« July 2006 | Main | September 2006 »

UTC Power to Lead $2.9M Fuel-Cell Bus Project for Hartford

AC Transit / UTC Power / ISE / Van Hool hybrid fuel cell bus. The Greater Hartford (Connecticut) Transit District has contracted with UTC Power of South Windsor, Conn., for the company and its partners to provide a 40-foot hybrid-electric fuel-cell-powered transit bus that will be used in revenue service.... Read more →

On-Board Distillation System for Reduced HC Emissions and Improved Fuel Economy

Layout of the On Board Distillation System. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of Texas have developed an on-board device that dramatically reduces start-up emissions of unburned hydrocarbons. The on-board distillation system (OBDS) extracts high-volatility components from gasoline and stores them for exclusive during start-up and warming. New tests... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler Marks the Phase-Out of smart fortwo With Special Edition

smart fortwo edition red. DaimlerChrysler is offering a final special model—the smart fortwo edition red—to mark the phase-out of the current model before the fortwo successor model becomes available in the spring of 2007. The two-seater will be exhibited at the Paris Motor Show (28 September – 08 October 2006).... Read more →

Ford Explores Sale of Aston-Martin

Ford Motor Company announced that it has begun the process of “exploring strategic options” for its Aston Martin brand, with particular emphasis on a potential sale of all or a portion of the unit. Aston Martin is one of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG) brands. Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo... Read more →

California to Cap Greenhouse Gas Emissions

California legislative leaders and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reached agreement on a compromise version of an assembly bill (AB 32—the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) that is intended to bring statewide emissions of greenhouse gases back down to 1990 levels by 2020—an estimated cut of 25%. The California Senate... Read more →

China and Malaysia Partner on Biofuel R&D

The Star. China has joined Malaysia in a bilateral research and development partnership to further develop biofuel and biomass production technologies. The Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and the Department of High-Tech Development and Industrialization of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology have entered into a memorandum of understanding aimed... Read more →

Los Alamos Enters Development Agreement for Plasma-Assisted Combustion

The basic Plasma-Assisted Combustion process concept. Click to enlarge. Los Alamos National Laboratory has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with PerriQuest Defense Research Enterprises, LLC to advance Plasma-Assisted Combustion for commercial refinement and implementation. PerriQuest, based in Meriden, CT, Los Alamos, and Idaho National Laboratory are collaborating... Read more →

Mascoma Announces SunOpta Exec Joins as CTO; Details on Cellulosic Ethanol Partnership with Dartmouth

Mascoma Corporation, a new cellulosic ethanol company (earlier post), has brought Dr. Andrew Richard on board as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Richard spent more than 10 years with the SunOpta BioProcess Group, driving the deployment of its cellulosic ethanol technology in North America, Europe and China. He also... Read more →

FuelCell Energy Boosts Output of Stacks by 20%

FuelCell Energy announced an advanced fuel-cell stack design that boosts the power output of its stationary Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants by 20%. The company is incorporating the enhancement across its entire line of power plants. By improving thermal management of electrochemical activity within the stack, the company has increased... Read more →

New Synthesis Process for Li-Ion Electrode Promises Improved Power and Charge Retention

Researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have devised a new approach to synthesize an electrode material for lithium-ion batteries that provides superior power and charge retention. They describe their results in the latest issue of Advanced Materials. Lithium-ion battery electrodes use intercalation materials. These materials are composed... Read more →

US Energy Provides Dual-Fuel Diesel-to-CNG Conversion Systems to GM Thailand

US Energy’s HFS uses diesel as a pilot and then replaces as much as 80% in dual-fuel operation. Click to enlarge. Tampa, Florida-based US Energy Initiatives Corporation announced final delivery in Thailand of its dual-fuel conversion system for use in the General Motors Thailand (GMTH) Colorado Pickup. US Energy is... Read more →

US Ethanol Production and Consumption Hits All-Time Record in June

Ethanol plants in the US in operation and under construction. Click to enlarge. US ethanol production—the vast majority from corn—increased in June to 318,000 barrels per day (bpd), an increase of nearly 28% from June 2005 and an all-time record, according to statistics released by the Renewable Fuels Association. Demand... Read more →

Lugar Blasts Inaction on the Transportation Energy Problem; Calls for Mandates If Necessary

