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2008 Escape and Escape Hybrid Feature 100% Recycled Seating Surfaces

The redesigned 2008 Escape and Escape Hybrid feature the first US automotive applications of 100% recycled fabric seating surfaces. The new fabric significantly exceeds Ford’s internal target of introducing seating fabrics with 25% recycled content into production by 2009. The 2008 Escape’s new fabric is supplied by Atlanta-based InterfaceFABRIC Inc.,... Read more →

Inco and Süd-Chemie in JV for Development of Diesel Emission Control Materials and Catalysts

Inco Limited (Inco), a leading nickel and nickel specialties producer based in Toronto, Canada, and Süd-Chemie AG, Munich, Germany (Süd-Chemie), a leading supplier of catalysts for the chemicals and refining industry and for environmental applications, are establishing a joint venture company for the production and marketing of catalyzed diesel emission... Read more →

Neste Oil to Build Second NExBTL Plant at Porvoo

Neste Oil has decided to build a second plant to produce premium-quality synthetic NExBTL diesel at its Porvoo refinery in Finland. The capital costs of the plant, scheduled to begin production towards the end of 2008, are estimated to be around €100 million (US$133 million). The plant will have the... Read more →

Phoenix Installs and Tests First Production EV Lithium-Ion Battery Pack from Altairnano

Phoenix Motorcars has installed the first Altairnano NanoSafe production battery pack system in a Phoenix Motorcars all-electric sports utility truck (SUT), and completed initial testing with satisfactory results. The lithium-ion battery pack is a 35 kWh configuration that will enable Phoenix to equip a SUT that can be charged in... Read more →

Acheson Introduces New Coatings for Lithium-Ion Batteries

Acheson Industries has introduced Dag EB-012, a versatile conductive, protective coating for lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer batteries. In addition, Dag EB-012 can be used as a current collector primer coating for electric double layer capacitor (EDLC) applications and as a conductive coating on screw threads. Earlier this year, Acheson introduced... Read more →

Unions File Petition Urging Action on Global Warming

The presidents of 22 locals of five unions—the American Federation of Government Employees, the Engineers and Scientists of California, the National Association of Government Employees, the National Association of Independent Labor, and the National Treasury Employees Union—that represent public employees signed a petition calling on Congress to take immediate action... Read more →

Mascoma and Tamarack Energy Partner on Cellulosic Ethanol; Focus on Forestry Waste

Tamarack Energy, Inc., and Mascoma Corporation, a developer of biomass-to-ethanol technologies will collaborate on the joint development of cellulosic ethanol facilities in New York, as well as follow-on opportunities in Pennsylvania and New England states, leveraging wood mills and other production facilities. This partnership enables Mascoma to apply its licensed... Read more →

UK Travel Agents Association Developing Plans for Carbon Offsetting

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is working with the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) to develop a scheme for offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from travel. ABTA views the scheme—to be launched next year—as an important and practical way for the... Read more →

AGCO Approves Biodiesel Blends up to B100 for SisuDiesel Engines

AGCO Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has approved a broad range of biodiesel mixtures for its SisuDiesel engines. Depending upon the engine model, blends of up to B100 can be used without engine modification or any change in warranty coverage for the specified warranty period. The... Read more →

Improving Combustion and Reducing Emissions with Methanol/Gasoline Blends

Researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong University (XJTU) in China have quantified the improvement of combustion and reduction in emissions with the use of gasoline-methanol blends of up to 30% (M30) in spark-injection engines. Increasing the methanol fraction of the blend shortens the flame developing period and the fast burning period, and... Read more →

GM’s Focus on Electricity; Expanded Hybrid Offerings and a 2-Mode Hybrid Plug-in VUE Under Development (corrected)

Speaking at the Los Angeles Auto Show, GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner outlined the automaker’s planned efforts to diversify the sources of energy that power vehicles in the years to come. First on the list for GM is optimizing the use of conventional gasoline and diesel through increasing engine... Read more →

DuPont Refrigerants Unveils First DP-1 Refrigerant Test Car in Germany

DuPont Refrigerants recently unveiled the first demonstration of its new, low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant, DP-1, as part of its presentation at the recent European Automotive Air Conditioning (EAAC) Show in Frankfurt, Germany. No changes were made to the demonstration vehicle’s existing MAC (Mobile Air Conditioning) system in order... Read more →

