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Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States Agree to Work Together Toward Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fuels; Timeline for Developing a Potential Low Carbon Fuel Standard for Region

Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states signed a Memorandum of Understanding that commits their states to continued participation in a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels for vehicles and other uses. (Earlier post.) A LCFS (Low Carbon Fuel Standard) program is a market-based, fuel-neutral program to... Read more →

In the third quarter of 2009, gasoline consumption in California increased to 3.772 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 3.736 billion gallons the third quarter last year, according to figures released by the state Board of Equalization (BOE). This marked the second consecutive quarterly year-on-year increase in California gasoline consumption.... Read more →

Engineered Tobacco Plants Have Potential As Biofuel Feedstock; Expressing Oil in the Leaves

Researchers from the Biotechnology Foundation Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have identified a way to increase the oil in tobacco plant leaves, which may be the next step in using the plants for biofuel. Their paper was published online in Plant Biotechnology Journal. According to Vyacheslav Andrianov, Ph.D.,... Read more →

California ARB to Hold Public Workshop on Formation of Expert Group to Work on Land Use and Indirect Effect Analysis for LCFS

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has scheduled a public workshop on 20 January 2010 in Sacramento to discuss the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Among the items to be discussed, staff intends to present information on the formation of an expert workgroup to assist in refining and improving the land... Read more →

New Method for Rearranging Refinery Distillation Sequence Could Improve Energy Efficiency Up to 48%

Refineries could trim millions of dollars in energy costs annually by using a new matrix method developed at Purdue University to rearrange the distillation sequence needed to separate crude petroleum into products. The researchers have demonstrated their method on petroleum plants that separate crude, showing that 70 of the new... Read more →

Bay Area Air District, California Free Up Additional $3M For Oakland Port Trucks

The California Air Resources Board and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District freed up an additional $3 million in grants for truckers and small businesses to comply with the 1 January deadline for the state’s port truck rule that will reduce toxic diesel emissions in and around port communities.... Read more →

Researchers Publish First Volume of Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea; Resource for Optimizing Biofuels, Bioremediation and Carbon Capture

Genome researchers from the US and Germany have published the initial “volume” of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA)—an analysis of the first 56 genomes sequenced from the two domains. The paper appeared in the 24 December edition of the journal Nature. The Earth is estimated to have... Read more →

The reaction for carbon dioxide splitting into carbon monoxide with aromatic aldehydes as oxygen acceptors. Credit: ACS, Gu and Zhang. Click to enlarge. A team of researchers in Singapore have developed a process for the catalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) under mild conditions, using aromatic... Read more →

Guangzhou Toyota To Begin Production of Hybrid Camry in 2010

Guangzhou Toyota will begin production of the Camry Hybrid in China in 2010. Toyota introduced the Camry Hybrid to the China market at the 2009 Shanghai auto show earlier this year. Guangzhou Toyota has a 2010 sales goal of 267,000 units—170,000 for Camry 170,000 (including the hybrid Camry), 75,000 for... Read more →

China’s Largest EV Charging Stations Open in Shenzhen

People’s Daily. China’s largest electric vehicle charging stations were put into service earlier this week at the Universiade Center in Shenzhen. The first batch comprises 2 charging stations with 134 charging stands with a combined charging capacity of 2,480 kVA. [In the US, Level 1 charging is spec’d at a... Read more →

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin formally launched the Phase 1 Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline, and started the loading of the first tanker with ESPO oil. The first phase of the pipeline—the longest oil pipeline in the world—cost 360 billion rubles ($12.16 billion, or €8.46 billion), with another 60... Read more →

California Governor Schwarzenegger Announces 244 Proposed Renewable Energy Projects Throughout State; Up to 69,925 MW of Capacity

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the first comprehensive list of 244 proposed renewable energy projects that could produce up to 69,925 MW of clean energy annually. These proposed projects throughout the state include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydro facilities and will help move California towards achieving the renewable... Read more →

Canada Approves Petrochina Purchase of Athabasca Oil Sands Properties

Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, has approved the acquisition by PetroChina of the MacKay and Dover Oil Sands projects from Athabasca Oil Sands Corporation (AOSC) “because I am satisfied that the investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.” In September, AOSC entered into a series of... Read more →

