IMechE report calls for new Clean Air Act in UK

A new report by the UK-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) calls for urgent action to tackle the damage to health caused by air pollution. Health problems range from slowing the proper development of children’s lungs through to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases among the elderly. A 2016 report by the... Read more →


At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Achates Power and new development parter Aramco Services (earlier post) showcased a Ford F-150 fitted with a 3-cylinder, 2.7-liter Opposed-Piston Gasoline Compression Ignition (OPGCI) engine. (Earlier post.) Fabien Redon, Vice President, Technology Development at Achates, said they estimate that the OPGCI pickup... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) have shown for the first time that road dust is photochemically active; i.e., sunlight causes chemical reactions in the dust. Road dust resuspension is a major source of particulate matter in many urban centers—especially those in which traction materials are applied to roadways... Read more →


BMW makes SCR standard on all diesels in future; more models to receive GPF (including i8); new diesel engine for X3

BMW is making a number of adjustments to its powertrain lineup from spring 2018, including new diesel aftertreatment systems for its smaller diesel models; gasoline particulate filters on more gasoline models; and a new diesel engine for the X3. SCR. BMW ensures maximum effective reduction of diesel NOx emissions from... Read more →


Evea study estimates 69% reduction in GHG emissions for Global Bioenergies’ fully renewable ETBE compared to fossil gasoline

Life-cycle analysis specialist EVEA has estimated that fully renewable ETBE produced by the Global Bioenergies’ IBN-One plant would enable 69% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil gasoline. This figure was calculated for the current design planned for the IBN-One plant using a greenhouse gases emissions calculator based on... Read more →


Achates Power, Inc. and Saudi Aramco’s US-based subsidiary Aramco Services Company (ASC) have signed a joint development agreement providing the framework for the two companies to work together on a series of Opposed-Piston (OP) Engine projects, which will speed the development of new efficient, low-emissions powertrain choices. The joint development... Read more →


The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are conducting joint research flights in Germany for the first time. The focus will be on alternative fuel emissions and the characterisation of ice crystals in condensation trails (contrails), using... Read more →


China Yuchai launches 14 new diesel and natural gas engines to meet upcoming National VI emission standards

China Yuchai International Limited, a leading manufacturer and distributor of engines for on- and off-road applications in China through its main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL), launched 14 new engines compliant with China’s more stringent National VI emission standards. GYMCL’s new National VI engines include 10 diesel... Read more →


DOE awards $1.87M to 7 projects to advance high performance computing in manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $1.87 million to seven projects to advance innovation in US manufacturing through high performance computing. Part of DOE’s High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program (earlier post), the seven new public private partnerships will enable greater collaboration between DOE national labs and... Read more →


Study: air pollution along Utah’s Wasatch Front causes more than 200 pneumonia cases each year

Air pollution trapped along the Wasatch Front by winter inversions is estimated to send more than 200 people to the emergency room with pneumonia each year, according to a study by University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare. Bad air quality especially erodes the health of adults over age 65,... Read more →


Eni’s proprietary Eni Slurry Technology (EST) is able to convert refining residues entirely into high-quality light products, eliminating both liquid and solid refining residues with significant environmental benefits. Eni has now sold the licence and basic engineering project to the Chinese company Sinopec for the construction of a refining plant... Read more →


SoCalGas, partners developing technology to make carbon fiber during hydrogen production from methane; reducing the cost of H2 and cutting GHG

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is partnering with a development team to advance a new process that converts natural gas to hydrogen, carbon fiber, and carbon nanotubes. The low-emission process, selected for funding as part of the H2@Scale initiative (earlier post) by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell... Read more →


Short-term exposure to low levels of air pollution linked with premature death among US seniors

A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health links short-term exposures to fine particulate air pollution and ozone—even at levels well below current national safety standards—to higher risk of premature death among the elderly in the US. The risk was even higher among elderly who were low-income,... Read more →


Study finds Leipzig Low Emission Zone removed most dangerous particles; NOx remained nearly constant

Leipzig’s Low Emission Zone was established in March 2011, allowing only access of Euro 4 and higher diesel vehicles, with few exceptions. A joint scientific study by the Saxon State Office of the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) has found that the... Read more →


Lloyd’s Register and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) released a new study—Zero Emission Vessels 2030—that aims to demonstrate the viability of zero emission vessels (ZEVs) by identifying what needs to be in place to make them a competitive solution for decarbonization. The first milestone in the IMO greenhouse gas (GHG)... Read more →


Study finds heavy-petroleum fuels raising vanadium emissions; human emissions outpacing natural sources by factor of 1.7

Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth’s atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry’s growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke University study published in the Proceedings... Read more →


ADB approves $499M loan to establish facility for improved air quality in greater Beijing area; includes hydrogen transport

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors approved a €428-million ($499-million) loan to set up a regional emission-reduction and pollution-control facility as part of a multiyear and multisector support program to improve air quality in the greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region, which suffers from heavy air pollution. Cities in the... Read more →


California Air Resources Board approves $663M funding plan for clean cars, trucks, buses