In the keynote address to the Richard G. Lugar-Purdue University Summit on Energy Security, at Purdue University, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Dick Lugar (R-IN) called for a set of immediate actions to address US transportation energy vulnerability, including flex-fuel capability in all new light-duty vehicles, accelerated investment in... Read more →

BlueFire Ethanol Signs Long-Term Deal with Petro-Diamond for Purchase of Waste-Derived Ethanol

Flow diagram for Arkenol’s acid-hydrolysis process, used by BlueFire. Click to enlarge. BlueFire Ethanol has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Petro-Diamond, Inc. for that company’s purchase of the ethanol produced from BlueFire’s first North American Biomass-to-Ethanol conversion facility located at a Southern California landfill. Petro-Diamond, a blender of... Read more →

CO2 Emissions from New Cars in Europe Down by More Than 12% Since 1995; Not Tracking to Target

Carbon dioxide emissions from new cars sold in the EU-15 dropped in 2004 to an average 12.4% below 1995’s level, according to the European Commission’s annual report on CO2 emissions from new cars, published today. In 2003, average new car CO2 emissions were 11.8% below 1995. Commissioners welcomed the report,... Read more →

DuPont and Bunge Broaden Soy Collaboration to Include Biodiesel and Industrial Applications

DuPont and Bunge have expanded their three-year soy collaboration beyond food and nutrition products to include biofuels, industrial applications and other opportunities. The first product introduced by the partnership was low-linolenic soybean oil. Other products are in the pipeline, including soy oils with high oleic and a combination of high... Read more →

Los Angeles World Airports to Build Private/Public CNG Fueling Station at Ontario International Airport

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Station at Ontario International Airport (ONT). The public will also have access to the on-airport station which will be close to local streets, highways and freeways, and open 24 hours a... Read more →

Online Travel Services Offer Carbon Offsets with Trip Purchase (updated)

Online travel services Travelocity and Expedia both have begun allowing customers to purchase carbon offsets when they buy travel. Airline travel currently accounts for about 13% of U.S.-transportation-based emissions of carbon dioxide. Travelocity is working in conjunction with the Go Zero program of The Conservation Fund, and offers carbon offsets... Read more →

Air Liquide Joins Illinois CO2 Sequestration Demonstration

Illinois Basin CO2 sources (red) and sinks (green). Click to enlarge. Source: MGSC Air Liquide is joining Phase II of a carbon sequestration research project of the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) and sponsored by the US Department of Energy and the Illinois Office of Coal Development. The project is... Read more →

E320 BLUETEC Arriving as a 45-State Vehicle; Urea SCR Required for 50-State Rating

The E320 BLUETEC. Click to enlarge. When the Mercedes E320 BLUETEC hits salesrooms shortly, it will be as a 45-state compliant vehicle, not a 50-state vehicle. (Earlier post.) BLUETEC is DaimlerChrysler’s modular emissions aftertreatment architecture that provides the potential for 50-state compliance—i.e, meeting EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions levels,... Read more →

Honda Extends FCX Driving Range With Software Upgrades

The FCX gets a boost in range. Honda has extended the driving range on its FCX fuel-cell vehicle to 210 miles by upgrading the refueling software. The unmodified 2006 FCX offered a range of 190 miles. The software upgrade facilitates improvements to the refueling process that yield better use of... Read more →

Georgia Tech Flies 22-Foot-Wingspan UAV on Fuel Cell and Compressed Hydrogen

The fuel-cell UAV in flight. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have conducted successful test flights of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a 22-foot wingspan powered by a 500-watt fuel cell. The Georgia Tech team believes it to be the largest UAV yet to fly on... Read more →

Hy-Drive in Deal with Mining Equipment Company for Hydrogen Generating System

The Generation 2 HGS mounted on a truck. Hy-Drive Technologies has entered into a definitive marketing, distribution and manufacturing agreement with Canadian-based Mining Technologies International Inc. (MTI) for the Hy-Drive on-board Hydrogen Generating System (HGS). MTI had purchased 20 of the HGS units earlier in the year. (Earlier post.) Under... Read more →

Hydrogen Engine Center in MoU for Power Generation for Chemical Plants

Hydrogen Engine Center (HEC) and India’s Grasim Industries Ltd. have signed a joint technology and marketing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring HEC’s hydrogen engine technology (earlier post) to the chemical industry. Grasim has purchased an HEC hydrogen fueled Oxx Power generator set. HEC and Grasim will collaborate to develop... Read more →

