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 →


A team of researchers at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility and the Technical University of Denmark have developed an optical setup for quantitative, high-temporal resolution line-of-sight extinction imaging in harsh optical environments. The diagnostic tool can now quantify the formation of particulate matter as a function of time and space for... Read more →


In a new report (its fourth on electric car adoption) the Boston Consulting Group forecasts that a combination of hybrid and fully electric powertrains will cut the global market share of pure internal combustion engines (ICEs) by about 50% by 2030. ICEs will continue to play a major but changing... Read more →


Southern California Edison has proposed an integrated strategic framework for the state of California to meet its ambitious climate and air quality goals. SCE describes its Clean Power and Electrification Pathway in a white paper. The approach builds upon existing state programs by identifying cost-effective actions to increase clean energy... Read more →


Large scale epidemiological study associates PM2.5, NO2 pollution with kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer death

Air pollution is classified as carcinogenic to humans given its association with lung cancer, but there is little evidence for its association with cancer at other body sites. However, in a new large-scale prospective study led by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by the “la... Read more →


UN Environment report says national GHG pledges only bring one-third of reductions needed for Paris Agreement

The eighth edition of UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report, released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, finds that national pledges only bring approximately one-third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate... Read more →


Insights from Leoben researchers lead to improved piezo injectors

One of the elements modern diesel engines require to become energy-efficient and clean are precisely controllable injection nozzles using piezo crystals. How exactly these crystals work has not been fully understood to date. In a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, a group of researchers from the Materials... Read more →


WMO reports GHG concentrations at highest in 800K years

Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800,000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of... Read more →


Researchers from France and Germany are proposing a new concept for the dynamic tuning of the structure of platinum nanoparticles on catalytic converters to enhance their performance—especially after cold starts and in urban traffic—and to reduce the consumption of expensive noble metal. The method is based on the interaction between... Read more →


Study finds modifying urban form may be a strategy to reduce air pollution

Based on their findings in a new study, researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota suggest that modifying urban form—as a means of affecting motor vehicle usage—may be a strategy to mitigate urban air pollution. Their paper appears in the ACS journalEnvironmental Science & Technology. They... Read more →


Study finds cities can reduce CO2 more easily from residential conservation than transportation

A new study by a team from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT suggests it will be easier for cities to reduce CO2 emissions coming from residential energy use rather than from local transportation. This reduction will happen mostly thanks to better building practices, not greater housing density. The study... Read more →


OGCI makes first three investments: Achates Power, Solidia, and gas power with CCS

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has made its first three investments, moving forward the organization’s commitments to spur the growth of promising low carbon technologies. (Earlier post.) OGCI Climate Investments is the $1-billion investment fund established last year by OGCI to invest in promising technologies and business models... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz introducing new 4-cylinder engine with 48V system and GPF in E-Class

Mercedes-Benz is introducing a newly developed four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers the performance of a high-capacity six-cylinder engine but with significantly reduced fuel consumption for the E‑Class Coupé and Cabriolet. The engine generates 220 kW/299 hp from a displacement of 1991 cc. In the E 350 Coupé if achieves fuel... Read more →


Pollutant emitted by biomass burning found to cause DNA damage and lung cell death; the role of retene

A new study by a team from Brazil, with colleagues in the US, has shown that particulate pollution biomass burning in the Amazon induced inflammation, oxidative stress and severe DNA damage in human lung cells. After 72 hours of exposure, more than 30% of the cultured cells are dead, the... Read more →


Study: expanding Brazilian sugarcane for ethanol could reduce global CO2 emissions by up to 5.6%

Vastly expanding sugarcane production in Brazil for conversion to ethanol could reduce current global CO2 emissions by as much as 5.6%, according to a new study by an international team led by researchers from the University of Illinois. This would be a massive undertaking, involving the conversion of hundreds of... Read more →


Dearman flags diesel loophole in new London T-Charge anti-pollution scheme

Dearman, the UK-based developer of clean cold power systems based on its engine powered by liquid nitrogen (earlier post), has identified a diesel loophole in the new London T-Charge levy on the most polluting vehicles. (Earlier post.) The £10 (US$13) per day levy applies to vehicles whose main engines do... Read more →


Mayors of 12 major cities pledge to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025; major areas to be zero-emission by 2030

The mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan, Seattle, Auckland and Cape Town have pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030. The signatories of the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration... Read more →


London’s £10 daily “T-charge” for most polluting vehicles now in effect; partnership with Turing Institute

London’s £10 daily “T-Charge” (toxicity), aimed at the oldest, most polluting vehicles on London roads, is now in effect. The T Charge applies mainly to diesel and gasoline vehicles registered before 2006. The T-Charge (officially known as the Emissions Surcharge) operates on top of (and during the same operating times... Read more →


Honeywell UOP opens first facility in China to test flare emissions for VOCs

Honeywell UOP’s Callidus Technologies business began operation of China’s only facility capable of testing flare emissions for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The test center in Luoyang, Henan Province, aids customers that are working to reduce emissions of VOCs in industrial flare systems and improve flare operation. The Callidus Luoyang Combustion... Read more →


Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today, according to the newly released report detailing the adverse effects of pollution on global health by the The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. Diseases caused by pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million... Read more →


Global CO2 emissions stalled for the third year in a row

The annual assessment of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the JRC and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) confirms that CO2 emissions have stalled for the third year in a row. The report provides updated results on the continuous monitoring of the three main greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2),... Read more →


Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from global shipping are on the rise again, according to a new study released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Overall, the study found that maritime fuel consumption increased from 291 to 298 million tonnes (+2.4%) from 2013 to 2015, compared to a... Read more →


Global Mobility Report finds world not on track to achieving sustainable mobility

The transport sector is not on track towards achieving sustainable mobility, according to the newly published Global Mobility Report 2017 (GMR). The GMR is the first study to assess the global performance of the transport sector and the progress made toward four main objectives: universal access, efficiency, safety, and green... Read more →


Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have found that the air pollution and greenhouse gas costs of shipping crude by rail are nearly twice as large as those for oil pipelines. Further, their estimates of air pollution and greenhouse gas costs are much larger than estimates... Read more →