Secondary air systems are used to reduce gasoline engine emissions by accelerating catalytic converter heat-up. Pierburg GmbH has now further developed the associated secondary air blower and provided it with a speed-controlled motor. The latter allows secondary air injection across a much wider engine map range and hence, at any... Read more →


Australian study finds VW diesel using up to 14% more fuel in real world driving after emissions upgrade

Emissions analysis commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has found an affected VW diesel vehicle to be using up to 14% more diesel after being recalled for the mandated emissions system fix. Conducted in partnership with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the real world testing was commissioned to... Read more →


European Commission publishes draft proposal to tighten up car emissions testing

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on a draft proposal further to improve the quality of car emissions tests to ensure more reliable results and rebuild consumer confidence. New and improved car emissions tests have been mandatory since 1 September 2017: tests in real driving conditions (“Real Driving... Read more →


Audi begins initial engine testing of Global Bioenergies, Fraunhofer e-gasoline

Audi remains convinced of the potential of the fuels e-gas, “e-benzin” (e-gasoline) and e-diesel and is continuing to pursue its e-fuels strategy. (Earlier post.) Audi and its development partners Global Bioenergies S.A. (earlier post) and the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP) now report that they have for the... Read more →


Air pollution exposure during fetal life linked to brain alterations and cognitive impairment in children

A new study performed in the Netherlands has linked exposure to residential air pollution during fetal life with brain abnormalities that may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children. The study, published in Biological Psychiatry, reports that the air pollution levels related to brain alterations were below those considered... Read more →


SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, released the results of a recent lifecycle assessment of passenger car side doors using hybrid material solutions including laminates made with its continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRTC), the UDMAX GPP 45-70 tape. The material system aims to help improve compliance with stringent... Read more →


German Environment Agency study finds NO2 concentrations have serious impact on health

Outdoor air concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Germany have a serious impact on health, according to a new study published by the German Environment Agency (Umwelt Bundesamt, UBA). (The study was carried out on behalf of UBA by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and IVU Umwelt.) Statistics for 2014 indicate... Read more →


Researchers from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), with colleagues at other institutions in Canada and the UK, have found strong evidence that environmental exposures, including air pollution, affect gene expressions associated with respiratory diseases much more than genetic ancestry. The study, published as an open-access paper in Nature... Read more →


California ARB awards $7M for ultra-low NOx heavy-duty diesel truck demo project with Achates opposed-piston engines

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) is awarding $7 million to CALSTART to develop a Class 8 truck that will achieve a 90% reduction in NOx along with a 15-20% fuel efficiency improvement. The project will build and install diesel-fueled two-stroke compression-ignition Achates Power Opposed-Piston Engines into Class 8 demonstration... Read more →


Average CO2 emissions generated by new cars in Europe increased during 2017—the first rise in 10 years—according to a new analysis by JATO Dynamics. Covering 23 European markets, the study found that average CO2 emissions increased by 0.3 g/km in 2017, finishing at 118.1 g/km. This rise in average CO2... Read more →


Researchers show that single Pt atoms can perform CO oxidation at low temperatures; implications for catalytic converters

Researchers from Washington State University and Tufts University have “unambiguously” shown for the first time that individual Pt atoms on a well-defined Cu2O film are able to perform CO oxidation (i.e., converting CO to CO2)—a chemical reaction that is commonly used in catalytic converters to remove CO from car exhaust—at... Read more →


Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) from the Information and Communication Industry (ICT) could grow from roughly 1–1.6% in 2007 to exceed 14% of the 2016-level worldwide GHGE by 2040, accounting for more than half of the current relative contribution of the whole transportation sector, according to a new study from McMaster... Read more →


Crude palm oil is one of the more than ten renewable raw materials that Neste uses to produce a range of renewable products, including renewable diesel. Palm oil represents approximately 20% of Neste’s renewable raw material usage annually. Neste has been exploring ways to contribute to improving palm oil industry’s... Read more →


German Federal Administrative Court rules diesel bans in cities possible

In a highly anticipated decision, the German Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) in Leipzig has ruled that cities can ban highly polluting diesel cars if necessary to achieve NO2 emission limits. The verdict of the Bundesverwaltungsgericht—one of the five German federal supreme courts and the court of last resort for administrative... Read more →


