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Sinoenergy to Acquire 60% of Lixun Automotive Electronic; Positioning for Growth in Natural Gas Vehicle Market

Sinoenergy Corporation, a manufacturer of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle and gas station equipment, and, a designer, developer and operator of CNG filling stations in China, is acquiring 60% of Jiaxing Lixun Automotive Electronic Company. Lixun designs and manufactures electric control devices for alternative fuel (CNG/LPG) vehicles, as well as... Read more →

Washington State May Boost NEV Speed Limit to 35MPH

Seattle Times. The Washington State legislature is expected to pass a law that would increase the speed limit on neighborhood electric vehicles to 35 mpg from 25 mph currently. State lawmakers passed legislation in 2003 that allowed low-speed, battery-powered vehicles on city streets but limited them to 25 mph. Dealers... Read more →

ACS National Meeting to Hold Biofuels Symposium; Paper to be Presented on Sustainability of Switchgrass as Ethanol Source

Sustainability of energy, food and water is the featured theme of the 233rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, which began today in Chicago and runs through Thursday. Within that larger structure, challenges and advances specific to biofuels are featured in a three-day symposium: “Agricultural Biomass, Biobased Products, and... Read more →

New Anode and Cathode More Than Double Output from Microbial Fuel Cells

A brush anode and a tube cathode next to an assembled MFC containing one anode and two cathodes. Click to enlarge. Source: Yi Zuo, PSU Researchers at Penn State have developed a new graphite brush anode, consisting of graphite fibers wound around a conductive, but noncorrosive metal core, for use... Read more →

Toronto Targets 30% Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2020, 80% by 2050

Targeted greenhouse gas reductions by source, not sector. Transportation is the largest end-use sector (35%). Click to enlarge. The city of Toronto, Ontario, has released a planning framework that targets a 6% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the Toronto urban area by 2012 (based on 1990 levels), a 30%... Read more →

Researchers Develop Bioplastic that Can Be Broken Down to Liquid Fuel

Researchers at New York’s Polytechnic University have bioengineered a fuel-latent plastic from plant-derived fatty acids that can subsequently be broken down into a diesel-like liquid fuel for use in generators. Professor Richard Gross, director of Polytechnic University’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing of Macromolecules (CBBM) developed... Read more →

Algae Biofuel Company to Grow Miscanthus as Biofuel Feedstock

AlgoDyne Ethanol Energy, the developers of a proprietary based process to continuously harvest algae biomass from photobioreactors to produce electricity and fuel, is acquiring 3,000 acres of agricultural land in Saskatchewan, Canada, to grow bioenergy crops, including Miscanthus. The company had originally intended to purchase 800 acres, but decided to... Read more →

GM Introducing Diesel Captiva to Australia

GM Holden will showcase the 2.0-liter diesel Captiva at the upcoming 2007 Adelaide Motor Show in Australia. With manual transmission, the Euro-4 compliant diesel offers fuel consumption of 7.6l/100km (31 mpg US). (Earlier post.) The 16-valve diesel unit with variable geometry turbo was jointly developed by GM Daewoo Auto &... Read more →

Energy Consumption by European Transport Sector Grew 28.6% Since 1990

The transport sector is the largest and fastest-growing consumer of final energy in Europe. Click to enlarge. Source: EEA Final energy consumption in the EU-25 countries increased by 12.6% between 1990 and 2004, according to the European Environment Agency. Between 2003 and 2004, total final energy consumption grew by 1.1%.... Read more →

Kenworth Unveils T270 Class 6 Hybrid Truck

The hybrid T270. Kenworth Truck Company, a division of PACCAR, introduced its new Kenworth T270 Class 6 hybrid-electric truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show. Peterbilt, also part of PACCAR, will begin offering its version of the medium-duty hybrid this year as well. (Earlier post.) The Kenworth T270 Class 6 hybrid... Read more →

DuPont Tate & Lyle Venture Partners With Cryotech to Launch Corn-Derived Deicing Fluid

The Integrated Corn Biorefinery concept. Click to enlarge. DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products LLC, a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle, is partnering with Cryotech Deicing Technology to introduce Susterra propanediol, a new 100% renewably sourced product for runway deicing formulations marketed to airports and the aviation... Read more →

NextEnergy Biodiesel Summit Sets B20 Agenda

Manufacturers, policy makers, regulators and biodiesel industry representatives met recently for the 2007 Biodiesel Summit at the NextEnergy Center in Detroit with a focus on clearing impediments to full support of B20 blends. DaimlerChrysler, a sponsor of the B20 Summit, challenged the group to come up with a viable fuel... Read more →

