Study concludes environmental regulations drove steep declines in US factory pollution even with increased production

The federal Clean Air Act and associated environmental regulations have driven steep declines in air pollution emissions over the past several decades, even as US manufacturers increased production, according to a study by two University of California, Berkeley, economists. The study, forthcoming in the American Economic Review, found that polluting... Read more →


CARB proposes amending California LEV III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to maintain stringency if US standards change

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed amending the California Low-Emission Vehicle III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to ensure that cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025 continue to meet California standards even if Federal standards are frozen. (Earlier post.) Recognizing the value of a national program to... Read more →


New analysis by IHS Markit suggests that automakers failing to meet 2021 fleet CO2 emissions compliance for passenger vehicles sold in the European Union (EU) could be fined more than €14 billion (US$16 billion) in 2021. Legislators in the European Union (EU) are imposing a new passenger car fleet CO2... Read more →


Broad opposition to EPA, NHTSA proposed freeze of GHG, CAFE regs

When the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rolled out their proposed rulemaking for changing the greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulations governing MY 2012-2026 light duty vehicles, opposition from environmental groups, affected state governments and other sectors was broad and rapid—partly because the... Read more →


US EPA and DOT propose freezing light-duty fuel economy, GHG standards at 2020 level for MY 2021-2026 vehicles; 43.7 mpg for cars; 50-state solution

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released their long-expected notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to adjust the Congressionally-mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the first... Read more →


CARB investigation leads to nationwide recall of 500,000+ Cummins heavy-duty trucks due to defective SCR catalysts

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that 500,000 heavy-duty trucks manufactured by Cummins Inc. will be recalled due to excess emissions caused by defective catalysts. The cause of the excess emissions was purely mechanical—the faster-than-expected degradation of the catalyst—and not the product of a defeat device. The degrading catalysts... Read more →


Developed for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), BorgWarner’s innovative Exhaust Heat Recovery System (EHRS) can improve fuel economy by up to 8.5% and reduce emissions significantly. The EHRS enters production later this year for vehicles from a major North American automaker. By using the heat... Read more →


Study provides insight into mechanism of atmospheric new particle formation in polluted cities

The formation of new atmospheric particulates—i.e., de novo rather than as direct emissions—via nucleation and growth is a major source of aerosol pollution in terms of number concentration. In spite of a great deal of research, it is still a puzzle why and how such new particule formation (NPF) occurs... Read more →


Findings presented in a new working paper by a team at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) suggest that the new generation of supersonic aircraft currently in development by three US-based companies (e.g, earlier post) are unlikely to comply with existing international environmental standards for subsonic aircraft. The ICCT... Read more →


CARB and US EPA approve final Volkswagen diesel modification to remove defeat devices; marks end of 3-year redesign of >500k vehicles

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have approved emissions modifications for the last remaining Volkswagen (VW) vehicles containing undisclosed software which deliberately shut down emission control equipment (defeat devices). The legal process began in 2015 and eventually involved more than a half million... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that greenhouse gas emissions in California in 2016 fell below 1990 levels for the first time since emissions peaked in 2004—a reduction roughly equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road or saving 6 billion gallons of gasoline a year. Under Assembly... Read more →


Greyrock, NREL study determines reduction in GHG and criteria pollutant emissions from using synthetic fuels produced from flare gas

A “well-to-wheel” life cycle assessment (LCA) by a team from synthetic fuels producer Greyrock (earlier post), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has determined the potential reduction of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutant emissions from the use of synthetic fuels directly converted from flare gas. The results of this... Read more →


During the first three years of California’s 5-year-old cap-and-trade program, the bulk of the greenhouse gas reductions occurred out of state—i.e., state residents did not see the benefits of improved air quality from presumed reductions in harmful co-pollutants, such as particulate matter—according to a new study led by UC Berkeley... Read more →


Audi presents results of diesel assessment to KBA

Following the conclusion of internal technical analyses of all its V TDI engines, Audi has passed on its essential findings to the German Federal Motor Vehicle Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, KBA) as the responsible authority. The details will be discussed over the coming weeks. For current models with third-generation V6 TDI... Read more →


Study links PM2.5 pollution to increased risk of diabetes; even low levels pose risk

A study by a team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System links PM2.5 pollution—even at levels deemed safe—to an increased risk of diabetes globally. The open-access findings, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, raise the... Read more →


Countries seeking to meet Paris Agreement targets on CO2 emissions must get a grip on the amount of pollution produced at city level, according to a new open-access study published in Science Advances by an international team of researchers from Europe and China. The researchers set out a framework for... Read more →


Ford hits CO2 manufacturing emissions reduction target of 30% per vehicle 8 years early

Ford Motor Company has met its goal to reduce manufacturing CO2 emissions eight years ahead of schedule. The goal, set in 2010, aimed to reduce the company’s global carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing operations by 30% per vehicle produced by 2025. As described in its 19th annual Sustainability Report, Ford... Read more →


Corning Incorporated’s Environmental Technologies business reached a significant production milestone at its Kaiserslautern, Germany manufacturing facility with the production of its 1 millionth Corning DuraTrap GC gasoline particulate filter (GPF) for automotive emissions control. The facility launched an expansion effort in 2016 for production of these ceramic particulate filters, engineered... Read more →


Growth Energy estimates 2,800 retail sites in US to offer E15 by 2021; 350M new ethanol gallons annually

More than 2,800 retail sites will offer E15 by 2021, generating approximately 350 million new ethanol gallons annually, according to a one-pager released by biofuel trade association Growth Energy. The report touts the accomplishments of Prime the Pump, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping build the infrastructure and distribution of... Read more →


Bloomberg NEF forecasts falling battery prices enabling surge in wind and solar to 50% of global generation by 2050

Wind and solar power generation will surge to almost 50% of world generation by 2050 (“50 by 50”), supported by precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply, according to... Read more →


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 →