The UK automotive industry warned that the current anti-diesel agenda combined with the ongoing slow take-up of electric vehicles could mean industry misses its next round of CO2 targets in 2021, with negative consequences for the UK’s own climate change goals. The warning came as a new report published by... Read more →


Study finds global emissions of ethane and propane underestimated by more than 50%

Global levels of the hydrocarbons ethane and propane in the atmosphere have been underestimated by more than 50%, according to a new study by a team of scientists from Europe and the US. When ethane and propane—the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) in the atmosphere—mix with nitrogen oxides from vehicles... Read more →


A new study by researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside (UCR) and colleagues at the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) has found that catalyzed gasoline particulate filters (GPF) are effective not only at reducing particulate mass, black carbon, and total and solid particle number... Read more →


BP outlook: Energy demand grows as fuel mix continues to diversify; EVs in global car parc at 15% by 2040, but electric share of VMT at 30%

The 2018 edition of BP’s Energy Outlook considers the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2040 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. The speed of the energy transition is uncertain and the new Outlook considers a range of scenarios. Its evolving transition scenario, which assumes that government... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Michigan and Ford Motor Company have found that using a Level 4 connected and automated vehicle (CAV) subsystem could increase vehicle primary energy use and GHG emissions by 3–20% due to increases in power consumption, weight, drag, and data transmission. However, when potential operational effects... Read more →


Consumer products such as shampoo, cleaning products and paint now contribute as much to emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cities as tailpipe emissions from vehicles, according to a new study led by NOAA. The results, published in an open-access paper in the journal Science, suggest that the focus of... Read more →


The life-cycle water consumption of fuel cell electric vehicles using hydrogen produced from natural gas with steam methane reforming is almost 50% less than the life-cycle water consumption of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles using gasoline, according to a study by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). If the hydrogen... Read more →


DOE awarding $6.5M to 9 large-scale Phase I pilot coal projects

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have selected nine projects to receive approximately $6.5 million in federal funding for Phase I of the Fossil Fuel Large-Scale Pilots funding opportunity announcement (FOA). This FOA, issued in August 2017, is... Read more →


New research by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Carnegie Mellon University, SRI International and the University of Colorado at Boulder shows that drone-based delivery could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in the transportation sector. An open-access paper on the research appears in Nature Communications. Drones have been used... Read more →


Study finds rapid increases in nitrogen oxides may be as harmful to the heart as sustained levels

Rapid increases in pollution may be as harmful to the heart as sustained high levels, according to new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The authors urgently call for confirmatory studies as even residents of clean air cities could be at risk. There is longstanding evidence that... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released two studies from the Co-Optimization of Engines & Fuels initiative (Co-Optima) (earlier post). The first study, Fuel Blendstocks with the Potential to Optimize Future Gasoline Engine Performance, identifies eight representative high-octane blendstocks across five chemical groups that could be blended into gasoline... Read more →


ORNL team using neutron imaging to study soot and ash collection and removal in particulate filters

A team of researchers from the Energy and Transportation Science Division at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is studying soot and ash collection and removal in particulate filters with neutron imaging, a technique sensitive enough to detect fine layers of material. Using the Neutron Imaging Facility instrument,... Read more →


Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and Haifa Municipality have begun operating a low-emission zone (LEZ). As of 2 February 2018, polluting heavy diesel vehicles were no longer allowed in downtown Haifa. These buses and trucks must install a particulate filter in order to enter the restricted area. The creation... Read more →


OECD: governments should make better use of energy taxation to address climate change; “meaningful” increases limited to road sector

Greater reliance on energy taxation is needed to strengthen efforts to tackle the principal source of both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, according to a new OECD report. Taxes are effective at cutting harmful emissions from energy use, but governments could make better use of them. In 2015, outside... Read more →


Forerunner and historical leader of the leisure activity vehicle (LAV)—i.e., small vans—segment in Europe, Groupe PSA will introduce three latest-generation models designed for its different brands: Peugeot, Citroën and Opel/Vauxhall. The new line-up stems from a single development program aimed at increasing the efficiency of investments and resources devoted to... Read more →


Analysts at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) have reviewed recent research into the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The ICCT analysis is in the overall context of life-cycle emissions of electric cars as compared to conventional internal combustion vehicles in Europe.... Read more →