GM Pledges to Reduce Facility CO2 Emissions by 40%

General Motors is targeting a reduction of CO2 emissions from its North American manufacturing facilities by 40% by 2010, based on 2000 levels. GM is setting this target as part of its voluntary partnership in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Leaders program. This reduction would equal 4.5 million... Read more →

Novozymes Introduces Five-Step Strategy for Economic Cellulosic Ethanol

Novozymes is proposing a five-step strategy to achieve economically viable cellulosic ethanol. The company introduced its strategy at a press conference at the 4th Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing. A panel discussion followed, featuring Per Falholt, Novozymes chief scientific officer; Maria Rapoza, vice president for Science and... Read more →

National Trucking Company’s Biodiesel Study Shows Positive Results

With 350,000 miles covered in a two-million mile over-the-road test comparing B20 biodiesel to conventional petroleum diesel in its heavy-duty fleet, Decker Truck Line is reporting substantial benefits in the use of the biofuel. Decker and its partners in the Two Million Mile Haul—Caterpillar, Iowa Soybean Association, National Biodiesel Board... Read more →

Using Steam from Nuclear Power Plants for Ethanol Production

Nuclear reactors and ethanol plants in the Corn Belt. Click to enlarge. Researchers and engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy are suggesting using the steam from existing nuclear power plants in the Corn Belt to reduce the costs of producing ethanol from corn and... Read more →

Volvo Aero and Swedish Government Invest $18M in Project for More Fuel-Efficient Aircraft Engines

Volvo Aero and the Swedish Government are each investing SEK 63 million (US$9 million) to support the development of lightweight components for more fuel-efficient aircraft engines. This marks the government authority Vinnova’s first distribution of funding to a commercial demonstrator program in the aerospace industry. The funding for the Volvo... Read more →

UK to Raise Taxes on Least-Efficient Cars; Other Budget Initiatives to Tackle Climate Change

The UK Budget 2007 introduced by Chancellor Gordon Brown will almost double the vehicle excise duty (VED) on the least fuel-efficient cars, raising the rate for VED Band G to £300 (US$591) in 2007-08 and £400 (US$788) in 2008-09. For taxation purposes, the UK groups vehicles in bands defined by... Read more →

Mazda to Begin Leasing Hydrogen Hybrid in 2008; Long-Term Focus on “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom”

Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid Mazda will begin commercial leasing of the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid (earlier post) in 2008. The hybrid’s power will be increased by 40%, and it will offer a hydrogen range of 200 km (124 miles), double the 100 km of the first versions of the... Read more →

Iogen in Talks for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Canada

The Globe and Mail reports that Ottawa-based Iogen Corp. is now negotiating with the Canadian federal government to locate its first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Saskatchewan. Canada’s Budget 2007, introduced earlier this week, contains a C$500-million provision to support the commercialization of next-generation biofuels. (Earlier post.) Iogen has been... Read more →

Volvo Provides Update on Heavy-Duty Hybrid Program; Hybrid Bus Trials in London in 2008

Layout of the I-SAM hybrid system. Click to enlarge. Volvo presented an update on its heavy-duty hybrid technology program in a meeting in Brussels. Volvo’s hybrid vehicles can reduce fuel consumption and therefore also emissions of greenhouse gases by about one-third, when compared with conventional diesel-powered vehicles. In addition to... Read more →

Canada Introduces Measures to Encourage Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Purchases

The Canadian government is introducing several new measures designed to encourage consumers to purchase or lease fuel-efficient vehicles and get older vehicles off the road. The measures in Budget 2007 include up to C$2,000 in rebates for the purchase or long-term lease of a fuel-efficient vehicle; up to C$4,000 in... Read more →

AFL Automotive and Maxwell Technologies Exhibit Cold Start Engine System

AFL Automotive, an Alcoa business, and Maxwell Technologies are exhibiting a cold start system for the commercial truck market at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The cold start system combines Maxwell’s ultracapacitors with AFL’s power management system. The two companies had signed a memorandum of understanding to develop... Read more →

UQM Technologies Receives $1M Contract Supplement to Continue Development of Controller for Electric Truck

UQM Technologies has been awarded an additional US$1-million contract supplement to an existing US Air Force contract to convert a conventional one-half ton pickup truck to all-electric operation using an optimized configuration of currently available advanced technologies. The contract supplement provides funding for an additional vehicle testbed and for the... Read more →

BASF and Monsanto to Collaborate on Plant Biotechnology R&D and Commercialization

BASF and Monsanto Company announced a long-term joint research and development (R&D) and commercialization collaboration in plant biotechnology that will focus on the development of high yielding crops and crops that are more tolerant to adverse environmental conditions such as drought. The collaboration is effective immediately. Over the life of... Read more →

