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LS9 Launches to Deliver Next-Generation Biofuels Through Synthetic Biology

LS9 Inc., a startup founded in 2005 to apply synthetic biology technology to production of proprietary biofuels, officially launched today. Synthetic biology is a cross-disciplinary endeavor that designs, optimizes and assembles well-characterized biological components into integrated systems to accomplish specific tasks. LS9 is developing “Renewable Petroleum” biofuels through work pioneered... Read more →

Advanced Battery Technologies Awarded Li-Ion Patent In China

ZQ Power-Tech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Advanced Battery Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of rechargeable Polymer-Lithium-Ion (PLI) batteries, has received a patent from The Intellectual Property Bureau of the People’s Republic of China for the invention of a nanomaterial lithium-ion battery and technology process. The patent’s number is 200510087299X.... Read more →

Imperial College London and Royal Dutch Shell Team Up for Research on Cleaner Fossil Fuel Production

Imperial College London and Royal Dutch Shell have formed a new multi-million pound joint research program to discover ways to produce cleaner fossil fuels. The Shell Imperial Grand Challenge Program on Clean Fossil Fuels will focus on developing processes that will enhance extraction of difficult hydrocarbons with minimal release of... Read more →

GM Saab to Introduce BioPower 100 Concept in Geneva; Optimized for E100, with 150 HP/Liter

Saab BioPower 100 Concept. GM’s Saab will introduce its latest BioPower concept car at the Geneva Motor Show next month, featuring its first production-based engine to be optimized for pure bioethanol (E100) fuel. To be shown as an evolution of the Saab 9-5 SportCombi, the BioPower 100 Concept demonstrates the... Read more →

ARB Offering $25M for Biofuels and High Efficiency Vehicle Technology, Including Plug-in Hybrids

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is now accepting grant proposals for a total of $25 million in available funding from the Alternative Fuels Incentives Programs for the purposes of incentivizing biofuels and high efficiency, low-emitting vehicle technology. Funds from the program, made available by the passage of AB 1811... Read more →

BC Premier Calls for 33% Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions; 30% Reduction in Tailpipe CO2 One Initiative

In a speech to the BC Parliament, British Columbia (Canada) Premier Gordon Campbell called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 33% from current levels by 2020. That is equivalent to a 10% reduction from 1990 levels. Of the many initiatives outlined to achieve the goal, a number were... Read more →

Yokohama Tire Technology Cuts Petroleum Use in Tire by 80%

Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (YRC)—the seventh-largest tire manufacturer in the world—has developed a process that combines citrus oil with natural rubber to form a new compound it calls Super Nanopower Rubber (SNR). The major component of citrus oil is d-limonene. The process reduces the use of petroleum products in tires... Read more →

Illinois Governor Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target: 1990 Levels by 2020

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced a statewide goal to slash emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to 1990 levels by 2020 and 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. New Jersey Governor Corzine made a similar announcement today. The Illinois governor has charged his Climate Change Advisory Group with recommending... Read more →

New Jersey Governor Orders Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets; Back to 1990 Levels by 2020

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine today issued an Executive Order calling for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020—approximately a 20% reduction—followed by a further reduction of emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. To reach this goal, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental... Read more →

Syntroleum and Sinopec Sign MoU for GTL and CTL Plants in China; $100 Million to Flow to Syntroleum

Syntroleum and Sinopec have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance Fischer Tropsch (FT) technology in China, based on Syntroleum’s proprietary nitrogen-diluted synthesis gas conversion technology. Syntroleum CEO Jack Holmes made the announcement during the fourth-quarter earnings conference call. The deal would see the construction of a commercial-scale Gas-to-Liquids... Read more →

GM to Be First to Build Hybrid Light-Duty Vehicles in Canada

GM of Canada announced that its Oshawa Truck Assembly Plant will be the first plant in Canada to produce light-duty hybrid vehicles, with the new Two-Mode Hybrid Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra scheduled for sale in the fall of 2008. Last February, Ford Motor of Canada unveiled plans to build... Read more →

Union Pacific and GE Running Green Locomotive Technology Tour

Union Pacific and General Electric are staging a Green Locomotive Technology Tour to showcase current and experimental technologies to reduce locomotive emissions. GE is currently in discussions with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the level of NOx reductions for locomotive emissions that will be mandated as part of... Read more →

UQM Technologies Receives Additional Order From Eaton for Compressor Motors Used In Fuel Cell

UQM Technologies has received a follow-on order from Eaton Corporation, a Tier 1 supplier to automobile manufacturers worldwide, for additional UQM compressor drive motors for use as part of Eaton’s fuel cell air management product line. Because auxiliary systems, such as the air handling system inside the fuel cell, consume... Read more →

IEA Increases Forecast for Growth in Global Oil Demand in 2007

In its monthly Oil Market Report published today, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that global oil demand in 2007 will increase at almost double last year’s pace based on increasing demand in China and the Middle East. The IEA raised its assessment of demand growth in 2006 to 84.5... Read more →