Mayor and Transport for London Outline 20-Year Transportation Plan for Economic Growth and Carbon Reduction

TfL believes that transport CO2 can be cut 50-60% if strong measures are taken. Click to enlarge. Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and Transport for London (TfL) have laid out a 20-year transport program designed to ensure London’s future economic prosperity, balancing support for growth against reducing carbon emissions to... Read more →

BMW Announces Tier 2 Bin 5 Diesels for the US in 2008

The BMW Group has announced that it will launch diesel-engined vehicles in the US in 2008. In its announcement, BMW noted that offering diesels in the US is a long-term oriented sustainable commitment. The company says it has developed an enhanced concept for reducing NOx emissions to meet 50-state requirements... Read more →

VW Introduces Concept Small SUV with New Diesel and BLUETEC

The Concept Tiguan. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volkswagen introduced the new Concept Tiguan, a “small Touareg” that it will put on the market at the end of next year. The concept shown in Los Angeles is powered by a “Clean TDI”, a new diesel engine with reduced engine-out... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen/Audi Launch BLUETEC Initiative

DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and Audi officially announced that they intend to establish the BLUETEC brand name as the designation for particularly clean, highly fuel-efficient passenger cars and SUVs with diesel engines. (Earlier post.) Although BMW was earlier rumored to be a partner as well, the company is not joining the BLUETEC... Read more →

Chevrolet Europe Unwraps its First Diesel Compact Car: 49 MPG Lacetti TCDi

Chevrolet Lacetti TCDi diesel. Chevrolet Europe will introduce its first diesel-engined compact car at this year’s Bologna Motor Show (7-17 December). Set to go on sale in the first half of 2007, the new Lacetti TCDi comes with an all-new 2.0-liter common rail turbodiesel engine, developing 89 kW (120 hp)... Read more →

Maine Dairy Switches Fleet to B20 Biodiesel; Largest Private Biodiesel Fleet in New England

Portland, Maine-based Oakhurst Dairy will have transitioned 130 delivery trucks—more than 90% of its fleet— to a B20 biodiesel blend by the end of 2006. This switch will make the Oakhurst fleet the largest private biodiesel fleet in New England, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,332 tons per year.... Read more →

EPRI and Argonne National Laboratory to Assess Commercial Viability of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Argonne National Laboratory have entered into a three-year collaborative agreement to conduct detailed analysis of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) aimed at assessing the commercial feasibility of this technology for the US Department of Energy. The EPRI and Argonne analysis will evaluate PHEVs,... Read more →

AFV Solutions in Joint Venture for MPV in China

AFV Solutions (AFVS); BBF International Automobile Technology Company (BBF); and FAW-HONGTA Automobile Company, a car manufacturer in China and subsidiary of FAW Automobile Group have formed a joint venture company in China to cooperate on the potential development of a MPV based on the Renault Espace III chassis. AFVS and... Read more →

3M Awarded $17.3 Million for Fuel Cell Research

3M’s current 7-layer MEA. The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded 3M a set of grants totaling $17.3 million to further the progress of projects aimed at improved fuel cell membranes and advanced electrocatalysts—two of the key components of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). In all, eight companies and nine universities... Read more →

Antonov in Agreement with Geely for 6-Speed Automatic Transmission

Antonov 6-speed. Antonov has signed a Heads of Agreement for a Production Licence with Zhejiang Geely Automobile Gearbox Co., the transmission manufacturing subsidiary of Geely Automotive one of China’s leading vehicle manufacturers. The licence covers the production of the Antonov TX6 six-speed automatic transmission. The Antonov Board emphasized that a... Read more →

Odyne Enters Sales and Marketing Agreement for Plug-In Hybrid Systems

Odyne Corporation, a manufacturer of propulsion systems for advanced Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) for medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses (earlier post), has entered into a sales and marketing agreement with Nassau Suffolk Truck, a leading regional medium and heavy duty truck fleet services firm, located in Hauppauge, New... Read more →

Conformable Polymeric Foams for On-Board Hydrogen Storage

Pore structure of elastomeric polyurethane foam (27µm slice thickness)—one of the materials under investigation. Click to enlarge. Source: Ohio University MicroCT Facility. Researchers from Ohio University, Inergy and DaimlerChrysler are exploring the use of conformable microstructures of polymeric foams for on-board hydrogen storage. The Hydrostatic Pressure Retainment Microstructure stores the... Read more →

