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Furukawa Electric Plans 50% Boost in Capacity for Copper Foil for Li-ion Batteries

Nikkei. Furukawa Electric Co., which controls 55% of the global market for copper foil used in batteries, plans to build a new copper foil factory to boost production capacity for foil used in lithium ion batteries by 50%. The new facility, targeted to come online in September 2010, will be... Read more →

Swedish Research Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize Cellulosic Ethanol Process

Researchers at Lund, Sweden-based Taurus Energy, Swedish ethanol company SEKAB, Chalmers Technical University and Lund University (Lunds Tekniska Högskola, LTH) have signed an agreement on development and large scale implementation of an improved process for production of ethanol from lignocellulose feedstocks. The development is based on Taurus’ yeast technology for... Read more →

Siemens And USDA/ARS Partner to Cooperate on Pyrolysis Oil Research

Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) recently entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that will improve the processes used to convert second generation, non-food-based, biofuel feedstocks, including perennial grasses, animal wastes and agricultural residues such as... Read more →

Novozymes Inaugurates World’s Largest Enzyme Fermentation Facility in China

Novozymes inaugurated the newest expansion of its Hongda production facility in Taicang, China, making it the largest enzyme fermentation facility in the world. The expanded capacity will primarily focus on products for the bioethanol industry, with the expansion signaling an investment in both bioethanol and the expanding Chinese market. By... Read more →

AC Propulsion System Powers the MINI E

AC Propulsion Drive System for MINI E. Click to enlarge. AC Propulsion is supplying both the electric propulsion and the battery technology for the MINI E electric vehicle introduced at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show by BMW Group. (Earlier post.) AC Propulsion has already delivered more than 500 drive... Read more →

EMA Says Engine Manufacturers Good to Go for 2010 Heavy-Duty Engine Regs

The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) affirmed that its members are on schedule and ready to meet EPA’s 2010 emission standards for heavy-duty engines. Engine manufacturers have invested heavily in engineering technological solutions and design changes to meet the new NOx emission standard that is required for 2010 model-year engines and... Read more →

Electric Truck Exclusively Options Regenerative Magnetic Shock Absorber Technology from Tufts

Electric Truck, LLC (ET) has exclusively optioned commercial rights to a technology from Tufts University that can recharge the batteries of any hybrid electric and electric-powered vehicle while it is driven. The regenerative electromagnetic shock absorber technology was developed by Tufts engineering professor emeritus Ronald Goldner and colleague Peter Zerigian... Read more →

Road Emissions Dominate Long-Term Global Transport Climate Impact

After 100 years today’s global road emissions will lead to a temperature increase that is six times greater than the temperature increase from today’s air transport, according to a study by researchers at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO) in Norway. The study—“Global temperature responses... Read more →

Two New Studies Detail Impact and Acceleration of Ocean Acidification in Different Regions

The potential for coral growth—represented by aragonite concentration—in the Caribbean region is dramatically changing due to ocean acidification. Click to view an animation of changes from 1988 to 2007. Credit: NOAA Two recently published studies highlight the growing impact of ocean acidification—the lowering of the pH of seawater due to... Read more →

Ohio EPA Issues Final Permit for Baard Coal/Biomass-to-Liquids Plant

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has issued the third and final state environmental necessary to the Ohio River Clean Fuels (ORCF) project. Baard Energy will now proceed into final design and construction of the 53,000 barrel per day Coal/Biomass to Liquids plant (CBTL) at the Columbiana County Port Authority site... Read more →

Report: Climate Change Already Increasing Malaria and Dengue in the Pacific

by Jack Rosebro World Health Organization estimation of deaths caused by anthropogenic climate change up to 2000. Click to enlarge. A policy brief from the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia entitled “The Sting of Climate Change”[1] argues that global climate change is exacerbating a thirty-year increase in malaria and dengue... Read more →

PJM RTO Accepts Altairnano Grid-Scale, Battery Energy Storage System

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.’s one megawatt (MW), 250 kWh lithium-ion battery storage system has met requirements to participate in the PJM Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) control area. This marks the first commercial acceptance of an advanced Lithium-Titanate battery to provide grid regulation services in one of the largest electricity markets in... Read more →