Well-to-wheels vehicle emissions (gCO2 equiv.km-1) by energy source, vehicle energy intensity (MJkm-1), and fuel carbon intensity (gCO2 equiv. MJ-1) by vehicle pathway and timing profile. Source: McCarthy et al.Click to enlarge. A study by researchers at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies suggests that the near-term marginal electricity mix... Read more →

New Class of Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts Offers Enhanced Activity and Stability

A team from Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory has devised a new class of core-shell electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells, consisting of a platinum (Pt) monolayer shell and ordered intermetallic compound cores. These electrocatalysts comprise a Pt monolayer shell and ordered intermetallic compounds cores... Read more →

Thomas Built Buses Receives First Major Order for School Buses with SCR Technology

Thomas Built Buses has received an order for 59 Saf-T-Liner HDX school buses. The contract, which was concluded with Montgomery County, Maryland, is the first major order for buses with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology received by Thomas Built Buses. In MY 2010 Thomas buses, SCR reduces NOx emissions to... Read more →

The first Mercedes-Benz Econic with NGT (Natural Gas Technology) for food distribution operations has been delivered to the ALDI SÜD group of companies in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The vehicle is a semitrailer tractor with a high roof and a refrigerated semitrailer. The Mercedes-Benz NGT Econic. Click to enlarge. ALDI SÜD uses... Read more →

The ColognE-Mobil large-scale battery electric vehicle (BEV) field trial in Germany will launch on 4 January 2010, bringing together four partners—the Ford-Werke GmbH, RheinEnergie AG, the city of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)—in a project to test electrical mobility in all its aspects under everyday conditions. Ford will... Read more →

Biocatalyst Company Codexis Files S-1 for $100M IPO

Biocatalyst company Codexis, Inc. has filed a new S-1 registration form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed $100 million initial public offering (IPO) of shares of its common stock. Codexis had earlier filed an S-1 in April 2008 anticipation of an IPO then; the company withdrew... Read more →

Plantic Technologies to Partner with National Starch to Manufacture Bioplastics in US

Australia-based Plantic Technologies and National Starch will collaborate to establish a site for the manufacture of Plantic bioplastic products in the US. Through the partnership, Plantic will relocate one of its existing proprietary manufacturing lines from Australia to the US. The goal of the project, which represents the next phase... Read more →

Axion Power Receives PA Grant to Develop Storage System for Smart Grid Technology

Axion Power International, Inc., the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries, has been awarded a $248,650 grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority to assist in the development and deployment of an Axion PowerCube battery energy storage system. The 500 kW PowerCube will be built and installed at Axion’ New... Read more →

RusNano, China’s Thunder Sky to Manufacture Li-ion Batteries in Russia for EVs

The supervisory board of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RusNano) has approved the state corporation’s participation in a project with China-based Li-ion battery manufacturer Thunder Sky to manufacture Lithium-ion batteries, the first such project in Russia. The Russia-based enterprise established under this project will produce, foremost, lithium-ion batteries for all... Read more →

Magna and NRC Canada to Collaborate on Ultra-light Materials for Next-generation Vehicles

A new partnership between Magna Exteriors and Interiors, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., and National Research Council Canada (NRC) will support the development of next-generation vehicles with lighter, more durable parts that are safer, affordable, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient. As part of the collaboration agreement, the partners are... Read more →

Audi to Invest €5.9B Through 2012 on New Products, Including Electric and Hybrid Models

Audi plans to invest €7.3B (US$10.5 billion) in fixed assets for 2009 through 2012. Approximately €5.9 billion (US$8.5 billion)—about 80% of its total investment in fixed assets—will be devoted to new product development, further optimization of conventional drivelines and the development of electric and hybrid models. By 2015, the Audi... Read more →

DOE Launches $122M Energy Innovation Hub to Focus on Solar Fuels: “Fuels from Sunlight”

The US Department of Energy will invest up to $366 million to establish and operate three new Energy Innovation Hubs focused on accelerating research and development in three key energy areas, one of which is developing an effective solar energy to chemical fuel conversion system—i.e., “Fuels from Sunlight”. Each Hub,... Read more →

