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Researchers Measure 30% Weakening in Atlantic Circulation

The Atlantic Ocean circulation system. Click to enlarge. Researchers in the UK have measured an apparent 30% weakening in the warm Atlantic Ocean currents that carry heat from the tropics to the high latitudes of Western Europe. The team behind the new study are the first to spot these signs... Read more →

Modified Rand Cam Rotary Engine Entering Series Hybrid Testing

The Rand Cam diesel. Click to enlarge. Reg Technologies announced that modifications on a 42hp (31kW) diesel version of the Rand Cam sliding-vane rotary engine have been completed and that testing is beginning on a genset application for a series hybrid vehicle as well as for an unmanned aerial application.... Read more →

Lurgi Racks Up $200M in New Biofuel Contacts; Global Leader in Biodiesel Plant Production

Lurgi AG, a subsidiary of the GEA Group, has won five new contracts worth approximately €70 million (US$82 million) to build biodiesel plants in Germany. In addition, the plant engineering contractor has signed a contract worth €100 million (US$118 million) to build the Panda Energy ethanol plant in Hereford, TX.... Read more →

Ener1 Subsidiary Receives Funding for Lithium-Ion Production R&D

Enerstruct, a subsidiary of Ener1 jointly held with ITOCHU Corporation, has received funding from SBIC (Tokyo Small and Medium Business Investment & Consultation Co.), Japan’s oldest venture capital firm, to further the ongoing research and development of lithium battery production and battery production processes. EnerDel, Ener1’s lithium battery subsidiary in... Read more →

Proton Energy Receives Follow-On $1.9M Award for Hydrogen Station Development

Proton Energy Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp. has received its third consecutive award from the University of Nevada Las Vegas Research Foundation (UNLVRF) to continue its development of hydrogen fueling stations for automobiles and other motor vehicles. The $1.9 million award, funded by the US Department... Read more →

Financial Strategist Says Oil Sands to Bring New Global Importance to Canada

Alberta’s oil sands are going to be the focal point of the largest-scale competition for energy resources ever seen, according to Donald Coxe, Global Portfolio Strategist, BMO Financial Group and Chairman, Harris Investment Management Inc. Speaking beside a DaimlerChrysler smart car (right), Coxe said, “Even if the Chinese all have... Read more →

USDA Researchers Modifying Yeast for Cellulosic Ethanol Production

L. edodes, source of the gene for xylanase Researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service have cloned a gene from the Shiitake mushroom and are using that as the mechanism for yeast or other organisms to be able to process cellulosic biomass for ethanol production. The dominant technology for ethanol... Read more →

EU Struggling to Meet Kyoto Targets; Transportation a Leading Cause

The EU-15 are not tracking to meet their Kyoto obligations. Click to enlarge. Absent additional measures, the EU 15—the 15 longest-standing members of the European Union—will fail to meet their target reduction in greenhouse gases of 8% from the 1990 level required under Kyoto, according to an official report released... Read more →

FedEx Express/Environmental Defense and Seattle Mayor Win CALSTART Blue Sky Award

CALSTART, the California operating division of WestStart-CALSTART, an advanced transportation technologies consortium, announced the winners of the 2005 Blue Sky Awards: FedEx Express/Environmental Defense and Seattle, Washington, Mayor Greg Nickels. The Blue Sky awards recognize the groundbreaking work of large and small companies for their outstanding marketplace contributions to clean... Read more →

Syntroleum to Begin Coal-to-Liquids Testing

Syntroleum will begin testing the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) catalyst used in its gas-to-liquids (GTL) process with coal-derived syngas produced at an established gasification facility. The new testing program is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Syntroleum FT-410 cobalt catalyst with proven coal-derived syngas clean-up and treatment processes for use in... Read more →

Hydro to Extend Utsira Wind/Hydrogen Project to Spring 2008

The Utsira Project Hydro and its partner Enercon have decided to extend their combined wind power and hydrogen facility on Utsira until spring 2008. The demonstration project on the island Utsira off the coast of western Norway started operating in summer 2004 and was originally scheduled to run two years.... Read more →