Ford Bumps Up the Fuel Efficiency of the 2007 Focus by 7%

Changes to the engine management software along with new low-rolling resistance tires have netted a 3-mpg increase in highway mileage for the 2007 Ford Focus 2.0-liter with a manual transmission. The Focus now will deliver 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (31 mpg combined). The... Read more →

Hybrid-Electric Cargo Transfer Crane to Be Tested in Japan

The hybrid-electric transfer crane. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Lines) and TCM Corporation are testing the use of a hybrid-electric transfer crane that has been jointly developed by the two companies. A transfer crane loads and unloads containers in container terminal yards in ports. Diesel engines typically provide the power... Read more →

Report: Boeing Targeting Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Plane Flight Within 12 Months

A shot of the demonstrator in 2003. Sunday Times (London). Boeing hopes its light-aircraft prototype powered by a hydrogen fuel cell will make its maiden flight within the next 12 months, according to a report in the Sunday Times. Boeing began work on the project in 2002. Led by the... Read more →

Abu Dhabi Government and Public Transit Fleets Moving to 20% CNG Within 6 Years

United Arab Emirates. Source: EIA Gulf News. Within five to six years, 20% of government-owned vehicles and taxis in Abu Dhabi—one of the emirates of the UAE—will be running on compressed natural gas, according to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD). A report by the agency identifies taxis, buses and... Read more →

China Launches Major Dimethyl Ether-to-Olefin Project

Another major use for crude oil aside from transportation fuels is as the feedstock for the production of olefins (alkenes). Olefins include ethylene and propylene, and are the primary building blocks for products such as polyethylene (LDPE, HDPE, LLDPE), polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ethylene glycol, and SBR/PBR rubber. China is... Read more →

Gates Introduces New Systems Line for Fuel Efficiency and Emissions Reduction

The Gates Electro-Mechanical Drive (EMD) stop/start system. Gates Corporation, a provider of belts, hoses hydraulics and related products for the auto industry, has introduced the first systems in its new Energy Saving product line targeted at both heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles. The new line includes a stop/start system, a two-speed... Read more →

Novozymes Wins Patent Infringement Trial Against Danisco on Ethanol Enzyme

Novozymes has won a 1.5-year-long case against Danisco concerning infringement of a Novozymes patent on enzymes for bioethanol. Danisco announced today that the company has withdrawn the infringing product—Spezyme Ethyl—from the market. Spezyme Ethyl is a high-performance thermostable alpha-amylase enzyme for the liquefaction of starch at high temperatures. In Fall... Read more →

Goodyear Launches Fuel-Efficient Truck Tire Lines

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has introduced a new fuel-efficient commercial tire technology—Fuel Max—and three new tires for long-haul trucks that could deliver up to a 4% improvement in fuel economy, according to the company. Actual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test results of the tires driven at highway... Read more →

PML’s In-Wheel Motor, Plug-in Series Hybrid MINI

The MINI QED. PML Flightlink and its partner Synergy Innovations recently unveiled an in-wheel, plug-in series hybrid conversion of a MINI at the British Motor Show, the MINI QED. The car, one of two the partners have so far produced, serves as a testbed and demonstrator for technologies the company—which... Read more →

Currie Technologies to Introduce Range of Hybrid-Electric Bikes and Electric Scooters

2007 IZIP Trekking Lithium-Ion Hybrid Electric Bicycle. Currie Technologies, a bicycle and scooter company founded by the former chairman and CEO of Hughes Aircraft and Delco Electronics, will introduce 10 new models of hybrid-electric bicycles (pedal power + battery power) and 3 new models of electric scooters at the Eurobike... Read more →

Arch Coal Takes 25% Stake in DKRW Advanced Fuels; Shoots for “Significant” Role in Coal-to-Liquids

Arch Coal, the US’s second-largest coal producer, has acquired a 25% equity interest in DKRW Advanced Fuels, LLC. In exchange, Arch has agreed to extend its existing option agreement with DKRW Advanced Fuels, to work with DKRW Advanced Fuels to secure coal reserves for two additional coal-to-liquids (CTL) projects outside... Read more →

