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Enable IPC Acquires Ultracapacitor Company

A Ragone plot with two SolRayo candidate materials indicated. Click to enlarge. Enable IPC Corp. has acquired a controlling interest in SolRayo LLC, a Wisconsin technology company developing new inexpensive nanoparticle-based ultracapacitors for use in various renewable energy, industrial, consumer, and automotive applications. The SolRayo acquisition is in exchange for... Read more →

LightEVs Signs with EESTOR for Two-and Three-Wheeled EV Markets

Light Electric Vehicles Company (LightEVs) signed a world-wide exclusive technology agreement with EEStor, Inc to provide electric vehicles and propulsion systems using EEStor’s Electric Energy Storage Units (EESUs) (earlier post) for the two- and three-wheeled vehicles markets. The EEStor EESU—a high-power-density multi-layered barium titanate ceramic ultracapacitor—is expected to provide energy... Read more →

New Process Combines Ionic Liquids and Solid Catalysts for Mild Pre-Treatment of Biomass

Main product and byproducts from the acid catalyzed hydrolysis of cellulose. Click to enlarge. Credit: Angewandte Chemie. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research (MPI für Kohlenforschung) at Mülheim, Germany, have combined ionic liquids and solid catalysts in a new mild pre-treatment process for cellulosic biomass. With this... Read more →

Australia Seeks Public Discussion of Measures to Encourage the Adoption of More Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

Projected average CO2 emissions of the Australian LDV fleet under a range of CO2 targets. Fleet-wide improvements take a long time even with aggressive new vehicle targets. Click to enlarge. The Australian Transport Council and the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Working Group, with support from... Read more →

Japan Auto Output Drops 10.9% in August; Domestic Sales Down 10.7%

Japan automobile production in August 2008 dropped 10.9% to 769,829 from 864,283 units in the same month last year, according to data from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. This marks the first year-on-year decline in production in thirteen months. Production of all passenger cars dropped 10.7% to 653,485 units. Standard... Read more →

Shell Contacts Jacobs for Ethanol and Biodiesel Blending Facilities in Euro Depots

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has received a 3-year contract from Shell Supply and Distribution to provide front-end design, engineering, procurement, and construction management services for Shell’s European biofuels program. The objective of the program is to install bioethanol and biodiesel blending facilities in Shell depots throughout Europe. Under the program,... Read more →

Lignol and Weyerhaeuser to Collaborate on Commercial Development of Cellulose-based Products and Biochemicals

Lignol Energy Corporation, a cellulosic ethanol and biochemical company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Weyerhaeuser Company to explore the development of commercial applications of biochemical outputs from Lignol’s proprietary biorefining technology. The parties have also agreed to evaluate the development of a commercial-scale Lignol biorefinery plant at... Read more →

California Gasoline Consumption Down in June and Second Quarter 2008

Consumption of gasoline in California declined 7.5% in June from the same month a year ago, according to figures from the State Board of Equalization (BOE). California gasoline consumption in the first half of the year, from 2000. Click to enlarge. In the second quarter of 2008, Californians used 191... Read more →

US House Rejection of Bailout Drives Auto Stocks, Oil Price Down

In the wake of the US House of Representatives torpedoing the $700-billion Wall Street bailout on Monday, the Dow plunged 777.68 points (6.98%), to close at 10,365.45, its lowest close in nearly three years. The dive bested the record for the largest single trading-day decline set on 17 September 2001,... Read more →

California Governor Signs Anti-Sprawl Bill Into Law

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 375, the nation’s first law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by curbing sprawl. (Earlier post.) This landmark bill takes California’s fight against global warming to a whole new level, and it creates a model that the rest of the country and world will use.... Read more →

California Governor Signs Two Green Chemistry Bills

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two bills moving the state toward a comprehensive green chemistry program to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals in products and the environment. AB 1879 is jointly authored by Assemblymembers Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and co-authored by Assemblymembers Sam Blakeslee (R-San... Read more →

EERC 100% Renewable Biojet Fuel Meets Key JP-8 Standards [corrected]

Comparison of the composition of EERC’s renewable JP-8 with conventional petroleum-derived JP-8. Click to enlarge. Source: EERC A 100% renewable biojet fuel produced by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND) has met seven key JP-8 specification parameters, including freeze point, density, flash... Read more →

Senator Bingaman Says Auto Loan Program Not to Be Limited to 30% of Facility Cost

