which meets the performance requirements of marine diesel engines. The project is partly funded by the Research Council of... Read more →

Pilot plant integrating Carbona gasification with TIGAS syngas-to-gasoline process. Click to enlarge. In a recently completed project, Gas Technology Institute (GTI) worked with Haldor Topsøe, Inc. on an integrated biorefinery to make renewable “drop-in” gasoline. The use of renewable gasoline could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 92% when... Read more →

NHTSA calculates US motor vehicle crashes in 2010 cost $871B in economic loss and societal harm

The US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a new study that finds the price tag for motor vehicle crashes in the US in 2010 carried a cost of $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm. This includes $277 billion in economic costs—nearly $900 for... Read more →

Clariant and Siemens Fuel Gasification Technology will cooperate in the commercialization of a new, jointly developed sour gas shift (SGS) (sulfur removal) technology for coal gasification. The agreement appoints Clariant as the exclusive catalyst supplier for all Siemens gasification integrated SGS projects. While the collaboration covers all global projects, commercialization... Read more →

Main components of the DIET-FI system. Click to enlarge. Global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation has developed a new electronic fuel injection system for small motorcycles called DIET-FI (DENSO Intelligent Economical Technology-Fuel Injection). DIET-FI is the first fuel injection system that doesn’t use a throttle position sensor or engine temperature sensor.... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation have jointly established a new company, Nippon Charge Service, LLC, to promote the installation of chargers for plug-in electric vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, EVs). The goal is to help build a charging network that offers more... Read more →

Beginning next year, Ford Motor Company will begin offering Adaptive Steering—a new generation of steering technology that will help make vehicles easier to maneuver at low speeds and in tight spaces—on select vehicles. At higher speeds, the new technology will help make the vehicle more agile and fun to drive.... Read more →

Projected ZEV compliance scenario for the eight states. Click to enlarge. Eight partnering states released their Multi-State ZEV Action Plan as the first promised milestone for the bi-coastal collaboration to pave the way for increasingly large numbers of zero emission vehicles: plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs),... Read more →

New graphene-reinforced aluminum matrix nanocomposites with tensile and yield strengths 25% and 58% higher than pristine aluminum

Researchers at the Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials have successfully synthesized graphene-reinforced aluminum matrix nanocomposites through ball milling and powder metallurgy. The average tensile strength and yield strength of the nanocomposite are 454 MPa and 322 MPa, respectively—25% and 58% higher than the pristine aluminum alloy at a nanofiller mass... Read more →

Spatial pattern of PN concentration. Inset shows wind direction. Credit: ACS, Hudda et al. Click to enlarge. Results of a new study suggest that emissions particle emissions from airplane traffic at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are a major source of particle number (PN) concentrations in the Los Angeles area... Read more →

Consumer Reports finds Honda Accord hybrid fuel economy “impressive”, but short of EPA 47 mpg rating

Consumer Reports fuel economy tests found the Honda Accord Hybrid delivered impressive overall fuel-economy of 40 mpg (5.88 l/100 km), tying the smaller Honda Civic Hybrid and falling below the top-performing and smaller Toyota Prius hatchback by only 4 mpg. However, Consumer Reports’ engineers cautioned that buyers expecting their car... Read more →

Daimler’s car2go car sharing service withdrawing from UK

Taking the UK’s “strong culture and tradition of private vehicle ownership into account,” Daimler’s car2go “free-floating” car sharing service will cease operations in the UK with effect from 30 May 2014. car2go launched in Birmingham in 2013 and has been operating in three London boroughs since December 2012. In its... Read more →

Reduction in diesel carbonyl emissions using F-T fuel from coal

Researchers from Tianjin University and Xiangfan Da An Automobile Test Center report in a paper in the journal Fuel that while the profiles of total carbonyl compounds (CBCs) emitted by conventional diesel (DF) and Fischer-Tropsch synthetic diesel produced from coal (CFT) show no significant differences, the use of CFT resulted... Read more →

In a companion study to an SAE paper presented in April (earlier post), researchers at MIT have quantified the net economic and CO2 emissions benefit that could be obtained by utilizing 98 RON gasoline in light-duty vehicles, based on reasonable assumptions for possible refinery changes and the evolution of the... Read more →

Study finds V2G-capable electric school buses cost-effective with current technology; financial and environmental benefits

Electric school bus fleets with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities are cost-effective with today’s technology, and could save schools money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public health, according to a new study by a team at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE). Lance Noel and... Read more →

Partners form JV focused on small-scale LNG in Canada

Stolt-Nielsen Gas Ltd. (SNG), SunLNG Holding Ltd. (SunLNG) and LNGaz Ltd. have agreed to form a new start-up focused on the development of small-scale LNG liquefaction and logistics services in Bécancour, Québec, Canada. The new joint venture, to be named Stolt LNGaz Ltd., will have a Canadian operating subsidiary, Stolt... Read more →

