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Representation of DIBANET processes, products and linkages. Source: Carbolea. Click to enlarge. An EU-funded research project is seeking to develop new technologies that will enable the sustainable production of diesel miscible biofuels (DMB) from cellulosic biomass wastes in Europe and Latin America. Specifically, the DIBANET (Development of Integrated Biomass Approaches... Read more →

GE Technology Selected for Hydrogen Energy IGCC Project in California

GE Energy has signed a technology licensing agreement with Hydrogen Energy (HEI) for a proposed 250-megawatt power plant that would use integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology. The plant, to be located near Bakersfield, in Kern County, Calif., would be designed to capture up to 90% of its carbon dioxide for... Read more →

Cyclone Power Technologies Successfully Completes Engine Tests for Raytheon Company; > 30% Thermal Efficiency

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. successfully completed performance tests of its external combustion engine for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). The tests demonstrated that Cyclone’s prototype water-cooled Mark II engine achieved thermal efficiencies of more than 30%, results that exceeded original engineering calculations. Operating at temperatures of 1,000 °F (538 °C)... Read more →

Schematic model of a wave disk engine, showing combustion and shockwaves within the channels. Source: MSU. Click to enlarge. Researchers from Michigan State University have been awarded $2.5 million from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program (earlier post) to complete its prototype development of a new gasoline-fueled wave disc engine... Read more →

US Ethanol Demand Continued to Exceed Production in August

US ethanol demand, as calculated by the Renewable Fuels Association, continued to exceed production in August. According to RFA calculations, demand was 734,000 bpd in August, up 11% from 661,000 b/d a year ago. US ethanol production in August was 727,500 barrels per day (b/d), according to data from the... Read more →

The 100-year global warming potentials (GWPs) for methane, CO, and NOx (per Tg N) as given in the AR4 and in this study when including no aerosol response; the direct radiative effect of aerosol responses; and the direct+indirect radiative effects of aerosol responses. Source: Shindell at al. Click to enlarge.... Read more →

Navistar, JAC to Explore Diesel Engine Joint Venture in China

Navistar, Inc. and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC) will explore a potential engine joint venture to develop, build and market advanced diesel engines for commercial vehicles in China. The potential joint venture, if formed, would have a 50/50 ownership between Navistar, and JAC, a leading China-based maker of commercial... Read more →

Ford and Smith Terminate Partnership on Electric Transit Connect Project for US; Ford Now Partnering with Azure Dynamics to Deliver the Vehicle in 2010; Smith Partnering with AM General on Electric Vans for USPS

Ford Motor Company and Smith Electric Vehicles US (SEV US) have mutually agreed to terminate the development project of an electric car-derived van based on Transit Connect. (Earlier post.) In a trading statement issued today, UK-based Tanfield Group, SEV US’ parent, said that given the growth in demand for its... Read more →

The new Opel Corsa ecoFLEX debuts in January 20109. Click to enlarge. Starting in January 2010, the new Opel Corsa ecoFLEX will offer improved fuel economy with increased power compared to its model year 2009 predecessor. (Earlier post.) Powered by a 70 kW/95 hp 1.3 CDTI diesel engine boosted by... Read more →

Michigan Approves Li-ion Maker Johnson Controls-Saft for Tax Credits, $20M Pack Credit

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board approved Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions LLC (JCS) for an Anchor Jobs incentive. Under this designation, a company that attracts or influences a supplier or customer to locate or expand in Michigan can qualify for tax credits. The company was also approved for... Read more →

Expert: Northern Hemisphere “Almost Out of Multiyear Ice

Reuters. Speaking to the Canadian Parliament, David Barber, Research Chair in Arctic System Science at the University of Manitoba, reported on a recent icebreaker expedition in the Beaufort Sea which found almost no multiyear ice in the area. Multiyear ice is ice that has survived at least one melt season,... Read more →

SGL Group and BMW Group Establish Carbon Fiber-Joint Venture; BMW Will Use Output in the Megacity Vehicle

SGL Group and BMW Group have formed a 51:49 joint venture to manufacture carbon fibers and fabrics for the automotive industry. The joint venture will be operated through two companies, one based in North America (SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC), and the other in Germany (SGL Automotive Fibers GmbH &... Read more →

