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Turbine Truck Engines and Beijing Royal Aerospace Facilities Co., Ltd. Sign Cooperative Agreement

Turbine Truck Engines and Beijing Royal Aerospace Facilities Co., Ltd. (ROYAL) have signed a Cooperative Agreement in which Royal will coordinate further funding, design, testing, technical evaluation, and other matters regarding building engineered prototype units of the Detonation Cycle Gas Turbine (DCGT) engine for the heavy duty trucking industry in... Read more →

ClipperCreek and Silver Spring Networks Develop Level 2 EVSE Smart Charging Station

ClipperCreek, Inc., a leading producer of plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and Silver Spring Networks, a leading Smart Grid solutions provider, have jointly developed the first fully integrated, Level 2 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) smart charging station. The companies are currently working with a variety of utilities to develop... Read more →

[(PY5Me2)Mo(CF3SO3)]1+ reacts with water to form [(PY5Me2)MoO]2+ and H2. Credit: Nature, Karunadasa et al. Click to enlarge. A team of researchers with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley has discovered an inexpensive metal catalyst that can effectively generate... Read more →

Successful Engineering Validation Flight of US Commercial Jet Using 40:60 Synthetic Jet Fuel Blend

United Airlines has conducted a successful engineering validation flight using Rentech’s certified synthetic jet fuel (RenJet). The validation flight was conducted using a 40:60 mix of Rentech’s synthetic jet fuel with conventional Jet A fuel in one of two engines on an Airbus 319 aircraft. The aircraft departed Denver International... Read more →

The US, Canada, and Mexico have submitted a proposal to strengthen climate protection under the Montreal Protocol— the international treaty that phases out the production of a number of substances responsible for ozone depletion. The proposal targets the production and use of HFCs, a group of “super” greenhouse gases. Climate... Read more →

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Institute of Technology Developing EV Smart Charging from Wind Turbines

Nikkei. Mitsubishi Corp. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are developing a smart charging system to exploit wind power produced at night to charge electric vehicles. Power companies buy windmill electricity generated during the daytime and resell it to households, factories and buildings. But they often are not interested in... Read more →

Porous Power Signs $1.41M CRADA with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Commercialize a New Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing Process

Porous Power Technologies LLC, a developer of highly porous, laminable separator membranes for lithium-ion batteries, has signed a $1.41 million cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to accelerate the SYMMETRIX production process. (Earlier post.) The SYMMETRIX production process reduces the cost of free-standing separator membranes... Read more →

Deepwater Horizon trajectory map 30 April. Click to enlarge. The Obama Administration has declared the Deepwater Horizon incident a Spill of National Significance (SONS). A SONS is defined as “a spill that, due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the... Read more →

SABIC Innovative Plastics Introduces New Portfolio of Materials Targeted at Hybrid and EV Battery Packs

SABIC Innovative Plastics used Chinaplas 2010 in Shanghai as the venue to introduce a new portfolio of advanced Noryl and Valox automotive resins targeted for use in battery packs for hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV). SABIC Innovative Plastics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi... Read more →

Boston Approves Ford Transit Connect for Taxi Use

The city of Boston this week became the first municipality in America to approve the Ford Transit Connect for taxi use, paving the way for taxi owners to purchase the new vehicle for their fleets. With its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and automatic transmission, the conventionally powered Transit Connect... Read more →

ARPA-E Selects 37 Projects for $106M in Funding in Second Round; Electrofuels, Better Batteries and Carbon Capture

The US Department of Energy is awarding $106 million in funding for 37 research projects selected in the second round by the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). (Earlier post.) ARPA-E’s first solicitation awarded $151 million to 37 projects aimed at transformational innovations in energy storage, biofuels, carbon capture, renewable... Read more →

The 3-cylinder, 1.2L diesel in the Polo BlueMotion. Click to enlarge. Volkswagen highlighted the new 3-cylinder, 1.2-liter TDI diesel applied in the Polo BlueMotion (earlier post) at the 31st International Vienna Motor Symposium this week. The Polo’s 1.2-liter three-cylinder TDI is derived from the 1.6-liter four-cylinder TDI of the new... Read more →

GM Webchat with Chris Borroni-Bird on Reinventing the Automobile, Friday 2pm EDT

GM is holding a live webchat tomorrow, 30 April 2 p.m. EDT, with Christopher Borroni-Bird, GM’s Director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts and co-author of the book Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century. Borroni-Bird’s co-authors on the book are Lawrence Burns, a former Vice President of... Read more →