The $25-billion loan program for automakers and suppliers to retool older facilities, passed by the Senate on Saturday and heading to President Bush for signature, does not intended to cap loans to 30% of the cost of a facility as reported here earlier (earlier post), according to Senator Jeff Bingaman... Read more →

Isuzu Developing Series Hybrid System for Buses and Small to Mid-Size Trucks

The Nikkei reports that Isuzu Motors Ltd. is developing a series hybrid bus that it plans to commercialize in Japan in the first half of the 2010s. The series hybrid system’s diesel engine can be made roughly 30% smaller than those used in conventional buses and maintains constant revolution regardless... Read more →

McKinsey Report Concludes CCS Could Be Economic at New Power Plants by 2030

While many CCS component technologies are relatively mature, to date there are no fully integrated, commercial-scale CCS projects in operation. Click to enlarge. Source: McKinsey Carbon capture and storage (CCS) at new power plants could become economic by 2030, according to a new report by management consultancy McKinsey & Co.... Read more →

ASTM Developing New Test Method for Relative Corrosivity of Ethanol to Iron in the Presence of Water

ASTM Subcommittee D02.14 is developing a draft for a method for the determination of the relative corrosivity of fuel grade ethanol (Ed95) and fuel ethanol (Ed70 to Ed85) to iron (steel). Test results will indicate the degree to which corrosion of iron components can be expected from ethanol fuels. The... Read more →

Synthesis Energy Systems Options Up to 15 Methanol-to-Gasoline Technology Licenses for Coal-to-Gasoline Projects

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (SES), a gasification company, has entered into an agreement with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company that provides SES the option to execute up to 15 Methanol-to-Gasoline (MTG) technology (earlier post) licenses at its U-GAS coal gasification plants globally. MTG is one of several pathways for converting... Read more →

Clean Energy Adds CNG Fueling Stations at Airports in Atlanta, GA and Oklahoma City, OK

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. will own, operate and supply fuel for new compressed natural gas (CNG) public access stations to support airport operations in Atlanta and Oklahoma City. In the Atlanta area, the City of College Park, Georgia, contracted with Clean Energy to design, construct and manage a public access... Read more →

Sustainable Oils Receives Approval for Camelina Meal in Livestock Diets; Boost for Camelina Biodiesel

Sustainable Oils, a company focused on the development of camelina for biodiesel production, has received approval from the Center for Veterinary Medicine, a department of the Federal Drug Administration, for the use of camelina meal in the diets of feedlot beef cattle and growing swine up to 2% of the... Read more →

Mazda Launches Redesigned AZ-Wagon Micro-Mini in Japan

Mazda Motor Corporation has introduced a fully redesigned AZ-Wagon micro-mini range in Japan, the car’s first redesign in five years. Mazda’s new AZ-Wagon. Click to enlarge. Under Japan’s 10-15 mode test cycle, model grades with naturally aspirated engines, a direct overhead camshaft (DOHC) and variable-valve timing (VVT) achieve fuel economy... Read more →

Norske Skog/Xynergo and CHOREN to Cooperate on Biomass-to-Liquids in Norway

The CHOREN gasification process. Click to enlarge. CHOREN Industries, a provider of solid feed gasification technology used in the production of BTL (Biomass-to-Liquids), among other applications, and Norske Skog, one of the world’s largest producers of newsprint and magazine paper, have entered into an agreement for collaboration in the evaluation... Read more →

BASF Develops New Catalyst for FT Synthesis of Olefins

BASF’s Catalysis Research group in Ludwigshafen, Germany has developed a new catalyst for the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process that allows the dedicated production of olefins—key starting materials in the chemical industry. The new catalyst is an important initial step in the development of the process technology, which is scheduled for completion... Read more →

California ARB Adopts Measures to Cut Gasoline Emissions from Outboard Motor Boats

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted new regulations to reduce toxic gasoline emissions from outboard marine tanks and components by up to 4.2 tons per day by 2020, saving consumers about 4.6 gallons of gasoline per year in lost fuel. Scheduled for implementation starting Jan. 1, 2010, the regulations... Read more →

Ford Introduces New Fiesta Van at IAA Commercial Vehicle Show

Ford introduced the Ford Fiesta Van at the 2008 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover. A derivative of the all-new Ford Fiesta car which is being launched in Europe from autumn 2008, the Fiesta Van derivative is designed to meet the needs of professional or personal use customers and will... Read more →