Consortium Wins $2.2M ARPA-E Award for Direct Solar Bio-Hydrocarbon Fuel Research; Biocatalytic Coatings Using Bacteria Embedded in Latex

A consortium comprising researchers from the University of Minnesota and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with BioCee, a University of Minnesota start-up company as the commercialization partner, has been awarded $2.2 million from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program for a research proposal to use bacteria to produce bio-hydrocarbon fuels... Read more →

UC Riverside Researchers Create First Synthetic Cellulosome in Yeast; Potential to Make Renewable Fuel Production More Efficient and Economical

A team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside (UCR) Professor of Chemical Engineering Wilfred Chen has constructed for the first time a synthetic cellulosome in yeast which is much more ethanol-tolerant than the bacteria in which these structures are normally found. The yeast cellulosome could enable efficient one-step... Read more →

DOE Awards $338M to Accelerate Domestic Geothermal Energy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $338 million in Recovery Act funding for the exploration and development of new geothermal fields and research into advanced geothermal technologies. These grants will support 123 projects in 39 states, with recipients including private industry, academic institutions, tribal entities, local... Read more →

by Jeff Curtis and Jack Rosebro Cross-section of COMPAC seawater-lubricated stern tube bearing system for ocean-going vessels. Source: Thordon Bearings Click to enlarge. At last week’s Ocean Innovation 2009 conference in Victoria, British Columbia, Craig Carter, Director of Marketing and Customer Service at Thordon Bearings detailed the company’s progress in... Read more →

Ricardo to Develop Fuel Efficient Vehicle for US Army

Ricardo, Inc., the US subsidiary of Ricardo plc, has been awarded a contract for the development of a new vehicle under the Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) program launched by TARDEC, the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan. The FED program, launched in... Read more →

Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd., a joint venture between General Motors Company, SAIC Group and Shanghai General Motors (SGM), will activate OnStar services and be fully operational in China in December 2009. This marks OnStar’s first venture outside of North America. SGM will eventually make this telematics service available on... Read more →

Electrovaya and Miljøbil Grenland Accelerating Set-up of Li-ion Production Facility

Electrovaya Inc. says that it is accelerating the set-up of its joint-venture production facility in Norway with its partner Miljøbil Grenland. The Miljøbil Grenland joint venture, of which Electrovaya is a shareholder, is establishing a Lithium Ion SuperPolymer cell and battery pack manufacturing facility in Norway to meet the emerging... Read more →

Capacity limited cycling of a graphite-core/silicon-shell electrode. Source: Fuchsbichler et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials at the Graz (Austria) University of Technology have developed a new method to utilize silicon in lithium-ion anode materials. Silicon is a promising anode material for... Read more →

Study Finds North Carolina Sea Levels Rising Three Times Faster Than in Previous 500 Years

An international team of environmental scientists led by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that sea-level rise, at least in North Carolina, is accelerating. Researchers found 20th-century sea-level rise to be three times higher than the rate of sea-level rise during the last 500 years. In addition, this jump appears... Read more →

CAD rendering of the MLC flywheel. Source: WHP. Click to enlarge. Williams F1 and the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) formally signed an agreement to inaugurate the Williams Technology Center (WTC). QSTP is a world-class incubator for the research, development and commercialization of new technologies that has attracted significant... Read more →

AVL’s Smart Sampler 478 Enhances Engine Emission Testing

AVL has released a new emission measurement tool to help vehicle manufacturers and engine makers meet changing emissions regulation. The Smart Sampler 478, a partial-flow dilution system that effectively measures particulate pollution, is a global tool for certification of diesel engines. Smart Sampler 478 is CFR1065 compliant for steady state... Read more →

Toshiba to Build a Second Li-ion SCiB Production Facility in Japan; Initial Cells and Modules for EVs

Anticipating strong future demand, Toshiba Corporation will construct a second dedicated production facility for its safe, long-life, rapid charge SCiB battery (earlier post), in the Kashiwazaki Frontier Park, in Kashiwazaki city, Niigata prefecture. Construction is scheduled to start in April 2010, with a completion date of October 2010. In spring... Read more →

Brazil to Increase Mandatory Biodiesel Blend to 5% in 2010; Mandatory Emissions Testing for Vehicles

