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MIT Model Compares Effects of Different Carbon Cap and Trade Proposals in Congress

The MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change recently applied its Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis model to evaluate a set of cap-and-trade proposals under consideration by the US Congress. The proposals, which specify emissions reductions to be achieved through 2050 for the standard six-gas basket... Read more →

Isuzu and Hino Motors Work Together on Diesel Emissions Reduction

The Nikkei reports that Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors, the Toyota commercial vehicle subsidiary, are teaming up to develop technology for diesel engine emissions reduction. By adopting the same technology and supplying related parts to each other, they aim to reduce costs. The technology would be applied to their new... Read more →

PSA Peugeot Citroën to Study JV with Chinese Carmaker Hafei

PSA Peugeot Citroën and Chinese carmaker Hafei will study the feasibility of a 50-50 joint venture that would manufacture people movers with a capacity of 10 passengers or less for the Chinese market. Hafei would produce the vehicles in its plant in Shenzhen. PSA Peugeot Citroën is trying to speed... Read more →

British Company Developing Home Electrolyzer for Hydrogen Production; Dual-Fuel Conversion Offers Hydrogen Range of 25 Miles

The home electrolyzer unit. Click to enlarge. A British company is developing a low-cost home electrolyzer for the production of hydrogen to refuel a converted dual-fuel vehicle that uses both low-pressure hydrogen and gasoline. The ITM Power electrolyzer uses a 10 kW electrolyzer operating at 75 bar pressure. ITM Power... Read more →

House Energy Package Heading to Floor Dodges CAFE, Offers Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids

The leadership of the US House of Representatives yesterday staged a press event to broadly discuss the package of energy legislation that is on its way for consideration in the full House floor in July, after appropriations measures are finished. The package does not contain vehicle fuel-efficiency standards. During the... Read more →

Toyota Down On Plug-In Conversions

In a memo sent to the US Senate Finance Committee during their deliberations, Toyota outlined its concerns with the conversion of existing hybrids such as the Prius to plug-in hybrids (PHEV) in the context of proposed incentives to spur PHEV adoption. CalCars published the document. Toyota’s view, according to Charles... Read more →

BP and D1 Oils Form Joint Venture to Develop Jatropha Biodiesel Feedstock

BP and D1 Oils plc are forming a 50/50 joint venture, to be called D1-BP Fuel Crops Limited, to accelerate the planting of Jatropha curcas—a drought-resistant, inedible oilseed bearing tree which does not compete with food crops for good agricultural land or adversely impact the rainforest—in order to make more... Read more →

GM Europe Advances ecoFLEX Downsizing Initiatives; Opel Diesel E-Flex Model to Debut at Frankfurt

The coming ecoFLEX Corsa 1.3 CDTI emits 119 g/km of CO2 (equivalent to about 4.4 l/100km fuel consumption or 53 mpg US). Click to enlarge. In a press briefing in Berlin today, GM Europe outlined an environmental strategy that focuses in the short-term on reducing CO2 emissions through engine downsizing,... Read more →

TransLink Puts Hydrogen-CNG Buses Into Service

TransLink, the Greater Vancouver (Canada) Transportation Authority, has put two test buses powered by a hydrogen-compressed natural gas blend (HCNG) into regular passenger service. The buses, converted 1998 New Flyer coaches that are part of TransLink’s Bus Demonstration Project, have been going through evaluation for the past two years. Westport... Read more →

JCVI Scientists Successfully Transplant Bacterial Genome

Colonies of the transformed Mycoplasma mycoides bacterium. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) have successfully transplanted the genome from one species of bacterium into another. The work, published online in the journal Science, by JCVI’s Carole Lartigue and colleagues, outlines the methods and techniques used... Read more →

Petro-Canada and Partners Moving Ahead with C$26.2 Billion Oil Sands Project

The Fort Hills project area, also showing pipeline and upgrader locations. Click to enlarge. Petro-Canada and its partners announced the formal design basis for the Fort Hills Project (FHP)—an integrated oil sands mining project that includes a mine and bitumen extraction plant 90 kilometers north of Fort McMurray, Alberta and... Read more →

