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Georgia to Propose State-wide Diesel Idling Rules in 2006

Telegraph. Georgia state environmental officials plan to draft a state-wide rule in January to limit the time drivers of diesel vehicles would be allowed to idle their engines. State regulators had planned to propose the rule in late summer 2005, but Hurricane Katrina and fuel shortages made it necessary to... Read more →

EPA Issues Actions on Vehicle Emissions Durability Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency EPA is issuing two actions related to vehicle emissions durability testing procedures. This comes on the heels of the $90-million settlement with DaimlerChrysler to repair defective catalytic converters on nearly 1.5 million Jeep and Dodge vehicles (earlier post). First, EPA is issuing a final rule that... Read more →

Oregon Governor Outlines Goals to Fight Global Warming and Improve Air Quality

In a recent speech to the state Environmental Quality Commission (EQC), Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski called upon the EQC to create a strategic plan for the state Department of Environmental Quality to follow in developing and expanding existing programs to fight global warming and improve air quality. Noting warnings by... Read more →

Toyo Engineering to Design and Build Coal-to-DME Plant in China

DME is a component of China’s vision for coal utilization. Japan’s Toyo Engineering will design and build China’s first major coal-to-dimethyl ether (DME) with China’s Ningxia Coal Group in northwestern China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. DME can serve as a synthetic fuel that is to diesel what LPG is to... Read more →

Japanese Consortium Planning to Build Trial Gas-to-Liquids Plant in 2006

The JOGMEC GTL process streamlines syngas production, removing O2 plant, CO2 removal, and conditioning. A group of Japanese companies intent on making gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuels a commercially viable overseas business by 2011 (earlier post) plans to start building a trial GTL plant in Niigata Prefecture in fiscal 2006, according to... Read more →

Spending Bill Includes $2.1 Million in 2006 for Hybrid Electric Military Vehicle R&D

An appropriations bill passed by Congress before the holidays and now awaiting the President’s signature contains a $2.1-million provision for the development of Hybrid-Electric Military Vehicles, including Integrated Starter Alternator research and development according to Raser Technologies, a developer of advanced electric motors and a founding member of the Plug-In... Read more →

Renault Increases Stake in Samsung Motors to 80%

Reuters. Renault has purchased an additional 10% interest in South Korea’s Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) for 55 billion won ($54.3 million). The exercise of these options brings Renault’s stake in the Korean company to 80.1%. Samsung Group owns the remaining 19.9%. Late last month, Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn announced that... Read more →

Seattle’s Essential Baking Company Shifts Delivery Fleet to B99 Biodiesel

Seattle’s Essential Baking Company has shifted its entire delivery fleet to B99 (99% biodiesel). The organic bakery sold off its old fleet of trucks and leased 13 newer diesels: nine Dodge Sprinters, three Ford Cargo E250s and one Isuzu NPR Box Truck. All run on the B99 fuel. Peter Miller,... Read more →

Chinese EV Company Exports 106 Happy Messenger Electric Cars to US Buyers

Happy Messenger Tianjin Qingyuan Electric Vehicles has exported 106 of its Happy Messenger (earlier post) electric vehicles to buyers in the US. According to the company, the US buyers are townships, military bases, ports and research institutions. The Tianjin company sent over six Happy Messengers in April for performance tests... Read more →

Hythane Company Begins Hydrogen-CNG System Demonstrations in China

The Hythane Company is beginning demonstrations of its low-emission hydrogen-compressed natural gas fuel system in support of a major bus conversion project in China. Hythane (generically called HCNG: hydrogen-CNG) is essentially CNG mixed with a small percentage of hydrogen (usually about 7% by energy or 20% by volume), and was... Read more →

EPA Issues First Renewable Fuels Standard Ruling: A Collective 2.78% for 2006

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its first rulemaking under the provisions of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program as authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Act directs EPA to issue RFS regulations by 8 August 2006, and provides that if EPA has not adopted such regulations... Read more →

Rentech Awarded Patent on Co-Production of Fischer-Tropsch Fuels and Electricity with CO2 Capture

Overview of Rentech’s integrated process. Click to enlarge. Rentech has been awarded a new patent (its 20th in this area) on a process for co-producing Fischer-Tropsch (FT) liquids and electrical power with CO2 emissions reduced through carbon capture. The plant described in the patent combines an air separation unit, a... Read more →