Effective January 2010, Brazilian diesel fuel vehicles will be required to run on a 5% biodiesel blend, up from 4% at present. The announcement was made last Friday by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and is expected to raise biodiesel production levels to 2.4 billion liters (634 million gallons)... Read more →

Swedish Government’s Fouriertransform Investing in Powercell Sweden AB

The Swedish government’s venture capital company for the automotive industry, Fouriertransform, is investing SEK 60 million (US$8.5 million) in Powercell Sweden AB, which develops, produces and sells fuel cells, fuel reformers and auxiliary power units. This is Fouriertransform’s first investment. Powercell Sweden was formed in 2005 as a joint venture... Read more →

Dynamotive Upgrades BioOil from Multiple Biomass Sources to a Uniform Hydrocarbon Product

Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation has successfully applied the BINGO (Biomass INto GasOil) BioOil upgrading process to BioOils produced from a variety of feedstocks. (Earlier post.) The feedstocks from which the BioOils were produced included sugarcane bagasse, bark rich forest trimmings, softwoods and palm fronds. BioOils upgraded were of widely varying... Read more →

Renault-Nissan Alliance Partners with Barcelona to Advance Electric Mobility

The Renault–Nissan Alliance and the city of Barcelona, Spain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote the development of electric mobility in the Catalan capital. The two organizations will work together to identify areas of co-operations in promoting the use of electric vehicles in the city. Barcelona has made... Read more →

A123 Systems and IHI Corporation Sign Joint Marketing Agreement to Develop Advanced Battery Technology Business in Japan

Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems and IHI Corporation have entered into a collaborative business development agreement to serve potential customers in the Japanese transportation, industrial and marine markets. Under the terms of a joint marketing agreement, the two companies will pursue new customer opportunities in energy storage in the Japanese... Read more →

European Electricity Companies Call for Standardization of Plug-in Vehicle Charging Infrastructure; Pledge to Apply Pre-Standards

Some 50 representative of European electricity companies, power distribution system operators and national electricity sector associations have signed a Declaration on infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. The signatories to the Declaration confirm their determination to cooperate with the various stakeholders towards the development and application of industry pre-standards until standards... Read more →

Concept diagram of an SMA heat engine for power generation from waste engine heat. Source: GM. Click to enlarge. As one of 37 projects selected by the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E (earlier post), General Motors R&D will receive $2.7 million (subject to final negotiation with DOE) to support building... Read more →

Petrobras will be the first company to operate an FPSO (floating oil production, storage and outflow) type platform in the American portion of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), in the Cascade and Chinook fields. The vessel BW Pioneer will be turret-moored at a water depth of about 2,600 meters—by far... Read more →

Fisker Automotive to Buy Shuttered GM Assembly Plant for Project NINA Production

Fisker Automotive has selected the GM Wilmington Assembly plant in Wilmington, Delaware for production for Project NINA, the development and build of a family-oriented plug-in hybrid sedan costing about $39,900 after federal tax credits. (Earlier post.) Fisker Automotive has signed a letter of intent with Motors Liquidation Co. (MLC), formerly... Read more →

DOE Selects Tenneco for Fifth ATVM Loan; $24M for Fuel Efficient Emission Control Components

The Department of Energy (DOE) has entered into a $24 million conditional loan commitment with Tenneco Inc. to develop fuel efficient emission control components for advanced technology vehicles. Tenneco, which is headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, is the first component manufacturer to receive a conditional loan commitment under the Department’s... Read more →

The upgraded Frame 7A gas turbine. Click to enlarge. Using next generation gas turbine technology to increase output and efficiency, GE Energy introduced an upgraded Frame 7FA heavy-duty gas turbine for 60 Hz power plants. The power output of the new 7FA will increase to 211 MW—a 36 MW increase... Read more →

EIG will supply 20Ah NCM Li-ion polymer cells to Miljøbil Grenland AS. Click to enlarge. Miljøbil Grenland AS, a Norwegian subsidiary of Tata Motors European Technical Centre plc., awarded South Korea-based Energy Innovation Group Ltd. (EIG) a contract to supply batteries for the Indica Vista EV project (earlier post), a... Read more →

Map of the 100 smart grid awards. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge. Speaking at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, President Barack Obama announced $3.4 billion in grant awards to 100 private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners—the largest single energy grid modernization investment... Read more →