US Senate Approves $25B Loan Package for Auto Industry (corrected)

In a special session on Saturday, the US Senate passed leglislation including authorization for $25 billion in low-interest loans to automobile manufacturers for retooling older factories. The program passed as part of the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2638), also called the continuing resolution... Read more →

Canada PM Pledges to Prohibit Bitumen Exports to Countries with Lower GHG Standards than Canada

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that a re-elected Conservative Government will prohibit the export of bitumen to countries outside Canada that do not have equivalent greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Earlier this month, Harper asked for a dissolution of Parliament and called an election for 14 October. Bitumen from... Read more →

Nissan Develops Bee-Inspired Biomimetic Car Robot Drive for Crash Avoidance

The BR23C Biomimetic Robot Car. Click to enlarge. Based on joint research with the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo, engineers at Nissan Motor’s Advanced Technology Center have developed the Biomimetic Car Robot Drive, or BR23C. BR23C is a robotic micro-car that recreates bee... Read more →

Entergy Submits Application for Louisiana Nuclear Plant; Third NRC Application This Month with GE Hitachi ESBWR Reactor

The GE Hitachi ESBWR Reactor. Click to enlarge. New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. has submitted a combined construction and operating license (COL) application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), selecting GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s (GEH) next-generation ESBWR (Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor) reactor design. The nation’s second-largest nuclear plant operator, Entergy... Read more →

Oregon Governor Creates Infrastructure Working Group for Electric and Alt Fuel Vehicles

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has signed Executive Order 08-24, creating the Governor’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group. The group is charged with developing the policies and alternative fuel infrastructure for Oregon to attract car manufacturers seeking to bring the next generation of electric and alternative fuel vehicles to market... Read more →

Electric Bike Producer Selects VIASPACE Light Electric Vehicle Battery

3rd Millennium Energy LLC of Orange, CA, a designer and manufacturer of electric bicycles, tricycles and other light electric vehicles (LEVs), has selected VIASPACE Inc. to provide a lithium polymer battery pack for its eBikes. 3rd Millenium featured the VIASPACE pack on its advanced folding Commuter Bike, shown at the... Read more →

MidAmerican and Berkshire Hathaway Take 10% Stake in BYD

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary, will purchase 225 million shares, representing approximately a 10% interest, in China-based BYD Company Limited. BYD’s corporate focus is researching, developing, manufacturing and selling rechargeable batteries (Li-ion, Nickel batteries), automobiles, electric automobiles and related products. The investment is valued at 1.8... Read more →

U. Mich. Battery Spin-Off Lands $3.0M in State Funding

Sakti3, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based spinoff of the University of Michigan, received a $3 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) to establish a Center of Energy Excellence focused on next-generation lithium battery technologies and processes. As part of the award, the University of Michigan will contribute research on... Read more →

Carbon Sciences Developing Technology to Convert CO2 to Fuel

Carbon Sciences is developing a biocatalytic process to convert CO2 to low-carbon hydrocarbons. Click to enlarge. Carbon Sciences, Inc., the developer of a CO2-to-carbonate technology that converts the gas into precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) for use in the production of paper, pharmaceuticals and plastics, is developing a process to transform... Read more →

New Porous Foam Reactor 10X More Energy Efficient

A doctoral candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology has developed a porous foam reactor for the rapid and well-controlled production of high value chemicals with an energy efficiency ten times higher than traditional reactors at comparable production rates. Charl Stemmet investigated a new, structured support for catalysts for use in... Read more →

MTU Introduces Prototype Underfloor Hybrid Drive Unit for Railcars

The underfloor hybrid drive unit. Click to enlarge. At this year’s Innotrans rail exhibition in Berlin (23-28 September), the Tognum Group introduced under the MTU brand a prototype of a new underfloor hybrid drive system for railcars. MTU estimates that fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions can be reduced by up... Read more →

Electric Supercharger Can Enable More Extreme, Cost-Effective Engine Downsizing

VTES electric supercharger. Click to enlarge. UK-based Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) says that its switched reluctance motor-powered electric supercharger (earlier post)—VTES (Variable Torque Enhancement System)—is ready for production applications. CPT suggests that configuring the high dynamic (10-90% rise time < 300 ms) VTES in series with a conventional fixed geometry... Read more →

