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DOE Selects High-Tonnage Biomass Feedstock Projects for up to $21M in Funding

The US Department of Energy will award up to $21 million to five projects that will develop supply systems to handle and deliver high-tonnage biomass feedstocks for cellulosic biofuels production. The selection of the projects is in response to a funding opportunity announcement issued by DOE back in March.(Earlier post.)... Read more →

The first full month of sales in the US for the 2010 Ford Transit Connect light commercial van has topped 2,000 units, according to Ford. Vehicles are selling in fewer than 10 days of arriving on dealer lots, significantly quicker than industry norms. The Ford Transit Connect. Click to enlarge.... Read more →

California Gasoline Consumption Rose 0.6% in May; Diesel Declined 7%

California gasoline consumption rose 0.6% in May, while diesel fuel declined 7%, according to the latest figures from the California Board of Equalization (BOE). We’re in an uncertain time. While more fuel efficient cars and trucks are increasing fuel economy—and in light of some of the recently improved economic statistics—consumers... Read more →

Nexterra Receives C$7.7M for Commercialization of Biomass Power System with GE

Canada-based Nexterra Systems Corp., a supplier of advanced biomass gasification systems, has received C$7.7M (US$7 million) in funding from the BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN), Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), and Ethanol BC. This funding will be used to support Nexterra’s... Read more →

The US will need to expand and modernize its outdated power transmission grid to incorporate more renewable energy sources, but balkanized ownership and regulation are going to make that process slow and difficult, according to a new Duke University analysis. Complex and fragmented regulatory structures increase transaction costs, delay the... Read more →

6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine. Click to enlarge. Ford has provided initial details on the new Ford-engineered, -tested and-manufactured 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo diesel engine. Debuting in the next-generation F-Series Super Duty truck, the new diesel engine will deliver improvements in torque, horsepower and fuel economy while... Read more →

California Energy Commission Awards eTec $8M in Support of Transportation Electrification Project; Almost $7M to Other Plug-in Infrastructure and Vehicle Projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, an estimated $8 million to support the deployment of charge infrastructure and electric vehicles (EVs) in the San Diego region that is part of eTec’s project awarded $99.8 million in Recovery Act funds from... Read more →

The Punto Evo. Click to enlarge. The Fiat Punto Evo, the evolution of the Grande Punto, will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The Punto Evo will offer a range of Euro 5 engines, including a 1.3 second-generation Multijet diesel and a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with... Read more →

DOE Announces Details of Initial H-Prize Competition: $1M for Hydrogen Storage

The US Department of Energy last week published the details of the Initial H-Prize Competition—a single award for $1 million in the subject area of advanced materials for hydrogen storage in mobile systems for light-duty vehicles. Evaluation of entries will begin in approximately 15 months. The H-Prize was originally established... Read more →

The Renault Fluence. Click to enlarge. Renault will extend its vehicle line-up this autumn with a new sedan, the Fluence. The Fluence is the successor to the sedan version of the old Mégane. (Renault introduced the New Renault Mégane Hatch and New Renault Mégane Coupé at the Paris Motor Show... Read more →

Japan Vehicle Output in July Down 31.9%; 10th Straight Monthly Decline

Vehicle production in Japan in July fell 31.9% year-on-year to 742,284 units—the tenth straight monthly decline—according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). Passenger car production fell 31% (288,996 units) to 643,585 units. Of those autos, output of standard models (displacement greater than 2,000 cc) dropped 37.5% (209,252 units) to... Read more →

Mitsubishi Fuso To Share Components with Daimler; New Model of Canter Eco Hybrid Coming by 2011

Nikkei. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. will share components with group firms of parent Daimler AG in an attempt to reduce costs. Under this new arrangement, the Nikkei reports, Mitsubishi Fuso will introduce a new model of the Canter Eco Hybrid (earlier post) by 2010 or 2011. The new... Read more →

China Datang Begins Construction on China’s First Large Coal to Synthetic Natural Gas Project

