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BMW Shows Demonstration Mono-Fuel Version of the Hydrogen 7; Next Engine Version Will Use Charging for 2-3X Increase in Power Density

BMW introduced a new mono-fuel version of its Hydrogen 7 vehicle at the 2008 National Hydrogen Association Conference in Sacramento, CA today. The BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel is a demonstration production vehicle, not a prototype, and was created to showcase the zero CO2 and low emissions potential and feasibility of... Read more →

DOE Selects Quantum and Boeing for Advanced Hydrogen Storage Project

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected for final negotiations for a contact a joint project by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. and Boeing to develop next-generation manufacturing technologies for hydrogen storage vessels. Total value of the project is $5.6 million over three years. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory... Read more →

SAIC-GM-Wuling Opens Second Production Facility in Qingdao

SAIC-GM-Wuling, GM’s mini-vehicle joint venture in China, began production at its second vehicle manufacturing facility in the coastal city of Qingdao. Its initial product is a new mini-commercial vehicle that is powered by a 1.2-liter double overhead cam gasoline engine. The facility, which has an annual production capacity of 300,000... Read more →

Hybrid Truck Users Forum WG Selects Electric and Hydraulic Hybrid Suppliers

Rexroth hydrostatic regenerative braking system (HRB) reduces fuel consumption by up to 25% and can be retrofitted as an add-on system even in vehicles without hydraulics. Click to enlarge. The members of CALSTART’s Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) Refuse Working Group have selected the supplier team of Crane Carrier/ISE/Bosch Rexroth... Read more →

ConocoPhillips, NREL and Iowa State University to Establish Research Alliance to Advance Biofuels Research

ConocoPhillips and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are forming a strategic research alliance with Iowa State University (ISU) to identify promising cellulosic biomass conversion technologies. The collaboration will bring three independently established programs together to help identify the most efficient and cost-effective methods for... Read more →

Quantum to Supply Modular Hydrogen Refueling Station to Shell Hydrogen

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. has been awarded a contract from Shell Hydrogen LLC for a modular and transportable hydrogen refueling station together with a hydrogen storage cascade. The system incorporates an oil-free gas compression system to deliver hydrogen at high-pressure from the storage cascade. This refueling appliance will... Read more →

Tata Motors to Spend $1.5B to Expand Manufacturing Capacity in India

Tata Motors will spend 60 billion rupees (Rs. 6,000 crore, US$1.5 billion) over four to five years to expand its manufacturing capacity in India and to set up vehicle testing facilities. Tata Motors is India’s largest vehicle maker, with revenues of US$7.2 billion in 2006-07. With more than 4 million... Read more →

Petrobras, Mitsui, and Camargo Correa Create Ethanol Pipeline Company

Brazil’s Petrobras, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., and Camargo Correa S/A created the PMCC Projetos de Transporte de Álcool S.A., a corporation aimed at executing the ethanol pipeline project to be built between Senador Canedo (GO) and Paulínia (SP) in Brazil, in addition to the section that will interconnect the Tietê-Paraná... Read more →

DOE Awarded $18.3M to Nuclear Industry Consortia for GNEP Studies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) last week awarded $18.3 million to four industry teams to further develop plans for an initial nuclear fuel recycling center and advanced recycling reactor as part of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). (Earlier post.) The awards include $5.9 million to EnergySolutions; $5.7 million... Read more →

Report: Toto’s Home-Use Solid Oxide Ceramic Fuel Cell To Be 1/3 Price Of Others

The Nikkei reports that major sanitary ceramics manufacturer Toto Ltd. has developed a home-use solid oxide fuel cell that will sell for about ¥1 million (US$10,000) per kW output—less than a third the cost of other models from companies such as Toshiba, Matsushita and Ebara. The firm applied its production... Read more →

Researchers Map Layers of Lava Flows Beneath North Atlantic; New Technique to Further Oil Exploration

Location of seismic profiles across the North Atlantic. Click to enlarge. Scientists have mapped the layers of once molten rock that lie beneath the North Atlantic Ocean and which measure more than eight miles thick in some locations. The research, reported in the journal Nature, provides a better understanding of... Read more →