Ford to license patented inflatable safety belt technology to encourage expanded adoption

Ford Motor Company is offering its patented inflatable safety belt technology to other companies and industries, including competitive automotive manufacturers. Ford introduced the first production automobile rear inflatable safety belts in 2010, and continues to expand availability on Ford and Lincoln brand vehicles. The availability of licenses may lead to... Read more →

DeltaWing Technologies Inc. released a rendering of an application of its DeltaWing aerodynamic and lightweight design architecture—currently competing in IMSA sports car road races in the form of the DeltaWing race car—as a street-legal, four-passenger car. DeltaWing Technologies is seeking OEM partners, with the ultimate goal of licensing the DeltaWing... Read more →

DELIVER. Click to enlarge. Liberty Electric Cars, the European subsidiary of Green Automotive Company, has completed the build of the first fully functioning example of “DELIVER”—an electric light commercial delivery vehicle funded by the European Commissions’ 7th Framework Programme. DELIVER will have its world premiere at FISITA World Automotive Congress,... Read more →

NuScale and DOE Complete SMR cooperative agreement; initiates up to $217M funding of NuScale SMR development

NuScale Power has finalized the cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) as an awardee under the program for “Cost-Shared Development of Innovative Small Modular Reactor Designs.” The agreement calls for NuScale to receive up to $217M in matching funds over a five year period. NuScale was selected... Read more →

AREVA, Smart Energies and ADEME form French JV for PEM electrolyzers for hydrogen; power-to-gas

AREVA, Smart Energies through its subsidiary CETH2, and the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) have created a joint venture—AREVA H2-Gen—to manufacture Proton Exchange Membranes (PEM) for the production of hydrogen from water and electricity. Initially intended for industrial applications, PEM electrolysis is now targeting the renewable energy storage... Read more →

ClipperCreek launches Itron-enabled smart metering charging station

ClipperCreek, Inc. launched its ETL-listed utility smart grid connected charging station, the CS-40-SG2. The CS-40-SG2 includes an embedded revenue-grade sub-meter and a variety of smart grid communications options. Built on the ClipperCreek CS-Series charging platform and Itron’s proven utility meter and communications technology, this solution will extend a utility’s energy... Read more →

VTG and Chart Ferox collaborating on developing rail tank cars for LNG transport

VTG Aktiengesellschaft, one of the leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies in Europe is collaborating with Chart Ferox, a worldwide leading manufacturer of storage, transport, and distribution systems for liquefied air and natural gases, to build two prototype units for the safe and economical carriage of LNG by rail.... Read more →

Overview of the three vehicle classes identified in the study, and their corresponding battery technologies. Click to enlarge. There would be a significant impact on the overall performance and cost of vehicles, plus an effect on targets for fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, if established battery applications were to... Read more →

Kinetics’ NexDrive EV3-850 + PowerPhase HD electric drive system. Click to enlarge. Kinetics Drive Solutions Inc. and Portugal-based Efacec Electric Mobility, S.A. are collaborating to deliver full-vehicle propulsion systems for electric buses. This solution is engineered to provide bus OEMs a fully integrated and optimized system that can be implemented... Read more →

California Senate passes bill to accelerate adoption of EVs; support for low- and moderate-income motorists

The California Senate today passed SB 1275 (the Charge Ahead California Initiative) by a bipartisan vote of 27-9. The bill advances the goal of putting one million electric cars, trucks, and buses on the road over the next decade by improving consumer incentives and rebates. Specifically, SB 1275 would establish... Read more →

Analysis suggests open rotor engine could reduce aircraft fuel consumption by 15%

Two aircraft engine concepts, geared turbofan (earlier post) and open rotor (earlier post), can enable a significant reduction to aircraft fuel consumption. With open rotor, the potential reduction is up to 15%, while the geared turbofan could provide reductions of up to 4%, according to Linda Larsson at Chalmers University... Read more →

Volvo to deliver plug-in hybrid buses w/ fast overhead recharging to Hamburger Hochbahn as part of development partnership

As part of a new development partnership, Volvo Buses will deliver three Volvo Electric plug-in hybrids to Hamburger Hochbahn AG. The electric hybrids will enter into traffic in Hamburg towards the end of the year. Hamburger Hochbahn AG has been a successful and important partner of science and manufacturers in... Read more →

Click to enlarge. In its sixth sales-weighted analysis of emissions from 8 major automakers’ 2013 model year vehicles, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) latest Automaker Rankings report found that Hyundai-Kia unseated Honda as the “Greenest Automaker.” Honda came in second, with Toyota, Nissan, and Volkswagen in a three-way tie... Read more →

