Braunschweig public prosecutor levies €1B fine against Volkswagen AG over diesel crisis; Volkswagen accepts fine, admits responsibility

The Braunschweig, Germany public prosecutor issued an administrative order against Volkswagen AG in the context of the diesel crisis. The administrative order provides for a fine of €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) in total, consisting of the maximum penalty as legally provided for of €5 million and the disgorgement of economic... Read more →


BASF Venture Capital GmbH is to invest in LanzaTech. Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.... Read more →


The California ARB has released the draft summary of its proposed Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation (earlier post) for review and comments. Staff will be discussing this concept at a public workshop being held today. The proposed ICT regulation includes a transition to zero-emission technologies while enhancing transit services. The... Read more →


Recent moves by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have signaled a strong determination by the sanctioning body to strictly enforce a tightening of marine fuel low-sulfur regulations, which will result in a period of huge upheaval in global oil markets, extraordinary margins for some oil refiners, and a potential doubling... Read more →


Mayor of London launches international study on effect of air pollution on children’s health: CHILL

More 3,000 primary school children in polluted areas of London and Luton will have their lung health monitored over a four-year period in a new international study launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The CHILL study (Children’s Health in London & Luton) will test whether policies to improve... Read more →


Scientists from Emory University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Air Resources Board teamed to analyze satellite data to determine the 15-year trend of PM2.5 pollution in the state. PM2.5 is especially burdensome in California and accounts for the greatest percentage of health impacts attributable to air pollution. The... Read more →


Volkswagen’s 1.0 TSI in the new up! GTI1 has been named International Engine of the Year 2018 in its category. The 85 kW / 115 PS gasoline-fired engine is the first of its kind to be combined with a four-way catalytic converter and installed in the up!. It also comes... Read more →


Toyota Motor is introducing a mid-lifecycle model change for the AYGO, its successful A-segment entry in the European market. In 2017, AYGO was amongst the top sellers of the A-segment with more than 85,000 units sold, and a segment share of 6.6%. Launched in 2005 for Europe, the first generation... Read more →


BMW fitting all gasoline and PHEV models in Germany with particulate filters for Euro 6d-TEMP compliance

As of July 2018, all BMW gasoline and plug-in hybrid models available in Germany will be fitted as standard with a gasoline particulate filter (GPF) and thus will comply with the exhaust standard Euro 6d-TEMP. BluePerformance Technology including SCR catalytic converter with AdBlue injection has been a standard feature of... Read more →


Dearman has launched a partnership with UK retail giant Marks & Spencer, as the retailer seeks to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its chilled deliveries. M&S will lease a dual compartment Dearman Hubbard transport refrigeration unit (TRU), on a refrigerated semi-trailer, to be operated out of its Hemel Hempstead... Read more →


Federal-Mogul Powertrain has developed a new piston ring for use in commercial vehicle diesel engines that enhances gas sealing capability by stabilizing ring dynamic motion and homogenizing oil film. The running surface profile of the new eLine rings for use in the second groove has been designed to distribute oil... Read more →


Scenario study suggests increased vehicle electrification in Europe increases demand for gas in power sector; limited ability for power-to-gas

A study published by the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) has explored the possible impact of increased electrification of road transportation and domestic heating and cooking on the energy system (electricity and gas), as well as on CO2 emissions and on GDP. The study is based on a set... Read more →


UK government launches new clean air strategy; ending sales of conventional diesel and gasoline LDVs by 2040

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove published a new Clean Air Strategy to cut air pollution backed up through new primary legislation. The UK said it will go further and faster than the EU in reducing human exposure to particulate matter pollution. These proposals are in addition to the government’s £3.5-billion... Read more →


New method for the precise analysis of the composition of secondary organic aerosols in PM

Researchers in Poland have developed a new precise method for the chemical analysis of secondary organic aerosol (SOA)—an important yet not fully characterized constituent of atmospheric particulate matter. The method, easily adaptable in many modern laboratories, not only determines the chemical composition of compounds, but also recognizes changes in the... Read more →


Study associates ozone exposure at birth to increased risk of developing asthma

A long-term study of the health of Canadian children has found that exposure to ozone (O3) at birth was associated with an 82% increased risk of developing asthma by age three. The study, which was a 10-year follow-up to the 2006 Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire (T-CHEQ), was presented at... Read more →


Study finds rising emissions of ozone-depleting CFC-11, banned by Montreal Protocol

Emissions of one of the chemicals most responsible for the Antarctic ozone hole are on the rise, despite an international treaty that required an end to its production in 2010, a new study by researchers at NOAA and their colleagues shows. Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) is the second-most abundant ozone-depleting gas in... Read more →


