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October 2017

October 31, 2017

Large scale epidemiological study associates PM2.5, NO2 pollution with kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer death

Air pollution is classified as carcinogenic to humans given its association with lung cancer, but there is little evidence for its association with cancer at other body sites. However, in a new large-scale prospective study led by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by the “la Caixa” Foundation, and the American Cancer Society, researchers observed an association between some air pollutants and mortality from kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer.

The open-access study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, included more than 600,000 adults in the US who participated in the Cancer Prevention Study II and who were followed for 22 years (from 1982 to 2004). The scientific team examined associations of mortality from cancer at 29 sites with long-term residential exposure to three ambient pollutants: PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3).


October 31, 2017 in Emissions, Health | Permalink | Comments (4)

UN Environment report says national GHG pledges only bring one-third of reductions needed for Paris Agreement

The eighth edition of UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report, released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, finds that national pledges only bring approximately one-third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate that would help close this gap.

The Paris Agreement looks to limit global warming to under 2 ˚C, with a more ambitious goal of 1.5 ˚C also on the table. If the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, the report says, it is extremely unlikely that the goal of holding global warming to well below 2 ˚C can still be reached. Even if the current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are fully implemented, the carbon budget for limiting global warming to below 2 ˚C will be about 80% depleted by 2030. Given currently available carbon budget estimates, the available global carbon budget for 1.5 ˚C will already be well depleted by 2030.


October 31, 2017 in Climate Change, Emissions, Policy | Permalink | Comments (1)

Renesas Electronics opening “New Energy Vehicle Solution Center” in China to accelerate efforts in key market

Renesas Electronics will open a “New Energy Vehicle Solution Center” in China, directly under the China Business Unit to accelerate engagement with the Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) market.

China has positioned EVs, PHVs, and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as “NEVs” and considers this sector to be a strategic national industry. The Chinese government has announced a policy aimed at expanding production and sales of new energy vehicles to 2 million units annually by 2020 and increasing the share of total automobiles produced and sold accounted for by new energy vehicles to more than 20 percent by 2025.


October 31, 2017 in China, Electric (Battery), Fuel Cells | Permalink | Comments (0)

Toyota selects Renesas’ R-Car SoC and RH850 MCU for MY2020 autonomous-driving vehicles

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced that its automotive technologies will drive Toyota Motor Corporation’s autonomous vehicles, which are presently under development and scheduled for commercial launch in 2020. Selected by Toyota and Denso Corporation, Renesas’ autonomous-driving vehicle solution for Toyota’s autonomous vehicles combines the R-Car system-on-chip (SoC), which serves as an electronic brain for in-vehicle infotainment and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and the RH850 microcontroller (MCU) for automotive control.


October 31, 2017 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1)

Insights from Leoben researchers lead to improved piezo injectors

One of the elements modern diesel engines require to become energy-efficient and clean are precisely controllable injection nozzles using piezo crystals. How exactly these crystals work has not been fully understood to date. In a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, a group of researchers from the Materials Center Leoben (MCL) in Austria has now gained insight into the mechanics of this technology—which can make the systems more reliable and efficient. Their results are also of interest for medical applications or energy harvesting.

Diesel engines are currently the object of strong criticism because of their emissions. While the share of nitrogen oxides can be reduced only by adding chemicals or by lower combustion temperatures, the generation of soot depends on the quality of the combustion process itself. To optimize combustion, injection schemes and timing has become complex. The multiple injections need to happen in a fraction of a second and require high precision injection nozzles. Magnetic valves are often too slow, which is why piezo crystals are used.


October 31, 2017 in Emissions, Engines, Materials | Permalink | Comments (0)

ECN’s spin-out company LeydenJar delivers prototype pouch-cell battery with pure silicon anode

LeydenJar Technologies BV, a spin-out from Dutch energy research center ECN, has produced a pouch-cell prototype Li-ion cell using the pure silicon anode technology developed at ECN. ECN says that its technology can increase the storage capacity of rechargeable Li-ion batteries by 50%; LeydenJar was incorporated to bring the technology to the market.

The nanostructured silicon anode features a silicon pillar porous structure enabling mechanical stability. The prototype cell has achieved 100 cycles at a constant capacity of 1.000 mAh/g. LeydenJar has also developed Li-ion coin cells that cycle at high capacities (between 1.000 – 2.000 mAh/g) with 400+ (on going) cycles.


October 31, 2017 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (1)

UNIST’s U-Loop displayed at International Public Transport Forum

A trip between Seoul to Busan in less than 30 minutes could be a reality, thanks to ‘U-Loop’, the near-supersonic train—similar to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop—designed by a team of researchers at UNIST. Powered by magnetic attraction, the U-Loop capsule would move at nearly 1,000 km/h. A prototype of this new transport capsule was displayed and tested at the 7th International Public Transportation Forum.


October 31, 2017 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

WMO reports GHG concentrations at highest in 800K years

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800,000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event.

Concentrations of CO2 are now 145% of pre-industrial (before 1750) levels, according to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.


October 31, 2017 in Climate Change, Emissions | Permalink | Comments (3)

UK government providing $86M for battery research institute

Earlier this month, UK Business Secretary Greg Clark announced the consortium of UK universities that will form the Faraday Battery Institute, a new £65-million (US$86 million) research institute responsible for battery research and technology.


October 31, 2017 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Velocys reports ENVIA’s GTL plant has reached 200 barrels/day milestone; confirms site for first US biorefinery

Velocys plc announced that production at ENVIA Energy’s Oklahoma City gas-to-liquids plant has reached an operational capacity of 200 barrels per day (bpd), passing a key capacity milestone. (Earlier post.)

The plant will continue ramping up to its target operational capacity of 250 bpd. Finished, saleable products (premium renewable waxes, diesel and naphtha) are meeting customer product specifications and sales are being made to product offtakers.


October 31, 2017 in Biorefinery, Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) | Permalink | Comments (0)

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