New Zealand Targets 3.4% Biofuels Obligation by 2012

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced that a Biofuel Sales Obligation will be set at 3.4% of the annual energy content of total annual gasoline and diesel sales by 2012. The original proposal for an obligation mooted in September 2006 had proposed a 2.25% target by 2012. New Zealand... Read more →

Ciba Specialty Chemicals Introduces Biodiesel Stabilizer

Ciba Specialty Chemicals has introduced Ciba IRGASTAB BD 100, a stabilizer designed to give biodiesel fuel long-term protection against oxidative degradation through the fuel’s life cycle. If left untreated, biodiesel is susceptible to oxidative degradation. Degradation of biodiesel leads to the formation of lower molecular weight acids, peroxides and gums... Read more →

Total Launches First Integrated CO2 Capture and Storage Project in a Depleted Gas Field

Total’s oxyfuel combustion CCS pilot project. Click to enlarge. Total has launched a pilot CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) project in the Lacq basin in southwestern France. The project entails converting one of the five steam boilers of the Lacq field’s steam generating plant to an oxyfuel combustion unit, then... Read more →

Ireland’s Biofuels Target: 5.75% by 2009 and 10% by 2020

Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey, is introducing a biofuels obligation requiring that biofuels represent 5.75% of Ireland’s transport fuel market by 2009. The obligation will allow Ireland to achieve the EU Biofuels Directive target a year in advance of the 2010 deadline. Minister Dempsey also... Read more →

ECCO Energy Forms Biofuels Subsidiary

ECCO Energy, an independent oil and gas producer, has formed a subsidiary, ECCO Biofuels, to focus on production, distribution, and manufacturing of biodiesel and ethanol fuel. ECCO Biofuels will manufacture biodiesel production facilities as well as produce biodiesel fuel itself. In addition to the production of biodiesel fuel, ECCO Biofuels... Read more →

The Lexus GS 450h Hybrid System

System configuration of the GS 450h. Click to enlarge. At last week’s SAE Hybrid Vehicle Technologies Symposium 2007, Akihiro Yamanaka from Toyota provided some details on the hybrid drivetrain for the Lexus GS 450h—the first FR (front-engine, rear-wheel drive) passenger car hybrid on the market. As it has introduced more... Read more →

Diversa and Celunol to Merge to Create Integrated Cellulosic Ethanol Company

Diversa Corporation and Celunol Corp. have signed a definitive merger agreement to create a new leader in the emerging cellulosic ethanol industry. The combined company will be the first within the cellulosic ethanol industry to possess integrated end-to-end capabilities in pre-treatment, novel enzyme development, fermentation, engineering, and project development. It... Read more →

HBS BioEnergy JV for Waste-to-Power in Ethanol Plant

Agrimass Enviro-Energy proposes an integrated technology model combining gasification and anaerobic digestion. Click to enlarge. HBS BioEnergy (HBSE), a subsidiary of Human Biosystems, has formed a joint venture with Visalia-based Dairy Development Group and Agrimass Enviro-Energy to build an Energy Park in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The Energy... Read more →

Oil Sands Industry Exploring the Use of Geothermal Energy

Toronto Star. Major oil sands companies in Canada have formed an industry-wide consortium— GeoPower in the Oil Sands, or GeoPOS—to explore the use of geothermal energy as a clean alternative to natural gas for oil sands production. The oil sands account for nearly a third of Alberta’s natural gas consumption,... Read more →

Rentech Building Coal-to-Liquids Development Unit

Rentech, a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology company, is building a coal-to-liquids (CTL) Product Development Unit (PDU) at its facility near Denver. Once in operation, the PDU plant will produce fuels and naphtha from various domestic coals, petroleum coke and biomass feedstocks on a demonstration scale, utilizing Rentech’s FT technology. The products... Read more →

Toyota to Build Small Car Plant in India

Nikkei. Toyota Motor Corp. plans to construct a small-car assembly plant in southern India by 2010, its second Indian manufacturing facility. Toyota’s current market share in India is about 4%. The new plant will initially produce 100,000 entry-level family cars a year, doubling the company’s output capacity in India. India’s... Read more →

Biofuels Entrepreneur Seeking £80M for Biobutanol Plant in Ireland

Telegraph. John Nichols, the co-founder and former chief executive of UK-based Biofuels Corporation, is trying to raise up to £80 million (US$156 million) to design and to build a biobutanol plant in the south of Ireland, which would use local sugar beets as the feedstock. In 2006, BP and DuPont... Read more →

DOE Soliciting Project on Hydrogen Emissions

The US Department of Energy has issued a solicitation for a project to study the potential environmental effects from increased emissions of hydrogen and criteria pollutant emissions avoided or gained through the expansion of hydrogen use in the transportation and stationary power markets. The purpose of the study will be... Read more →

Süd-Chemie to Invest C$35M to Boost Lithium Iron Phosphate Production for Li-Ion Batteries

Süd-Chemie, a global chemical company, will invest C$35 million (US$30 million) in 2007 and 2008 in one of its Canadian affiliates to increase lithium iron phosphate production capacity for use in new generations of lithium-ion batteries to 1,500 metric tons per year. Phostech Lithium Inc., Boucherville/Canada, an affiliate of Süd-Chemie,... Read more →

