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China Planning Massive Jatropha Planting For Biodiesel

China plans to plant 13 million hectares—an area the size of England—with jatropha trees for biodiesel, according to the State Forestry Administration (SFA). Jatropha is currently grown on around 2 million hectares across the country. The 13-million-hectare forest mostly spread over southern China is expected eventually to produce nearly 6... Read more →

Canada Will Regulate Vehicle Fuel Economy

Projected increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Click to enlarge. Declaring that “the era of voluntary compliance is over, ” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that for the first time ever, Canada “will regulate the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles, beginning with the 2011 model year.” Harper... Read more →

Forecast: Li-Ion Batteries to Have <5% Share of Hybrid Market by 2009

Although lithium-ion will become the preferred battery technology at some point in the future, there are still important risks and challenges in the short term that will keep overall penetration of the chemistry to less than 5% of the hybrid vehicle market by 2009, according to Menahem Anderman, president of... Read more →

DOE to Publish PHEV Research Roadmap Soon

The Department of Energy will soon publish its research roadmap for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), according to Don Hillebrand, section leader of the Vehicle Systems Section of Argonne National Lab’s Center for Transportation Research. The current draft of the document, which is one result of a process that began... Read more →

Iogen Receives C$7.7 Million from Canadian Government for Cellulosic Ethanol Project

Iogen has received a C$7.7 million (US$6.5 million) repayable investment in a C$25.8 million research and development (R&D) project designed to advance its cellulosic ethanol technology. Iogen uses recombinant DNA-produced enzymes to break apart cellulose in biomass to produce the sugars that are then fermented to make fuel ethanol. In... Read more →

Range Fuels to Build First Wood Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Georgia

Range Fuels, Inc., formerly Kergy, a company that uses biomass gasification to produce ethanol, will build its first wood cellulosic ethanol plant in Treutlen County, Georgia. The company, founded by Khosla Ventures, estimates that this plant—combined with others to follow—will have the capacity to produce more than 1 billion gallons... Read more →

Ford, Boeing and Northwestern University Collaborate on Nanotech Materials Work

Ford Motor Company is collaborating with Boeing and Northwestern University on nanotechnology research focused on lighter weight metals and plastics with greater strength to improve the safety and fuel economy of its vehicles. The three announced their intention to form a research partnership for commercial applications of nanotechnology in October... Read more →

Toyota Australia Pitching to Build Camry Hybrid Locally

Toyota Australia has revealed it is in discussion with the corporate office in Japan to build locally a hybrid version of the Camry for the next-generation update, due in 2011. “We’d like to [build] a Camry hybrid,” Toyota Australia director of sales and marketing Dave Buttner told drive.com.au. “We see... Read more →

PlanetTran Extends All-Hybrid Car Service to SF Bay Area

PlanetTran, the nation’s first all-hybrid car service, has expanded to the San Francisco Bay Area. The service began in New England. PlanetTran uses Priuses to provide an alternative to the traditional taxi, limo or airport shuttle service, and costs about 30% less than a “black car” limo. The company uses... Read more →

EU Commission to Propose Legally Binding Fleet Average CO2 Emissions

by Rafael Seidl Tomorrow, 7 Feb, the EU Commission is expected to propose legally binding fleet average CO2 emissions of 130 g/km from 2012 onward based on the NEDC, for class M1 vehicles (4 wheels, driver plus max. 8 passengers, GVWR <3,500kg or 7,700lbs). Originally, the EU was planning to... Read more →

Six More Biodiesel Companies Attain BQ-9000 Status

The National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission announced that six more companies—three producers and three marketers—have achieved BQ-9000 accredited and certified status. BQ-9000 is a voluntary quality control program. The announcement came during National Biodiesel Conference & Expo this week in Austin, Texas. There are now 17 accredited biodiesel producers, accounting for... Read more →

Dynetek Lands C$7M Award for 700 bar Hydrogen Storage Tank Systems for DaimlerChrysler Fuel Cell Program

Tank wall thickness for different pressure hydrogen storage systems. Click to enlarge. Source: Dynetek Dynetek Industries has accepted a purchase order representing approximately C$7 million (US$5.9 million) in sales with Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna International Inc. The order involves the development, certification and supply of 700 bar... Read more →

FIA Responds Positively to Oaktec E85 Hybrid Rally Car

The Oaktec Honda Insight E85 Rally Car. Paul Andrews and Bill Meeson, partners in the UK’s Energy Efficient Motorsport (EEMS)-supported Oaktec Honda Insight E85 hybrid rally car project, met with the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) Alternative Energies Commission in Paris last week to discuss their car’s energy savings, the... Read more →

