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The PX MiEV. Click to enlarge. Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will be showing a total of 16 cars at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show later in October, including two concept cars: the Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV plug-in hybrid and the i-MiEV CARGO. MMC will also show 10 current production vehicles that... Read more →

New Biomass-to-Liquids Industry Association is Formed; Urges EPA to Promote the Cleanest Renewable Fuels Compatible with Existing Fuels Infrastructure

Advanced biofuel producers have formed the Low Carbon Synthetic Fuels Association (LCSFA). Specifically, the LCSFA represents the Biomass-to-Liquids (BtL) industry, with members including TRI, Rentech Inc., Velocys, CHOREN, Flambeau River Biofuels/Johnson Timber, AP Fuels and World GTL. BtL is produced through the gasification of renewable biomass and the subsequent conversion... Read more →

Gevo Biobutanol Retrofit Plant Starts Up; Gevo Launches Development Company to Retrofit Ethanol Plants

Gevo, Inc., a biobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons company, announced the start up of its first biobutanol demonstration plant designed from retrofitting an existing demonstration scale ethanol plant to produce biobutanol. (Earlier post.) In successfully producing biobutanol at the 1 million gallon per year pilot plant in St. Joseph, Missouri, Gevo... Read more →

OriginOil Announces New Algae Growth System for Use in Wastewater Facilities

OriginOil, Inc., the developer of a new extraction process for algae oil (earlier post), has developed a new production system using a type of algae that attaches itself to growth surfaces. The new system helps pursue clean water goals while generating algae for fuel and other valuable products in wastewater... Read more →

The CR-Z Concept 2009. Click to enlarge. Honda will reveal the CR-Z Concept 2009, the most recent prototype of a compact sports car using Honda’s IMA technology, at October’s Tokyo Motor Show. Honda introduced the first version of the CR-Z concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2007. When the... Read more →

BASF and CSM Announce Joint Production Development of Bio-based Succinic Acid

BASF Future Business GmbH and PURAC, subsidiaries of BASF SE and CSM nv, respectively, are cooperating for the joint production development of bio-based succinic acid. Both partners have been working on the development of the industrial fermentation and down-stream processing of bio-based succinic acid and will start production of commercial... Read more →

US Geothermal Power Could Top 10 Gigawatts, New Industry Report Says

A new report by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) shows strong growth in new geothermal power projects continuing through 2009. US Geothermal Power Production and Development Update, September 2009 identifies 144 new geothermal projects under development in fourteen states that could represent as much as 7,100 MW of new baseload... Read more →

Univ. of Alberta and Helmholtz Association Partner to Develop Oil Sands Technologies to Address Environmental Issues

The University of Alberta and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres signed a memorandum of understanding that will create a five-year agreement, the Helmholtz Alberta Initiative (HAI). The goal of the initiative is to transform oil sands production processes by developing technologies that address sustainability challenges. The University of... Read more →

Adelaide May Have to Ship in Water For Residents

The Guardian reports that Australia’s fifth-biggest city, Adelaide, may need to ship water in to its residents because the water in the Murray River—Australia’s biggest river—is running so low and is becoming too salty. Adelaide’s water crisis follows similar problems in cities around the world, as the combination of growing... Read more →

Cegasa Group Begins Developing Li-ion Batteries for EVs

Spain-based battery manufacturer Cegasa Group has started developing its first prototypes of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. Cegasa has been manufacturing batteries for more than 75 years. Cegasa is also participating in the “Green Project”, led by SEAT and in the DEIMOS Project for research into fuel cells, besides other... Read more →

New ASTM Specification Approves Use of Up to 50% Synthetic Hydrocarbons in Aviation Fuel Blends

ASTM International has issued a new International standard, ASTM D7566, “Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons” that approves the use of blends of up to 50% synthetic hydrocarbons in aviation fuel. The new standard was developed by Subcommittee D02.J0.06 on Emerging Turbine Fuels, part of ASTM International Committee... Read more →

Joint IBIDEN and NxtGen Testing Shows Up to 3% Fuel Economy Improvement Utilizing SiC DPF Regenerated by Syngas