VW to Introduce Passat BlueMotion at Geneva; Planning a New Compact Car

Volkswagen will unveil a BlueMotion version of the Passat at the Geneva Motor Show in March. BlueMotion represents the most efficient and economical vehicle in each of Volkswagen’s car ranges. VW introduced the first and so far only BlueMotion model, the Polo BlueMotion, at the Geneva show in 2006.(Earlier post.)... Read more →

Mitsubishi Heavy To Make Diesel Engine Fuel Injection System

Nikkei. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will develop and manufacture a common rail fuel system for passenger vehicle diesel engines, with an eye toward supplying automakers as soon as 2009. Mitsubishi Heavy last year announced that it will co-develop a next-generation diesel engine with Mitsubishi Motors Corp., rolling out a practical... Read more →

EPA Tightens Toxic Emissions Standards for Gasoline, Cars and Fuel Containers

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tightened the standards for certain toxic emissions from mobile sources. The new final rule for Mobile Source Air Toxic (MSAT) emissions toughens benzene standards for gasoline, sets non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) emissions standards for cars at cold temperatures and tightens standards for fuel containers... Read more →

Arizona Allows Some Hybrids in the HOV Lanes; Bi-Fuel Natural Gas Vehicles Get Booted

Several types of fuel-efficient hybrid cars with lone drivers will now be allowed to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Arizona’s highways. The new Energy Efficient Pilot Program is part of the Governor’s Clean Air Initiative and begins immediately. Vehicles that are able to achieve a 45 percent... Read more →

SAE Symposium: Plug-in Hybrid Development Work Accelerating

At this week’s SAE Hybrid Vehicle Technologies 2007 symposium, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) were a major topic on the program and in the hallways. The US has adequate energy supplies, but it lacks available energy for transportation, noted Don Hillebrand, Director of Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research, in his... Read more →

National Wildlife Federation Proposes Sustainable Biomass Biofuels Initiative

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has proposed an initiative that would enroll up to five million acres of land to promote the sustainable production of next generation biomass energy. The Biofuels Innovation Program (BIP) would provide financial and technical assistance to landowners to produce native perennial energy crops and crop... Read more →

Eaton to Begin Production of its Medium-Duty Hybrid Electric System

The core of the system: the Hybrid Drive Unit. Click to enlarge. Eaton will begin full production this year of its hybrid electric drive system for medium-duty trucks. The Hybrid Electric System (HES), which was seven years in development, is currently deployed in 167 pre-production field units: 93 with FedEx,... Read more →

Brazil to Invest US$4.78 Billion in Biotech; Focus on Renewable Energy, Agriculture and Pharmaceuticals

Brazil will invest 10 billion reais (US $4.78 billion) over the next 10 years in biotechnology research focused on renewable energy, agriculture and rain forest pharmaceuticals. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed an order today creating the National Committee of Biotechnology to institute the policy. Development Minister Luiz Furlan... Read more →

Algae BioFuels Targets Alabama for BioFuel Production

Algae BioFuels, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PetroSun, has selected Alabama for field trials in the Gulf Coast region for algae cultivation in open and closed systems. Algae BioFuels will use the algae as feedstock in fuel production. Meetings with state officials are being scheduled for late February to determine a... Read more →

EPRI, Ford and Eaton Developing Plug-in Hybrid Utility Trouble Truck

An F-550 trouble truck. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Eaton, Ford and the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), are developing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system for utility trouble trucks and vans. In Phase 1 of the project, four prototype PHEV trucks based on a Ford... Read more →

Study: Saline Aquifers Can Provide Safe Storage for CO2

Most of the injected CO2 would be immobilized (light blue), trapped as small bubbles (white) in the pore space of the rock (gray). Only a small portion of the CO2 (dark blue) will continue to flow up towards the impermeable layer of caprock (yellow). Click to enlarge. Source: Ruben Juanes... Read more →

Intelligent Energy and Suzuki to Partner on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Motorcycles

Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell stack (right) uses fewer components than conventional stacks. Click to enlarge. Intelligent Energy and the Suzuki Motor Corporation are working together on the development of prototype hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles using Intelligent Energy’s advanced fuel cell power systems. Intelligent Energy will employ its proprietary PEM (Proton... Read more →

Subaru to Introduce Boxer Diesel in Geneva

The boxer turbo diesel. Click to enlarge. Subaru will introduce a 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed (boxer) turbo diesel engine at the Geneva International Motor Show next month. This is not only its first diesel, but the first boxer turbo diesel. Subaru had announced at the 2006 Paris motor show that development of... Read more →

Toyota Introduces 2008 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid

The 2008 Highlander Hybrid. Toyota unveiled the all-new next-generation 2008 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid mid-size sport utility vehicles (SUV) at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. The 2008 Highlander is significantly larger, heavier, roomier and more powerful than the vehicle it replaces, but with comparable fuel consumption to its predecessor. All... Read more →