IXYS Extends Its XPT IGBT Range for Higher Efficiency at Higher Power Ratings

IXYS Corporation has extended its XPT IGBT product range towards higher power ratings. The 80 Ampere/1200 Volt rated IGBT die fits in the industry standard E3-pack which integrates the Converter, Inverter and Brake stages into one CBI outline. The new module contains the complete power semiconductor requirement of a 15... Read more →

Australia’s CSIRO and Victorian energy distributor SP AusNet have begun a three-month road trial of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Staff from SP AusNet will use the PHEVs for their daily drive to work and for leisure as part of the trial. CSIRO - SP AusNet PHEV. Click to enlarge.... Read more →

Oxford Catalysts in $5.9M Fischer-Tropsch Demonstration and Commercialization Agreement; Focus on Biomass- and Waste-to-Liquids Applications

Oxford Catalysts Group PLC, signed a definitive joint development agreement (JDA) with SGC Energia, SGPS, S.A. (SGCE) for the demonstration and commercialization of the Group’s Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology, primarily for Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) and Waste-to-Liquids (WTL) applications. Oxford Catalysts has a platform catalyst technology that provides the increased activity in microchannel... Read more →

Hydro Divests Aluminum Automotive Structures Business

Norsk Hydro ASA entered into an agreement to divest its automotive structures business to Benteler Automobiltechnik GmbH, the automotive division of the large German industrial enterprise Benteler Group with headquarters in Paderborn, Germany. Hydro’s automotive structures business, part of the Extruded Products business area, is a leading supplier of advanced... Read more →

The Axon Automotive PHEV. Click to enlarge. UK-based Axon Automotive, a spin-off from Cranfield University, previewed a pre-production plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of its lightweight city car at the Milton Keynes Science Festival. The Axon gasoline-powered city car uses existing engine technology and carbon fibre material advances to... Read more →

Sturman Industries Targeting Diesel-like Efficiency for Natural Gas Using Digital Hydraulic Controls

Sturman Industries has begun work on a recently awarded $1-million grant by the California Energy Commission under its Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The grant was awarded in response to a Sturman proposal to convert a diesel truck engine to enabling Sturman Digital Hydraulic air controls to demonstrate its... Read more →

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced Vision Industries’ fuel cell plug-in hybrid Class 8 short haul truck, Tyrano, at the State Capitol building in Sacramento on 20 October. (Earlier post.) 2009 Tyrano Freightliner. Click to enlarge. There are currently more than 100,000 short haul trucks in California and more than 1... Read more →

Ocean Acidification May Contribute To Global Shellfish Decline

Relatively minor increases in ocean acidity brought about by high levels of carbon dioxide have significant detrimental effects on the growth, development, and survival of hard clams, bay scallops, and Eastern oysters, according to researchers at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. In one of the first... Read more →

Elevance Renewable Sciences Invests $1M in Trent University Biomaterials Research Laboratories

Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. is investing $1 million in a partnership with Trent University Biomaterials Research Laboratories, based in Peterborough, Ontario. Elevance attended the official opening of the laboratories, which will be used to develop new biomaterials, biochemicals and bioproducts from natural oils. This partnership will combine the findings of... Read more →

LION Smart Implements Quality Management System and Extends Battery Market Research Offer

LION Smart GmbH, an engineering service company for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and for suppliers specializing in testing and development of lithium-ion batteries for automotive applications, has finished its start-up phase. LION Smart is a spin-off of TUM (Technischen Universität München). Currently the company creates conceptual designs and constructions in... Read more →

ARPA-E Awards $151M to 37 Projects for Transformative Energy Research

The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 37 energy research projects for $151 million in funding through the recently formed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). This is the first round of projects funded under ARPA-E, which is receiving total of $400 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Among... Read more →

Bright Automotive Launches Bright eSolutions; US Army Hybrid Vehicle Contract

Bright Automotive, Inc., the developer of the purpose-built, plug-in hybrid IDEA (earlier post) launched of Bright eSolutions to support automotive customers worldwide to accelerate vehicle electrification, lightweighting, and overall platform efficiency. Bright Automotive launched eSolutions with a just-announced contract from the US Army TACOM to conduct a demonstration project on... Read more →