The California Air Resources Board approved a $663-million low-carbon transportation plan to increase the use of clean cars, heavy-duty trucks, buses and freight equipment. The funding will help the state cut climate-changing gases while promoting technologies that reduce harmful diesel emissions, particularly in disadvantaged and low-income communities. These investments support... Read more →


Johns Hopkins study links exposure to coarse particulate matter to increased risk of asthma in children

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University report that coarse particulate matter—created by physical processes such as tire and break wear, agricultural tilling, salt spray and dust created in manufacturing—appears to put children at greater risk for asthma, independent of exposure to fine particulate pollution. A paper on the work will... Read more →


Researchers develop effective exhaust catalyst for lower temperature exhaust

To improve fuel efficiency, advanced combustion engines are being designed to minimize the amount of waste heat in the exhaust. As a result, future generations of exhaust after-treatment catalysts must perform at temperatures that are 100 °C lower than current catalysts. Researchers at Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory... Read more →


California ARB approves 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan; requires doubling the rate of GHG cuts

The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan, which sets the state on an aggressive course to reduce greenhouse gas emissions an additional 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 under SB 32. This will require California to double the rate at which it has been... Read more →


Cummins Westport receives 2018 emissions certifications for L9N and B6.7N low NOx natural gas engines

Cummins Westport Inc. has received certifications from both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Air Resources Board (ARB) in California for its 2018 L9N and B6.7N natural gas engines. Both engines meet California ARB optional Low NOx standards, as well as 2017 EPA greenhouse gas emission (GHG) requirements, making... Read more →


SwRI opens ECTO-Lab for quick, cost-effective qualification of catalysts, emission control products

Southwest Research Institute recently opened a new fully automated, multi-fuel burner facility designed to rapidly and cost-effectively age and evaluate exhaust catalyst equipment for a wide range of engines. The Exhaust Component Transient Operation Laboratory (ECTO-Lab) uses SwRI-developed modular technology that is also available for purchase and installation at client... Read more →


European Parliament, Council and Commission reach agreement on vehicle type-approval; EU oversight

Last week, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a political agreement to raise the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing; to increase checks of cars that are already on the EU market; and to strengthen the overall system with European oversight. Under current rules,... Read more →


Chicago Area Clean Cities names American Lung Association 2017 Clean Fuels Champion

The American Lung Association has been named the 2017 Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting clean-energy and clean-air solutions for transportation in the Chicago area impacting nearly 9 million people. The Clean Fuels Champion was awarded last night at the coalition’s... Read more →


Results of testing on a Euro 6 BMW 320d diesel by the German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), ZDF’s WISO and a software expert point to the use of inadmissible defeat devices, according to DUH. The organizations found that road-testing NOx emissions are up to 7.2 times higher than those... Read more →


Europe’s transport sector is making only mixed progress in meeting its environment, health and climate policy targets, according to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment which tracks the short and long-term environmental performance of this key economic sector across the European Union. The EEA Briefing “Transport and Environment Reporting... Read more →


Two new studies of road air pollution in London find detrimental effects on over-60s and unborn babies

Exposure to air pollution on city streets is enough to counter the beneficial health effects of exercise in adults over 60, according to new research led by Imperial College London and Duke University. These findings, published in as open-access paper in The Lancet, show that short term exposure to air... Read more →


EarthSense Systems—a joint venture between the University of Leicester and aerial mapping company BlueSky—has published MappAir, the first high resolution nationwide map of air pollution. Combining data from satellites and its own air quality monitoring sensors together with open source data, EarthSense used complex modeling techniques to create the highly... Read more →


New nanostructured earth abundant metal catalysts rival platinum on a weight basis; diesel emissions treatment

A development in catalysis research by academics at the Universities of St Andrews and Newcastle could lead to new systems to treat diesel emissions. Catalysts are typically metallic nanoparticles—often platinum group metals—that are finely deposited upon a substrate. The activity and durability of the catalyst critically depends upon the interaction... Read more →


In an open-access paper published in Scientific Reports, a team from Fraunhofer ISI and KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) has presented the first systematic overview of empirical findings on the electrification of vehicle mileage based on on actual PHEV (plug-in hybrid) and BEV (battery-electric vehicle) usage for the US and... Read more →


Eight energy majors commit to reduce methane emissions within natural gas industry

BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total and Wintershall committed to reduce further methane emissions from the natural gas assets they operate around the world. The energy companies also agreed to encourage others across the natural gas value chain—from production to the final consumer—to do the same. The commitment was... Read more →


KOHLER has introduced a new global emissions platform for its award winning KOHLER Direct Injection (KDI) diesel engine line. KOHLER Flex, unveiled at Agritechnica 2017 in Hanover, Germany, is a suite of advanced engine systems which are integrated into the KDI line—based on the specific needs of global equipment manufacturers—to... Read more →


According to the Baden-Württemberg state environmental agency, brakes and tires are responsible for 32% of driving-related particulate emissions—roughly half of which is brake dust. Significantly reducing brake dust is therefore essential to improving the air, especially in cities. Now, the Bosch subsidiary Buderus Guss has developed the iDisc, a brake... Read more →