GE Makes First European Water Investment

GE Energy Financial Services is acquiring a 95% stake of Idex AQUASERVICES in France. Idex AQUASERVICES is a developer, owner and operator of facilities that purify water for the food, beverage and cosmetics industries. The investment is the first for GE Energy Financial Services’ water team outside the United States... Read more →

Sasol-Chevron Studying GTL Project in Australia

The Sasol Chevron joint venture is exploring the possibility of a Gas-to-Liquids plant for the Wheatstone field in Western Australia. “Chevron will be leading the upstream field development while Sasol Chevron would be responsible for the downstream element,” Chevron’s spokesperson Scott Walker said. Sasol and Chevron are involved in the... Read more →

Particle Shape as Well as Size Affects Catalysis for Desulfurization

Multi-walled MoS2 nano-octahedron. Click to enlarge. Source: A. Enyashin, TU Dresden German and Israeli researchers have shown for the first time that the shape, as well as the size, of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) used as a catalyst for producing sulfur-free fuels effects the catalytic potential of the material. The results... Read more →

UQM and Altair Nanotechnologies Form Strategic Alliance for Electric Powertrains

UQM Technologies and Altair Nanotechnologies have formed a strategic alliance to pursue opportunities for their complementary electric drive and battery technologies in advanced transportation and other high potential markets. The alliance pairs UQM’s electric motor, power generator and power electronic products with Altairnano’s NanoSafe lithium-ion battery packs. The two companies... Read more →

Neste Oil and Total Cancel NExBTL Biofuel Project in France

Neste Oil and Total have decided to discontinue their project to build a NExBTL plant to produce diesel fuel from renewable raw materials at a Total refinery in France. Feasibility studies on the project, which was announced in summer 2005, determined that building the plant at Dunkirk would have proved... Read more →

CalSTEP Action Plan For California’s Transportation Energy Efficiency

The California Secure Transportation Energy Partnership (CalSTEP) has unveiled an action plan to achieve the state’s overall goals of reducing petroleum use by 15% and increasing alternative fuel use to 20% by 2020. CalSTEP is a diverse partnership of industry, government, academic and non-profit leaders, representing a diverse range of... Read more →

Tata Motors Signs Agreement with MDI for Compressed Air Engine

The 4-cylinder compressed air engine. Click to enlarge. Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company, has signed an agreement with MDI (Moteur Developpment International) of France for the application in India of MDI’s compressed air engines. MDI has already applied its CAT (Compressed Air Technology) engine in a prototype city car,... Read more →

Honda to Debut Hybrid Sports Car Concept at Geneva

Sketch of the sports car concept. Honda will unveil a small hybrid sports concept at the 2007 Geneva motor show in March. The Small Hybrid Sports Concept was designed by Honda R&D Europe, based in Offenbach, Germany, to demonstrate a fusion of advanced hybrid technology and fun-to-drive sports car characteristics.... Read more →

CALSTART to Host Plug-In Hybrid Electric Truck Workshop

In conjunction with next week’s Clean Heavy Duty Vehicle Conference 2007 (CHDV) in Los Angeles, CALSTART is hosting a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Truck (PHET) Workshop. The workshop will explore how the emerging interest in and technology for plug-in hybrids can be applied to medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and if it... Read more →

Suzuki to Triple Diesel Engine Production in India by 2010

Suzuki Motor will triple its diesel engine production in India to 300,000 units by March 2010. In addition to meeting local demand, some of the additional capacity will also supply Europe. Suzuki had launched a diesel engine plant in northern India in October with an annual production capacity of 100,000... Read more →

DOE Awards $5.7 Million to Universities for Nuclear Energy Research, Including Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $5.7 million under the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) to nine universities for research in the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative and the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI). Combined with this announcement, DOE has funded a total of 70 NERI projects since... Read more →

California Has Issued All Hybrid Passes for HOV Lanes

The California state Department of Motor Vehicles announced Friday that it has issued all of the 85,000 car pool lane stickers available to hybrid drivers. The stickers, which expire in 2010, allow drivers of hybrids that get at least 45 miles per gallon to drive in high occupancy freeway lanes... Read more →

California Attorney General Seeks Meeting with Automakers to Resolve CO2 Litigation