President of Royal Society Compares Effects of Climate Change to WMD

In his annual anniversary address to be delivered to the UK Royal Society on Wednesday, Royal Society President Lord May will invite a comparison of the potential effects of climate change with those of weapons of mass destruction. This will mark Lord May’s final address to the Royal Society—the UK... Read more →

Westport Innovations and ENE Move to Next Step for LNG-Fueled Mine Trucks

A mine truck Westport Innovations and Energy Developments Limited (ENE) of Queensland, Australia, have completed the initial feasibility study (earlier post) and are now moving into the next phase of program and business planning for liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered mine trucks. The program involves the application of Westport’s proprietary... Read more →

BP to Double Investment in Alt- and Renewable Energy

The DF1 project for hydrogen generation and carbon sequestration/enhanced oil recovery will become part of BP Alternative Energy. BP today announced that it plans to double its investment in alternative and renewable energies and will create a new low-carbon power business that it expects could deliver annual revenues of around... Read more →

Cost-Effective Emissions Reduction for Older Diesels

Coupling Clean Diesel Technologies’ (CDT) Platinum Plus fuel-borne catalyst (FBC) with various emissions aftertreatment retrofit technologies can reduce emissions from older diesel fleet vehicles such as school buses, and local delivery and refuse trucks by as much as 70%, according to recent tests by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). The... Read more →

Malaysia to Launch National Biodiesel Trial 1 Jan 06

New Straits Times. Starting 1 Jan 2006, diesel-powered public transport vehicles and army trucks and the plantation industry will be the first in Malaysia to use a B5 palm oil biodiesel blend on a trial basis. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said biodiesel would make... Read more →

Korea’s Renault Samsung to Export Compact SM3 Under Nissan Brand

The new SM3 will offer a diesel option by the end of 2005. Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn announced that Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) will begin to export the compact SM3 model under the Nissan brand beginning in 2006. Ghosn is also the chairman of Nissan. RSM, of which Renault owns... Read more →

Canada Contributes C$3.6 Million to Natural Gas Vehicle Project in India

The Government of Canada will contribute C$3.6 million (US$3.1 million) through the Climate Change Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM) program to a consortium of companies that is developing and demonstrating natural gas vehicles (NGV) in India. The project, designed to demonstrate the potential for reduction of greenhouse gases through the... Read more →

Daihatsu Introduces New, More Efficient Mini-Car Engine

Daihatsu Motor has introduced its new KF minicar engine, previewed earlier this year at the Tokyo Motor Show. The 660cc Topaz KF achieves 5% greater torque, 10% better fuel economy and is 25% lighter than its predecessor. The three-cylinder, 12-valve engine uses long-stroke pistons and ultra-compact combustion chambers, enhanced with... Read more →

Toyota to Supply Hybrid Systems to Fuji Heavy (Subaru)

Nikkei. Toyota Motor (TMC) will supply hybrid systems to Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI)—the maker of Subarus—and help train FHI engineers in hybrid technology, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Toyota became a major shareholder in Fuji Heavy in October following its purchase of share from General Motors.... Read more →

CoC Report Suggests Surcharge on Hybrids, Eventual VMT Tax to Fund Highway Maintenance

US highway and bridge systems face a cumulative $0.5-trillion shortfall by 2015 to maintain the system and a $1.1-trillion shortfall to improve the system. A report commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce concludes that current revenues at all levels of government—Federal, state, and local—devoted to transportation investments are grossly... Read more →

Masterflex Receives First Order for Fuel Cell Bikes

Masterflex AG, a processor of specialty polymers that runs a fuel-cell division, has received the first order for its fuel-cell powered electric bicycle. The city of Herten in North Rhine-Westphalia will use a fleet of ten fuel-cell bicycles for services for tourists, such as day trips into the Ruhr area.... Read more →