Ford Introducing Fuel-Cell Explorer with 350-Mile Range

At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Ford Motor Company is unveiling an all new fuel-cell powered Explorer with a range of 350 miles. GM’s recently announced Equinox Fuel Cell—another fuel-cell vehicle based on an SUV format—has a range of 200 miles. (Earlier post.) Honda’s new FCX fuel-cell vehicle... Read more →

GM’s Design Concept HUMMER O2: Fuel Cell HUMMER That Breathes

The body panels of the HUMMER O2 contain the algae. General Motors Advanced Design’s entry into the Los Angeles Design Challenge in conjunction with the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show is the HUMMER O2: a fuel-cell powered vehicle with a phototropic body shell that produces oxygen (O2) even while parked.... Read more →

Siemens VDO’s Full Hybrid Demonstration Vehicle

The C230. The hybrid development team at Siemens VDO has built a full hybrid vehicle as a demonstration of its Hybrid Tool Box—a portfolio of hybrid components including high- and low-voltage motor inverters, electric motors and vehicle control algorithms and integration capabilities. Simulations on the prototype—based on a Mercedes C230... Read more →

India’s BARC Developing Two Nuclear Reactor Designs for Hydrogen Production

The Compact High Temperature Reactor (CHTR) produces high temperature process heat for hydrogen production by water splitting. Click to enlarge. Business Standard. Mumbai (India)-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is designing prototype versions of two new reactors that will produce hydrogen for use as a fuel: the Compact High Temperature... Read more →

Delhi to Introduce Hydrogen and Hydrogen-CNG Fuels in 2007

Hindustan Times. India’s first commercial hydrogen fueling pumps will begin operation at an Indian Oil Corporation (IOC)-owned station in Delhi in 2007. The station will feature a dispenser for pure hydrogen and one for a hydrogen blend with compressed natural gas. The cost is being shared by the IOC and... Read more →

David Hermance, Toyota’s Top US Alt-Fuels Executive, Dies in Plane Crash

David Hermance. Automotive News. David W. Hermance, Toyota’s executive engineer for advanced technology vehicles, died Saturday when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The Federal Aviation Administration reported Hermance’s plane to be an Interavia E-3, which took off from Long Beach Airport with only Hermance... Read more →

PEMEX CEO Sees Cantarell Field Declining 14% Per Year

In testimony before the Energy Committee of the Mexican Senate, PEMEX CEO Luis Ramirez Corzo said that production at the giant Cantarell offshore field will decline by an average of 14% per year between 2007 and 2015. The Cantarell complex currently produces about 1.8 million barrels of oil per day... Read more →

Energy Companies Ready to Deal with Climate Change

Washington Post. Top executives at many of the US’ largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable. The companies have been hiring new lobbyists who they hope can help fashion a national approach that would avert... Read more →

Nissan Plans to Put Electric Vehicle on Market in 3 Years

Nissan Motor plans to put lightweight, subcompact electric cars powered by lithium-ion batteries developed in-house on the market in three years, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Nissan will also reportedly roll-out its gasoline-electric hybrids—possibly with plug-in capability—based on its own technology by 2010. (Earlier post.) The 2007 Altima Hybrid... Read more →

Report: Coal-Powered Ethanol Plant CO2 Emissions 92% Higher than Gas-Powered

Des Moines Register. A report by Frontline BioEnergy in Ames, Iowa concludes that ethanol plants powered by coal release as much as 92% more carbon dioxide than those powered by natural gas. The City Council of Des Moines, Iowa, is trying to decide between two competing proposals for a $200-million,... Read more →

Incoming Chair of US Senate Energy Committee Says US Will Miss Window to Tackle Climate Change

Environmental Finance. In a speech at the London School of Economics on Tuesday, US Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) warned that the US will not be able to take sufficient action to curb its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the timeframe scientists say is necessary. Scientific and economic calls for more... Read more →

HTC Purenergy to Acquire CO2 Technologies Pty Ltd

HTC’s hydrogen process. Click to enlarge. HTC Purenergy has exercised its option to acquire CO2 Technologies Pty Ltd. HTC issued 602,000 common shares in exchange for all the issued and outstanding shares of CO2 Technologies. At close of market on 23 November, HTC shares were trading at C$2.05 per share.... Read more →

Axeon Receives Order for 50 Zebra Packs for Modec Electric Vehicle; Li-Ion Under Testing

