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Chevron and NREL to Collaborate on Research to Produce Transportation Fuels, Including Jet Fuel, using Algae

Chevron Corporation and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have entered into a collaborative research and development agreement to study and advance technology to produce liquid transportation fuels using algae. Chevron and NREL scientists will collaborate to identify and develop algae strains that can be economically... Read more →

Fisker and Quantum Preview High-End Plug-In Hybrid

Fisker Automotive plug-in hybrid electric four-door sports sedan. Fisker Coachbuild, LLC and Quantum Technologies provided initial details on the $80,000, four-door plug-in hybrid premium sports sedan that will debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. (Earlier post.) The car is the first production vehicle to come from Fisker Automotive,... Read more →

Recycled Scrap Tire Rubber Can Be Used to Create Novel Thermoplastic and Thermoset Compounds

Lehigh Technologies’ PolyDyne recycled tire rubber powder can be used to create novel thermoplastic and thermoset compounds that can be produced and manufactured in large volumes, according to new research by the company. The small rubber particles in the range of 105 through 44 microns offer a much higher surface... Read more →

Raser and FEV to Develop Plug-in Hybrid Demo Vehicle Using Symetron Motor

Raser Technologies has appointed FEV Engine Technology as the integrator for an advanced plug-in-hybrid electric demonstration vehicle that incorporates a Raser Symetron electric motor and power electronic drive powertrain technology. The vehicle is targeted to achieve more than 100 mpg for the typical American driver. Symetron is an umbrella label... Read more →

Dutch Nuon Solar Team Winds Panasonic World Solar Challenge Race

The Nuna4 solar car from the Dutch Nuon Solar Team tool top spot in the Panasonic World Solar Challenge in Australia, a 3,000-kilometer (1,870-mile) cross-continent, Darwin to Adelaide race. The Dutch team completed the race in 33 hours with an average speed of 90.87 km/h (56 mph). The solar challenge,... Read more →

Avantium to Deliver Flowrence Reactor Systems to Shell

Avantium Technologies, a spin-off from Shell, has signed an agreement with CRI/Criterion Inc, a catalyst technology company within the Royal Dutch Shell group, for the sale and delivery of multiple Avantium Flowrence Research platforms to CRI/Criterion or its affiliates to enhance its research capabilities. Flowrence is a proprietary system developed... Read more →

UK Department for Transport Introduces Framework to Deliver New Low Carbon Transport System

Growth in UK GDP and transport kilometers. Click to enlarge. UK Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly introduced a new framework to deliver a transport system to support the UK economy and to reduce carbon emissions. The framework, Towards a Sustainable Transport System, is the Department for Transport’s response... Read more →

Study: Refineries’ Hydrogen Consumption Will Climb 40% in Next 5 Years

Global environmental regulations and the inferior quality of today’s sour crude feedstock available for refineries will drive consumption of hydrogen in excess of 40% over the next five years, according to a new report from SRI Consulting (SRIC). SRIC’s 2007 Hydrogen report estimates that globally 630.8 billion cubic meters (52.6... Read more →

Lighter Weight Automotive Sound Insulation for Improved Fuel Economy

One conventional approach to reducing engine noise to an acceptable level for drivers and passengers consists of layering or stacking heavy materials, such as asphalt, on the floor of the car to absorb the sound. This method adds to the overall weight of the vehicle, thereby increasing power needs and... Read more →

Miljobil Grenland AS Orders Five EV Battery Packs from Electrovaya; Tata May Provide Gliders

Miljobil Grenland AS has ordered five lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles from Electrovaya. Electrovaya will provide battery packs for five prototype zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) to be tested by Miljobil as part of its longer term plan to commercialize a pure electric vehicle in the Scandinavian countries. Miljobil’s major... Read more →

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car in Combined Carbon Offset Program

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, all now owned by the Taylor family of St. Louis, announced a new customer carbon offset program—the largest of its kind in the rental car industry and the first consumer initiative to be launched under all three rental car brands.... Read more →

Shell Selects Ilika for Joint Development Project in Solid-State Hydrogen Storage

