Salar de Uyuni in the Andes in southwestern Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat (10,582 km2 / 4,086 mi2) and holds the world’s largest known deposit of lithium. The Bolivian state is creating a value chain to use the deposits of this raw material for industrial purposes. The state-owned... Read more →


Researchers find magnetite nanoparticles similar to those from traffic pollution in brain; possible link with Alzheimer’s

Researchers from the UK, Mexico and the US have found abundant magnetite nanoparticles in the brain tissue from 37 individuals aged three- to 92-years-old who lived in Mexico City and Manchester, UK. This strongly magnetic mineral has been implicated in the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) in the... Read more →


Researchers at Caltech have used computational topology optimization methods to design optimal multifunctional silicon anode structures for lithium-ion batteries. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. Sarah Mitchell and Michael Ortiz set out to address two problems related to silicon anodes: lithiation-induced mechanical degradation... Read more →


Bio-isobutanol company Gevo signs licensing and joint development agreements with Porta in Argentina; corn feedstock

Gevo, Inc. has entered into a license agreement and a joint development agreement with Porta Hnos S.A. to construct multiple isobutanol plants in Argentina using corn as a feedstock. The first plant is to be wholly owned by Porta and is anticipated to begin producing isobutanol in 2017. The plant... Read more →


C40 Cities releases interim results from Latin America Hybrid & Electric Bus Test; renewable diesel evaluated as well

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) has released interim results from its Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program, developed in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, and supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The results come from test segments run in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo; additional... Read more →


Nissan Americas manufacturing plants. Click to enlarge. Nissan Americas reported record sales of 1,561,230 in 2011 calendar year for Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles throughout the region encompassing North, Central and South America—a record year in both market share and volume for Japan’s second largest manufacturer. The Nissan brand alone... Read more →


California ARB soliciting research suggestions for FY 2012-2013 plan; sustainable communities, behavior, pollutant exposure, air pollution science, GHG targets

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is soliciting research suggestions for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Annual Research Plan in the form of brief conceptual descriptions that address specified research gaps and support the Board’s ongoing regulatory and policy priorities. The deadline to submit research concepts is 31 January 2012. Proposed... Read more →


Mexico City Outlines Green Plan

The government of Mexico City has proposed a wide-ranging “Green Plan” that, among other measures, will seek to better manage traffic flow, improve the emissions quality of the public transportation fleets, and put more emphasis on walking and cycling. The full Green Plan tackles the future of conservation; restoration of... Read more →


Mitsubishi Motors to Launch 4WD Flex-Fuel Vehicle (FFV) in Brazil

The Pajero TR4 Flex. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and local production and sales company MMC Automotores do Brasil Ltda (MMCB) have developed the first full-feature four-wheel drive flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) to be released in the Brazilian market. The Pajero TR4 Flex, featuring a 2.0-liter engine capable on running on blends... Read more →


Study Assesses Biofuels Outlook in the Americas Through 2020; Blueprint for Growth

A just-released study by Garten Rothkopf, the Washington, DC-based advisory firm, prepared for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), assesses the opportunities and challenges for Brazil and the Americas in the emerging global biofuels industry. IDB’s goal in requesting the report—A Blueprint for Green Energy in the Americas—is to develop a... Read more →


Maple Plans to Begin Ethanol Production in Peru in 2009

Maple, a Texas-based group of companies involved in the financing, design, engineering and construction of energy-related infrastructure projects worldwide, plans to begin ethanol production from its project in coastal Peru in the second quarter of 2009. The project—Maple’s first ethanol initiative—will initially produce 30-40 million gallons of sugarcane ethanol per... Read more →


Argentine Biofuels Industry Gets Organized

Argentina’s oil seed processing facilities in 2004. Source: USDA FAS. The Argentine Biofuels Chamber (ABC) is a new professional international trade association representing the biofuels industry in Argentina. Its mission is to coordinate and interact with a broad range of cooperators from the public and private sectors as well as... Read more →


Fiat and Tata to Partner in India and Latin America

The Fiat Grande Punto Fiat Group and Tata Motors are establishing an industrial joint-venture in India to manufacture passenger vehicles, engines and transmissions for the Indian and overseas markets. Both Fiat and Tata vehicles are expected to be manufactured in the same industrial facility. Fiat will introduce, among others, its... Read more →


Joint Venture Plans Gas-to-Liquids Plant in Bolivia

Bolivia’s major natural gas fields are in the south; the proposed GTL plant would be in Santa Cruz, fed by a pipeline. Map: Petrobras. Franklin Oil & Gas, Bolivia S.A. and YPFB (Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos, Bolivia’s state-owned oil company) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to build and... Read more →


Concept: Natural Gas Delivery Via a NG-Powered Airship

A sketch of a smaller airship. Credit: Jesse Blenn A small Bolivian company, Reparando SA, is exploring the delivery of natural gas (NG) delivery to remote areas by using an airship, rather than a pipeline. Reparando is a heavy equipment repair and road construction company that moved into selling and... Read more →


Researchers to Study Outflow of Pollution from Mexico City

Air pollution hangs above Mexico City. Click to enlarge. Source: Nancy Marley, NCAR An international team of researchers in undertaking a month-long investigation of air pollution as it flows downwind from Mexico City. This will represent one of the most complex projects yet undertaken in atmospheric chemistry. The scientists expect... Read more →


Honda Begins Selling Civic Hybrids in Mexico

Mercosur. Honda launched consumer sales of its Civic Hybrid in the Mexican market; Mexico is the first Latin American country in which hybrids are offered to consumers. Last week the company entered into an agreement with the Mexican government for the testing of 500 Civic hybrids. (Earlier post.) Honda Mexico’s... Read more →


Mexico City to Test 500 Honda Hybrids

Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology (INE) and Honda have signed an agreement for the joint environmental evaluation of 500 Civic Hybrid sedans in Mexico City, notable for its high altitude, heavy pollution and high fuel consumption. According to Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, José Luis Luege Tamargo, who... Read more →


Repsol YPF to Build Biodiesel Plant in Argentina

Repsol YPF, one of the ten major private oil companies in the world and the largest private energy company in Latin America, will invest US$30 million to build a biodiesel plant in a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Spanish-Argentinian petroleum company hopes to become the first major biodiesel producer... Read more →


Brazil’s Petrobras Exports First Shipment of Ethanol

ANBA. Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil, gas and energy company, made its first export shipment of ethanol this week, destined for Venezuela. Initial forecasts are for a monthly shipment of some 25,000 cubic meters (some 6.6 million gallons US). The company had announced earlier this year that it intended to... Read more →


Peru Puts First CNG-Powered Locomotive into Service

Reuters. Peru’s Ferrocarril Central Andino (FCCA) officially unveiled what it calls the world’s first CNG-powered train on Thursday. The cargo and passenger train, which runs along the world’s highest railway at 16,076 feet (4,900 meters) above sea level in Peru’s central Andes, will switch from diesel to run on two... Read more →


Mexico City Retrofit Pilot Reduces PM 90%; Full Implementation Delayed by Lack of ULSD

A year-long joint US-Mexico demonstration project is reducing PM emissions in a test fleet of 20 Mexico City buses by 90% and NOx emissions by 10%. More widespread implementation of the technology may be hampered by a lack of Ultra Low-Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel, however. The Mexico City Diesel Retrofit... Read more →