BlueFire Ethanol and MIFI to Study Forestry Waste for Cellulosic Ethanol Feedstock

BlueFire Ethanol Fuels and the Mississippi Institute for Forest Inventory (MIFI) will conduct a study to determine the feasibility of a cellulose-to-ethanol production facility using forestry waste as its feedstock. BlueFire Ethanol was established to use the Arkenol process for the conversion of cellulosic waste material to ethanol. The Arkenol... Read more →

Odyne to Provide Battery System Technology for Mexico City Fleet EV Conversions

Odyne Corporation, a developer of advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrain (PHEV) technology for trucks and buses, has signed a strategic supplier agreement to provide lead-acid battery management system technology for the conversion of Mexico City’s municipal Nissan Tsuru car fleet to electric drive. Odyne will supply battery management trays,... Read more →

GM to Sell Allison Transmission; Two-Mode Facility Stays with GM

General Motors will sell its Allison Transmission commercial and military business to The Carlyle Group and Onex Corporation for approximately $5.6 billion. The sale agreement covers substantially all of Allison Transmission, including seven manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis, Ind. and its worldwide distribution network and sales offices. The production facility in... Read more →

UOP To Develop Technology to Produce Bio JP-8 for Military Jets

The UOP/Eni Ecofining process supports the possible co-production of propane, naphtha, and high quality jet fuel. Click to enlarge. UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, will accelerate research and development on renewable energy technology to convert vegetable and algal oils to fuels for military jets. The goal of the project, which... Read more →

Novozymes and Xergi to Co-Develop Microorganisms and Technologies for Biogas Production

Two Danish biotechnology firms—Novozymes A/S and Xergi A/S— are collaborating on the co-development of microorganisms and environmental technologies for the optimal harvest of energy from manure products for use in the production of electricity, heat, and transportation fuels, as well as high-quality fertilizer. Currently, Denmark converts less than 5% of... Read more →

POET Produces Cellulosic Ethanol from Corn Cobs

POET (formerly Broin), the largest dry-mill ethanol producer, has produced cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs. The company announced the results of the successful test along with their intentions to make cobs and corn fiber the feedstock for a commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility that will be jointly funded with the... Read more →

Petro-Canada Takes the Lead on Ethanol-Blended Gasoline in Québec

Petro-Canada and GreenField Ethanol have inked a long-term deal that makes Petro-Canada the exclusive purchaser of all ethanol produced at GreenField Ethanol’s new facility in Varennes, Québec. The ethanol will be blended with gasoline in blends of up to E10 destined for Petro-Canada retail sites in the Greater Montreal Area.... Read more →

Peugeot Unveils the 308; Platform for First E85 and Diesel-Hybrid Models

The Peugeot 308. Click to enlarge. Peugeot has unveiled its new 308—the first vehicle of the “8” generation—which it will officially introduce at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and then rapidly put on sale. The new 308 will serve as the platform for Peugeot’s first E85 flex-fuel model (the... Read more →

European Parliament to Consider Even Tougher Limits on Vehicle CO2 Than Currently Proposed; Restrictions on Top Speed

The two proposals for European limits on CO2 from new vehicles, plotted with actual CO2 data from the UK. Click to enlarge. UK data: SMMT. The European Parliament will consider implementing tougher targets than the currently proposed 130 g/km binding target to curb CO2 from vehicles. Under a plan proposed... Read more →

UP to Replace Switch Locomotives at Rail Yard with New Low-Emission Models

UP Genset locomotive. Union Pacific (UP) will replace the majority of switch locomotives used at its Commerce, California rail yard with new ultra-low emission diesel locomotives from Railpower by the end of July. Each locomotive is powered by three 700-horsepower engines. The 2,100-horsepower, EPA non-road Tier 3-certified Genset locomotives are... Read more →