Australia Launches CO2 Geosequestration Project

Australia will officially launch its first demonstration of carbon dioxide geosequestration on 2 April. The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) Otway Project is situated near Warrnambool in south-western Victoria. CO2CRC is a collaborative research organization focused on carbon dioxide capture and geological storage. Conceptual representation of the... Read more →

Titanium Corporation Receives Grant To Research Extraction of Hydrocarbons and Minerals from Oil Sands Tailings

Without recovery, oil sands production is projected to lose 30 million barrels per year of bitumen and naptha by 2015. Click to enlarge. Alberta Energy has awarded Titanium Corporation a C$3.5-million grant to research the value-added opportunities and environmental benefits of stripping out hydrocarbons and heavy minerals from oil sands... Read more →

Mitsubishi Heavy To Boost Turbocharger Output With $403M Investment

Nikkei. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. plans to spend about ¥40 billion (US$403 million) by fiscal 2011 to increase the production of automobile turbochargers to 7 million units per year, about double the amount expected for the current fiscal year. As restrictions on gas emissions are scheduled to be tightened in... Read more →

Vogelbusch Optimizes Yeast for Higher-Yield Fermentation Process for Cellulosic Ethanol

Austria-based Vogelbusch GmbH has developed and is seeking a patent on an efficient fermentation process for the high-yield extraction of bioethanol from materials containing hemicellulose using an optimized strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Working in partnership with the Institute of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering at Graz University of Technology,... Read more →

EPA Requests Comments on National Water Program Strategy to Respond to Climate Change

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water has made available for comment a review draft of the National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change. The draft document represents the National Water Program’s initial effort to identify potential impacts of climate change for clean water and drinking water... Read more →

ZENN Motor Targets Highway-Capable, EEStor-Powered Vehicle for 2009

During its Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders, ZENN Motor Company Inc. (ZMC) said that it is targeting the launch of the cityZENN EV, powered by EEStor, for the fall of 2009. The cityZENN is planned to be a fully certified, highway capable vehicle with a top speed of 125... Read more →

ITM Power and Roush Partner on Hydrogen Combustion Engine Vehicles in UK

ITM Power plc, the developer of a low-cost home electrolysis unit for hydrogen production (earlier post) is collaborating with Roush Technologies Limited in a project to put hydrogen combustion engine vehicles on UK roads. Roush Technologies, which already has extensive experience in the commercial vehicle sector, will be responsible for... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz to Introduce New-Generation A- and B-Classes at Leipzig Show; Start/Stop Function on High-Volume Models

The new-generation A-Class. Mercedes-Benz will introduce its new-generation A- and B-Class vehicles at the Auto Mobil International (AMI) motor show in Leipzig (5-13 April). The new line-up features a number of fuel-saving enhancements, including a start/stop microhybrid function on high volume A- and B-Class vehicles. The B-Class is also now... Read more →

Concept: New Piston/Scavenging Loop Engine for Performance Boost

A 4-stroke cycle with the Creel Loop engine. Click to enlarge. A small engine company, Creel Loop LLC, based in Louisiana, is working with a new patented piston design that, in combination with a scavenging loop engine design, functions essentially as a low-cost, naturally-aspirated supercharger to enhance the overall performance... Read more →

Mitsubishi Chemical To Begin Mass-Production of Li-Ion Cathode Material

Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. plans to begin mass-production of cathode material for lithium ion batteries with a focus on applications for hybrid and electric vehicles as well as power tools beginning in the fall of 2009. The company will invest ¥2 billion (US$20 million) to set up a facility that can... Read more →

Hybrid Car Sales in Israel Increased by More Than 300% in 2007

In 2007, 1,731 hybrid cars were purchased in Israel, compared to 493 in 2006, 130 in 2005 and only 10 in 2004, according to data compiled by Israel’s Air Quality Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. In the first two months of 2008, 506 hybrid cars were purchased. Avi... Read more →

Continental Restructures Powertrain Division with Consolidated Engine Systems

Continental AG is restructuring its €5 billion (sales) Powertrain Division, which includes business units acquired in the purchase last year of Siemens VDO. The restructured Powertrain Division will combine three of its current business units—Diesel Systems, Gasoline Systems and Electronics—into a single entity. This business unit will also be headed... Read more →