GM Sells 50% Stake in GM India to SAIC for $500M

Business Standard. General Motors, which early in December announced a 50:50 joint venture with China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) deepening their cooperation to address expanding markets in Asia (earlier post), has sold 50% of GM India operations to SAIC for US$500 million—about half of what GM has already... Read more →

The 400hp naturally-aspirated 5.0L is the current high-end application of Ti-VCT in the Ford lineup. Click to enlarge. Ford has officially announced the 2011 Ford Mustang with an all-new advanced naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 engine. The 5.0-liter four-valve Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) V-8 engine in the new Mustang GT... Read more →

On 19 December, President Obama signed into law the $636.3-billion Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 3326) (earlier post) which provides FY 2010 appropriations for Department of Defense (DOD) military programs. Attached to the bill (now law) are $4.197 billion in 1,719 earmarks—Congressionally directed spending projects. Of those earmarks, about 156... Read more →

A desertification/land degradation status mapping effort by researchers from the Indian Space Applications Centre in collaboration with 17 other agencies and institutions found that 81.45 million hectares—24.78% of the total geographic area, TGA, of the country—is undergoing desertification. The total area undergoing processes of land degradation is 105.48 million hectares... Read more →

Australia-based Carbon Energy Limited is in the final stages of constructing its 5 MW power station which will be powered by syngas produced from its underground coal gasification (UCG) facility at Bloodwood Creek in Queensland. This is an Australian first for fuelling this type of power station with syngas. Carbon... Read more →

Government of Canada Invests in Pound-Maker Feedlot/Fuel Ethanol Facility

The Government of Canada will invest up to C$8.4 million (US$8 million) in the Pound-Maker ethanol facility in Saskatchewan, Canada’s first integrated feedlot/fuel ethanol facility. Pound-Maker was established in 1970 when local area farmers were looking for an alternative market for their grain. A 2,500-head feedlot was constructed to utilize... Read more →

High-speed rail service was inaugurated yesterday between Wuhan, a metropolis in central China, and Guangzhou, an urban business hub in the country’s southern Guangdong Province. Trains run at an average of 350 km/h (217 mph), reducing the previous ten-hour transit time to just three hours. First-class tickets for the length... Read more →

Toyota Industries’ solar charging station. Click to enlarge. Toyota Industries Corp (TIC) has developed a solar charging station for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). The municipal government of Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture plans to build 21 such stations at 11 locations such as the municipal office and... Read more →

Ohio Third Frontier Advanced Energy Program Recommends Nearly $7.2M in Funding for 6 Projects; 3 Li-ion Awards

The Ohio Third Frontier Advanced Energy Program recently recommended nearly $7.2 million in funding to six new projects. The Ohio Third Frontier Advanced Energy Program supports research and development that addresses the technical and cost barriers to commercialization of advanced energy components and systems, with preference to wind, biomass, and... Read more →

Axion Power International, Inc., the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries (earlier post), recently completed a private placement of an aggregate of 45,757,572 shares of its common stock to institutional and individual investors at a price of $0.57 per share for total gross proceeds of $26,081,490. Proceeds will be used... Read more →

Kawasaki Heavy Develops New Gas Turbine Combustion Technology for Record Low NOx Emissions of 15 ppm

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) has developed a new gas turbine combustion technology for its proprietary dry low emission (DLE) combustion system used mainly in natural gas-fired turbines. This development in premix combustion technology has enabled Kawasaki to build a gas turbine with the lowest NOx emissions yet. Kawasaki has... Read more →

China’s 2008 GDP Up 9.6%, Unit GDP Energy Consumption Down 5.2%

Xinhua. China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revised key economic figures for 2008 following its second national economic census, including gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, energy use growth rate, and rate of reduction in energy use per unit of GDP. The country’s 2008 GDP growth rate has been... Read more →

Panasonic Develops New Higher-Capacity 18650 Li-Ion Cells; Application of Silicon-based Alloy in Anode

