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Eaton Developing Hybrid System for Class-8 Trucks

Eaton Corporation is developing a parallel-hybrid power system for the heavy-duty (Class 8) commercial vehicle market to deliver both on-road efficiency and idle reduction for significant fuel savings and emissions reductions. The heavy-duty system will be similar in design and will share many of the same components as Eaton’s medium-duty... Read more →

Kwikpower Acquires Advanced Biofuel Technologies for License for Microalgae for Biodiesel

Kwikpower International, a UK-based diversified renewable energy and fuels company, has acquired Advanced Biofuel Technologies from UTEK Corporation, a specialty finance company focused on technology transfer, in a stock transaction. Advanced Biofuel Technologies holds the license to oil-producing microalgae developed at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory... Read more →

PetroSun Drilling Forms Algae BioFuels Subsidiary

PetroSun Drilling, an emerging provider of oilfield services to major and independent producers of oil and natural gas, has formed Algae BioFuels Inc. as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Algae BioFuels will engage in the research and development of algae cultivation as an feedstock in the production of biodiesel. The R&D and... Read more →

Toyota Adds New 2.0-Liter D-4D Clean Power Diesel to Avensis Line

Toyota has introduced a new 2.0-liter D-4D 125 diesel engine into its Avensis line in Europe. This brings to number of new-generation D-4D Clean Power engines to three. (Earlier post.) The D-4D 125 engine develops 93 kW (125 hp) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque with the torque output... Read more →

Sasol and Chinese Sign Second-Stage Agreements for 160K BPD Coal-to-Liquids Projects

CTL development in China. Sasol today signed a co-operation agreement with a consortium led by China’s Shenhua Corporation for proceeding with the second stage of feasibility studies to determine the viability of an 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) potential coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in the Shaanxi Province, about 650 kilometres west... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors Develops Plant-Based Floor Mat

Mitsubishi Motors, in cooperation with Toray Industries, Inc., has developed a high-durability car floor mat using a combination of the plant-based resin polylactic acid (PLA) and nylon fibers. The company announced the development of its first plant-based resin auto product in February 2006—an interior trim material made from polybutylene succinate... Read more →

Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Fossil Fuel Combustion Doubled in 28 States Since 1960

Increase in CO2 emissions by state, 1960-2001. Click to enlarge. Twenty-eight states more than doubled their carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels between 1960 and 2001, according to a new analysis of government data by the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG). Increased combustion of oil... Read more →

$4B California Oil Tax Measure on November Ballot

An initiative proposing a state consitutional amendment that would tax oil production to fund a range of alternative energy efforts has gained enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, according to California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson. The California Clean Alternative Energy Initiative would establish a $4 billion program... Read more →

Peugeot Adds Coupé Cabriolet Diesel Hybrid Variant

The 307 CC Hybride HDi Peugeot has applied its diesel parallel hybrid technology to the 307 CC (Coupé Cabriolet) Hybride HDi. The 307 CC Hybride HDi made its debut at the British International Motor Show and joins the 307 hybrid hatchback, announced in January (earlier post). PSA Peugeot Citroën may... Read more →

Nanosolar Building 430MW Solar Cell Fab, World’s Largest

Nanosolar, developers of a proprietary high-yield high-throughput process for printing thin-film CIGS solar cells, has started executing on its plan to build a volume cell production factory with a total annual cell output of 430MW—approximately 200 million cells per year—and an advanced panel assembly factory designed to produce more than... Read more →

TEPCO and Fuji Heavy Unveil EV Minicar Prototype; TEPCO to Use 3,000 by 2012

The electric R1e. Nikkei. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subarus, today unveiled a prototype an electric vehicle that they have been developing together since last year. (Earlier post.) TEPCO says that it will use 3,000 of these cars for business use by fiscal... Read more →