Toyota Worldwide Hybrid Sales Top 500,000

Click to enlarge. Cumulative worldwide sales of Toyota hybrids have topped the 500,000 mark, with approximately 513,000 units sold worldwide by the end of October this year. The majority of those sales (426,800, or 83%) come from the Prius. Toyota launched the Prius—the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle—in Japan in... Read more →

Oil-Sands-Derived Fuels and Modern Engines

Bitumen, the product from oil sands, has different properties than light crude oil. Natural Resources Canada, National Research Council Canada, and the US Department of Energy have published a report that starts to identify the gaps in knowledge related to the use of fuels derived from synthetic crude produced from... Read more →

South Dakota Adds 251 Flex-Fuel Vehicles to State Fleet

The South Dakota Bureau of Administration’s Fleet and Travel Management is replacing current fleet vehicles with 251 flex-fuel vehicles (FFV) capable of burning E85 (85% ethanol). The FFVs represent 82% of the state’s total order of new vehicles this year, according to South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds, and brings the... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler Officially Hands Over 3 Fuel Cell Buses to Beijing

DaimlerChrysler officially handed over three hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Citaro buses (earlier post) to the City of Beijing on Wednesday at the opening of the 4th International Clean Vehicle Technology Conference and Exhibition. As part of a fuel cell project which has been specifically conceived for the Chinese market, the fuel-cell Citaro... Read more →

Testing Confirms Ultra Low Levels Of Platinum Emissions From Clean Diesel Technologies FBC

Clean Diesel Technologies, a developer of chemical and technological solutions to reduce harmful engine emissions, announced that independent tests have demonstrated that the platinum emissions from the Company’s Platinum Plus fuel borne catalyst (FBC) do not pose an allergenic risk. Platinum Plus is a bimetallic platinum/cerium kerosene-based fuel additive used... Read more →

French Government/Industry Biofuels Roundtable Develops 15-Point Action Plan

The biofuel roundtable. The French Government is accelerating its efforts to develop alternative energies in order to reduce national oil consumption and limit France’s energy dependence. This week, Domenica Bussereau, Minister for Agriculture and Fishing and François Loos, Vice-Minister for Industry in the Ministry of Finance, assembled executives from agriculture,... Read more →

GM to Introduce First Diesel Chevrolet SUV in Europe

Captiva will use the new GM Daewoo diesel engine. GM announced it will introduce the Captiva—a new compact Chevrolet SUV based on the S3X concept vehicle—at the Geneva Show in March 2006. At the Paris Motor Show in 2004, GM showed a diesel micro-hybrid version of the S3X concept—a vehicle... Read more →

Altair Nanotechnologies Receives $250K State Grant to Support Li-Ion Work

Altair Nanotechnologies (Altairnano), a supplier of advanced ceramic nanomaterials used, among other applications, in lithium-ion battery electrodes, has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Indiana Advanced Energy Technologies Program (AETP) initiative. The Indiana Energy Group has awarded six grants on a competitive basis from this program during 2005. The... Read more →

California ARB Proposing New Port Emissions Regulations

At the 8 December public meeting of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), ARB staff will propose for Board consideration two new regulations designed to mitigate criteria emissions from cargo-handling equipment used at California ports as well as ocean-going vessels docked the ports or within 24 nautical miles of the... Read more →

Optima Delivers 14 LPG Streetcars to San Antonio, Texas

Optima Bus Corporation delivered 14 propane-fueled American Heritage Streetcars to VIA Metropolitan Transit, located in San Antonio, Texas. VIA was the first transit agency to purchase the turn-of-the-century design streetcars from Optima more than 20 years ago. The transit agency only recently retired those first streetcars, and is replacing them... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler to Launch New Sprinter in March 2006; Platform for Plug-in Hybrid and Fuel Cell Work

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Sprinter, based on the current model. DaimlerChrysler will launch a new version of its Sprinter commercial van in March 2006. Not only has the Sprinter sold some 1.3 million units in its 10-year existence, but it is the platform for testing and evaluation of a commercial... Read more →