China Power Moves to Develop Oil Shale; Tapping Wind Also

Jilin Province China Daily. One of China’s top five power producers, China Power Investment Corp (CPIC), is planning to develop oil shale resources, in addition to expanding beyond coal-fired power generation into wind and nuclear. The State-owned electricity generator has inked a framework agreement with the local government in Jilin... Read more →

Update on the New Yaris for the US: 36 MPG

2007 Toyota Yaris Toyota has provided more performance detail for the 1.5-liter engine powering the new 2007 Toyota Yaris (earlier post) for the US in four-door Sedan and three-door Liftback configurations. The initial US 2007 Yaris models which go onsale this spring are using a larger engine than their global... Read more →

Defense Spending Bill Contains Provisions for E85, Coal-to-Liquids Reports

Tucked away in the massive $453-billion defense spending bill passed by both houses of Congress prior to its holiday recess are provisions for separate reports on two alternative fuels for use by the military: E85 (85% ethanol blend) and Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) synthetic fuels. Now cleared for signing by the President,... Read more →

Bridgestone to Build $100M Synthetic Rubber Plant in China

Bridgestone Corp. will invest about $100 million to build a synthetic rubber plant in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China to meet what it anticipates will be the surge in tire demand in Asia. The new plant, due to become operational in 2008, will produce 50,000 tons per year of styrene-butadiene rubber... Read more →

Toyota’s “Car-Shaped Music Player” on Sale in Japan

The new bB Toyota has put its completely redesigned bB on sale in Japan. The car, cousin of the Scion xB and shown as a concept at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, is, according to Toyota, a “Car-shaped Music Player.” This boom box on wheels, which incorporates an advanced audio... Read more →

Terminal Operator at Port of Seattle Moves to B20 Biodiesel

In a deal brokered by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), terminal operator SSA Marine will use 800,000 gallons of biodiesel blend in its dockside loading and container-moving equipment at the Port of Seattle next year, starting with a B2 blend but reaching B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel) within three months.... Read more →

REGI, Radian Agree on Property Rights for RadMax Rand Cam Rotary

REGI U.S., owner of the US rights to the Rand Cam rotary engine (earlier post) and its development partner, Radian Milparts, have struck a deal over the rights to the preliminary patent application, trademark and associated materials for the RadMax, an application of the Rand Cam engine in an unmanned... Read more →

In My Back Yard, Please: DFW Looks to Drill for Gas

The Barnett Shale Field outlined in red, with producing wells as red dots. The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that officials at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport—the world’s third-busiest—are looking to move into the natural gas business. The airport’s 18,076 acres sit atop the eastern edge of the Barnett Shale, which has... Read more →

Myers Motors’ NmG Personal Electric Vehicle

NmG is a direct descendant of the Corbin Sparrow Myers Motors has introduced its NmG (No More Gas) personal electric vehicle: a sealed lead-acid battery-powered tricycle with a top speed of 70 mph and a range of 20–40 miles. The NMG is a direct descendant of the Corbin Sparrow, which... Read more →

Ex-CEO of Ballard: Hybrids Will Accelerate Fuel-Cell Commercialization

Outgoing Ballard CEO Dennis Campbell shared some observations with Canada’s Globe and Mail on the prospects for fuel-cell vehicles as he packed up to head home to the US. Campbell stepped down as President and CEO of the hydrogen fuel-cell maker in October. His exit followed the sale of Ballard’s... Read more →

Hydrogenics Wins $8M Order for New Fuel-Cell Power Modules

Hydrogenics has won a $US8-million contract for multiple units of its recently-introduced HyPM 500 Series Fuel Cell Power Modules (earlier post) from a world-leading military OEM. The power modules, representing in aggregate over 600 kW of power capacity, will be delivered over a two year period starting in 2006. The... Read more →

Mercedes Expands Natural Gas Vehicle Production to Thailand

The Benz E200 NGT TNA. Daimler Chrysler plans to begin producing natural gas vehicles (NGV) in Thailand—its first instance of NGV production outside of Germany. The announcement came during a ceremony in which DaimlerChrysler delivered the bi-fuel E200 NGT (earlier post)to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for testing for one year.... Read more →