Gravimetric and volumetric densities of various hydrogen storage options. Click to enlarge. Source: Edwards Shell Hydrogen B.V., a division of the Shell Group has entered into a joint development project with Ilika Technologies Ltd to develop materials suitable for the solid-state storage of hydrogen. Ilika specializes in combinatorial technology for... Read more →

New DC-DC Converter Targeting Increased Hybrid Efficiency

A consortium of British companies, led by motorsport specialist Prodrive, is developing a new DC-DC converter for use in automotive hybrid and electric vehicles, which will be more efficient, smaller and lower cost than those currently available. The project, part funded by the Technology Strategy Board under the technology program... Read more →

Tenneco Lands Development Contract For Complete SCR Diesel Aftertreatment System for Chinese Engine Manufacturer

Tenneco Inc. has been awarded its first development contract for a completely integrated selective catalyst reduction (SCR) diesel aftertreatment system featuring its recently acquired ELIM-NOx technology. The development contract is between Tenneco’s venture in Shanghai and a major Chinese commercial vehicle engine manufacturer. Tenneco acquired the ELIM-NOx technology as part... Read more →

Firefly Energy Group BCI 31 Carbon-Foam Lead-Acid Battery Available for Testing 1Q 2008

The first pre-production versions of Firefly Energy’s new BCI Group 31 carbon-foam lead-acid truck battery (earlier post)—to be marketed under the new name “Oasis”—will be available for review and testing during the first quarter of 2008. Initial availability of the Oasis battery will be in the summer of 2008, with... Read more →

Report: Daihatsu, Fuji Heavy To Supply Each Other With Passenger Cars

The Nikkei reports that Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the makers of Subaru, will produce midsize cars for Daihatsu Motor Company. Daihatsu in turn will supply minivehicles and subcompacts to Fuji Heavy. Fuji Heavy reportedly approached Daihatsu’s parent Toyota about the OEM deal. Toyota also has a 8.7% stake in Fuji... Read more →

Ener1’s Approach to HEV, PHEV and EV Batteries

Rate capability of the Ener1 LMO/LTO HEV cells. Click to enlarge. In preparation for a series of investor meetings during November, Ener1 has published a presentation outlining its approach to the two different types of automotive lithium-ion batteries it currently has under development: high power batteries for hybrid electric vehicle... Read more →

GM Begins Production of Two-Mode Hybrid Transmission in Baltimore

General Motors’ Baltimore Transmission Plant officially began production of the two-mode hybrid transmission—the only hybrid transmission currently designed and built in the US by a major automaker. The 2-Mode Hybrid transmission will debut in the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid. GM’s Arlington, Texas, assembly plant will... Read more →

PHEV Vendor Odyne Completes $3.2M Private Placement

Odyne Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of plug-in hybrid systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, has completed a $3.2-million private placement of 10% senior secured convertible notes and warrants to purchase common stock. The net proceeds of the private placement will be used by Odyne for its working... Read more →

Chery Unveils Prototype Methanol-Fueled Cars

Interfax-China. China’s Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. unveiled prototype methanol-fueled cars at their research base in northern China's Shanxi Province, a Chery employee told Interfax at the Innovation Forum on Clean Vehicle Technology in Beijing. The first batch of 20 cars has been tested and is ready to be put into... Read more →

Nations, States, Provinces Announce Carbon Markets Partnership Targeting Global Warming

A coalition of European countries, US states, Canadian provinces, New Zealand and Norway have formed the International Carbon Action Partnership to fight global warming. ICAP will provide an international forum in which governments and public authorities adopting mandatory greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade systems will share experiences and best... Read more →

Shai Agassi Launches Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Venture

Shai Agassi, former SAP executive, has formed Project Better Place, a company with $200 million in first-round funding that is focused on developing a sustainable infrastructure to support the transition of country-wide transportation systems to electricity and away from fossil fuels. The company will deploy a regional and global infrastructure... Read more →

GM Launches New Advanced Science and Research Center in Shanghai; Focus on Electric Drive