AAB Study Projects Global EV New Vehicle Sales of Up to 400,000 Units by 2020, PHEV Sales of 500,000 Units by 2020

A new study, “The Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Opportunity Report” authored by Dr. Menahem Anderman of the consulting firm Advanced Automotive Battery (AAB) projects that global EV market share will grow from negligible levels in 2009 to 0.13% of the 2015 new-vehicle market, and up to 0.50% of the... Read more →

BP Spots Third Leak from Deepwater Horizon Riser; NOAA Estimates Oil Leaking at Up to 5,000 BPD

BP, in its monitoring of Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer (BOP) on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, has identified a third leak in the riser of the deep underwater well, according to Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for BP Exploration and Production, during a press conference on the incident... Read more →

Short- and long-term CO2 emission reductions as a share of total motorway CO2 emissions by cars in various scenarios. Click to enlarge. Carbon dioxide emissions from road transport in the Netherlands could be reduced by 30% if motorway speed limits in the Netherlands were set at 80 km/h (50 mph).... Read more →

Enova Planning Introduction of Next-Generation Electric Drive System by Early 2011; 50% More Efficient and Less Expensive

Enova Systems, which recently extended its electric Zero Emissions (Ze) drive system offerings to include a Ford F-150 utility truck and Chevrolet Express cargo van (earlier post), is working on a next-generation electric drive system that will be 50% more efficient and less expensive than its current offerings, and plans... Read more →

Companies Form German Network of Competence for Li-ion Batteries

Companies and research institutions encompassing the value chain for lithium-ion batteries have founded a network of competence for Li-ion batteries in Germany: Kompetenznetzwerk Lithium-Ionen-Batterien (KLiB). The aim of the national network is to strengthen the entire value chain, from development through production to the marketing of lithium-ion batteries. Members will... Read more →

Audi Joins International Desertec Alliance as Associated Partner; Investment in Renewable Electricity

Audi this week signed an agreement with the international consortium “Desertec Industrial Initiative”. The long-term goal of the joint venture is the climate-friendly production of electricity in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. As an associated partner, Audi will initially work to create the right conditions and... Read more →

The new Avante/Elantra Click to enlarge. Hyundai Motor Co. staged the world-premier of the all-new Avante compact sedan—badged as Elantra in markets outside Korea—at the Busan International Motor Show 2010. The Avante/Elantra is the company’s best-selling model worldwide. Hyundai has applied the new 1.6L Gamma Gasoline Direct Injection engine, unveiled... Read more →

Study Finds That Reductions in Sea Ice Cover and Thickness Is The Major Cause of Polar Warming Amplification

In a process called polar amplification, the polar regions have been warming faster than the tropics. Although some research has attributed that amplification to upper-atmosphere transport processes, a new study by researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, now shows that reductions in sea ice cover and thickness—due to rapid... Read more →

Petrobras Awards Technip Major Pipe Supply Contract for Offshore Tupi Field

Petrobras has awarded Technip a contract for the infield lines of the pilot system for the Tupi field. This field is located at a water depth of 2,200 meters in the pre-salt layer of the Santos Basin, approximately 300 kilometers offshore the Brazilian coast, and has estimated potential of 5... Read more →

Deutz OKs B7 for All Tier 4 Interim Engines, Higher Blends up to B100 for Select Tier 3 Models

All Deutz engines from the new EPA Tier 4 interim / EU Stage III B generation can run on biodiesel blends of up to B7 (7% biodiesel) without any problem, and comply with prescribed emissions levels, according to the company. In addition, DEUTZ is also issuing further approvals for running... Read more →

General Synfuels Forms $10M Technology Partnership for Oil Shale Prototype Plant

General Synfuels International (GSI), a subsidiary of Earth Search Sciences, Inc., has formed the $10-million “Patriot’s Oil Shale Technology Fund L.P.”, to complete funding of the Phase 1 construction of a full-scale prototype oil shale plant under construction in Rock Springs, Wyoming. The goal of this research and development type... Read more →

Eaton, Takaoka Electric Manufacturing Company Collaborate on Electric Vehicle Charging

Eaton Corporation will collaborate with Takaoka Electric Manufacturing Company, Ltd. to develop and launch DC Quick Chargers for electric vehicles. electric vehicle (EV) battery packs. The collaboration will enable Eaton to provide a complete line of charging stations across residential, commercial and industrial applications in North America. Tokyo-based Takaoka Electric... Read more →

Toray and Daimler to Jointly Develop CFRP Automobile Parts for Mercedes-Benz Models