$1.62M Federal Grant for Kettering Fuel Cell Center

Kettering University’s Center for Fuel Cell Systems and Powertrain Integration has received a $1.62-million grant from the US Department of Commerce to help build an Advanced Technology and Renewable Energy (ATRE) building. The ATRE building would be the first research building in the proposed research and technology park the school... Read more →

Opus Diesel Series-Hybrid Bus CARB-Certified

The Opus diesel series-hybrid The Optima Bus Opus diesel series-hybrid low-floor bus recently received certification by the California Air Resources Board for meeting California emissions standards and regulations. The Opus Hybrid uses an ISE-Siemens series-hybrid powertrain, and is projected to reduce fuel consumption (and associated emissions) between 20% to 40%,... Read more →

Minnesota Truckers Seek Emergency Waiver of Biodiesel Rule Over Cold-Weather Clogging

Pioneer Press reports that the Minnesota Trucking Association has asked Gov. Tim Pawlenty for an emergency waiver of the state’s 2-month-old biodiesel mandate as an apparent spate of clogged fuel filters hits trucks in the state. Minnesota requires that diesel fuel sold in the state contain 2% biodiesel (B2). Minnesota’s... Read more →

Dynetek Providing Hydrogen Storage for H2ICE Tow Tractors and Shuttles

The hydrogen tow tractor Dynetek Industries, together with its alliance partner enviroMECH Industries Ltd., has delivered two 350 bar (5000 psi) hydrogen fuel storage systems to TUG Technologies to be used in hydrogen-fueled tow tractors at the Orlando International Airport. The M1A tow tractor uses a Ford Power Products 4.2-liter,... Read more →

Westport and Isuzu Extend Work on CNG-Direct Injection; Target 25% Better Fuel Economy

The ELF CNG-DI, a joint entry between Isuzu and Westport, won two gold medals at the 2003 Michelin Challenge Bibendum. Westport Innovations and Isuzu have signed a new joint partnership and funding agreement for the application of Westport’s Compressed Natural Gas Direct Injection (CNG-DI) technologies on Isuzu engines and commercial... Read more →

Saab Flex-Fuel BioPower Hot Seller in Sweden

Saab BioPower Four months after its launch in Sweden, the Saab 9-5 BioPower—a flexible-fuel vehicle capable of running on ethanol blends of up to 85% (E85)—has already outsold its full-year 2006 sales target. Saab Sweden expects to take more than 5,500 orders for the BioPower by year end—equivalent to next... Read more →

2005: One of the Warmest Years on Record

NOAA. January–December global surface mean temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2005. Analyses of the average global temperatures in 2005 released by four scientific agencies—The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; The World Meteorological Organization; and the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research—agree that... Read more →

Particulate Matter Exposure with High-Fat Diet Accelerates Hardening of Arteries

Section of abdominal aorta. Researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the New York University School of Medicine have shown a direct cause-and-effect link between exposure to fine particle (PM) air pollution and the development of atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries. In the study, funded... Read more →

Iowa Biofuel and Ag Groups Call for State 25% Renewable Fuel Standard

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) has joined the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) in calling for an Iowa Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) that would replace 25% of Iowa’s gasoline with renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel by 2015. The aggressive RFS allows gasoline retailers flexibility in meeting the standard... Read more →

Incentives to Boost CNG and Hybrid Taxis in San Francisco

San Francisco, California, is working with Clean Energy, a provider of natural gas for transportation, and the Coalition Advocating for Smart Transportation (CAST), to develop packages of incentives to boost the number of compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid taxis serving the city. Clean Energy will provide and administer financial... Read more →

SoCal Edison Joins Plug-In Hybrid Development Consortium

Southern California Edison has joined the Plug-In Hybrid Development Consortium as a founding member. The consortium is made up of a growing number of automotive suppliers, manufacturers and other organizations working together to accelerate the commercial production of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). (Earlier post.) Unlike more conventional hybrids that... Read more →

Honda to Cut Price Delta of Civic Hybrids; May Phase Out Gasoline-Powered Civics

Bloomberg. Honda said it will cut the extra cost of hybrid powertrains on the Civic (earlier post) by a third within 5 years and possibly will begin to phase out the gasoline-powered version in some markets, including Japan. The additional cost of a Civic’s hybrid powertrain will fall by a... Read more →

