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Federal Court Blocks Implementation of NYC Fuel-Efficient Taxi Program

Reuters. US District Judge Paul Crotty has granted a preliminary injunction against the implementation of New York City’s rules for more fuel efficient taxis. Approved in December 2007, the regulation required all taxicabs coming into service (with the exception of accessible taxicabs) after 1 October 2008 be capable of achieving... Read more →

Ricardo Wins Contract to Optimize Fuel Economy and Performance for Military Ground Vehicles

Ricardo has won a multi-million dollar contract to identify the best combinations of technologies for achieving the highest possible fuel efficiency for US military ground vehicles. The project is part of the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) program launched by TARDEC, the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and... Read more →

Terrabon to Open New Demonstration Facility Next Week for Biomass to Renewable Gasoline Technology

Terrabon’s pathway to renewable hydrocarbon fuel produces ketones, which are then processed using conventional refinery technology. Click to enlarge. Terrabon LLC, the developer of a carboxylic acid fermentation platform licensed from Texas A&M University for the conversion of biomass to fuel intermediates that can then be upgraded into industrial chemicals... Read more →

Enhanced Thermoelectric Capability in Silicon Germanium Bulk Alloys

Researchers at Boston College and MIT report achieving a dimensionless thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) of 0.95 in p-type nanostructured bulk silicon germanium (SiGe) alloys—about 90% higher than what is currently used in space flight missions, and 50% higher than the reported record in p-type SiGe alloys. These nanostructured bulk materials were... Read more →

GM Holden Boosts Fuel Efficiency on Gasoline, LPG Commodores

GM Holden has upgraded its Alloytec V6 engine on Omega and Berlina models within the VE Commodore range. The improvement offers fuel savings of up to 0.4 liters per 100 kilometers for gasoline models and 1.3 liters per 100 kilometers for LPG variants. The upgraded all-alloy V6 engine also reduces... Read more →

Ethanol Organizations Pushing for Mid-Range Blends; Splash-Blending Pumps for Retailers

A splash-blending pump. Click to enlarge. Source: EPIC/ACE The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) are pushing for wider deployment of mid-range ethanol blends via the use of splash-blending pumps at retail sites. Mid-range ethanol blends (e.g., E15, E20, E30, etc.) can legally... Read more →

Argonne and Three Area Universities Form Illinois Center for Advanced Tribology

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has teamed with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Northwestern University to form the Illinois Center for Advanced Tribology (ICAT), which will develop solutions to technical issues related to transportation, health and... Read more →

On-Road Fuel Consumption In California Continued Decline in July

Gasoline consumption in California declined 5.6% in July 2008 from July 2007, according to figures released by the State Board of Equalization (BOE). Californians consumed 1.26 billion gallons of gasoline in July—74.2 million gallons below that of July 2007. July 2008 diesel fuel sold for use on California roads totaled... Read more →

Developer of Syngas-Based Emissions Reduction System Closes $15.4 Million Investment Round; Picks Up Japanese Automaker as Investor

NxtGen Syngas Diesel Aftertreatment System. NxtGen components are in blue. Click to enlarge. NxtGen Emission Controls Inc., the developer of a syngas-based diesel emission reduction system (earlier post) has closed a US$15.4 million Series B investment led by Altira Group LLC. The investment was led by Altira from its US$176... Read more →

Rentech Completes First Production Run at F-T Demo Plant

Rentech, Inc. has successfully completed the first full production run at its Product Demonstration Unit (PDU) in Commerce City, Colorado using its Rentech Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) process. (Earlier post.) Thousands of gallons of synthetic fuels and specialty chemicals were produced during the nearly 800-hour continuous production run at the facility. A... Read more →

Carbon Sciences Targets Demonstration Prototype of Biocatalytic CO2-to-Fuel Process for Q1 2009

Carbon Sciences Inc., the developer of a biocatalytic CO2-to-hydrocarbon fuel process (earlier post), anticipates completing a demonstration prototype by Q1 2009. Rather than using higher-energy conventional processes to produce fuels with CO2, Carbon Sciences uses a lower-energy multi-step biocatalytic process that occurs at low temperature and low pressure. The biocatalyst... Read more →

European Automakers Look for a “Supportive Framework” Including €40B in Low-Interest Loans