Last year, researchers at George Washington University led by Dr. Stuart Licht introduced the principles of a new class rechargeable molten air batteries that offer amongst the highest intrinsic electric energy storage capabilities. (Earlier post.) The iron, carbon and VB2 molten air batteries they proposed offered intrinsic volumetric energy capacities... Read more →

Nissan adding new 2.0L turbo to Skyline lineup in Japan

In November 2013, Nissan introduced the new Skyline with Nissan’s novel one-motor two-clutch hybrid system in every grade. (Earlier post.) Now, in Japan, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has launched the New Skyline 200GT-t (the next-generation turbo model) featuring a high-power, fuel-efficient lightweight turbocharged gasoline engine with maximum power output of... Read more →

First order for next-generation Mitsubishi Heavy Eco Marine Diesel

The first order for a UEC50LSH-Eco low-speed marine diesel engine being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Engine Co., Ltd. (MHI-MME) was placed with Kobe Diesel Co., Ltd., a licensee of Mitsubishi UE engine technology located in Hyogo, Japan. The advanced low-fuel-consumption engine will deliver high efficiency even... Read more →

Among the features of the coming eighth-generation Passat is a lighter weight design and a new 2.0L bi-turbo diesel. A plug-in hybrid drivetrain will be on offer, also, making Passat Volkswagen’s third model with a PHEV option. Click to enlarge. Volkswagen has revealed the first technical details of the all-new... Read more →

New two-wet monocoat paint process. Click to enlarge. Ford began production of the North American Transit at Kansas City Assembly Plant on 30 April, and vans will be available in US and Canada this summer. Transit vehicles built in Kansas City are the first to use a new two-wet monocoat... Read more →

The German Parliamentary Secretary of State to the Federal Transport Minister, Katherina Reiche, refueled a fuel cell vehicle for the first time at the “Green Hydrogen Hub” (H2BER) of the Total multi-energy fueling station at Berlin-Schönefeld. The demonstration project is designed to produce “green” hydrogen from a surplus of wind... Read more →

Researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich and the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences (Jülich Campus) are building and testing a light transport electric vehicle using a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) as a range extender. The team presented the SILENT-F vehicle for the first time on the Forschungszentrum campus earlier this... Read more →

Air pollution exposure in second trimester may increase asthma risk in children

Children who are exposed in utero to high levels of particulate air pollution during the second trimester of pregnancy may be at greater risk of developing asthma in early childhood, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego. Fetal lung growth... Read more →

ExxonMobil ships first LNG cargo from $19B PNG LNG project ahead of schedule; serving China and Japan

ExxonMobil Corporation has shipped the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the $19-billion PNG LNG project ahead of schedule. PNG LNG, operated by ExxonMobil affiliate ExxonMobil PNG Limited, is expected to produce more than 9 trillion cubic feet of gas over its estimated 30 years of operations. The... Read more →

According to a new forecast by Lux Research, the likely 48 V micro-hybrid market will exceed 7 million vehicles in 2024, with the first adoption year beginning in 2015 and more focused on premium vehicles, in which cost sensitivity in order to reach regulation targets without sacrificing performance is lower.... Read more →

Carbon dioxide recycling in the methanol economy Source: Olah et al. 2009, earlier post. Click to enlarge. A report prepared by ISIS (Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems - Italy) together with Tecnalia (Spain) for the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) discusses the technological, environmental and economic barriers... Read more →

Rosneft and BP Exploration Operating Company Limited signed a Heads of Agreement on Domanik tight oil formations. The Heads of Agreement provides for implementation of a joint pilot project by Rosneft and BP relating to the Domanik formations and, in the event of success, the possible development of unconventional Domanik... Read more →

Mid-term review in the UR:BAN research project. Click to enlarge. Partners in Germany’s UR:BAN research consortium recently gave a mid-term status report on the three major component projects in an event at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in Braunschweig, Germany. UR:BAN—User oriented assistance systems and network management—is developing advanced driver... Read more →

Researchers report in a paper in Nature Chemistry that the metal-organic framework (MOF) Fe-MOF-74 can convert ethane—a component of natural gas—to ethanol and acetaldehyde. An iron-based metal-organic framework (large structure) can catalyze a reaction that transforms ethane (gray and light blue molecules) into pure ethanol (light blue, red and gray).... Read more →

GM, University of Michigan extend collaborative research through 2017

General Motors and the University of Michigan will extend their collaborative automotive research efforts through 2017. Launched in 1998, Collaborative Research Laboratories (CRL) at the University of Michigan have led to significant commercial and academic success for students, the university and the automaker. In 2011, it yielded a unique process... Read more →