EPA and Partners Unveil Diesel-Hydraulic Series-Hybrid Delivery Truck

The UPS hydraulic hybrid The US EPA and its industry partners today unveiled the world’s first diesel-hydraulic series-hybrid delivery truck. (Earlier post.) The hydraulic hybrid offers an improvement in fuel economy of up to 60-70% and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 40% or more compared to a conventional diesel-powered... Read more →

Georgia Tech Develops Ultra Low-Emissions Combustor

(Left) A traditional combustor mixes fuel and air before injection into the combustion chamber. (Right) Tech’s system injects the fuel and air separately into the combustor. Click to enlarge. Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new combustor (the combustion chamber where fuel is burned to power an engine or gas... Read more →

Secretary of Energy Appoints Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee

Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman has announced the members of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) new Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC). The HTAC includes representatives of domestic industry, academia, professional societies, government agencies, financial organizations and environmental groups, as well as experts in the area of hydrogen... Read more →

Frost & Sullivan Selects Raser Technologies for Motor Drive Award

The P-50 Integrated Starter Alternator (ISA) motor. Frost & Sullivan, the global consulting firm, has selected Raser Technologies as the recipient of the 2006 Motor Drive Systems Technology Innovation of the Year Award for developing and innovating the Symetron AC induction motor-based P-50 hybrid propulsion integrated starter alternator (ISA) drive... Read more →

Senators Introduce Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act: 35MPG CAFE by 2017

Four US Senators—Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)—introduced the “Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act” to raise the average fuel economy standards for all light-duty vehicles—including trucks and SUVs—from 25 miles per gallon (mpg) to 35 mpg by model year 2017. The current targeted average... Read more →

Japan Sets a 200-Million Ton/Year Target for Carbon Capture and Sequestration

CO2 trapping mechanisms in a geological formation. Japan Times. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to set up facilities both in Japan and worldwide to capture and store underground 200 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Half will be disposed of in Japan, the other half abroad.... Read more →

MIT Vehicle Design Summit Targeting 500MPG Equivalence (or Better)

Sketch of a concept solar car for the VDS. Image: Mitchell Joachim and William Lark. Students from around the world are participating in the MIT Vehicle Design Summit (VDS) this summer to design and build vehicles based on integrating hydrogen fuel cells, photovoltaics, biofuels, and human power. The VDS organizers... Read more →

EIA Forecasts Global Petroleum Consumption to Grow 47% by 2030; Transportation Accounts for Half

World energy use by fuel type. Click to enlarge. Worldwide total energy consumption will grow by 71% between 2003 and 2030, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2006 (IEO2006) released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The projected reference case world oil prices are... Read more →

BP and DuPont to Partner on Next-Generation Biofuels; Biobutanol the First Product

BP and DuPont have created a partnership to develop, produce and market next-generation biofuels to help meet increasing global demand for renewable transport fuels. The two companies have been working together since 2003 and are now ready to bring their first product to market: biobutanol, which will be introduced in... Read more →

Delphi Meets Phase 1 SECA Goals with Solid Oxide Fuel Cell APU

Delphi’s generation 3.1 stack: 30 cells, 9 kg, 2.5 liters. Delphi has reached an important milestone in developing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology for application in an on-board auxiliary power unit (APU) in vehicles. A Delphi-led team working jointly with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy... Read more →

Mitsubishi Developing New Diesel Engine for Europe

Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have agreed on a joint development project for a next-generation diesel engine to be used in cars exported to Europe. After the agreement is finalized, development will begin in earnest with a target of beginning mass production in 2010. The engine will be a... Read more →

Montana Governor Testing GTL-Powered Pickup

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and staff will be testing a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup powered by a Cummins diesel engine fueled by neat synthetic diesel produced by Syntroleum’s Gas-to-Liquids Fischer-Tropsch process. The Dodge Ram pickup was donated by Dodge dealerships across Montana. Syntroleum is providing the Fischer-Tropsch synthetic diesel, which... Read more →

AB Volvo to Develop Third-Generation DME Engines for Heavy Vehicles

Volvo DME truck. The Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten) has awarded AB Volvo a 62.2-million kroner (US$8.4-million) grant to support the technical development of a third-generation DME engine for heavy vehicles during the period 2006-2010. The project’s goal is to deliver technology for a major field test with 30 third-generation DME-powered... Read more →