2006 Civic Named Motor Trend Car of the Year

Motor Trend has named the all-new Honda Civic the 2006 Car of the Year. The award extends to the entire Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe lineup including the Civic Hybrid and high-performance Civic Si models. The Motor Trend editorial staff selected the Honda Civic from a field of 28 new... Read more →

Bosch Expanding Further in China, Sees Diesel Sales Growing to 15% in 10 Years

The Bosch Group plans further significant expansion of its presence in China to make it a core manufacturing center serving the Chinese domestic market as well as the larger Asia-Pacific market. Franz Fehrenbach, the Chairman of the Board of Management, made the comments at a press conference on the occasion... Read more →

Chrysler Canada Considering Diesel Minivans

CP. DaimlerChrysler is considering selling a Canada-only diesel-engine version of its minivans while preparing a major product offensive for 2006. DaimlerChrysler in Europe sells fuel-efficient diesel variants of the Voyager, as well as the Chrysler 300 sedan and other models, but Chrysler’s Canadian diesel offerings are confined to trucks and... Read more →

Ford Outlines Six Initiatives to Secure Energy and Manufacturing Future in US

In a speech before the Business Roundtable, Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford called for overcoming the energy and manufacturing challenges facing the USA through private/public investment in innovation. Ford outlined six short-term cooperative measures between industry and government that could “bear fruit for years to come.” The... Read more →

GreenShift Invests in Aerogel Composites for Fuel Cell and Catalytic Applications

Transmission Electron Microscope image of aerogel GreenShift Corporation, a business development corporation that invests in emerging companies and technologies which might enable large environmental gains, is taking a 25% position ($500,000) position in Aerogel Composite (ACI), a development-stage company making meso-porous carbon aerogel composites. ACI has patented a process for... Read more →

Hybrid Fuel Systems Sub-Licenses Conversion Systems in the UK

Coming shortly after its announcement of a US franchise network for converting gasoline and diesel engines to run on natural gas or propane (earlier post), Hybrid Fuel Systems (HFS) has announced an exclusive sub-license agreement with BPM Diesel Engineering in the UK. Under the terms of the license agreement, BPM... Read more →

RFTA Putting Four GM Diesel Hybrid Buses into Service

Aspen Times. The Roaring Fork Transit Authority (Colorado) has ordered and is receiving four GM-Allison diesel hybrid buses. One has already been delivered and is going into service next week. The Roaring Fork Transit Agency has been in operation since 1983, and is operated by a Rural Transportation Authority that... Read more →

India’s Hydrogen Roadmap: 1M Hydrogen Vehicles and 1,000 MW Hydrogen Power by 2020

Tata Handing Over the H2 Roadmap The Indian national steering group on hydrogen energy, headed by industrialist Ratan Tata, has developed a roadmap to have 1 million hydrogen-fueled vehicles—combustion-engine as well as fuel-cell vehicles—on Indian roads by 2020 and to generate 1,000 MW of power through hydrogen-fueled plants. Tata presented... Read more →

Rothsay opens Canada’s First Commercial-Scale Biodiesel Plant

Rothsay, a division of Maple Leaf Foods and Canada’s largest independent rendering company, has opened the country’s first commercial-scale biodiesel plant. The new facility has the capacity to produce 35 million liters (9.2 million gallons) of biodiesel annually and is located in Ville Ste. Catherine on Montreal’s South Shore. Rothsay... Read more →

GM to Close 9 Facilities and Eliminate 30,000 Jobs; Looks to Full-Size SUVs

On Monday, GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced the company’s next move to reduce its cost and stem its losses in North America: the closing of nine assembly, stamping and powertrain facilities and three Service and Parts Operations facilities, and the elimination of 30,000 jobs. The plant closings and... Read more →

ZAP Introduces 3-Wheeled Electric City Car

The XEBRA EV ZAP introduced an electric three-wheeled city car, the XEBRA, at the San Francisco International Auto Show. ZAP, the seller of an Americanized version of the smart car, has entered into a manufacturing contract with a Chinese automaker to produce the vehicle. The company is currently taking advance... Read more →