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September 2014

September 30, 2014

DOE will award up to $25M to reduce costs of algal biofuels to less than $5/gge by 2019

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $25 million in funding to reduce the cost of algal biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. (Earlier post.)

The release of the new funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0001162) occurred on the first full program day for the Algae Biomass Summit in San Diego, at which algae entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, producers and end-users are gathering to share developments, as well as to explore the ongoing challenges of technology, financing and commercialization. DOE Assistant Secretary EERE David Danielson, the opening keynote speaker for the summit, said that the agency is “all in” on algae fuels.

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September 30, 2014 in Algae, Algal Fuels | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DOE issues draft loan guarantee solicitation for up to $12.6B for advanced nuclear energy projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a draft solicitation that would provide up to $12.6 billion in loan guarantees for Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects. Once finalized, these loan guarantees will provide critical financing to help commercialize advanced nuclear energy technologies, supporting projects that are often unable to secure full commercial financing due to their scale and use of innovative technology.

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September 30, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Chrysler’s Ram Truck increases EcoDiesel mix to 20% of Ram 1500 production; double expectations

Chrysler’s Ram has decided to increase the 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel powertrain mix to 20% of the total Ram 1500 production volume—double the initial expectation. The EcoDiesel delivers 240 hp (179 kW), 420 lb-ft (569 N·m) of torque with up to 9,200 pounds (4,173 lbs) of towing capability and 28 mpg highway (8.4 l/100 km) in the full-size half-ton pickup. (Earlier post.)

When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel opened for orders earlier this year, Ram Truck received more than 8,000 requests within three days, which quickly filled the initial allocation for the powertrain.

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September 30, 2014 in Diesel, Engines, Sales | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Fraunhofer holding 3rd annual workshop on Li-sulfur batteries in November

Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden, Germany will hold its 3rd annual workshop on Lithium-sulfur batteries from 12-13 November 2014. Fraunhofer says that Lithium-sulfur batteries are the most promising choice for future energy storage systems, with novel materials such as nanostructured carbon/sulfur composite cathodes, solid electrolytes and alloy-based anodes expected to enhance significantly the cell’s performance.

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September 30, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chinese scientists unveil liquid-phase 3D printing method using low-melting-point metal alloy ink

Conventional 3D metal printing (additive manufacturing) is generally restricted to metals with a high melting point, and the process is can be rather time consuming. Now, scientists at the Beijing Key Laboratory of CryoBiomedical Engineering, part of the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have developed a new conceptual method of liquid-phase 3D printing for quickly making conductive metal objects. The “ink” consisting of a metal alloy that has a melting point slightly above room temperature.

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September 30, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Study finds solo hybrid drivers in California HOV lanes amplify congestion, create up to $4,500 per car in adverse social costs annually

Allowing single-occupant low-emission cars in California to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on congested highways exacerbates the congestion and causes up to about $4,500 per car in adverse social costs annually, including increased commute times and carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new study in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

The authors, from Cornell University, University of Colorado, UC Irvine and UC Berkeley, calculated that the Clean Air Vehicle Stickers (CAVS) policy results in a best-case cost of $124 per ton of reductions in greenhouse gases; $606,000 per ton of nitrogen oxides reduction; and $505,000 per ton of hydrocarbon reduction—exceeding those of other options readily available to policymakers.

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September 30, 2014 in Policy, Sales | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Honeywell Global Turbo Forecast projects 49M turbocharged vehicle sales, $12B revenue per year by 2019

The automotive turbocharging industry will generate $12 billion in revenue by equipping 49 million vehicles with turbochargers annually by 2019, according to Honeywell Turbo Technologies’ 2014 Global Turbo Forecast. The continued growth of turbocharging technologies will be driven by requirements for manufacturers to meet global environmental emissions regulations and bolstered by strong demand in emerging markets.

Automakers are turning to downsized turbocharged engines to satisfy more stringent global fuel economy and emission regulations and customer demand for better-performing vehicles. Turbochargers can help downsized engines improve fuel economy as much as 20 to 40% in gasoline and diesel engines, respectively, when compared with larger naturally aspirated engines and still provide the same or better engine performance. In addition to improving fuel efficiency, downsized turbocharged engines also reduce harmful exhaust emissions.

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September 30, 2014 in Engines, Forecasts, Fuel Efficiency, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Velocys raises £52 ($85) million for smaller scale GTL

On the heels of three new projects announced in the past three months, Velocys has raised approximately $85 million through an oversubscribed equity placing, priced at a premium to the market price. The new funds will be used to build upon the company’s recent successes and maintain commercial momentum, helping to further accelerate adoption of Velocys technology following the start of construction of its first commercial project.

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September 30, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Topsøe researchers analyze hydrotreating catalyst at single-atom level; potential for more efficient catalysts for cleaner fuels

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Cover courtesy of S. Nygaard, Haldor Topsøe A/S. Click to enlarge.

Researchers from Haldor Topsøe A/S have analyzed an industrial-style MoS2-based hydrotreating catalyst at the single-atom level using electron microscopy. With this method, the sites of single cobalt atoms, which are responsible for promoting sulfur removal from oil distillates, are resolved. The study is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Co-Mo-S is the active part in Haldor Topsøe’s series of TK catalysts; the cobalt serves as a promoter of the functional properties of the transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) MoS2. The researchers obtained images—achieved following decades of attempts—disclosing detailed knowledge about the structure of the catalyst. The research could mean more efficient catalysts for oil refineries in the near future, promoting a cleaner environment and helping industry to deal with increasingly tight and more stringent environmental legislation.

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September 30, 2014 in Catalysts, Fuels, Oil | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2014

BMW teams up with Baidu in autonomous driving project in China

BMW’s autonomous driving research prototypes have already driven thousands of kilometers in highly automated—i.e. self-driving—mode on German highways. In February 2013, the focus shifted to European motorways when BMW launched a joint project with Continental. Now, BMW is embarking on a research project which will pave the way for highly automated driving in China.

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September 29, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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