Daihatsu Launches Minicar with New 3-Shaft CVT

The Sonica Daihatsu, Toyota Motor’s minicar specialist, has introduced a new minicar—the Sonica—featuring a turbo-charged 658cc engine coupled with a newly developed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). With maximum power output of 47 kW (63 hp) and torque of 103 Nm, the Sonica offers fuel consumption of 23.0 kilometers per liter... Read more →

Toyota’s Hybrid Sales in Europe Pass 50,000-Unit Mark

Cumulative European sales of both Toyota and Lexus brand hybrid vehicles have passed the 50,000-unit mark. Sales of the Toyota Prius have reached almost 41,000 units since going on sale in 2000. Sales of the Lexus RX 400h and GS 450h have reached a cumulative total of more than 10,000... Read more →

JGC and Arkenol Partner on Waste Wood-Ethanol Plant in US

Flow diagram for Arkenol’s acid-hydrolysis process. Nikkei. Japan’s JGC Corp. will work with Arkenol in the US to begin production and sales of fuel ethanol made from scrap wood. The two companies will establish a joint venture before the end of the year with the goal of launching production in... Read more →

GM Expands Applications of AFM and E85 on 3.9-liter V-6

GM introduced its first V-6 application of its Active Fuel Management (displacement on demand) technology on the 3.9L V-6 offered in the 2007 Chevy Impala. The company is also extending its E85 flex-fuel coverage to the 3.9L V-6 offered in the 2007 Chevy Uplander minivan. Preliminary testing of the 2007... Read more →

Genencor Introduces New Protease Enzyme for Ethanol Industry

Genencor International, a US-based biotech subsidiary of Danisco A/S, will introduce a new acid fungal protease enzyme product for use in the ethanol industry at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The new FERMGEN protease enzyme promises faster ethanol fermentation rates and yield for corn-, milo- or wheat-based substrates... Read more →

Chinese Demonstrate Methanol Reformer/Fuel Cell Integration

The fuel cell/reformer unit. Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) have successfully integrated a CO-resistant proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system with a methanol reformer as the hydrogen source to produce steady power generation for 3 hours. The fuel cell generated... Read more →

ConocoPhillips CEO Calls for Improved Fuel Efficiency

Speaking on Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press, James Mulva, the CEO of ConocoPhillips, called for improvements in the fuel-efficiency of vehicles as an important step in resolving the current energy situation. ConocoPhillips is the third-largest integrated energy company in the United States, based on market capitalization, oil and gas... Read more →

Report: GS Yuasa To Produce Batteries For Hybrid Cars

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that GS Yuasa plans to enter the hybrid vehicle market with NiMH and Li-ion batteries. The company is Japan’s largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries. The company will try to catch up with its competitors already active in the market, including Matsushita Electric and Sanyo. GS... Read more →

Chrysler to Add Two More 4-Cylinder Models in US

The 4-cylinder Dodge Caliber was Chrysler’s top-selling car in May. Detroit News. Chrysler Group plans to add two new models with standard four-cylinder engines by the end of 2006 and may add a four-cylinder option to some models that only use larger engines now, according to CEO Tom LaSorda. Chrysler... Read more →

City of London Expands and Fine-Tunes its Congestion-Charge Program

In 2007, London is almost doubling its congestion-charge area with the orange-shaded extension to the left. The original C-charge area is to the right. Click to enlarge. At the turn of the century, London was choking in traffic. The average vehicle speed was 14 km/h (8.7 mph), and vehicles spent... Read more →

Night Flights Disproportionately Influence Climate Change

A study by the Meteorology Department at the University of Reading (UK) suggests that a reducing night flights could help minimize the impact of aviation on climate change. The study, published in Nature this week, shows that even though 25% of flights over the UK occur during the night, these... Read more →