Chrysler and Ford Join US Climate Action Partnership

The Chrysler Group and Ford Motor have joined the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), endorsing and participating in its call for economy-wide mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. USCAP, a partnership representing key sectors of the economy and non-government organizations, earlier this year issued a set of six principles... Read more →

40% of BMW’s MY2008 Line-Up Will Meet or Exceed European Target of 140 gCO2/km

BMW announced that by autumn 2007, 22 models in the BMW Group (BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce) for model year 2008—about 40%—will meet or exceed the European voluntary CO2 target of 140 g/km. Three of these 22 vehicles are MINIs and two belong to an additional BMW model line. The increase... Read more →

NASA Selects Reaction Design to Develop Fuel Models for Alternative Jet Fuels

Sample CHEMKIN output. Click to enlarge. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected Reaction Design, a leader in combustion simulation technology, to develop fuel models for simulating the operation of jet engines with alternative fuels. The two-year project will be led by Reaction Design with experimental support from... Read more →

Toyota and Matsushita Deepen Ties Over Hybrid Batteries

Nikkei. Toyota Motor Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. have entered into a cross-shareholding relationship as they increase their collaboration on batteries for hybrid vehicles. In 1996, Toyota and Matsushita jointly established Panasonic EV Energy Co., which manufactures the NiMH batteries for Toyota hybrid electric vehicles and is developing lithium-ion... Read more →

UQM Receives Follow-On Contract for Wheel-Mounted Motor

UQM Technologies has received a follow-on contract from the US Army’s Tank - Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) to continue the development of an advanced vehicle propulsion motor for application as a wheel-mounted electric propulsion system. The ten-month development effort will focus on refinements to the assembly process and design... Read more →

ChangAn Fires Up Hydrogen ICE

People’s Daily. ChangAn Automobile successfully ran China’s first independently developed high efficiency and low discharge hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE) on 18 June. The high-efficiency and low-emissions hydrogen engine is the only main hydrogen fuel project established in China’s 863 plan. The successful ignition marks a milestone, and lays a... Read more →

USCAR VRP to Explore ECO2 “Rinse and Recycle” Technology for ELV Recycling

The United States Council for Automotive Research’s (USCAR) Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) will evaluate ECO2 Plastics’ proprietary polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic recycling technology. The ECO2 technology removes “substances of concern” (SOCs) from plastics recovered from shredder residue—the material left when end-of-life vehicles (ELV), household appliances and other large items are... Read more →

ISE to Provide More Diesel Hybrid-Electric Drives for Opus Hybrids

ISE Corporation recently received orders for its ThunderVolt diesel series hybrid-electric drive systems for additional 30-foot Optima Opus buses. (Earlier post.) These are part of a contract awarded to Optima Bus LLC in 2006 by the town of Avon, CO. The original award included a base order of up to... Read more →

DOE Will Invest $375M in Three New Bioenergy Research Centers; Focus on Transportation Biofuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected and will invest up to $375 million in three new Bioenergy Research Centers that will be located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Madison, Wisconsin; and near Berkeley, California. DOE will fund the centers—the mission of which is to accelerate basic research in the... Read more →

The ABSOLUTE Hybrid: Combining a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell with a ZEBRA Battery

The IT-SOFC/Zebra powertrain for the ABSOLUTE hybrid. Click to enlarge. An engineering team at Imperial College London has developed and bench-tested a series-hybrid powertrain that combines an intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cell (IT-SOFC) with a ZEBRA sodium nickel-chloride battery. Dubbed the ABSOLUTE Hybrid (Advanced Battery Solid Oxide Linked Unit to... Read more →

Survey: US Consumers More Likely to Cut Discretionary Spending Than Use Alternative Transportation

Nearly half (47%) of US car owners are willing to buy a more fuel efficient car should gas prices increase $1, but a strong majority rule out using alternative transportation to offset rising gas prices and are more likely to cut discretionary spending, according to a survey by Discover Financial... Read more →