California Attorney General Jerry Brown, elected last November, has requested a meeting with the CEOs of GM, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chrysler and Nissan to discuss a resolution of the litigation currently in federal court between California and the automakers over greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. In September 2006, the Attorney... Read more →

Volvo to Introduce New V70 with New Engines and E85 Option

The new V70 wagon. Volvo will introduce the third generation of its V70 wagon at the upcoming Geneva auto show. The redesigned model will offer a new version of the five-cylinder D5 diesel, a four-cylinder flex-fuel option, and a new top-end six-cylinder twin-scroll turbo engine. The second-generation D5 five-cylinder diesel... Read more →

Bank of America Expands Hybrid Vehicle Program Nationwide

Bank of America today announced that it is expanding its program to reimburse $3,000 to employees who purchase a new hybrid vehicle to cover the entire US and more than 185,000 US-based employees. Last June, the company introduced the program to employees living within 90 miles of the three pilot... Read more →

ArvinMeritor to Sell its Emissions Technologies Group

ArvinMeritor’s Plasma Fuel Reformer for emissions control and enhanced combustion. ArvinMeritor, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Emissions Technologies business group to One Equity Partners (OEP), an equity investment firm based in New York for cash and other consideration totaling approximately $310 million. The transaction is expected... Read more →

Marks & Spencer to Buy Newton Electric Trucks

Marks & Spencer, the major UK retailer, will buy a number of Newton electric delivery trucks from Smith Electric Vehicles, owned by the Tanfield Group. Marks & Spencer will use the Newton vehicles in various city center logistics operations, with a view to Smith vehicles replacing Marks & Spencer’s urban... Read more →

IPCC: Climate Warming Unequivocal, Human Activity Very Likely (>90% Probability) Causing Most

Comparison of observed continental- and global-scale changes in surface temperature (black line) with results simulated by climate models using natural and anthropogenic forcings. Click to enlarge. Warming of the world’s climate system is “unequivocal”, most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is “very likely”... Read more →

Imperium Renewables in 1 Million Gallon Biodiesel Deal with Local Farm

Imperium Renewables will utilize canola grown at Natural Selection Farms to produce up to 1 million gallons of biodiesel. Both firms are based in the state of Washington. The multi-million dollar deal represents the largest purchase agreement yet for canola produced in Washington and provides growers with a significant economic... Read more →

House Committee Passes Biofuels Infrastructure RD&D Bill

The House Committee on Science and Technology has passed H.R. 547, the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act. The bill initiates a research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program to make biofuels more compatible with present-day infrastructure. H.R. 547 also directs agencies to develop technologies and methods to provide low-cost,... Read more →

Tennessee Governor Proposing $61 Million for Alternative Fuel Research and Incentives

In his 2007-2008 budget, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen is proposing $61 million to support the development of alternative fuels in the state, with $50 million of that going toward cellulosic ethanol. Combined with $11.6 million in existing funding for an ongoing related project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the... Read more →

BP Selects Berkeley Consortium for $500M Energy Biosciences Institute

BP has selected the University of California, Berkeley and its partners, the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to join in a $500 million bioscience research program. Announced in 2006 during the release of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2006, the BP program will... Read more →

EPA Staff Paper Recommends Tightening Ozone Standards

Environmental Protection Agency staff scientists are recommending tightening the nation’s ground-level (tropospheric) ozone standards. In a final paper submitted as part of the current review of national air quality standards, the staff concluded that the current primary ozone standard is not adequate to protect public health. EPA staff made this... Read more →

PetroSun and Algae Biodiesel in Final Testing Stage

PetroSun Drilling and its Algae BioFuels subsidiary (earlier) are entering the final stage of field testing prior to building a commercial facility for algae biodiesel production. This final stage consists of producing adequate algae paste to test the output and economics of several biodiesel refinery manufacturers now under consideration. Algae... Read more →

Japanese Companies Form Joint Venture for Dimethyl Ether Production

Nine major Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Itochu, and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (JPE), are establishing a joint venture company for the production of dimethyl ether (DME) for use as a synthetic, next-generation fuel. The joint venture, Fuel DME Production Co., will build a DME production plant within Mitsubishi... Read more →

Port of Los Angeles Signs Agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line for Cold Ironing and Other Programs

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has signed a multi-year agreement with the Port of Los Angeles which includes commitments to several environmental programs, including the use of alternative maritime power (AMP), which becomes available in 2008, on its Norwegian Star ship, which is homeported at the Port of Los Angeles. Environmental... Read more →