Nissan Plans New Small Van, Hybrid Light Commercial Vehicle

At the 62nd International Commercial Vehicle show in Hanover, Nissan said that it will introduce an all-new small van globally in 2009. Part of a plan to introduce 13 all new products during its GT 2012 mid-term business plan period, the vehicle, inspired by the NV200 Concept presented at the... Read more →

Iogen Begins Shipping Cellulosic Ethanol to Shell

Following last July’s announcement of an extended commercial alliance with Royal Dutch Shell plc (earlier post), Iogen announced it has shipped the first 100,000 liters (26,417 gallons) of an initial 180,000 liter (47,550 gallons) cellulosic ethanol order from Shell. The fuel, produced from wheat straw at Iogen’s Ottawa demonstration facility,... Read more →

Tesco Launches Modec Electric Vans in Northern Ireland

Tesco has launched Modec battery-powered zero-emission home delivery vans in its fleet in Northern Ireland. A Tesco Modec delivery van. Click to enlarge. The vans were introduced last year into the Tesco Shrewsbury (UK) fleet as part of a pilot scheme to assess their suitability for home delivery use and... Read more →

Siemens Marine Introduces New Hybrid Propulsion Solution for Smaller Vessels

One configuration of SISHIP EcoProp. Click to enlarge. Siemens Marine Solutions has developed a very compact hybrid propulsion system for small vessels, using a combination of standard commercial generators, motors and mechanical gear package. The main diesel engine runs at a constant speed, driving an electrical generator that feeds a... Read more →

StatoilHydro, Four Universities Collaborate on Heavy Oil/Oil Sands Research

StatoilHydro is collaborating with three Canadian universities and one in Norway to develop more environment-friendly ways of recovering heavy oil and oil sands. To that end, StatoilHydro will support PhD students at Canada’s University of Calgary, University of Alberta and Vancouver Island University, and the Norwegian University of Science and... Read more →

Kia to Show Stop-Start Technology, Two Hybrid Concepts and New Fuel Cell Vehicle at Paris

Alongside the world debut of the new Soul urban crossover vehicle at the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile in October, KIA will showcase a cee’d ‘Idle Stop&Go’ (ISG) car due to go on sale in 2009, a concept hybrid version of the Soul, a concept cee’d hybrid, and the latest-generation fuel-cell... Read more →

Global CO2 Emissions up 38% Since 1992; More Than Half of Annual Emissions Now from Developing Countries

The shift in sources for global CO2 emissions. Click to enlarge. Source: CDIAC Annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and manufacturing cement have grown 37.8% percent since 1992, from 6.1 billion tons of carbon to 8.5 billion tons in 2007, according to data gathered by the US Department... Read more →

Scuderi Group Announces Additional Partners for Air-Hybrid Engine

The Scuderi Group announced several additional ongoing development partners who are assisting in the research and development of the split-cycle Scuderi Air-Hybrid Engine. In February, The Scuderi Group had announced that it is partnering with Germany-based Bosch Engineering GmbH on development of the Scuderi Engine’s fuel injection system. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

GM to Double Global Production of Small Four-Cylinder Engines by 2011; New $370M Plant in Flint

The new 1.4L turbo for the Cruze. Click to enlarge. GM will double its global production of small four-cylinder engines (1.0L to 1.4L) by 2011, with more than half of the increase coming in North America. The strategy is highlighted by an all-new, 1.4L Turbo engine that will power the... Read more →

European Parliament Environment Committee Holds Firm on 2012 CO2 Reduction Target for New Cars

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament today voted 46-19 to hold to an average target of 120g of carbon dioxide per kilometer from new passenger cars (the M1 category) by 2012. It also voted for a new long-term target of 95g CO2/km for 2020. The current level is around... Read more →

Volvo Introduces Hybrid Version of 7700 Bus; Up to 30% Reduction in Fuel Consumption

The Volvo Hybrid 7700. Click to enlarge. Volvo has unveiled the hybrid version of its 7700 bus at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, Germany. (Earlier post.) With up to 30% lower fuel consumption and cost-effective hybrid components from Volvo, bus operators can earn a payback on the extra... Read more →

Boeing, UOP and Carriers Form Group to Accelerate Development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Boeing, with leading air carriers and Honeywell’s UOP, a refining technology developer, has established a group to accelerate the development and commercialization of sustainable new aviation fuels. The new Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group’s charter is to enable the commercial use of renewable fuel sources that can reduce greenhouse gas... Read more →