Study associates in-utero exposure to PM2.5 pollution with higher blood pressure in childhood

Children who were exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 air pollution during the third trimester of their mother’s pregnancy had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood, according to new research by a team led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.... Read more →


New phase of globalization could undermine efforts to reduce CO2 emissions

A new study finds that the growth of carbon production from Chinese exports has slowed or reversed, reflecting a “new phase of globalization” between developing countries that could undermine international efforts to reduce emissions. The paper is published in Nature Communications. The study, involving researchers from the University of East... Read more →


Cedars-Sinai study finds prolonged exposure to coarse PM in LA Basin air led to genetic changes in rat brains

Prolonged exposure to coarse particulate matter (PM2.5–10) in air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin triggered inflammation and the appearance of cancer-related genes in the brains of rats, a Cedars-Sinai study has found. Previous research has documented the association between air pollution and a variety of diseases, including cancer. This... Read more →


Rio Tinto and Alcoa announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting process; Apple assist; Elysis JV to commercialize

Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corporation announced a revolutionary process to make aluminum that produces only oxygen as a by-product, eliminating all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process. In Canada alone, use of the technology could eliminate the equivalent of 6.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions,... Read more →


With the market launch of the new A-Class (earlier post), the new diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz are now available from the compact class to the luxury class. With these engines, Mercedes-Benz vehicles achieve average NOx emissions of between 40 and 60 mg/km over many thousands of kilometers of driving on... Read more →


Six trucking firms operating in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are deploying trucks powered by Cummins Westport (CWI) near-zero ISX12N engines (earlier post), and fueled with Clean Energy Fuels Corp.’s Redeem brand renewable natural gas (RNG) in an effort to reduce emissions and improve air quality in... Read more →


California ARB readying regulatory options to maintain state LDV GHG standards in event of Federal change

In April 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025, and determined that the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised. (Earlier post.) The California Air Resources... Read more →


US charges former CEO of Volkswagen AG Winterkorn with conspiracy and wire fraud in diesel emissions scandal

A US federal indictment is charging Martin Winterkorn, the former chairman of the management board of Volkswagen AG (VW), with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with VW’s cheating on US diesel vehicle emissions requirements. The FBI and EPA Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the case. The superseding indictment was... Read more →


Renewable Energy Group launched REG Ultra Clean Diesel, at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach. REG Ultra Clean Diesel, among the lowest emission diesel fuels on the market today, is a patent-pending fuel made of a proprietary blend of renewable diesel and biodiesel. REG Ultra Clean Diesel... Read more →


Study links traffic-related pollution to risk of asthma in children

New research led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that long-term exposure to traffic-related pollution significantly increases the risk of pediatric asthma, especially in early childhood. Their findings were published today in a Letter to the Editor... Read more →


WHO: 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air; 7M deaths per year

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Updated estimations reveal a death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution. Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest... Read more →


DOE to award $68.5M for advanced vehicle technologies research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $68.5 million for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies. (DE-FOA-0001919) This new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks research projects to address priorities in the following areas: batteries and electrification; materials; technology integration and energy efficient mobility systems; energy-efficient commercial off-road... Read more →


NOx emissions have not been decreasing as expected in recent years (2011–2015) when comparing top-down estimates from satellites and surface NO2 measurements to the trends predicted from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s emission inventory data, according to a new study by an international team of researchers. In an open-access paper... Read more →


A team at the University of Denver has measured the emissions from two in-use California heavy-duty truck fleets—at the Port of Los Angeles and the Cottonwood weigh station in Northern California—using the On-Road Heavy-Duty Measurement System in 2013, 2015 and 2017. A report on their findings is published in the... Read more →


NUS-led study: beltway to divert diesel trucks in São Paulo improved air quality and public health

A study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of São Paulo revealed that a beltway constructed to divert heavy-duty diesel vehicles traffic in the Brazilian city of São Paulo improved air quality and public health in the city. The study was published in the... Read more →


LA Metro to begin charging solo drivers in clean air vehicles in ExpressLanes in effort to reduce increasing congestion

The Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors approved a plan last week to begin charging solo motorists in designated clean air vehicles (CAVs) a discounted toll to use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways, beginning in late 2018. Under the change, drivers in clean air vehicles without enough... Read more →


DOE awards U of Houston-led team $2M to develop new “four-way catalyst” to eliminate unreacted methane in natural gas vehicles; leveraging CDTi Spinel