A cradle-to-grave (C2G) assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs for current (2015) and future (2025–2030) light-duty vehicles by a team from US DOE and national laboratories, major automakers, EPRI and Chevron has found that currently, hybrid and plug-in hybrid petroleum-fueled vehicles provide the most attractive cost in terms... Read more →


IMO sub-committee moving forward on prohibiting carriage of high-sulfur fuel oil

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) has agreed to move forward with a prohibition on the carriage of high-sulfur fuel oil for use on board ships, when that fuel oil is not compliant with a new low-sulfur limit which comes into force from 2020.... Read more →


The Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, released a peer-reviewed study that examines the overall environmental impact of vehicle lightweighting using advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) compared with aluminum. The study, “Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas and Energy Study of Automotive Lightweighting,” found that... Read more →


Ronald Grover, staff researcher at General Motors (GM) Research and Development and GM colleagues Jian Gao, Venkatesh Gopalakrishnan, and Ramachandra Diwakar are using the Titan supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (LCF), a US Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory... Read more →


Removing fossil fuel subsidies would have only a small effect on CO2 emissions and renewable energy use, according to a new study led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and published in the journal Nature. Fossil fuel subsidies amount to hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide, and... Read more →


Marine shipping fuels will get cleaner in 2020 when a regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires a decrease in the allowable amount of sulfur in fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5%—i.e., from 35,000 parts per million (ppm) to 5,000 ppm. This marks the most significant improvement in global... Read more →


Ozone levels across much of North America and Europe dropped significantly between 2000 and 2014. Even so, during 2010-2014, people in parts of California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, the Midwest and the Middle Atlantic still experienced more than 15 days a year in which ozone levels exceeded the US health-based air... Read more →


Neste: use of our renewable fuels reduced global climate emissions by 8.3 million tons in 2017

Replacing fossil fuels with Neste’s renewable fuels reduced global climate emissions altogether by a 8.3 million metric tons—8.3 billion kilograms—in 2017, according to calculations made by the company. The figure equals removal of 3 million passenger cars from the roads for a full year—more than the amount of cars in... Read more →


Lightning Systems using predictive analytics to calculate vehicle fleet fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions

Engineers from Colorado-based Lightning Systems are using artificial neural networks to predict accurately the fuel economy and tailpipe emissions of fleet vehicles. Artificial neural networks are computing systems comprising a number of highly interconnected processing elements that process information and predict outcomes. A global developer of efficiency and emissions improvement... Read more →


Hydro has started producing the first aluminium metal at its technology pilot in Karmøy, marking the start of verifying at an industrial scale the HAL4e aluminium technology. Compared to the world average, the Hydro-developed technology will use 15% less energy in aluminium production and has the lowest CO2 footprint. Hydro... Read more →


CMU study finds secondary organic aerosol production from PFI and GDI vehicles has been “substantially” reduced by tightening NMOG standards

Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a major component of fine particulate matter—which causes adverse health effects—even in urban environments; vehicles may be a dominant source of SOA in urban areas, although there is still an ongoing debate over SOA formation from on-road sources. Now, in a new study published in... Read more →


Ultrafine aerosols—minute particles from urban (e.g., vehicles) and industrial air pollution—fuel powerful storms and influence weather much more than has been appreciated, according to a study published in the journal Science. Scientists have known that aerosols may play an important role in shaping weather and climate; the new study shows... Read more →


Study: air pollution may shorten telomeres in newborns; a sign of increased health risks

A study conducted before and after the 2004 closure of a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang, China, found that children born before the closure had shorter telomeres than those conceived and born after the plant stopped polluting the air. Results appear in the journal Environment International. Telomeres are specialized sections... Read more →


SDG&E seeks approval to build charging infrastructure to support ~3,000 medium/heavy electric vehicles

Under a proposal submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week, San Diego-based SDG&E is seeking approval to build charging infrastructure to enable about 3,000 medium/heavy-duty vehicles to go electric. To clean up the air in areas suffering from the highest levels of tailpipe emissions, 40% of the... Read more →


The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) finds that air quality is the leading environmental threat to public health. The EPI uses three indicators to measure air quality: household solid fuel use; PM2.5 average exposure, and PM2.5 exceedance of WHO thresholds. Recent research cited by the EPI suggests that around five... Read more →


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 →