Panasonic Corporation announced the development of two new 18650-type (18 mm in diameter, 65 mm in height) high-capacity lithium-ion battery cells for use in laptop computers and in energy applications including electric vehicles. The newly-developed high-capacity 3.4 Ah and 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery cells have an improved nickel-based positive electrode... Read more →

Purolator Orders 200 More Balance Hybrid Vans; Azure Dynamics’ Largest Revenue Order To Date

Purolator Courier Ltd. recently ordered an additional 200 Balance Hybrid Electric delivery trucks from Azure Dynamics. The 200 unit purchase is Azure’s largest revenue order to date and also the highest volume Balance Hybrid Electric order since the product launched in the summer of 2008. The new trucks join 205... Read more →

French CEA Launches Biomass-to-Liquids Project; Hydrogen Used to Optimize Mass Yield

The French CEA (the Atomic Energy Commission, Commissariat à l'énergie atomique, now to be called the Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission) and its industrial and financial partners are launching the first phase of construction of a pilot thermochemical biomass-to-liquids (BTL) unit in Bure Saudron, which is located 80 km from... Read more →

Ethanol Groups File Suit Challenging Constitutionality of California Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Two ethanol trade groups—the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy—have filed a complaint in Federal District Court in Fresno, California, challenging the constitutionality of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The two organizations are arguing that, as structured, the LCFS violates both the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce... Read more →

California Hybrid Truck, Bus Voucher Project Unveils Online Portal for Requesting $20M in Incentives for Heavy-Duty Hybrids

A California project designed to spur the purchase and use of medium- and heavy-duty hybrids has officially launched with the unveiling of its informational website: www.californiahvip.org. Californiahvip.org supports the California Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). It will provide all HVIP details and requirements, and be the electronic... Read more →

DENSO to Release Fuel-saving Nickel Alloy Spark Plug in Japanese Market

DENSO Corporation will launch a fuel-efficient spark plug in the Japanese market on 6 January 2010. DENSO’s new spark plug improves fuel efficiency by 1.2%, torque by 1.1%, and decreases carbon dioxide emissions by 0.8% in comparison with the company’s conventional nickel spark plug. The new product, which has been... Read more →

OM Group to Acquire Advanced Battery Manufacturer EaglePicher Technologies for $171.9M

OM Group, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement to purchase EaglePicher Technologies LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of EaglePicher Corporation, for $171.9 million. Based in Joplin, MO, EaglePicher is a designer and manufacturer of batteries, battery management systems and energetic devices for the defense, aerospace and medical industries. EaglePicher is... Read more →

Materia Launches Chemistry Blog on Olefin Metathesis

Materia, founded in 1998 to commercialize olefin metathesis catalyst technology, has launched a new chemistry blog called All Things Metathesis. The site was developed by the company to establish a knowledge resource on olefin metathesis as well as to create a setting for metathesis users to discuss the evolving catalyst... Read more →

Schematic of the Elevance biorefinery. Source: Elevance. Click to enlarge. Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. (ERS) received a $2.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to fund preliminary engineering design for a demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery based on its core olefin metathesis technology for the production of high value... Read more →

Bunge expects global sugar demand expected to grow at more than 2% per annum, and ethanol demand to increase both within Brazil and for the export market. Source: Bunge. Click to enlarge. US-based global agribusiness company Bunge Limited has entered into an agreement to become the 100% owner of Usina... Read more →

Stealth Ventures Ltd. and Clean Coal Ltd. Partner on Underground Coal Gasification Project in Nova Scotia

Stealth Ventures Ltd. has entered into an agreement with Clean Coal Ltd., an internationally based company whose technical team is based in the United Kingdom, for the development of an Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project in Nova Scotia. Stealth currently holds 100% of the coalbed methane rights of a 177,000... Read more →

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC)—an organization whose members are Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company—is seeking requests for proposal information (RFPIs) for four projects related to advanced battery development for hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and electric vehicles. USABC’s four RFPIs, for consideration... Read more →

A new improved-performance refractory lining material developed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has been successfully tested and could lead to greatly increased reliability and economics of gasification technology as a clean and efficient process. Refractories removed from adjacent positions in a slagging gasifier. The... Read more →