The US Department of Energy has chosen a team led by a chemical engineer from the University of Houston for a $2-million project to develop and optimize a lower-cost, more efficient catalyst to eliminate unreacted methane in natural gas fuel. Primarily made up of methane, natural gas is a cleaner... Read more →


Opel is introducing a new advanced diesel in the Grandland X compact sport utility vehicle (SUV). The new 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel is more powerful and more economical than the engine it replaces. The new powertrain is designed to meet strict future emissions requirements through the use of an innovative... Read more →


Bosch says that its engineers have refined existing diesel technolgoies to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) so significantly that they already comply with future limits. Even in RDE (real driving emissions) testing, emissions from vehicles equipped with the newly premiered Bosch diesel technology are not only significantly below current... Read more →


In Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project. The project is a first step toward realizing the 2030 vision of a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain formulated... Read more →


Efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the European Union (EU) stalled in 2017 compared to 2016, according to provisional data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). While past years have seen steady declines, new passenger cars registered in 2017 emitted on average 0.4... Read more →


The Environmental Protection Agency is not sufficiently protecting the environment

Opinion by Michael Sivak The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. However, as the EPA is getting ready to relax the future vehicle fuel economy standards, the time is right to consider whether, under the current administration, this agency’s mission is,... Read more →


Seven billion people, more than 95% of the world’s population, lived in areas exceeding the WHO Guideline for healthy air in 2016, according to a new global study. Fifty-eight percent lived in areas with PM2.5 concentrations above above the WHO Interim Target 1 (IT-1, 35 μg/m3); 69% lived in areas... Read more →


Amminex, a Faurecia company, and its three partners the Technical University of Graz, Johnson Matthey, and ICCT have won the European Commission’s €1.5-million Horizon Prize in the Engine Retrofit for Clean Air category. It recognizes the outstanding emissions reduction potential of the ASDS technology (Ammonia Storage and Delivery System) for... Read more →


Researchers at Jilin University in China report in a papaer in the journal Fuel that coolant temperature in a gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine under idle has a critical effect on particulate number (PN) emissions and that optimizing other operating parameters will further reduce PN emissions. PN concentration with coolant temperatures... Read more →


Large-scale study associates even brief exposure to PM2.5 with childhood lung infections

Even the briefest increase in airborne PM2.5 is associated with the development of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children, according to a new, large-scale study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an American Thoracic Society journal. Increases in PM2.5 levels also led to... Read more →


The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reports that the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a resolution codifying an initial greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy for international shipping. This strategy, which represents the first global climate framework for shipping, includes quantitative GHG reduction targets... Read more →


Researchers measure actual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and compare to reported levels

Researchers have measured CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in California and compared them to reported emissions. This is the first time fossil fuel emissions have been independently checked for such a large area. The team of researchers, led by researchers from Imperial College London (ICL), developed a technique to... Read more →


Researchers at Jilin University (China) have investigated the effect of gasoline components on fuel economy, combustion and emissions in a GDI (gasoline-direct-injection) engine. The team subsequently followed up this first study with a second, exploring the effects in a PFI (port-fuel-injection) engine. The first paper (Han et al., 2018a) is... Read more →


Big Blue Bus investing $18.2M to upgrade bus fleet; Cummins-Westport Near-Zero NOx engines

Big Blue Bus (BBB), a bus operator serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area, will invest $18.3 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and California Proposition 1B Bond funds to replace fifty 40-foot New Flyer buses purchased between 2004 and 2006. Seven 30-foot Gillig buses are being placed in... Read more →


Stanford Energy Modeling Forum project confirms carbon pricing can be effective way to curb GHG emissions

The Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) was established at Stanford more than 40 years ago to bring together leading experts and decision makers from government, industry, universities, and other research organizations to study important energy and environmental issues. For each study, the Forum organizes a working group to develop the... Read more →


Global Bioenergies beginning road testing with Audi A4 fueled with 34% renewable gasoline blends

Global Bioenergies is beginning the road-testing phase of renewable gasoline derived from its fermentative isobutene pathway. (Earlier post.) Global Bioenergies will use an EN228-compliant gasoline blend containing more than 34% of renewable, isobutene-derived, compounds to fuel a car on a circuit. In preparation for commercial uses, Global Bioenergies developed several... Read more →


A team of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) researchers, with colleagues at Georgia Tech, has pioneered an electrochemical process that could eliminate the need for high-energy steam cracking. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Energy and Environmental Science, the researchers suggest that their study provides a disruptive approach for... Read more →


EPA: GHG emissions standards for cars and light trucks should be revised; joint process with NHTSA (updated with more reactions)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the completion of the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025, and his final determination that the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised. Administrator... Read more →