$2.224M Grant for Diesel Retrofits for Los Angeles

California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is providing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with a $2.224-million grant to reduce emissions from 264 heavy-duty trucks by at least 95% through retrofits with diesel particulate filters. The California Air Resources Board has instituted a regulation requiring... Read more →

SeQuential Biofuels Opens Solar-Powered Biofuels Station

SeQuential Biofuels has opened a solar-powered retail biofuels station offering a full range of ethanol and biodiesel blends: E10, E85, B5, B20 and B100. The station features 244 solar panels that cover the fueling islands and 4,800 plants installed in five inches of soil on the roof of the attached... Read more →

GM to Introduce New Light-Duty T2B5 Diesel for North America After 2009

General Motors will introduce a new V-8 turbodiesel that improves engine fuel efficiency by 25% for North American light duty trucks after 2009. Environmental benefits of the new engine include a 13% reduction in CO2 versus gasoline engines, and at least a 90% reduction in particulates and NOx compared to... Read more →

Shell Awards $1M to OSU for Hydrogen Technology Research

Shell is awarding $1 million to the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department of Ohio State University to support a research project into the use of membranes for CO2-Hydrogen separation. The research examines a novel approach to membrane separation technology used in production of hydrogen from fossil fuels. One benefit of... Read more →

Nissan Develops New-Generation V6 Engines; 10% Improvement in Fuel Efficiency

Nissan’s new 3.5-liter V6. Nissan Motor has developed two new-generation six-cylinder V-type gasoline engines for front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles. The 3.5-liter VQ35HR and 2.5-liter VQ25HR engines offer a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to vehicles equipped with the existing VQ engine as well as Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (Japan) emissions.... Read more →

Lotus Engineering Develops E85 Exige Research Sportscar

Lotus Engineering, the engineering consultancy division of Group Lotus Plc, has developed an E85 version of the Lotus Exige—the Lotus Exige 265E—as a research car. Powered by a modified version of the 1.8-liter engine in the standard Lotus Exige S, the Exige 265E is more powerful than its gasoline counterpart,... Read more →

Statoil Opens Norway’s First Hydrogen Station; “NaturalHy” Fueling for Fyk, Too

A hydrogen Prius at the new station. Statoil opened Norway’s first hydrogen filling station for motor vehicles as a step in creating the HyNor hydrogen highway between the capital, Oslo, and western Norway’s port of Stavanger. (Earlier post.) By 2009, HyNor plans to have enough fueling stations along the 580... Read more →

Coal Gasification Archive Goes Online

A Texas A&M University history professor and Syntroleum Corporation, owner of a compact Fischer-Tropsch fuels technology, are posting nearly a quarter of a million pages of coal gasification research conducted from the 1920s through 1980s on the Internet. Professor Anthony Stranges, who holds degrees in chemistry and a doctorate in... Read more →

BP Launches Consumer Carbon Offset Program in UK

BP has launched a UK program to offset the CO2 emissions caused by driving. Called targetneutral, the non-profit initiative allows drivers to calculate the cost of the annual CO2 reduction required to make their vehicle CO2 neutral. Road transport accounts for 22% of UK CO2 emissions. An average car, driven... Read more →

Biodiesel’s Beneficial Effect on Diesel Particulate Filter Performance

Use of biodiesel can lower the balance point temperature in diesel particulate filters (DPF) compared to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, and can cause a measurable increase in the regeneration rate of the DPF, according to data from the first phase of a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and... Read more →

Hymotion Delivers Converted Plug-in Prius to Car-Sharing Service

The Hymotion L5 PHEV kit in a Prius Hymotion has delivered one of its L5 Prius Plug-in Hybrid systems to HOURCAR, a car-sharing program that serves Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The Hymotion L5 plug-in system (earlier post) serves to more than double the fuel efficiency of Toyota’s Prius hybrid, delivering 100+... Read more →

Prospects for Light-Duty Diesels in the US

On paper, clean advanced technology diesel passenger cars and light-duty trucks should be charging into the US market. The changeover to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel that takes affect this year—a profound change akin to the removal of lead from gasoline, according to the EPA—opens the door to advanced emissions aftertreatment... Read more →

DOE Announces Hydrogen Storage Funding Opportunity

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is soliciting applications for R&D funding for viable hydrogen storage technologies for on-board vehicular applications. This funding opportunity announcement follows a preliminary application phase that took place earlier this year. This announcement is for final applications, due... Read more →