The European automotive industry needs a supportive framework to secure its future, according to a mid-term review of CARS21 (Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st Century) held at the European Commission in Brussels. Hosted by European Commission Vice-President Guenter Verheugen and with the participation of five automaker CEOs, national... Read more →

2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Feature New Engines, 6-Speed Transmission, New Hybrid System

The 2010 model year Fusion and Milan, which will arrive in showrooms next spring, will offer Ford’s all-new Duratec 2.5-liter I-4, producing 175 hp (130 kW); an enhanced 240 hp (179 kW) flex-fuel capable 3.0-liter V-6 with 19 more horsepower than its predecessor; and a high end 3.5-liter V-6 that... Read more →

Aquaflow Bionomic to Work With UOP on Algal Biofuels

National Business Review. New Zealand’s Aquaflow Bionomic (earlier post) will use UOP’s production processes to convert algae into fuel. Aquaflow has already succeeded in producing its first batch of green crude oil. Chairman Barrie Leay said UOP would be involved in the secondary processing stage&mash;refining the crude oil into products... Read more →

Report: Honda to Delay New Diesels for US, Japan Until 2010

The Nikkei reports that Honda Motor Co. will delay its introduction of advanced diesel cars into the US and Japan until 2010 at the earliest because of difficulties keeping prices down. The company was originally targeting the introductions for next year. Seeing medium- and long-term growth in diesel cars, Honda... Read more →

Simultaneous Reduction of Biodiesel NOx and PM Emissions with Low Temperature Combustion

Time integration of spatially integrated flame luminosity (SIFL) and NOx emissions of the 12 cases with different injection strategies and fuel blends. Click to enlarge. Credit: ACS Simultaneous reduction of NOx and soot in a biodiesel-fueled engine is possible through the use of low-temperature HCCI combustion modes, according to a... Read more →

Syngenta Developing More Cost-Effective Sugar Cane Planting Technology in Brazil

Syngenta is developing a new technology to dramatically improve the cost efficiency of sugar cane planting in Brazil. Syngenta´s innovation would reduce planting costs per hectare by some 15%, driven by a novel approach to grow sugar cane from smaller cane segments using proprietary treatments. The technology is planned for... Read more →

Ford Introducing New Instrument Cluster on Fusion and Milan Hybrids to Coach Drivers on Optimizing Performance

The SmartGauge instrument cluster in “Engage” configuration. Click to enlarge. Ford is introducing a new instrument cluster—SmartGauge with EcoGuide—on its upcoming Fusion and Milan hybrids to help drivers maximize their fuel efficiency. Ford collaborated with IDEO and Smart Design to develop the new cluster. SmartGauge with EcoGuide uses two, high-resolution,... Read more →

Sanderson Engine Applies for $5M Grant with Support from OEMs

WBJournal. Sanderson Engine Development has applied for a $5 million grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to help jumpstart the company’s efforts to commercialize its engine technology. Sanderson is the designer of the Sanderson Rocker-Arm Mechanism (SRAM) for converting reciprocating motion into rotational motion without the use of a conventional... Read more →

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Set New Efficiency Benchmark with Low-Volatility and Solvent-Free Electrolyte

Researchers in China and Switzerland are reporting efficiencies as high as 10% from new practical dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs, or Grätzel cells) with low volatility and solvent-free electrolyte. In addition to the higher efficiencies, the new cells also showed greater stability at high temperatures than previous formulas, retaining more than... Read more →

China Government White Paper Highlights Difficulties in Tackling Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Reuters. A new white paper released by the China government highlights the country’s difficulties in curbing greenhouse gas emissions soon, while still warning of a significant economic blow from global warming. China faces shrinking crops, worsening droughts in some regions, worsening floods in others, and melting glaciers as average global... Read more →

Ford Enters Strategic Research Alliance with Chongqing University

Ford Motor Company entered into a strategic alliance with Chongqing University (CQU) to increase collaboration on research, development and utilization of automotive technologies. Chongqing University is the first university in Western China that entered into a formal long-term partnership with Ford Motor Company. Chongqing, the largest transportation hub in West... Read more →

UOP Receives $1.5M for Pyrolysis Oil Project from DOE

Stabilized pyrolysis oil serves as a biocrude more easily transported than biomass for further refining to end products. Click to enlarge. UOP LLC has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop economically viable technology to stabilize pyrolysis oil from second generation biomass... Read more →