Fisker Automotive to Use GM Ecotec 2.0L VVT DI Turbo, Other Components in EREV Karma

The 2009 Ecotec 2.0L VVT DI Turbo. Click to enlarge. Fisker Automotive, Inc. will use a GM 2.0-liter, direct injection, turbocharged four-cylinder Ecotec engine in the Fisker Karma, its Extended Range Electric Vehicle. (Earlier post.) Fisker will obtain the engines through GM’s on-highway integrator Powertrain Integration LLC. Fisker Automotive says... Read more →

Automotive X PRIZE Announces First Round of Registered Teams

The Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE announced that 22 contenders have been elevated to Registered Team status in the $10-million competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles. This first wave of Registered Teams, representing 10 states and five countries, are among the first to have... Read more →

Bye Energy and Porous Power Partner to Develop Energy Storage Systems for Hybrid-Electric and Electric General Aviation Use

Sectional view across a typical lithium cell electrode pair modeling hypothetical electrical and ionic resistances with electrolyte solution/gel filling pore spaces. More porous components improve conductivity levels throughout the cell and directly affect power and capacity. Click to enlarge. Source: Beard and Feaver 2006 Bye Energy, an integrator of alternative... Read more →

USDA Invites Applications for Advanced Biorefinery Guaranteed Loans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for loan guarantees under the Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003), authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, (the Farm Bill). The Biorefinery Assistance Program is designed to promote the development of new and emerging technologies for the production... Read more →

Daimler and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Begin Research Collaboration on Electric Drive Systems

Daimler AG and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are beginning a research collaboration on electric drive systems: the “e-drive Project House” (Projekthaus e-drive). The effort will span the fields of power electronics and electric machines (PEEM), control systems, and electrical energy storage systems. Pooling expertise from science and industry... Read more →

Renault-Nissan Alliance to Work With Sonoma County, CA on EVs and Infrastructure

Nissan North America, Inc. will work with the Sonoma County community of governments to promote electric vehicles (EVs) and develop an EV charging network throughout Sonoma County, in northern California. The Renault-Nissan Alliance this week also announced similar partnerships with the Principality of Monaco and the state of Oregon. (Earlier... Read more →

NREL and Petrobras to Collaborate on Advanced Biofuels Research

The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) have signed an agreement that could accelerate the development and international commercialization of advanced, second-generation biofuels. The announcement was made at the International Biofuels Conference in São Paulo, Brazil. Petrobras and NREL have common interests... Read more →

US Emergency Bridge Loan Package to Automakers Would Tap $25B Retooling Fund

Under a proposed compromise legislative package, the $25 billion emergency bridge loans to the auto industry—if approved by Congress and signed by the President—would tap into the $25 billion in funds already approved under Section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140) for retooling older... Read more →

China Discovers 23B Ton Ultra Large Coal Field

People’s Daily. Geological exploration teams have confirmed discovery of an ultra large coal field with a forecasted 23 billion tons of total reserve in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China. China currently has an estimated 126.2 billion short tons of recoverable coal reserves, according to the US Energy Information... Read more →

Drop in Global Auto Demand Triggers 25% Cut in BASF Capacity

C&EN. BASF, the world’s largest chemical firm, says it is temporarily shutting down 80 plants worldwide due to decreased demand from automakers and other customers. Chemical demand has plummeted since October, BASF Chairman Jürgen Hambrecht says. Textile and construction customers have cut back orders, but “in particular, customers in the... Read more →

EnerDel Awarded Anode Development Phase Two Contract with DOD

Ener1, Inc.’s subsidiary EnerDel, maker of lithium-ion battery systems, has moved to phase two of a research and development contract with the US Department of Defense (DOD) to develop high-energy, high-performance batteries for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Under the new agreement, EnerDel has been awarded $1.46 million to develop a... Read more →