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner unveiled a collaborative strategy and the first two initiatives under that strategy to support the Chinese government’s pursuit of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly transportation that will be based on the principle of “in China, with China, for China.” The first initiative under the strategy... Read more →

Flybrid Flywheel Hybrid System Passes First Crash Test; Developing for Road Cars as Well

Flybrid Systems has demonstrated that its high-speed spinning flywheel system can survive a crash test of the severity used for Formula One frontal impact testing. The Flybrid kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) incorporates Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) technology sourced from the partnership of Torotrak Plc and Xtrac. Xtrac is using... Read more →

Ontario Biomass Could Provide 1.6B Liters of Ethanol or 6.9 TWh of Electricity

Currently available agricultural residues could provide up to 1.6 billion litres (423 million gallons US) of ethanol for transportation fuel or 6.9 terrawatt hours of electricity in Ontario, according to a recent study examining the near-term potential of cellulosic biomass in the Canadian province. Researchers at the University of Toronto... Read more →

Alberta Unveils New Royalty Plan for Energy Sector; 20% Increase Projected Over Current Levels

Alberta’s share from oil sands projects under the new royalty regime (hatched blue) compared to other countries. Click to enlarge. Source: Alberta Royalty Review Panel Saying that “Future generations of Albertans will receive a fair share from the development of their resources,” Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach last week unveiled the... Read more →

UN Rights Expert Calls for Five-Year Freeze on Biofuel Production

Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, has called for a five-year moratorium on the production of biofuels, saying that converting crops such as maize, wheat and sugar into fuels was driving up the prices of food, land and water. Noting that the price of wheat... Read more →

Orbital Introduces FlexDI Injection Technology

Australia-based Orbital Corporation introduced its new FlexDI modular direct injection fuel system technology at the 5th International Clean Vehicle Exhibition and Forum in Beijing. Polaris Industries is the first customer to go into series production with FlexDI, applying it in the Patriot Engine. (Earlier post). Orbital’s core technology—the Orbital Combustion... Read more →

Study: Human-Generated Ozone Could Cut Global Crop Yields by Nearly 40% by 2100

Projections of average percentage change in crop yield and production. In the top curve, CO2 and other GHGs are unregulated, excluding ozone impact. In the lowest curve, GHGs are unregulated, and crop damage from ozone is included. In the middle curve, GHGs are regulated, and ozone damage is included. The... Read more →

C-17 Flight Uses Fischer-Tropsch Fuel Blend in All Four Engines

C-17 taxis out for first flight on synthetic fuel blend. A C-17 Globemaster III took off 22 October on a flight using a 50:50 blend of Fischer-Tropsch synthetic and JP-8 fuels in all four fuel tanks. The fuel used was essentially the same fuel blend used in the earlier B-52H... Read more →

Avantium Engine-Tests Furan-Based Biofuel

Avantium derives its Furanics fuels from the intermediate hydroxymethylfurfural. Illustration: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Avantium, which spun-off from Shell in 2000, successfully completed an engine test to demonstrate the potential of its furan-based biofuels, or “furanics.” Furanics are heteroaromatic compounds derived from the chemical intermediate HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural, C6H6O3). The cost-effective... Read more →

Green Mountain Power Offers Employees Cash Incentives for Hybrid Vehicle Purchases

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power will offer employees a $1,500 incentive for the purchase of a new car, or a $750 incentive for the purchase of a used vehicle, that is included in the EPA’s Smart Way Elite category. Currently that list includes the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Altima... Read more →

UN Issues Bleak Outlook on Environment; An “Urgent Call for Action”

Mapping major environmental problems according to availability of solutions and reversibility. Click to enlarge. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that major threats to the planet such as climate change, the rate of extinction of species, and the challenge of feeding a growing population are among the many that... Read more →

Westport and OMVL Form JV for Sub-5-Liter Class Alternative Fuel Engines

Westport Innovations Inc. and OMVL SpA have formed an equity joint venture to design, produce and sell alternative fuel engines in the sub-5-liter class for global applications. The new, jointly controlled company will be headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and will exploit the global engineering, production and distribution strengths of OMVL... Read more →