Roush Showcases Bi-fuel Hydrogen Combustion Engine Conversion

Roush Technologies showcased its latest bi-fuel Internal Combustion Engine conversion (H2ICE) technology applied in a Ford Transit at a Cenex-hosted UK National Low Carbon Vehicle event at Millbrook Proving Ground. The Roush H2ICE demonstrator. Click to enlarge. The conversion features Ford’s 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine, to which Roush has added... Read more →

Studies: Corn Ethanol Production Has Smaller Carbon Footprint than Gasoline and Will Continue to Improve; Room for Growth Without Affecting Food and Feed

Projected GWI of future corn ethanol plants, with gasoline baseline and weighted average. Click to enlarge. Data: Korves (2008) The Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) published two new studies—one a case study of an existing corn ethanol plant, the other a forecast through 2030—that conclude that the production of corn... Read more →

NSF Awards $57.3M for 20 New Projects for Plant Genome Research

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has made 20 new awards totaling $57.3 million during the 11th year of its Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP). These awards, which cover two to five years and range from $350,000 to $6.8 million, support research and tool development to further knowledge of genome... Read more →

GM Extends Agreement with Freescale to Next-Gen MCU Technology

GM is extending a 2004 agreement to standardize global powertrain engine control systems on Freescale Semiconductor’s 32-bit Power Architecture MCUs (microcontrollers) to incorporate Freescale’s new dual-core Power Architecture MCUs to manage powertrain systems in future GM vehicle models. (Earlier post.) GM electronic control systems have incorporated Freescale technology since 1979,... Read more →

Ford Investing £70M in Bridgend Engine Plant for New 1.6L EcoBoost Units

Ford is investing a total of £70 million (US$109 million) in its Bridgend engine plant in Wales to produce next-generation 1.6-liter, four-cylinder gasoline EcoBoost engines. The announced investment includes Welsh Assembly Government support of £13.4 million, and increases the plant’s production capacity to almost 1,000,000 units per year. The new... Read more →

Rosetta Genomics Launches Plant Biotech Initiative to Leverage microRNA Technologies; Potential Focus on Algal Oil Enhancement

Rosetta Genomics Ltd., a leading developer of microRNA-based diagnostics and therapeutics, has launched Rosetta Green, a microRNA-based plant biotechnology project. Rosetta Green will leverage the knowledge gained at Rosetta Genomics in microRNAs (miRNAs)—a group of short (21–23 nucleotides in length), non-coding genes which regulate the expression of other genes—to develop... Read more →

Minnesota PHEV Car-Sharing Service Uses Solar Hubs

HOURCAR, a Minneapolis-St. Paul-based car-sharing organization, is offering two plug-in hybrid vehicles recharged by solar power to its members. Solar-powered recharging stations will provide electricity to HOURCAR hubs located at St.Paul’s Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-Op and Minneapolis’s 46th Street Hiawatha light rail station. HOURCAR members, who number more than... Read more →

Firefly Energy Enters Manufacturing Contract with C&D Technologies for Microcell Foam Lead-Acid Batteries

Firefly Energy, Inc., the developer of a portfolio of lead-acid battery technologies that exceed the traditional performance barriers of lead-acid chemistry, has signed a manufacturing contract with C&D Technologies, Inc. C&D is a leading North American producer and marketer of electrical power storage and conversion systems used in telecommunications, uninterrupted... Read more →

Cavotec Successfully Trials Pre-conditioned Air System with Airbus

Cavotec MSL recently completed a two-week series of trials of its pre-conditioned air system, PCAir Caddy, with Airbus at the group’s production plant in Toulouse, France. The PCAir Caddy hooked up to an A380. Click to enlarge. When in a parking position, a pilot will likely run the plane’s APU... Read more →

UK Consortium Developing ZEV Retrofit for Commercial Vans

A UK consortium of specialists in hybrid vehicles is receiving funding from the Department for Transport, through the Energy Saving Trust’s Low Carbon R&D Programme, to support development of a retrofit solution for Zero Emissions driving. The new system will allow existing vans to operate as zero emissions vehicles, making... Read more →

UPS to Purchase 7 Hydraulic Series Hybrid Vans; Prototype Showed 45-50% Improvement in Fuel Economy