Xinhua. China Datang Corporation began construction of China’s first major coal to synthetic natural gas project. Output from the project is targeted at Beijing. Located in Chifeng city of the coal-rich Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, the project is designed to transmit four billion cubic meters of natural gas to the... Read more →

Perspective: US Needs to Transition to Hydrous Ethanol as the Primary Renewable Transportation Fuel

by Brian J. Donovan, CEO Renergie, Inc. [This opinion piece originally appeared in the Field-to-Pump blog, published by Renergie, Inc.] Use of Hydrous Ethanol in Brazil The oil price shocks of the 1970s led the Brazilian government to address the strain high prices were placing on its fragile economy. Brazil,... Read more →

GM China and FAW Establish Light Commercial Vehicle Joint Venture

General Motors China and China FAW Group Corp. have formed a light commercial vehicle joint venture: FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. The new 50-50 joint venture between GM China and FAW is based in Changchun, Jilin. It is focused on the production and sale of light-duty trucks and... Read more →

Siemens Investing $15M in Israeli Solar Power Company Arava

Siemens is investing US$15 million in Arava Power Company, the Israeli market leader in developing photovoltaic power plants. The investment gives Siemens a 40% stake in the company. The investment is aimed at constructing the solar fields with a significant proportion of Siemens know-how, delivering technology, e.g. inverter and transformers,... Read more →

Mahindra Showcased Hydrogen-Powered 3-Wheeler at World Hydrogen Technologies Convention 2009

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), one of India’s leading automotive majors, showcased its hydrogen-fueled combustion engine Alfa 3-wheeler, the Hy-Alfa, at the World Hydrogen Technologies Convention 2009 (WHTC-2009) held in New Delhi last week. M&M first introduced the Hy-Alfa in January 2006. (Earlier post.) The Hy-Alfa is available in both... Read more →

The powertrain of the plug-in hybrid BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. Click to enlarge. BMW has provided more details on the concept car it will unveil at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show—a concept that Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, called a “CO2 champion” that will... Read more →

by Bill Cooke The Saturn version of the two-mode plug-in hybrid at the Milford Proving Grounds. Click to enlarge. On 11 August, GM invited approximately 75 journalists and auto analysts to spend a day learning about the new GM. The day was split between a morning session at the GM... Read more →

Singapore’s A*Star Awards S$27.5M In Research Grants for Technologies for Sustainable Development

Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has awarded S$27.5 million (US$19 million) in research funding for 28 projects in four key areas of sustainable development: Carbon Capture and Utilization; BioEnergy and BioFuels; Sustainable Construction; and Sustainable Materials. The funding from A*STAR’s Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) will... Read more →

Insights into the Mechanism of Ethanol Synthesis from Syngas Over a Rh(111) Catalyst

Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory have elucidated the reaction mechanism at the molecular level for the catalytic synthesis of ethanol from syngas (2CO + 4H2) → C2H5OH + H2O) over an Rh-based catalyst. Their paper appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. YongMan Choi and Ping Liu note... Read more →

UMass Amherst Licenses Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis Technology to Startup Anellotech to Produce Renewable Biogasoline

Huber’s process rapidly pyrolizes biomass in the presence of a zeolite (ZSM-5) catalyst. Click to enlarge. The University of Massachusetts Amherst recently granted a biofuels startup company, Anellotech, exclusive global rights to the university’s catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) technology developed by chemical engineer and UMass Amherst faculty member George Huber... Read more →

DOE Selects Laboratory-led Projects for up to $11M to Support Development of Advanced Water Power Technologies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected national laboratory-led projects for up to $11 million this year, as well as future years, subject to annual appropriations, under DOE’s competitive laboratory solicitation for the development of Advanced Water Power Technologies. (Earlier post.) These projects are intended to advance the science... Read more →

Cargohopper Adds Solar Power

MindsinMotion.net. Cargohopper, an electric vehicle distributing cargo in Utrecht city, has equipped its package compartments with two solar panels each. Under normal weather conditions, the six panels should be able to supply sufficient energy for the Cargohopper to make its daily round, according to Henk Harthold. “The interesting challenge of... Read more →

