[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
ARPA-E awarding $3.5M to Berkeley Lab project to develop novel enzymatic gas-to-liquids pathway
September 22, 2013
On 19 September, the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) awarded $34 million to 15 projects to find advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas to liquid fuel for transportation. (Earlier post.) The largest award in the technical area of High-Efficiency Biological Methane Activation in the new program, (Reducing Emissions using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy—REMOTE, earlier post), provides $3.5 million to a team led by Dr. Christer Jansson at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to work on a novel methylation process to convert natural gas to liquid transportation fuels.
The project, called “Enzyme Engineering for Direct Methane Conversion,” involves designing a novel enzyme—a PEP methyltransferase (PEPMase)—by engineering an existing enzyme to accept methane instead of carbon dioxide. This methylation process, which does not exist in nature, will be used as the basis for the gas-to-liquids pathway.
Fiat 500L using SABIC polycarbonate glazing materials in rear fixed side windows; lighter weight than glass
December 19, 2012
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (SABIC) Innovative Plastics business is marking continued progress in the adoption of its polycarbonate (PC) glazing materials for automotive window applications with Fiat’s new 500L multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), which features rear fixed side windows molded from SABIC’s clear LEXAN GLX resin and black CYCOLOY resin. These high-performance SABIC materials help reduce weight by about 35 percent, improve aerodynamic efficiency and achieve the desired styling vs. glass.
The Fiat 500L has already launched in Europe and is set to roll out in the United States in early 2013. The rear fixed side windows of the vehicle will be the first in the United States to use two-shot injection compression molding, which allows for the seamless integration of an aerodynamic spoiler. SABIC suggests that the 500L windows demonstrate the enabling power of SABIC’s PC glazing materials, the practical application of PC glazing in today’s mass production vehicles and the continued traction of PC glazing in the automotive industry.
TenCate and BASF enter strategic alliance for thermoplastic automotive composites for high-volume production
October 25, 2012
TenCate Advanced Composites and BASF have entered into a strategic alliance to cooperate on the development, production and commercialization of thermoplastic composite materials suitable for high-volume vehicle production.
The main goal of this partnership is to offer car manufacturers custom-engineered solutions for high-performance composite structures, which enable this industry to further reduce weight and carbon dioxide emissions. The growing need of the automotive industry for composite materials used in mass production calls for a rapid development of materials and manufacturing processes, the partners said.