Cummins Approves Use of B20 Biodiesel in Its Engines

Cummins Inc. has approved the use of B20 biodiesel blends in its 2002 and later emissions-compliant ISX, ISM, ISL, ISC and ISB engines. This includes the recently released 2007 products. Cummins’ previous position on the use of biodiesel fuel was limited to the use of B5 blends only. Cummins upgraded... Read more →

Bush Administration Sends Alternative Fuel Standard Act to Congress; Gov. Schwarzenegger Encourages Different Approach

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson sent a joint proposal letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Monday proposing draft legislation requiring 35 billion gallons of alternative motor fuel—15% of projected gasoline use—by 2017. The new standard would require... Read more →

Air Products and FuelCell Energy Begin Construction of Integrated Hydrogen Energy Station

The HES concept. Click to enlarge. Air Products, a leader in hydrogen fueling station technology and the world’s largest producer of hydrogen, and FuelCell Energy, Inc., a manufacturer of stationary fuel-cell power systems, have together begun construction of a demonstration hydrogen energy station capable of providing low-cost hydrogen, electric power... Read more →

ACEA: Achieving European Vehicle GHG Target Will Require More than Technology

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of the Fiat Group and current president of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), said that while the European auto industry fully supports the EU objective of reducing car emissions to an average of 120 g/km by 2012, actually achieving that goal will require more than... Read more →

UAW Calls for Incentives for US Hybrids and Clean Diesels

As President Bush visited plants where GM assembles the Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid and Ford the Escape Hybrid, the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) called for federal action to encourage investment in domestic production of hybrid and advanced diesel vehicles. The UAW supports a “Marshall Plan” to stimulate new investment... Read more →

MIT Blueprint for Coal Identifies Carbon Capture and Sequestration as Essential

Process flow diagram for coal-to-liquids production with associated carbon dioxide emissions. Click to enlarge. Leading academics from an interdisciplinary MIT panel issued a report last week that examines how the world can continue to use coal in a way that mitigates, instead of worsens, the global warming crisis. Led by... Read more →

California Energy Commission Awards $3M to Biofuel Projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected three biofuel projects to receive a combined $3 million in funding under a Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program solicitation issued in October 2006. (Earlier post.) The CEC received 19 proposals, which the CEC Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) reviewed, evaluated, and scored. Based... Read more →

Maxwell Introduces 390-Volt Ultracapacitor Module for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Maxwell Technologies has introduced a rugged 390-volt BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor module to provide scalable, easy-to-integrate, energy storage and power delivery solutions for heavy hybrid and electric vehicles and heavy duty industrial applications requiring up to 1,170 volts. The new Heavy Duty Transportation (HTM) module features enhanced integration technology and up to... Read more →

Investors Managing $4 Trillion Call on Congress to Tackle Global Climate Change

Dozens of institutional investors managing a combined $4 trillion in assets called on the US Congress to enact strong federal legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Joined by a dozen leading US companies, the investor group outlined the business and economic rationale for climate action as they called for a... Read more →

Kit for Diesel Plug-in Hybrid Three-Wheeler to Debut

The powertrain layout of the XR-3. Click to enlarge. Robert Q. Riley Enterprises, LLC, a product design firm in Glendale, Ariz., will soon introduce the kit and plans for its XR-3 plug-in hybrid, a two-passenger, three-wheel vehicle with an expected fuel economy rating between 125 and 225 miles per gallon.... Read more →

Brilliance Introduces First China-Developed Turbo-Charged Sedan

Xinhua. China’s Brilliance Auto has introduced the first China-developed turbocharged sedan. The new turbo. The 1.8-liter engine in the new model offers a power boost of up to 30% over its non-turbo counterparts, with fuel consumption of 6.6 liters per 100 km (35.6 mpg US). Brilliance Auto Group plans to... Read more →

ZAP Releases Drawings of ZAP-X Electric Crossover

The ZAP-X. Click to enlarge. ZAP has published concept drawings of its proposed ZAP-X Crossover SUV on its website. Lotus Engineering is developing the ZAP-X for ZAP, and is basing it on the Lotus aluminum APX concept. (Earlier post.) The compact-SUV design will feature all-wheel drive with in-hub electric motors... Read more →

New Colorado Biofuels Research Center Launched

Business and government leaders announced the formation of the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2). The purpose of the joint venture is to develop new biofuels and biorefining techniques and assist in a streamlined transfer of these advances to the public. Partners in the venture include the new Colorado... Read more →

Dow Introduces Propylene Glycol Derived from Biodiesel By-Product

The Dow Chemical Company has introduced a monopropylene glycol—Propylene Glycol Renewable (PGR)—made from glycerin generated during the manufacture of biodiesel. Dow is currently conducting PGR trials with customers and anticipates having limited commercial quantities available in mid-2007. PGR will be used in such applications as unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) for... Read more →