W2 Energy Begins Development of Biobutanol from Syngas

W2 Energy Inc., the developer of a GAT (Gliding Arc Tornado) plasma reactor for biomass gasification for power and fuels generation, is working to manufacture biobutanol from the GAT syngas. A GAT is a non-thermal plasma system that uses a reverse vortex flow (i.e., tornado) to preserve the main advantages... Read more →

ABF, BP and DuPont to Build $400M Bioethanol Plant and Biobutanol Demonstration Plant

Associated British Foods (ABF), BP and DuPont will invest around $400 million for the construction of a major bioethanol plant alongside a demonstration plant for biobutanol. Although initial production of the primary plant will be bioethanol, the partners will explore converting it to biobutanol production once the required technology is... Read more →

US Refinery Demand for Canadian Crude to Double by 2015

Forecast Canadian oil exports to the US. Click to enlarge. Demand for Canadian crude oil by US refineries will likely double from about 1.6 million bpd in 2006 to almost 3.1 million bpd by 2015. Over the same period, demand by Canadian refineries for the Canadian oil is expected to... Read more →

Hyundai Launches the i30; Up to 50 MPG with the Diesel Model

The i30 Hyundai is launching its new European C-Segment car, the i30, first shown at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2007. The i30 offers a range of newly developed gasoline and diesel engines, with the new 1.6-liter diesel being the most fuel-efficient at 4.7 l/100km (50 mpg US) and... Read more →

Rentech and Denbury Resources to Use Captured CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Rentech, Inc. announced an agreement with Denbury Resources Inc. for the sale, transport and use of all captured carbon dioxide from Rentech’s proposed synthetic fuels plant to be built in Natchez, Mississippi for oil recovery efforts in the region. (Earlier post.) Under the long-term agreement, Denbury will build a pipeline... Read more →

Cellulosic Biobutanol from Wheat Straw

Scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Services (USDA ARS) are exploring the production of cellulosic biobutanol from wheat straw using Clostridium Beijerinckii. The research is part of a larger, ongoing research project: Cost-Effective Bioprocess Technologies for Production of Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass. In work to be published in the Journal... Read more →

Researchers Study Shade-Avoidance Syndrome to Maximize Energy Crop Yields

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oregon State University and West Virginia University are seeking to improve energy crop yields for ethanol production through a research project investigating the photoreceptors that influence the shape and growth of poplar trees. The three-year, $1.04-million project, part of an $8.3 million Department of... Read more →

Tyson and Syntroleum to Develop Renewable Synthetic Fuels Plants

The Biofining process leverages Syntroleum’s Fischer-Tropsch wax upgrading experience to produce a lower-cost renewable synthetic diesel than possible via a traditional biomass-to-liquids pathway. Click to enlarge. Tyson Foods, Inc. and Syntroleum Corporation, a Fischer-Tropsch fuels technology company, have formed a joint venture company—Dynamic Fuels LLC—which will produce renewable synthetic fuels... Read more →

Scientists Call for Global Push to Advance Research in Synthetic Biology; Fuels One Output

Seventeen leading scientists from different disciplines ranging from materials engineering to molecular biophysics issued a statement urging a broad global research effort into synthetic biology—the construction or redesign of biological systems components that do not naturally exist, by combining the engineering applications and practices of nanoscience with molecular biology. The... Read more →

Syngenta, Chinese Academy of Sciences to Collaborate on Biotech Research

Syngenta, a global agribusiness and third largest in the high-value commercial seeds market, is entering a five-year research collaboration with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) in Beijing, China. The agreement focuses on the identification and development of novel agronomic traits including drought tolerance for key crops, including... Read more →

Report: Tyson Foods and Syntroleum Plan Biofuel Plant

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tyson Foods Inc. and Syntroleum Corp. will announce plans for a $150 million plant that would convert waste fat from Tyson plants into fuel. In April, ConocoPhillips and Tyson Foods Inc. formed a strategic alliance to produce renewable diesel from the refinery-based processing of... Read more →