Québec Seeks to Adopt California GHG Vehicle Standards; Levy Carbon Tax

The projected impact of the new action plan on GHG emissions in Québec. Click to enlarge. The government of the Canadian province of Québec has launched a 24-point, six-year action plan to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in key sectors such as energy, transportation, industry and agriculture, and to... Read more →

Engine Manufacturers Develop Test Specs for B20 Biodiesel

The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) has released a test specification for biodiesel fuel to facilitate testing and evaluation of the performance of B20 biodiesel blends in new diesel engines. The EMA specifications establish technical requirements for blends of petroleum fuel and biodiesel fuel that can be used to assess the... Read more →

Shenhua Group Has 8 CTL Projects in Pipeline; Targeting 30M Tons per Year by 2020

Shenhua’s first direct coal liquefaction train is due to come online in 2007. China Daily. Shenhua Group, China’s biggest coal producer (and the third-largest in the world) is planning eight Coal-to-Liquids projects that will produce some 30 million tons per year (about 600,000 barrels per day) of synthetic oil and... Read more →

Air Products and City of Santa Monica Open New Hydrogen Station; Fifth for the AQMD Hydrogen Prius Project

A Series 200 fueling station. Air Products, City of Santa Monica, Calif. and the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) opened a new hydrogen fueling station located at the Santa Monica City Yards. This is the fifth such station opened in support of a five-city AQMD hydrogen-fueling alternative... Read more →

Thawing Permafrost a Significant Source of Carbon

Circumarctic map of permafrost. Click to enlarge. Source: UNEP-GRIDA With global temperatures rising, the Arctic’s “permanently” frozen soil—permafrost—isn’t staying frozen. A type of soil contained deep within thawing permafrost—loess—may be releasing significant, and previously unaccounted for, amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, according to authors of a paper published this... Read more →

Chevron Partners with Georgia Tech on Cellulosic Biofuels and Hydrogen

Chevron Corporation and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s have formed a strategic research alliance to pursue advanced technology aimed at making cellulosic biofuels and hydrogen viable transportation fuels. Chevron Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of Chevron, will work with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute and will contribute up to $12 million... Read more →

Wind-Powered Electrolysis of Coal Bed Methane Water for Hydrogen Production

A Wyoming company has received a National Science Foundation Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to determine the technical feasibility and economic viability of the electrolytic production of hydrogen from coal-bed methane (CBM) water using power generated from wind turbines. In Ladd Energy’s concept, the electrolysis units would... Read more →

US Oil Consumption Dropped in 2005; Global Consumption Climbed

US, China and Japan. Click to enlarge. According to BP’s just-released Statistical Review of World Energy 2006, consumption of oil in the US dropped 0.16% in 2005 from the year before, declining from an average of 20.732 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 20.655 mbpd. Global consumption of oil, however,... Read more →

Nanomix Receives Additional Patent for Cryosorptive Hydrogen Storage

Generic hydrogen flow within the system, with different embodiments. Nanomix, a nanotechnology company specializing in nanoelectronic sensors for industrial and biomedical applications, has added a sixth patent in its portfolio of cryosorptive hydrogen storage technologies. (Earlier post.) Nanomix is developing new nanostructured materials that permit the non-chemically-bound low-pressure storage of... Read more →

Hydrogen Boom in the Oil Sands

The new 71 MMSCFD hydrogen plant in Alberta. Photo: Air Products and Chemicals Air Products Canada Ltd. celebrated the commercialization of its first hydrogen production facility to serve the Canadian refining industry with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today in Strathcona County near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Air Products’s new 71-million standard-cubic-feet-per-day (MMSCFD)... Read more →

Chrysler Introducing New 3.0-Liter Diesel With 2007 Grand Cherokee

The new 3.0-liter CRD. A new 3.0-liter turbo Common Rail Diesel (CRD) will make its debut in the recently announced 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee next year (earlier post). The Mercedes-built 3.0-liter CRD produces 218 hp (160 kw) of power at 3,800 rpm and 510 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm—33%... Read more →