Kia Introduces Next-generation Borrego Fuel Cell Vehicle

Kia Motors unveiled the next-generation Kia Borrego (known as Mohave in some markets) fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The Borrego FCEV. Click to enlarge. Improvements include a higher output 154 hp (115 kW) fuel cell stack and a new 450V supercapacitor that give... Read more →

Syntec Biofuel Launching Research Program to Produce Bio-butanol and Bio-propanol from Biomass

Syntec Biofuel Inc is launching a research program to develop catalysts and processes to optimize its production of bio-butanol and bio-propanol from biomass. This new R&D initiative is projected to be a three-year program and will run in parallel with Syntec’s current catalyst development work. The company will be seeking... Read more →

Poll: US Consumers Eager for Hybrids, Unsure of Performance and Durability

A new survey conducted by Ruder Finn Insights, the in-house research division of Ruder Finn, Inc., reveals that hybrid vehicles are increasingly appealing to consumers despite diminishing prices at the pump, though many perceptions of hybrids are out-of-date and based on initial impressions formed nearly a decade ago. The study... Read more →

Renault-Nissan Alliance Adds Oregon and Monaco to Growing Roster of EV Partners

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has added two more partners for the development and promotion of a charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles: the US state of Oregon, and the Principality of Monaco. Since July this year, the Alliance has announced partnerships with Portugal, the City of Yokohama in Japan, the US... Read more →

Ford Introduces 2010 Fusion/Mercury Milan and Hybrid Versions; Wireless Diagnostic Data Collection

by Jack Rosebro Ford Fusion Hybrid. Click to enlarge. Ford introduced its new-generation mid-size sedans, the 2010 Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan vehicles, with both conventional and hybrid powertrains, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The hybrid versions of the Fusion and Milan are Ford Motor Company’s first mid-size, traditionally styled hybrid... Read more →

Report: EU Carmaking Nations in Agreement on CO2 Regulations

Reuters reports that Europe’s four big automaking nations—Italy, Britain, France and Germany—have agreed to a proposed structure for regulations mandating reductions in CO2 from cars. The EU has proposed an average limit of 130 g/km by 2012, with a further 10 g to come from other elements such as tires,... Read more →

SF Bay Area Mayors Announce Coordinated Policies to Accelerate Establishment of EV Infrastructure; Better Place to Enter US Market in California

Better Place introduced a second EV prototype to work with its infrastructure: the Better Place Rogue, based on the Nissan Rogue crossover SUV. Click to enlarge. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced a nine-point policy plan to establish a pervasive... Read more →

Porsche Gets Green Light for Cayenne Diesel; Hybrid Still in the Works

Porsche’s Executive Board has approved the production of a Cayenne SUV equipped with a diesel engine. The Board said the decision was in response to changed legal regulations, especially in European markets, resulting in tax incentives for vehicles with diesel engines. Furthermore, it said, Porsche’s stake in the Volkswagen Group,... Read more →

AES installs First A123Systems 2MW H-APU Energy Storage System

AES Energy Storage, LLC, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, has installed its first Hybrid Ancillary Power Units (H-APU) from A123Systems. The lithium-ion H-APU is designed to create another way for AES’ existing facilities to meet the power industry’s need for capacity, by supplying power plant reserve requirements and other... Read more →

3D Porous Silicon Shows Promise as High-Performance Li-ion Anode Material

SEM images of the 3D porous c-Si particles after etching. Click to enlarge. Credit: Angewandte Chemie A research team led by Dr. Jaephil Cho at Hanyang University in Korea has developed a new silicon material for lithium-ion battery anodes—three-dimensional porous bulk silicon particles—that can accommodate large strains without pulverization after... Read more →

Valence to Provide Li-Ion Batteries to Brammo for Electric Motorcycle

Valence Technology, Inc. will provide its lithium phosphate batteries to Brammo for use in the Enertia all-electric motorcycle. Weighing only 280 pounds, the Enertia motorcycle is an urban commuter bike that exceeds 50 mph and 45 miles on a single 3-hour charge. The Enertia standard model went on sale in... Read more →

Altairnano to Receive Additional $4M for Li-ion Battery Deployment for Naval Vessel