Mitsubishi to Launch i MiEV in 2009, Nissan to Launch EVs in 2012

Thompson Financial. Mitsubishi Motors Corp plans to launch its i MiEV all-electric compact car in 2009, a year ahead of schedule, according to company president Osamu Masuko. Separately, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA, said that his auto group is planning to mass produce an electric... Read more →

Suzuki Shows Air-Cooled Fuel Cell Motorcycle and “People-Centered” Transport Device

The crosscage. Among the concept vehicles Suzuki is introducing at the Tokyo Motor Show are the “crosscage”, an air-cooled fuel cell motorcycle, and a new people-centered vehicle concept based on the combination of a one-person low-speed transport device (PIXY) and a minicar-based mobility unit (Suzuki Sharing Coach, SSC). The crosscage... Read more →

Mitsubishi Unveils One Electric and Two Diesel Concept Cars at Tokyo Motor Show

The i MiEV Sport. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation introduced three concept cars at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show: the electric i MiEV Sport; the Concept ZT sedan; and the Concept-cX compact SUV. Based on the i MiEV (earlier post), the i MiEV Sport features Mitsubishi Motors’ in-wheel motors in the front... Read more →

StatoilHydro to Partner in Gazprom’s Barents Sea Shtokman; Largest Undeveloped Offshore Gas Field

Gazprom has selected StatoilHydro as a third partner in the Shtokman development in the Barents Sea, phase 1. The agreement gives StatoilHydro a 24% equity interest in Shtokman Development Company in which Gazprom (51%) and Total (25%) are the two other partners. Location of the Shtokman development. North is at... Read more →

ARB Approves Tripling of Early Action CO2 Measures

The California Air Resources Board today approved its staff’s proposal to triple the set of early measures to help meet the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 25% by 2020 as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). (Earlier post.) The new measures approved today... Read more →

Wave Energy Company Seeking C$23M in Financing

Finavera Renewables Inc., the developer of the AquaBuOY wave energy converter system (earlier post), is undertaking a round of financing to raise C$23 million (US$23.8 million). The company has engaged Dundee Securities Corp. and CIBC World Markets Inc. in connection with a best efforts private placement of units to raise... Read more →

New Alliance to Develop Nanocrystalline Metal/Polymer Hybrid; Lightweight and Strong

Patented nanometal/polymer hybrid technology using DuPont engineering polymers substrate produces stiff, strong parts. Click to enlarge. Source: DuPont DuPont, Canada-based Morph Technologies Inc., Integran Technologies Inc., and US-based PowerMetal Technologies have formed an alliance to develop and commercialize a nanocrystalline metal/polymer hybrid technology that will be used to manufacture extremely... Read more →

Boeing Tests HALE Hydrogen Propulsion System Based On 2.3-Liter Ford Hydrogen Engine

Artist’s rendering of the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft. Click to enlarge. Source: Boeing The Boeing Company successfully tested the hydrogen propulsion system, based on a Ford 2.3-liter, four-cylinder hydrogen combustion engine, for its High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft. During the test, the engine ran for nearly... Read more →

Toyota Will Cut Price and Size of Hybrid System in Next Prius, Use NiMH

Reuters. For the next-generation Prius, Toyota will cut the size and price of the hybrid drive system by around half, and stick with a NiMH battery pack, according to Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto. Okamoto is in charge of Toyota’s research and development, and made the comment to reporters at... Read more →

University of Texas to Begin First Long-Term Underground CO2 Storage Test in US

The test will demonstrate CO2 storage in the Tuscaloosa-Woodbine geologic system that stretches from Texas to Florida. Injection will occur near the Cranfield oil field. Click to enlarge. The Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin has received a 10-year, $38 million subcontract to conduct the... Read more →

MTA NYC Transit and MTA Bus Combine for 850 New Hybrid Electric Bus Order

MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bus will take delivery of 850 new Orion VII low-floor hybrid electric buses by the end of 2009. The Orion VII hybrid. Click to enlarge. The Orion VII is a series hybrid bus, and uses the BAE Systems HybriDrive. The buses, manufactured by... Read more →