The hydraulic system provides a high power-density energy storage option. Click to enlarge. Source: EPA After two years of road-testing of a prototype, UPS has placed its first order for hydraulic diesel series hybrid delivery vehicles (HHV), becoming the first in its industry to do so. Disclosing the results of... Read more →

Testing Shows Connaught Retrofit Mild Hybrid System Reduced CO2 Emissions By Up to 24.7%

Testing in a government-approved facility at Millbrook, UK of Connaught Engineering’s Hybrid+ mild hybrid retrofit system (earlier post) applied on a Ford Transit van showed a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 24.7% on a city cycle. The Hybrid+ system uses supercapacitors and a compact CVT drive between the... Read more →

New UK £100M Low-Carbon Vehicle Program Contains Funding for EV Demonstration Projects and Development

The UK government is putting £100 million (US$157 million) into a new £200-million public-private investment program to speed up the introduction of new low carbon vehicles onto Britain’s roads. (Earlier post.) The UK’s Technology Strategy Board will manage the five-year program through its Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, and it... Read more →

US Truckstop Diesel Sales Increase in September

Diesel volumes at truckstops increased in September over 2007 volumes, according to a fuel survey conducted by NATSO, an association representing 1,100 truckstops and travel plazas. The September results marked the first year-over-year increase in diesel sales volumes since April and followed a sharp 7.8% decline in August. NATSO’s survey... Read more →

DLR Outlines Approaches for 40% Reduction in Global Light-Duty Vehicle GHG Emissions by 2050

Well-to-wheel CO2 emissions of light duty vehicles in the reference and energy [r]evolution scenarios from 2000 to 2050. Click to enlarge. A combination of higher efficiency vehicle technologies, a major switch to grid-connected electric vehicles and incentives for travellers to save CO2 could result in a reduction of well-to-wheel greenhouse... Read more →

SK Energy to Invest $110M to Expand Li-Ion Production

Energy and Power Densities of SK HEV/PHEV Cells (H65, H75, P155). Click to enlarge. Source: SK Energy South Korea-base SK Energy will invest 159 billion won (US$110 million) to expand its lithium-ion battery production, according to a filing with the Korea Exchange. SK Energy was the first Korean company, and... Read more →

Toyota Posts First Worldwide Drop in Quarterly Sales in 7 Years

Kyodo. Toyota worldwide sales in the July-September quarter fell 4% year-on-year, the first quarterly sales decline in seven years amid a slowing global economy and high gasoline prices. Toyota officials traced the sales fall in the July-September quarter to a rapid deceleration in the global economy buffeted by the US... Read more →

DOE to Award $7M For Field Studies of Interplay of Radiation, Clouds and Aerosols

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science has selected four proposals with a total funding of $7 million to conduct climate research field studies in 2010. Through these studies, scientists in DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program will gather data on the interplay between radiation, clouds and aerosols.... Read more →

Japan CO2 Emissions Up 2.7% In FY07 On Lower Nuke Operating Rates

Nikkei. A study by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry attributed a year-on-year 2.7% increase in CO2 emissions in fiscal 2007 mainly to lower operating rates at nuclear power plants. The rise in CO2 emissions is certain to have pushed up Japan’s total greenhouse gas emissions for the year.... Read more →

Synthesis Energy Systems Enters JV with YIMA for Coal Gasification in China; Financing Key, as SES Halts Synthetic Gasoline Project in US

Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (SES), a gasification company, entered into a primary joint venture agreement with YIMA Coal Croup, a China integrated coal company, for the development of a coal gasification plant which will provide syngas feedstock for the downstream production of transportation fuels and chemicals intermediates in Henan Province,... Read more →

Europe Incorporates Aviation into EU Greenhouse Gas Trading System as of 2012

The European Council on Friday adopted a directive (doc. 3657/08) that includes aviation activities in the EU greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system (ETS). As of 1 January 2012, all flights arriving at or departing from an EU airport will be included in the scheme. Operators from all states providing... Read more →

Li-Ion KillaCycle Hits New NEDRA Quarter-Mile Record

The lithium-ion battery powered electric KillaCycle (earlier post), ridden by Scotty Pollacheck, hit a new Nation Electric Drag Racing (NEDRA) record at Bandimere Speedway (Morrison, CO) on 23 October, with 7.890 seconds (167.99 mph) for the run. An earlier run that afternoon hit 7.955 seconds @ 174.05 mph. The fastest... Read more →