TransLink orders 106 New Flyer CNG buses with 2018 Cummins L9N ultra-low NOx engines

The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) has awarded New Flyer with a contract for 106 Xcelsior compressed natural gas (CNG) forty-foot, heavy-duty transit buses. The CNG buses will be equipped with 2018 Cummins L9N engines, which provide a significantly reduced carbon footprint supporting TransLink’s planned fleet rejuvenation initiative... Read more →


Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara have developed catalytic molten metals to pyrolize methane to release hydrogen and to form solid carbon. The insoluble carbon floats to the surface of the melt, where it can be removed and stored or incorporated into composite materials. This method also avoids... Read more →


French shipping line CMA CGM, based in Marseille, has selected Winterthur Gas & Diesel’s (WinGD’s) largest, 92 cm bore, dual-fuel low-speed engine to power what are presently the largest containerships ever ordered. (Earlier post.) The 12-cylinder X92DF engines (12X92DF) will power a series of nine “mega” containerships, each with a... Read more →


Global Carbon Project reports global CO2 emissions suddenly on the rise after 3-year hiatus; need for reducing uncertainties

Global emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels have risen again after a three year hiatus, according to new analysis from the Global Carbon Project (GCP). According to the GCP, global emissions from all human activities will reach 41 billion tonnes in 2017, following a projected 2% rise in... Read more →


Scania, a member of the Volkswagen Group, has launched its new OC13 13-liter (swept volume 12.7 liters) natural gas engine, based on Scania’s well-proven inline 6-cylinder, 13-liter engine. The Euro 6 engine works according to the Otto principle with spark plugs and complete combustion and delivers 410 hp (302 kW)... Read more →


Although China and India remain the world’s largest consumers of coal, a new University of Maryland-led study found that China’s sulfur dioxide emissions fell by 75% since 2007, while India’s emissions increased by 50%. The results suggest that India is becoming, if it is not already, the world’s top sulfur... Read more →


Study concludes 20% synthetic diesel blend could reduce PM emissions in Beijing by ~19%

PM emissions from current vehicles in Beijing could be reduced by approximately 19% by simply blending 20% synthetic diesel with currently available diesel, according to a new study by Tsinghua University, the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and Greyrock Energy, a developer of gas-to-liquids technology. This improvement can be accomplished... Read more →


EC proposes 30% CO2 reduction from 2021 to 2030 for light-duty vehicles

As part of a newly released Clean Mobility package, the European Commission is proposing a 30% reduction in average CO2 emissions for new cars and vans from 2021 to 2030. The proposal includes targets both for 2025 and 2030. The 2025 intermediary target of a 15% reduction is intended to... Read more →


Audi is systematically building on its e-fuels strategy. (Earlier post.) Together with the partners Ineratec GmbH (earlier post) and Energiedienst Holding AG, the company has plans for a new pilot facility for the production of e-diesel in Laufenburg, in Canton Aargau (Switzerland). For the first time, the energy needed will... Read more →


At Agritechnica in Hanover, the world’s leading trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment, Continental is presenting exhaust aftertreatment solutions for agricultural and construction machinery. Continental’s solutions are designed to conform to the upcoming EU Stage V emissions standards, which from 2019 will set stricter emissions limits for non-road mobile... Read more →


A team at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) study has assessed the relative amounts of greenhouse-gas emissions from driving a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) compared with greenhouse-gas emissions from driving a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle in different countries of the world. Indirect emissions from BEVs depend on the mix... Read more →


Ozone pollution near Earth’s surface is one of the main ingredients of summertime smog. It is also not directly measurable from space due to the abundance of ozone higher in the atmosphere, which obscures measurements of surface ozone. New NASA-funded research has devised a way to use satellite measurements of... Read more →


Tsinghua study finds China’s actions have cut PM2.5 concentrations 21.5% from 2013-2015; PM2.5-related mortality down 9.1%

Air pollution in China, especially in mega-metropolitan areas, is a matter of concern due to its impact on public health; outdoor PM2.5 exposure contributed to approximately 1.22 million deaths in China in 2013. China’s measures to improve its air quality are working, but more stringent policies should be put in... Read more →


The global toll of chronic kidney disease (CKD) attributable to PM2.5 pollution is significant, according to an analysis presented at ASN (American Society of Nephrology) Kidney Week. Benjamin Bowe, MPH, (Clinical Epidemiology Center at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System) and his colleagues previously described an association between increased... Read more →


FPT Industrial has introduced its newest and most powerful natural engine. The Cursor 13 Natural Gas is the most powerful 100% natural gas engine available on the on-road segment market today, and is the first purely NG engine on the market specially developed for long-haul missions. The Cursor 13 NG... Read more →


Ports of LA, Long Beach approve 2017 Clean Air Action Plan; targeted GHG reductions; zero-emissions on-road drayage by 2035

The governing boards of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach unanimously approved the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update, ushering in a new era of aggressive clean air strategies for moving cargo through the nation’s busiest container port complex. The document provides high-level guidance for accelerating progress... Read more →