Tongji University and Shell to Build Shanghai’s First Hydrogen Fueling Station

Tongji University, Shell Hydrogen BV and Shell (China) Limited have signed an agreement to build Shanghai’s first hydrogen filling station for fuel cell vehicles. In 2006 Shanghai will be operating 10 fuel cell vehicles. This small fleet will grow to 1,000 by 2010 for the hosting of the World Expo... Read more →

European Commission Proposes New Clean Vehicles Mandate and Euro 5 Standards

The European Commission today proposed new legislation that would require public transport operators to allocate a minimum of 25% of their annual procurement (purchasing or leasing) of heavy-duty vehicles (weight greater than 3.5 metric tons) to “enhanced environmentally friendly vehicles” (EEVs). The Commission also formally proposed the new Euro 5... Read more →

Vermont’s Renewable Hydrogen Station and Hydrogen Prius on Track

Layout of the refueling station US Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called a press conference to highlight the progress being made in a $2-million research project for Vermont, $1 million of that funded by the DOE, to build a renewable hydrogen fueling station (earlier post) and to convert a Prius to... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler in $90M Settlement to Repair Defective Emissions Controls

The United States has reached a settlement with DaimlerChrysler to repair defective emission controls on nearly 1.5 million Jeep and Dodge vehicles from model years 1996 through 2001, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. The agreement also settles allegations that the company violated the Clean... Read more →

Higher-Powered 2.0-liter Diesel for the Renault Laguna in Q1 2006

Renault has announced that it will apply the recently-announced higher-powered version of the new 2.0-liter cDi family in the Laguna beginning in the first quarter of 2006. The new 175-hp (127-kW) version of the 2.0-liter diesel will come with a self-regenerating particulate filter. (Earlier post.) The power boost makes the... Read more →

Rentech in Site Negotiations for Coal-to-Liquids “Strategic Fuels Plant”

The proposed site is a former country club now attached to the Natchez Adams County Industrial Park & Port. Rentech has entered into an agreement with the Adams County, Mississippi Board of Supervisors which provides a six-month exclusivity for the parties to negotiate a contract under which Rentech would purchase... Read more →

S. Korean Refiners Reluctant to Introduce Korean Biodiesel

Yonhap. South Korea’s planned introduction of biodiesel next year could be delayed because local refiners are reluctant to sell the “unstable energy product.” The S. Korean Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) began working on biodiesel in 2002 as one solution for environmental, global... Read more →

EPA Proposes Major Revisions to Particulate Matter Standards

County-level 24-hour average PM2.5, 2001-2003. Under the new regulations, areas with PM2.5 > 35µg/m3 would be in violation. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing major revisions to its national air quality standards for fine particulate matter (PM) and from some coarse particles, strengthening the first by 46% and... Read more →

New Zealand Scuttles Carbon Tax

New Zealand’s GHG mix is heavier on methane than many Kyoto nations. New Zealand Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues David Parker announced the government is not proceeding with its proposed carbon tax (earlier post) and will instead consider other ways to ensure New Zealand meets its commitments to cut... Read more →

New Flyer Receives Orders for Up to 580 Buses, Including Gasoline and Diesel Hybrids, CNG and Diesel

New Flyer Industries has won orders for up to 580 new buses, including option conversions, which total up to US $210 Million. The orders span a variety of platforms—including 40-foot and 60-foot buses with diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, gasoline-electric hybrid and compressed natural gas (CNG) propulsion systems—and are from existing and... Read more →

Largest-Yet DME-Powered Diesel Cuts Emissions

The DME-fueled generator JFE Engineering Corp., Daihatsu Diesel Mfg. and Iwatani International Corp. announced the development of a low-pollution generator system powered by a diesel engine that runs on dimethyl ether (DME)—the largest such engine to date powered by the synthetic fuel. (Topic.) DME is to diesel what LPG is... Read more →

Hong Kong and Guangdong to Cooperate in Reducing Emissions in Pearl River Delta

The Pearl River Delta region. The governments of Hong Kong and Guangdong Province in China will introduce emission caps for Hong Kong power plants, and tighten emission controls at major pollution sources in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). They also agreed to study the feasibility of advancing the implementation of... Read more →