University of Calgary Launches Gigatonne Carbon Storage Study

The University of Calgary (U of C) is launching a Gigatonne carbon storage study. The Wabamun Area CO2 Sequestration Project will assess the geological and technical requirements, economic feasibility and technical and regulatory issues related to the potential to safely store up to 1,000 megatonnes of CO2. The 16-month assessment... Read more →

Argonne Tests Find Near-Zero Emissions for BMW Hydrogen 7

Independent tests conducted by engineers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory on a BMW Hydrogen 7 Mono-Fuel demonstration vehicle have found that the car’s hydrogen-powered engine surpasses the super-ultra low-emission vehicle (SULEV) level, the most stringent emissions performance standard to date. The BMW Hydrogen 7’s emissions... Read more →

California Air Resources Board Votes to Modify ZEV Program in Short-Term; Complete Overhaul to Begin for New ZEV II

The ARB conceives the restructuring of the current ZEV program as breaking off PZEVs and AT-PZEVs, both of which are fully commercialized, to other regulatory programs, and to focus solely on emergent ZEV technologies that require commercialization support. Click to enlarge. The California Air Resources Board today voted unanimously for... Read more →

Report: Toyota To Boost Japan Output Of Prius Hybrid 60% By Next Year

The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to boost domestic output of the Prius by 60% to 450,000 a year by 2009. Toyota manufactured about 280,000 Priuses worldwide in 2007, up 33% on the year. Excluding some Chinese production, the car is assembled mainly at two major plants in... Read more →

EPRI and Ford to Develop Approaches for Integrating PHEVs Into Grid

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Ford Motor Company have entered a three-year agreement to develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the nation’s electric grid system. EPRI will form a collaborative of utilities in the New York-New Jersey area that will test... Read more →

UQM Technologies Delivers Motor for Use in Fuel Cell Switch Locomotive

UQM Technologies has delivered a PowerPhase 100 motor to Vehicle Projects LLC for use in a fuel cell-powered switch locomotive under development by a consortium including Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, the US Department of Defense, and led by Vehicle Projects LLC of Denver, Colorado. (Earlier post.) The UQM... Read more →

Bac2 Introduces Blank Bipolar Plates for Rapid Fuel Cell Prototyping

Fuel cell materials company Bac2 will launch blank bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, its first standard product, at the Fuel Cell Pavilion, Hall 13, during Hannover Messe 2008 (21-25 April). The plates, based on Bac2’s conductive polymer ElectroPhen, can be machined more simply than metal plates,... Read more →

Johnson Matthey SCRT System Cut NOx Emissions by 84% in Fleet Trial of Retrofitted Class 8 Trucks

Retrofit SCRT System Diagram. Click to enlarge. In a demonstration using 16 older retrofitted Class 8 grocery trucks that are part of Raley’s fleet, the Johnson Matthey (JM) SCRT four-way control heavy-duty system reduced NOx by an average of 84% compared to pre-retrofit levels. The trucks involved had 2004 Cummins,... Read more →

India to Increase Ethanol Blending to 10% This Year

India will increase the ethanol blend in gasoline from 5% to 10% starting in October, according to the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Murli Deora. (Earlier post.) The minister’s announcement came during a meeting with Miguel Jorge, Brazilian Minister for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, to explore further... Read more →

Japanese Banks Loaning $800M to Tata Motors for Jaguar Land Rover Acquisition

Nikkei. Mizuho Corporate Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ will extend nearly US$ 400 million dollars each to Tata Motors Ltd. to help finance the Indian carmaker’s US$ 2.3 billion dollar cash purchase of the Jaguar and Land Rover units of Ford Motor Co. (Earlier post.) Tata Motors is seeking... Read more →

Venturi Automobiles and PSA Peugeot Citroën Partner on EVs for La Poste; PSA Re-Launching EV Business

The Berlingo 2. Venturi Automobiles and PSA Peugeot Citroën are partnering to supply electric vans based on the Citroën Berlingo First / Peugeot Partner Origin in response to a tender from the French Post Office, La Poste. One of the electric vans will be presented for the first time this... Read more →

Valence and Securaplane Considering Partnering on Li-ion Pack for Aircraft

Valence Technology, Inc. is working toward a long-term agreement with Securaplane Technologies, Inc. to develop a customized lithium-phosphate battery pack for use in aviation power applications. The deal would make Securaplane one of the first suppliers to offer lithium-phosphate technology for aircraft applications. Under this agreement, both parties have consented... Read more →