IBIDEN CO., LTD recently completed an engine bench test with NxtGen Emission Controls Inc., which showed that IBIDEN’s Silicon Carbide (SiC) diesel particulate filter (DPF) and NxtGen’s syngas generator (SGG) (earlier post) improved fuel economy by up to 3% when paired together in an exhaust aftertreatment system. IBIDEN and NxtGen... Read more →

NSF Awards $40M in 20 Grants for Research on Natural Systems, Including 8 Projects for Obtaining Hydrocarbons from Plants and Microorganisms

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding 20 grants for FY 2009 in two research areas on natural systems: biosensing and bioactuation (12 awards); and obtaining hydrocarbons from biomass and microorganisms (8 awards). The awards total of $39,991,202 over four years to 94 investigators from 27 institutions through the... Read more →

Researchers Discover How Oxygen Attacks Hydrogen-Producing Enzymes in Photosynthetic Organisms; Insight Could Assist Identification of New Pathways for Bio-Hydrogen Production

An international team of scientists from the UK, Germany and France have discovered how oxygen stops photosynthetic organisms such as green algae from producing hydrogen. The findings could help advance development of the microbial production of hydrogen from sunlight and water. They reported their results in two papers, one last... Read more →

City of Brighton to Install 20 Elektrobay PEV Charge Points

The city of Brighton UK) plans to install 20 Elektrobay roadside charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) over the coming year. As part of a concerted effort to encourage zero-emissions motoring in the city, councilors have given the go ahead to install an initial 10 Elektrobays in Brighton by... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz Introduces New BlueEFFICIENCY Sprinter Packages

Mercedes-Benz has introduced new BlueEFFICENCY versions of its Sprinter vans, combining different ratings of the OM651 four-cylinder diesel engine (introduced in 2008), new transmission (ECO Gear) and ECO start/stop function. In addition, the natural gas Sprinter NGT vans are now badged as BlueEFFICIENCY vehicles. Diesel BlueEFFICIENCY. The four-cylinder CDI engine... Read more →

Tropical Storm Ketsana, locally referred to as Ondoy, deluged Manila and surrounding areas with 455mm (18 inches) of rain in 24 hours Saturday, killing 240 people and displacing 609,548 according to SitRep 12 (29 September) from the Philippines National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). Ketsana caused the country’s worst flooding in... Read more →

NREL’s proposed adjustment method assumes that the increase in gasoline use during CD mode is the same as the increase calculated for CS mode. This works well for blended PHEVs that have lower electric power capabilities. Source: Gonder et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s... Read more →

Norfolk Southern Unveils Experimental Electric Locomotive

Norfolk Southern unveiled a prototype 1,500-horsepower switching locomotive that relies solely on rechargeable batteries for power yesterday at its Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pa. The NS 999 prototype was developed by Norfolk Southern in partnership with the US Dept. of Energy (DOE), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and The... Read more →

The Kiyora Concept uses a 1.3-liter version of the new SKY-G gasoline direct injection engine and achieves fuel economy of 75 mpg US on the Japanese 10-15 cycle. Click to enlarge. Mazda Motor Corporation will showcase the world premiere of its next-generation engine lineup and automatic transmissions at the 41st... Read more →

Mantra Venture Group and KC Cottrell Sign LOI for CO2 Electroreduction Reactor; CO2 to Products

Mantra Venture Group Ltd. signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with KC Cottrell Co., Ltd. (KC Cottrell), a global leader in air pollution control based out of Seoul, Korea. Under the terms of the LOI, Mantra and KC Cottrell will enter into a strategic alliance to engineer, build, test, and... Read more →

GM’s second-generation fuel-cell system (engineer included for scale.) Click to enlarge. The second generation hydrogen fuel cell system under development by General Motors—which contains its fifth-generation fuel cell stack—is half the size, 220 pounds (100 kg) lighter and uses less than half the platinum (30 grams plus or minus vs.... Read more →

The Bombardier ZEFIRO. Click to enlarge. Bombardier Transportation’s Chinese joint venture, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd., has been selected by the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR) to supply 80 ZEFIRO 380 very high speed trains (1,120 cars) for the country’s rapidly growing high speed rail network. The contract, including 20... Read more →