Diversified Energy Moves Ahead With New Projects for Omnigas and Centia Technologies

Diversified Energy Corporation, an alternative and renewable energy technology development company with a portfolio of several technologies, recently received support for further projects developing its HydroMax/OmniGas molten-metals based gasification technology (earlier post) and its Centia renewable biohydrocarbon drop-in fuel technology (earlier post). The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory... Read more →

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL at the OMV hydrogen filling station at Stuttgart Airport. (The fuel price is €0.9/100g.) Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz is launching its first series-produced fuel cell car: the new B-Class F-CELL. (Earlier post.) The electric-drive car has performance similar to a 2.0-liter gasoline car and is suited... Read more →

Pemex to Issue Initial Tender for 176M Liters of Ethanol

Mexico-owned Pemex will issue a tender in September for the acquisition of 176 million liters (46.5 million gallons) of ethanol for use as a transport fuel. The ethanol will be blended with gasoline to be sold in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. Energy Secretary Georgina Kessel made the announcement earlier... Read more →

Schematic of the bread-board rig employed in the LTA-SOFC study. The top shows the LTA-SOFC and BOP (balance of plant). The bottom shows the JP-8 heater that transfers heat to the SOFC via a plate-style radiating heat exchanger. Credit: ACS. Click to enlarge. Researchers from CellTech Power and the University... Read more →

Audi will unveil three new vehicles at Frankfurt’s International Motor Show (IAA): the efficient A3 1.2 TFSI, the low-emission A4 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro, and the S5 Sportback. Audi A3 and A3 Sportback 1.2 TFSI. Downsizing is a key element of Audi’s efficiency strategy. Designed from scratch, the new... Read more →

New Zealand Will Not Implement Fuel Economy Standard

The government of New Zealand will not proceed with developing and implementing fuel economy standards as proposed by the previous government. (Earlier post.) Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the potential benefits of the scheme would have been outweighed by the cost to motorists. While the details of the scheme were... Read more →

EPA Awards $20M in Recovery Act Funding for Clean Diesel Finance Program

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three recovery act grants totaling $20 million in funding for the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program. These recovery act grants will fund the purchase of new, cleaner or retrofitted vehicles and equipment. The recovery act grants were awarded to the following organizations: Houston-Galveston... Read more →

Comparison of annual N2O ODP-weighted emissions from the 1990s with emissions of other ODS in 1987 and in 2008. Even at the height of ODS emissions in the 1980s, annual anthropogenic N2O emissions were the fourth most significant. Currently, anthropogenic N2O emissions represent the largest contribution to ozone depletion. Source:... Read more →

German Transport Ministry Includes Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Series Hybrid City Bus in Its Electric Mobility Development Program

The German Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS) will provide funding for Daimler Buses to develop, evaluate, and test the first small fleet of Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid articulated buses (earlier post). The Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid is a series diesel-hybrid city bus able to run solely... Read more →

ARAMARK Adds 50 Hybrids to National Fleet

ARAMARK Uniform Services will enhance its fleet—the 11th largest private fleet in the United States—with 50 diesel-electric hybrid vehicles. A grant, awarded by the US Department of Energy’s Maryland Clean Cities Program and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will allow ARAMARK to accelerate this program. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Nippon Mining, GS Yuasa To Recycle Lithium from Li-ion Batteries

The Nikkei reports that Nippon Mining & Metals Co. and GS Yuasa Corp. each plan to start collecting lithium-ion batteries from scrapped electric and hybrid vehicles in order to recycle their lithium. The Nippon Mining Holdings Inc. unit has developed technology that extracts lithium from the batteries. It plans to... Read more →

Major pathways for the conversion of biomass to biofuels. The subcritical pathway in the study is outlined in red. Credit: ACS. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Auburn University have shown a subcritical water treatment (hydrothermal liquefaction) that effectively liquefies switchgrass to produce a biocrude at a comparatively low temperature (235... Read more →