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. and the United States Navy were granted an additional $4 million for the continued funding of a 2.5-Megawatt lithium-ion battery stationary power supply program. Total funds appropriated by Congress for Altairnano’s naval battery program now total $12.5 million. (Earlier post.) Altairnano’s program with the United States Navy... Read more →

RTEV and Shuanghuan Automobile Form EV Partnership

RTEV (Ruff & Tuff Electric Vehicles) and Shuanghuan Automobile Company have formed a partnership to produce and market affordable all-electric cars for sale around the world. The first automobile will be a two-seat compact car that will be launched in the United States in May 2009. It will be marketed... Read more →

US Petroleum Deliveries Down 4% in October; YTD Rate of Decline Not Seen Since Early 1980s

Total domestic petroleum deliveries fell more than 4% in October compared with a year ago, contributing to a substantial year-to-date decline of more than 5% to 19.6 million barrels per day, according to the latest monthly statistical report from the American Petroleum Institute. A level for January-October deliveries of similar... Read more →

Lexus Announces 2010 RX 350, RX 450h Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicles

by Jack Rosebro The RX 450h. Click to enlarge. Lexus premiered two second-generation mid-sized luxury sport-utility vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Shows: the 2010 RX 350, and the 2010 RX 450h hybrid. The vehicles replace the current RX 350 and RX 400h SUVs, respectively. The RX 350 and RX... Read more →

Hyundai Introduces Hybrid Blue Drive Platform; First US Application to be in Sonata

Basic components of the Hyundai Hybrid Blue Drive system. Click to enlarge. Hyundai Motor America launched its Blue Drive initiative and platform technologies at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Blue Drive will eventually encompass a set products and technologies through which Hyundai is targeting a fleet average of 35 mpg... Read more →

VW Highlights Three Fuel-Cell Vehicle Prototypes at LA Auto Show

The Tiguan HyMotion fuel cell concept uses a VW-developed high-temperature fuel cell stack. Click to enlarge. Volkswagen came to the Los Angeles Auto Show to tout the efficiency and performance of its diesel powertrains and the recent market success of the Jetta Clean Diesels in the US, as well as... Read more →

Nissan/Renault CEO: “We Need Another Planet”

by Jack Rosebro Addressing journalists at a markedly subdued Los Angeles Auto Show, Nissan chairman and Renault SA co-chairman Carlos Ghosn acknowledged that “there is no book to follow” for automakers as they struggle with this year’s global financial crisis, and predicted that “we are going to see fewer actors”... Read more →

Toyota Shows Concept CNG Camry Hybrid at LA Auto Show

The CNG Camry Hybrid. Click to enlarge. Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA showed a compressed natural gas (CNG) Camry Hybrid concept vehicle at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. (Earlier post.) The CNG Camry Hybrid concept was designed by the TMS Advanced Product Strategy group and built by Metal Crafters... Read more →

Production Version of the Renault-Nissan 3.0L V6 dCi Diesel; Targeted for the Maxima in the US

The 3.0-liter V6 dCi 235. Click to enlarge. The Renault-Nissan Alliance unveiled the production version of its new 3.0-liter V6 dCi Diesel engine on the Laguna Coupé at the Paris motorshow in October 2008. In 2007, the Alliance had shown a concept version of the engine. (Earlier post.) This is... Read more →

EPA Raises Renewable Fuel Requirement to 10.21% for 2009; 11.1B Gallons

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised the 2009 Renewable Fuel Standard to 10.21% to ensure that at least 11.1 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into transportation gasoline. This standard is used by obligated parties—refiners, importers and blenders (other than oxygen blenders)—to calculate their renewable volume obligation. The... Read more →

Cellulosic Ethanol Company SunEthanol Raises $25 Million, Changes Name to Qteros

SunEthanol, the developer of consolidated bio-processing (CBP) technology based on the “Q Microbe” (Clostridium phytofermentans) (earlier post), has raised $25 million in Series B financing from a consortium including BP and Soros Fund Management LLC, and is changing its name effective immediately to Qteros. The new name refers to its... Read more →