US DOE Awards POET Additional $6.85M for Feedstock Infrastructure for Cellulosic Ethanol

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $6.85 million funding increase to an existing grant to ethanol producer POET. This is the first of two funding increases from DOE to help establish a market for corn cobs. The second, expected next year, is estimated to provide an additional... Read more →

Swedish Energy R&D Board Awards Up To US$72M to Chemrec for BioDME and Biomethanol Demo

The Swedish Energy R&D Board will provide an investment grant for the demonstration at industrial scale of the Chemrec technology for production of the renewable motor fuels BioDME (dimethyl ether) and Biomethanol. The new plant will be built at the Domsjö Fabriker biorefinery in Örnsköldsvik. (The biorefinery Domsjö Fabriker produces... Read more →

Li-Tec Boosting Li-ion Production at Kamenz Plant to 300,000 Units By End of 2009

Li-Tec Battery GmbH, the lithium-ion battery company jointly owned by of Evonik Industries AG and Daimler, plans to boost its production capacity for battery cells to 300,000 annual units by the end of this year. Its plant in Kamenz, Germany will begin serial production of several million cells in 2011.... Read more →

Comparison of surface temperature projections from the high-end emissions scenario, without carbon cycle feedbacks. Temperature increases between 1961-1990 and 2090-2099, averaged over all high-end members. Source: Met Office. Click to enlarge. One of the UK’s leading climate scientists has presented new research findings on the increasing potential for a 4... Read more →

Univ. of Birmingham Collaborating with Ontario’ Hydrogen Village

The UK University of Birmingham’s Fuel Cell Group and Ontario’s Hydrogen Village recently signed a collaboration agreement that will result in the exchange of researchers and academics and will facilitate commercial relationships with the Province of Ontario and West Midlands’ companies. The Hydrogen Village is based in Toronto with a... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), will supply battery systems from its new-generation electric vehicle i-MiEV to Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo Co., Ltd. for use in a garbage collection vehicle to power the trash compactor. This is the first time that components used in the i-MiEV are to be supplied for non-i-MiEV use.... Read more →

Guardian. Mega dust storms, such as the one that cloaked Sydney, Australia, in a red haze last week, are spreading lethal diseases around the world. However, they can also contribute to mitigating global warming, say researchers studying the little-understood but growing phenomenon. Photos of the Sydney Opera House, taken about... Read more →

Survey Finds 47% of American Reject Idea That They Are Selfish for Putting Economy Ahead of Global Warming

A new Rasmussen Reports poll found that 47% of Americans reject the idea that they are selfish putting economic concerns ahead of the fight against global warming. The national telephone survey found that 29% of adults take the opposite view and believe Americans are being selfish for putting the economy... Read more →

A team at the University of South Carolina synthesized a titanium dioxide (TiO2) and platinum catalyst supported on TiO2 (Pt/TiO2) for use in a fuel cell. The synthesized Pt/TiO2 electrocatalyst exhibits excellent fuel cell performance as well as ultrahigh stability—enabling much longer fuel cell life—at high positive potentials. Pt particles... Read more →

The Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB) at Universität Stuttgart is entering NASA’s $1.5 million Green Flight Challenge, scheduled for 2011 in San Francisco (earlier post), with its Hydrogenius fuel-cell aircraft being built there; the aircraft is to be equipped with Li-ion batteries for this competition. We’re going to America to... Read more →

European Experts Say Transformation Needed to Meet 2025 World Challenges

Meeting the challenges of the near future may mean moving towards a new production and consumption model, new rural-urban dynamics, and a new gender and intergenerational balance, according to the European Foresight Expert Group. The group presented the finings of its report, The World in 2025, at a conference in... Read more →

Rafts of catalytic platinum oxide float above aluminum oxide, anchored by bonds between platinum and aluminum. Credit: Chuck Peden/PNNL. Click to enlarge. US Department of Energy (DOE) researchers have uncovered new details about the nature of anchoring sites of a catalytically active phase of platinum on the surface of the... Read more →