EPA Region 4 Offers $3.6M for Diesel Emissions Reduction Projects

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-Region 4, as part of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative, will offer approximately $3.6 Million in grants to fund projects within the Southeast to demonstrate effective emission control technologies and strategies, methods or approaches to reducing diesel emissions. EPA expects to fund between five and ten... Read more →

Shell and Virent Collaborating To Develop Biogasoline From Plant Sugars

Virent’s BioForming platform can convert a wide range of biomass-derived feedstocks to fuels and chemicals. Shell and Virent Energy Systems, Inc., are collaborating on a joint research and development effort to convert plant sugars directly into “drop-in” gasoline and gasoline blend components, rather than ethanol. Such biofuels and components can... Read more →

Ford Sells Jaguar Land Rover to Tata Motors for $2.3B

Ford Motor Company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors for approximately US $2.3 billion in cash. At closing, Ford will then contribute up to approximately US $600 million to the Jaguar Land Rover pension plans. The transaction is the culmination... Read more →

Ohio Awards $17M in Advanced Energy Grants; Major Focus on Alternative Fuels

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission has awarded more than $12 million in grants to 17 Ohio-based entities to accelerate the development and growth of the advanced energy industry in Ohio. Awards for advanced energy were selected from the wind, solar, alternative fuel, energy storage and instruments, controls, and electronics sectors.... Read more →

New Zealand Fuel Economy Labels in Effect 7 April; Fuel Economy Standards Under Discussion

The new vehicle fuel economy labels for New Zealand. Click to enlarge. New Zealand’s vehicle fuel economy labelling regulations come into effect Monday, 7 April 2008. In parallel, submissions on the proposed New Zealand fuel economy standard for new and used light vehicles entering the fleet close on 28 March... Read more →

Researchers at Penn State Show Increased Hydrogen Yield in Membrane-less Microbial Electrolysis Cell

Researchers at Penn State have obtained hydrogen yields from a membrane-less microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) that is double the amount obtained in previous MEC studies. Prior work has assumed that a membrane is needed in an MEC to avoid hydrogen losses due to bacterial consumption of the product gas. This... Read more →

Toyota Brand to Begin Sales in Korea; Prius and Camry Hybrid

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will launch the Toyota brand in South Korea in late 2009 through its local distributor, Toyota Motor Korea Co., Ltd. (TMKR). The Prius hybrid passenger vehicle, RAV4 small SUV and Camry midsize sedan, including a hybrid version, will constitute the lineup. The combined monthly sales target... Read more →

Argonne, DOT Open Transportation Research, Computing Center

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in cooperation with the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration, has opened the Transportation Research and Analysis Computing Center (TRACC) in suburban Chicago. The new modeling, simulation and high-performance computing center will tackle a range of difficult... Read more →

Researchers Develop and Synthesize Stable Inorganic Catalyst for Artificial Photosynthesis

A tetraruthenium polyoxometalate cluster (Ru blue, O red, Si yellow, W black) catalyzes the rapid oxidation of H2O to O2 in water at ambient temperature, and shows considerable stability under turnover conditions. Click to enlarge. A team of researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany and Emory University in the US... Read more →

Ricardo and Partners Complete 2/4SIGHT Prototype Program; Projected 27% Fuel Savings

The 2/4SIGHT engine enables automatic switching between two- and four-stroke mode. Click to enlarge. Ricardo and a consortium of automotive partners have completed an advanced prototype research program based on the 2/4SIGHT engine concept. (Earlier post.) This gasoline engine concept uses novel combustion, boosting, control and valve actuation technologies to... Read more →

eTec to Conduct AVTA Testing of Chevy Tahoe Hybrids

Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc., will conduct baseline and fleet testing on two 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid vehicles for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA). The AVTA is part of the Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR & Vehicle Technologies Program and... Read more →

Ports of LA and Long Beach Approve Low Sulfur Fuel Incentive for Vessels

In a special joint meeting, the Los Angeles and Long Beach (California) Boards of Harbor Commissioners have approved a low-sulfur fuel incentive for ocean-going vessels (OGV) to encourage vessel operators to switch to low-sulfur fuel (0.2% sulfur) within 40 miles of the ports of LA and Long Beach. Use of... Read more →