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July 2016

July 31, 2016

Report: Uber to invest $500M in global mapping project

The Financial Times reports that Uber will invest $500 million into a global mapping project in an effort to decrease its dependence on Google Maps and to prepare for autonomous driving. The FT cited “a person familiar with Uber’s plans” as the source.

Uber has already hired Brian McClendon, formerly the head of Google Maps for more than a decade. In a post on the Uber site last week, McClendon noted that “Accurate maps are at the heart of our service and the backbone of our business.

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July 31, 2016 in Autonomous driving, Market Background, Mobility services, Ridesharing | Permalink | Comments (4)

Researchers significantly improve H2 storage properties of sodium aluminium hydride by doping with 2D titanium carbide

A team at Zhejiang University in China has significantly enhanced the hydrogen storage properties of sodium aluminum hydride (NaAlH4) by doping it with a 2D titanium carbide (Ti3C2) MXene. (“MXenes” are exfoliated 2D carbide and carbonitride nanosheets that are structurally similar to graphene, where M represents transition metals, and X is either C or/and N, earlier post).

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July 31, 2016 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 30, 2016

GAC Motor completes phase II factory, launches GA3S PHEV

China-based GAC Motor recently held the completion ceremony of the company’s new phase II factory in Guangzhou in June, and launched the new GS8 SUV and GA3S PHEV plug-in hybrid sedan.

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July 30, 2016 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1)

Edmunds.com: number of leased vehicles reaches all-time high in first half of 2016

More new vehicles in the US were leased in the first half of 2016 than during the first half of any other year in history, according to the latest Lease Market Report from Edmunds.com, the leading car shopping and information network.

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July 30, 2016 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

California releases Sustainable Freight Action Plan to transform freight system; 25% more efficient by 2030

In response to an Executive Order issued last year by California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., state agency leaders on Friday released the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, a comprehensive document that serves as a blueprint for transforming the state’s multi-billion dollar freight transport system into one that is environmentally cleaner, more efficient, and more economically competitive than it is today.

The revised document is similar to the draft version issued in May 2016, but reflects new input provided by industry, labor, regional and local government, and community and environmental group stakeholders, who submitted more than 85 comments on the draft plan.

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July 30, 2016 in Emissions, Fuel Efficiency, Market Background, Sustainability | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 29, 2016

Brookhaven Lab to focus on characterizing composite solid electrolytes and sulfur cathodes in Battery500 project

For its part in the 5-year, $50-million Battery500 project targeting next-generation batteries (earlier post), Brookhaven National Lab will focus on determining the characteristics of composite solid electrolytes and sulfur cathodes using intense beams of x-rays at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and other techniques including mass-spectroscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), another Office of Science User Facility.

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July 29, 2016 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Penn State, U Mich team characterizes soot generated by low-temperature diesel combustion

Researchers from Penn State and the University of Michigan have characterized the nanostructure and oxidative reactivity of soot generated by a light-duty turbodiesel engine operating under a dilute, low-temperature combustion process referred to as high-efficiency clean combustion (HECC). Their paper appears in the International Journal of Engine Research.

Earlier work by members of the team (Gregory Lilik and André Boehman) had shown that high cetane number fuel with HECC leads to reductions in all primary pollutant emissions—i.e., THC and CO as well as NOx and PM. (Earlier post.) Less established, however, is how well such dilute combustion processes influence soot formation.

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July 29, 2016 in Diesel, Emissions, Engines, Low Temperature Combustion | Permalink | Comments (0)

EIA projects energy intensity of US steel production to drop 27% by 2040

Steel production is energy-intensive; in 2015, the steel industry accounted for 1.5% of all industrial shipments in the US but 6.1% of industrial delivered energy consumption. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2016 (AEO2016) Reference case projects that energy use in the steel industry will further increase by 11% over 2015–2040.

Over the same period, however, the AEO2016 projects in its Reference case a 27% drop in the steel industry’s energy intensity, compared with an 18% reduction in total industrial energy intensity. Several alternative cases examine drivers for further energy intensity reductions in the steel industry.

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July 29, 2016 in Emissions, Manufacturing, Materials | Permalink | Comments (0)

RoboVent introduces small-footprint Spire dust collector for robotic welding

Robotic welding—heavily used in automotive manufacturing—generates volumes of smoke and fumes that must be controlled to meet air quality regulations. To address this issue, manufacturers traditionally used hoods and oversized fans to collect, filter and exhaust welding fumes to the outside. A different approach is to use an individual fume and dust collector associated with each welding cell. Michigan-based RoboVent, which offers a line of such ventilation systems of robotic welding cells, has now introduced RoboVent Spire to address the needs of robotic welding operations where space is at a premium.

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July 29, 2016 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Study: Overall automotive aluminum recycling rate above 90%

New research from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling calculated an overall recycling rate of 91% for automotive aluminum. The peer-reviewed study, funded by the Aluminum Association, examines how much aluminum used in the United States’ light-duty automotive sector is recovered and recycled from vehicles at end of life.

The new study, Automotive Aluminum Recycling at End of Life: A Grave-to-Gate Analysis, details a “grave-to-gate” analysis, which spans the moment an automobile becomes obsolete to the moment the aluminum metal units are completely recycled and enter back into life as input material for new applications, including vehicles. Researchers attribute automotive aluminum’s high recycling rate to the metal’s economic value, citing the “concerted effort to recover this valuable lightweight commodity from end-of-life vehicles.”

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July 29, 2016 in Manufacturing, Materials, Recycling | Permalink | Comments (0)

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