Europe to Launch Large-Scale Test of Intelligent In-Vehicle Technologies

In the context of euroFOT, a European-wide research project, 28 organizations, including automakers, universities and research centers, have committed to scientifically test and assess the impact of eight advanced driver assistance systems on safety, efficiency and driver comfort. This collaborative research project is supported by European funds from the DG... Read more →

Researchers Find That Unusual Arctic Warmth and Tropical Wetness Likely Cause for Methane Increase

Unusually high temperatures in the Arctic and heavy rains in the tropics likely drove a global increase in atmospheric methane in 2007 and 2008 after a decade of near-zero growth, according to a new study. (Earlier post.) Methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, albeit a... Read more →

FPL Group and Duke Energy Pledge 10-year, $600M+ Commitment to Transition Fleets to PHEVs and EVs

FPL Group, Inc. and Duke Energy last week announced a 10-year commitment to transition their company cars and trucks to plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles. The announcement was made during the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) fifth annual meeting in New York City. The joint commitment represents more than 10,000 vehicles... Read more →

BMW, Daimler and VW are proposing a global OSI-Layer based standardization of smart charge communication. This diagram shows requirements and technologies mapped against the OSI 7-layer reference model for interoperability. Source: Oestreicher/Preuschoff/Bogenberger. Click to enlarge. In a joint presentation at the California Air Resource Board ZEV Technology Symposium last week,... Read more →

G20 Leaders Agree to Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies

One of the outcomes of the meeting of G20 leaders in Pittsburgh this week was an agreement to phase out and rationalize over the medium-term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies while providing targeted support for the poorest. Inefficient fossil fuel subsidies encourage wasteful consumption, distort markets, impede investment in clean energy... Read more →

ARPA-E to Hold Public Workshops; One Targeted for Energy Storage for Vehicles

To continue the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy’s (ARPA-E) ongoing effort to seek public input into developing potential programs and funding opportunities, ARPA-E will host a series of workshops in targeted areas of interest in October and November 2009. (Earlier post.) The information gathered at these workshops will supplement... Read more →

Additional diesel PM reductions in 18 major CA railyards with five new locomotive measures. Source: Staff presentation. With Five Locomotive Measures Click to enlarge. The California Air Resources Board directed its staff to take steps to provide further locomotive and rail yard emission reductions beyond those achieved by existing US... Read more →

Hyundai Opens €1B Manufacturing Plant in Czech Republic

Hyundai Motor Co., officially opened its €1 billion (US$1.5 billion) manufacturing plant in Nošovice, Czech Republic. With mass production having started in November last year, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech (HMMC), a fully-owned subsidiary of Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Co., has the current capacity to build 200,000 vehicles annually, which will be... Read more →

Fiat on Track for 2011 Debut on New Fiat from New $1.2B Plant in Serbia

Final preparations for the production of a new Fiat automobile in Serbia will be executed within the next few months, according to Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Mlađan Dinkić; the new car should begin rolling off production lines on schedule, in early 2011. Dinkić made the comment in a speech at... Read more →

Volkswagen and Varta Microbattery Ltd. to Collaborate on Next-Generation Li-ion Systems for Electric Drive Vehicles

Volkswagen and Varta Microbattery Ltd. will establish, subject to necessary regulatory approvals, a research collaboration to develop next-generation Li-ion systems for electric drive vehicles. The initial goal is the research and development of a Li-ion cell which is technically superior and price competitive. Research activities will be done at VARTA... Read more →

Call for Papers for ACS Fuel Cell Symposium at National Meeting In March 2010

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Fuel Chemistry has issued a call for papers for a Symposium on Fuel Chemistry and Electrochemistry for Fuel Cells to be held in conjunction with the 239th ACS National Meeting, 21-25 March 2010 in San Francisco. The chemistry and electrochemistry of fuels for... Read more →

Status of research into the effects of mid-level blends. Programs with red borders are unfunded; red bars are gaps in research. Source: Joint IEPR/TC workshop. Click to enlarge. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) sent a letter to US House and Senate... Read more →