The Modec EV in van configuration. Axeon Holdings, which provides green energy and advanced control systems to the automotive and industrial markets, has received a £1.3-million (US$1.7-million) order to supply electrical vehicle manufacturer Modec with the first 50 Sodium Nickel Chloride battery packs for its new light-duty commercial zero-emission vehicle.... Read more →

Dutch Consortium to Convert Methanol Plant to BioMethanol

A Dutch consortium is converting a conventional methanol plant in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, to produce biomethanol. The output—ultimately an estimated 1 billion liters (264 million gallons US) per year—will be directed to addressing the European Union’s requirement for a 5.75% biofuel component by 2010. Biomethanol can be blended directly into... Read more →

Philippines Conference Committee OKs Biofuels Act

Inquirer. A congressional bicameral conference committee approved the proposed Biofuels Act of 2006 which requires the use of alternative fuels in the Philippines. After ratification by the two chambers, the bill will be sent to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her signature. The proposed Biofuels Act requires the use of biofuels,... Read more →

Adaptive Wings Could Improve Aircraft Fuel Consumption 5% to 15%

The leading and trailing edge of the wing contain embedded compliant systems that trigger the actuators when flight conditions change. Click to enlarge. FlexSys, with funding from the US Air Force, is developing shape-morphing adaptive aircraft wings that alter their shape in response to changing flight conditions. Such technology could... Read more →

Imperial College Launches Hybrid Fuel-Cell Racing Program; First Target is Formula Zero in 2008

The Formula Zero Mark 2 prototype design. Click to enlarge. Imperial College (UK) has established the Imperial Hybrid Racing program, a multidisciplinary project bringing together students from across the School of Engineering in partnership with the Business School to design, build and race a zero-emission hybrid fuel-cell racing car. A... Read more →

German Natural Gas Vehicle Registrations on the Rise; All Alternative Drives Pass 1% Mark in October

The dual-fuel Fiat Panda Panda goes on sale in Germany at the beginning of 2007. Trägerkreises Erdgasfahrzeuge reports a steady rise in natural gas vehicle registrations in Germany. German registrations of compressed natural gas (CNG) passenger cars in October 2006 climbed 2,180 units, more than 300% of the October 2005... Read more →

Siemens Hits Major Milestone in SECA Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program; No Degradation After 1,500 Hours

Siemens’ high power density (HPD) planar design (top right) compared to its existing tubular cell design ( top left). Next-generation HPD Delta 9 design at bottom. Click to enlarge. Siemens Power Generation announced the successful testing of its latest solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology that incorporates its high-power density... Read more →

Caterpillar Receives First 2007 Certification for ACERT Engine

C7 engine with ACERT. Click to enlarge. Caterpillar has received certification from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the company’s first engine equipped with ACERT Technology for 2007. The first 2007 EPA-certified Caterpillar engine with ACERT Technology is the C7, a popular choice with customers who operate medium-duty vocational... Read more →

Report: Toyota Targeting 50% of Cars Sold in Europe to Be Diesels or Hybrids by 2010

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Toyota Motor plans to increase the proportion of fuel-efficient diesel and hybrid passenger vehicles that it sells in Europe from 43% of its new car sales in 2005 to 50% in 2010. Toyota sold about 1 million passenger vehicles in Europe in 2005, of... Read more →

Researchers Develop Non-Metal Compound for Easily Reversible Hydrogen Storage

Researchers at the University of Windsor (Ontario, Canada) have developed a lightweight, non-metal compound (a phosphonium borate) that releases hydrogen when heated above 100° C and reabsorbs it at room temperature. The compound would support just a low-density storage system at this point: only 0.25 wt%, compared to the Department... Read more →

Toyota Enhances Diesel in European Land Cruiser SUV

Toyota has enhanced the 3.0-liter D-4D diesel engine in its Land Cruiser full-size SUV for the European market to provide more power, while slightly reducing fuel consumption and improving the vehicle’s emissions profile. The company also announced an enhancement to the V6 gasoline engine Land Cruiser model that offers incrementally... Read more →

Researchers Show Levels of Atmospheric Methane Stabilizing

Scientists at UC Irvine have determined that levels of atmospheric methane—an influential greenhouse gas—have stayed nearly flat for the past seven years, which follows a rise that spanned at least two decades. This finding indicates that methane may no longer be as large a global warming threat as previously thought,... Read more →