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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Australia CSIRO and India CSIR launch A$6M partnership on dimethyl ether

October 10, 2013

Australia’s CSIRO and its equivalent in India, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), have launched a three-year, A$6-million (US$5.6-million) collaboration focused on improving processes involved in the production of dimethyl ether (DME), a clean-burning synthetic liquid fuel.

DME is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic and can be produced from natural gas (NG), coal, biomass, or even directly from carbon dioxide. It offers diesel-quality performance with a high cetane number and low auto-ignition temperature, but burns cleanly without producing any soot. The carbon intensity of the DME will vary with the feedstock.

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Australian Smart Grid demand management project shows EV drivers could halve charging costs

May 28, 2013

In Australia, as part of the Victorian Government’s Electric Vehicle Trial (earlier post), DiUS Computing delivered a demand management demonstration project using Victoria’s Smart Grid. The project, which ran from June to December 2012, was the first end-to-end use of Victoria’s Smart Meter infrastructure for electricity demand management.

The results of the project, released this week in a project report available via the DiUS website, showed that drivers could save around $250 each year—about 50% of their charging costs—just by using grid-friendly smart charging technology.

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Australian techno-economic analysis of renewable aviation fuels identifies research priorities to lower the high costs

May 22, 2013

A techno-economic analysis of renewable aviation fuels by Australian researchers has found that, based on currently available long-term reputable technological data, biorefineries producing biofuels from microalgae, oil seeds of the Pongamia tree, and sugarcane feedstocks would be competitive with crude oil prices at $1,343, $374, and $301/bbl, respectively.

Sensitivity analyses of the major economic drivers suggest technological and market developments that would bring the corresponding figures down to $385, $255, and $168/bbl, the researchers said in their paper, published in the journal Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. The results of the study, which was conducted as part of the Queensland Sustainable Aviation Fuel Initiative, were presented at the Boeing-hosted Aero Environment Summit in Sydney.

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Toyota Racing reveals updated TS030 Hybrid for 2013

February 19, 2013

2013 TS030 Hybrid. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Racing unveiled the revised TS030 Hybrid car which will run in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) this season. The TS030 made its debut in the WEC in 2012, and notched up three victories in six races. (Earlier post.) Toyota Racing begins the first full test of the 2013-specification TS030 Hybrid at Paul Ricard in southern France tomorrow.

The team will again utilize the Toyota Hybrid System - Racing powertrain, developed exclusively for motorsport by Toyota’s Motor Sport Division in Higashifuji. A supercapacitor-based hybrid system delivers 300 hp (224 kW) of boost automatically, on top of the 530 hp (395 hp) generated by a 3.4-liter, normally-aspirated V8 gasoline engine.

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Report from Victoria EV Trial reinforces importance of source of electricity and EV efficiency in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

December 07, 2012

Interrelationship between EV energy economy (y-axis) and and the electricity grid emissions intensity (x-axis) in determining full fuel cycle greenhouse gas emissions. The color regions represent 100 gCO2e/ km increments in full fuel cycle emissions performance. A conventional Mazda 3 would sit around midway of the middle color band at 154 gCO2e/km. Source: “Environmental Impacts”. Click to enlarge.

The Victoria (Australia) EV Trial—a major 5-year initiative (earlier post)—has released a comparative lifecycle assessment of the environmental impacts of electric vehicles relative to conventional gasoline vehicles in Victoria from now until 2030.

The lifecycle analysis, “Environmental Impacts of Electric Vehicles in Victoria”, found that the impacts from vehicle operation far outweigh those from vehicle production—true even if allowing for an EV battery replacement over the vehicle life. Vehicle disposal impacts, including those of the EV battery, were found to be negligible due to the expected high rate of material recycling. The dominant influence of vehicle operation during the EV lifecycle thus highlights the importance of the source of electricity, how efficient the energy conversion in the vehicle is, and the way a vehicle is used, the report found.

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