Representation of damage from climate change avoided by adaptation, and damage not be adapted to (‘residual damage’) over the longer term. Source: “Assessing the costs...” In Click to enlarge. Scientists led by a former co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are warning warn that the UN negotiations aimed... Read more →

Ener1 to Take 31% Stake in EV Maker Think Global; Think City Production Moves to Valmet in Finland

Lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc. is taking the lead among a group of investors that plans to inject $47 million of equity funding into Think Global AS, the Norwegian electric vehicle producer. Ener1, Inc. is the parent company of EnerDel, a leading manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion automotive battery systems based... Read more →

Study Finds Tunnel Concentrates Ultrafine Particle Concentration by Up to 1000 Times

Road tunnels can contain ultrafine (<100 nm) particles in concentration levels so high they have the potential to harm drivers and passengers, according to a recently-published study by researchers in Australia. The study, which appeared in the July issue of the journal Atmospheric Environment, measured ultrafine particle concentration levels outside... Read more →

Small engine system controls. Click to enlarge. Faced with worldwide emissions regulations and rising gas prices, the small engine market is migrating from mechanical carbureted systems to cleaner, more efficient electronic control and electronic fuel injection (EFI). To meet these requirements, Freescale has combined a highly integrated analog device with... Read more →

S. Korean Researchers Engineer E. coli to Produce Important Platform Chemical

A team of South Korean scientists have succeeded in engineering the bacterium E. coli to produce the industrial chemical putrescine. The research, published in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering, provides a renewable alternative to the production of this important chemical which is traditionally created using fossil fuels. Putrescine, a four... Read more →

Cash for Clunkers sales by manufacturer. Click to enlarge. The US Cash for Clunkers program (CARS) ended Tuesday night with 690,114 dealer transaction submitted worth $2,877.9 million. Eighty-four percent of consumers traded in trucks and 59% purchased passenger cars. The average fuel economy of the vehicles traded in was 15.8... Read more →

Seattle to Receive $1.4M for Hybrid Trucks and Charging Stations

The city of Seattle will receive $1.4 million from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to enhance the city’s fleet of green vehicles and install electric car charging stations throughout the city. The funding is part of a $15 million grant in Recovery Act funding awarded to the Puget Sound... Read more →

First China-made Commercial Jet Engine to Debut in 2016

Xinhua. Shanghai-based AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co. will introduce China’s first domestic commercial jet engine in 2016, a significant step of its large-jet program. “China is expected to complete the research of its first jumbo jet engine in 2016 and begin to apply for aviation certificate from the state aviation... Read more →

Waste Management Invests In Terrabon Waste-to-Renewable Gasoline Venture

Terrabon’s pathway to renewable hydrocarbon fuel produces ketones, which are then processed using conventional refinery technology. Click to enlarge. Waste Management, Inc. has invested in waste-to-fuel company Terrabon, LLC. Terrabon is the developer of a carboxylic acid fermentation platform licensed from Texas A&M University for the conversion of biomass to... Read more →

Geographical distribution of Clean Cities Recovery Act awards. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 25 cost-share projects under the Clean Cities program that will be funded with nearly $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These projects put more than 9,000 alternative fuel... Read more →

Watermelon Juice As Feedstock Supplement, Diluent, and Nitrogen Supplement for Ethanol Production

A study by researchers at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that although watermelon juice would have to be concentrated 2.5- to 3-fold to serve as the sole feedstock for ethanol biofuel production, it could easily integrate with other more concentrated feedstocks—either as whole juice or as a waste... Read more →

BorgWarner Supplying Friction Technology for New ZF 8-Speed Automatic Transmission

BorgWarner has been selected to supply its friction materials and plates for the new ZF 8-speed automatic transmission (8HP), debuting on the 2010 BMW 760i. (Earlier post.) BorgWarner’s friction technology helps reduce drag losses, allowing the transmission to achieve improved fuel economy and performance. BorgWarner friction plates and materials are... Read more →