Toray Industries, Inc. has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Daimler AG to develop automobile parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). The two companies plan to promote the joint development of diverse CFRP automobile components by utilizing High Cycle Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), a CFRP molding process... Read more →

Arkema and Toyobo to Partner on High Temperature Bio-based Polyamides; Targeting Metal Replacement in CE and Automotive Applications

France-based Arkema and Japan-based Toyobo are forming a strategic partnership to develop high temperature polyamides made from renewable resources. Under this collaboration, Arkema and Toyobo will promote a new generation of high temperature polyamides with improved technical properties and lower environmental footprint. The new products initially consist of two ranges... Read more →

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the Cape Wind renewable energy project on federal submerged lands in Nantucket Sound, but will require the developer of the $1 billion wind farm to agree to additional binding measures to minimize the potential adverse impacts of construction and operation of the facility.... Read more →

GKN Driveline Continues Rapid Growth in China; Developing Driveline Systems for EVs and Hybrids for the China Market

GKN Driveline continues its rapid growth in China with plans for a 12th manufacturing facility; expansion of an existing research center; and the introduction of new low-cost and electric-hybrid technologies for the China market. At a media briefing at Auto China 2010, Stefan Magirius, president GKN China, said that the... Read more →

Ballard, Univ. of Maryland and Army Research Lab Partner on Fuel Processing Technology for Operation of Fuel Cells With Non-Hydrogen Fuels

Fuel cell designer and manufacturer Ballard Power Systems, with founding partners University of Maryland (UMD) and US Department of Defense Army Research Laboratory (ARL), has launched a new center of excellence for the advancement of fuel processing technology. The new center—named FuelWorks—will be located at the University of Maryland in... Read more →

The extent of the sheen as of 27 April. Click to enlarge. Responders to the BP/Transocean Deepwater Horizon incident have scheduled a controlled, on-location burn of oil from the spill to begin at approximately 11 a.m. Central Time today. The explosion and fire on, and subsequent sinking of, the Deepwater... Read more →

USDA Invites Public Comment on Proposed Rules for USDA Renewable Energy Programs

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently invited public comment on several proposed rules designed to increase the production of advanced biofuels and the development of biorefineries. The programs are authorized under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (The Farm Bill). The proposed rules affect the following three... Read more →

Chromatin has developed a novel approach to gene stacking, using plant DNA to deliver several genes on a single chromosome. Source: Chromatin. Click to enlarge. Chromatin, Inc., a biotech company commercializing a mini-chromosome gene stacking technology, will expand its technology development portfolio to produce fit-for-purpose sorghum as a renewable feedstock... Read more →

NETL Soliciting R&D Projects for Co-Production of Power, Fuels, and Chemicals via Coal/Biomass Mixtures

The US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has issued a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) soliciting research projects that will address key challenges related to the utilization of coal-biomass mixtures for co-production of power and hydrogen, fuels, and/or chemicals. NETL estimates total program funding for the cooperative... Read more →

Williams F1 Acquires Majority Share in Williams Hybrid Power

Williams F1 has acquired a majority shareholding in Williams Hybrid Power (WHP), increasing its existing 40% stake in the company to 78%. Williams F1’s original investment dates back to March 2008 when the company bought the minority share in Automotive Hybrid Power (subsequently re-named to WHP), a Norfolk-based provider of... Read more →

Powertrain components of the Prius PHV. Click to enlarge. Toyota, French energy provider EDF, and the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg launched a large-scale, 3-year Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle demonstration in Strasbourg. The project involves about 100 Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHVs) as well as a dedicated charging... Read more →

None of the EEA scenarios considered delivered the targeted reduction in transport GHG emissions. The closest is the combination of improved technology and “avoid and shift” policies. Click to enlarge. While technological advances are producing cleaner vehicles, more and more passengers and goods are travelling further distances in Europe, thereby... Read more →

Cereplast Expects to Commercialize its Algae-Based Resin Technology by Year End

Cereplast, Inc., a manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics, expects to offer the first grade of Cereplast Algae Plastics for commercial use by the end of the year. (Earlier post.) Cereplast algae-based resins have the potential to replace 50% or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins.... Read more →

MBtech Highlighting New 4-Cylinder, 6-Liter Natural Gas Engine at Vienna Engine Symposium

At the 31st Vienna Engine Symposium this week, MBtech will showcase an innovation project consisting of a 4-cylinder, 6-liter natural gas combustion engine for medium-duty commercial vehicles. The engine is being developed to be considerably more compact and lighter than current 6-cylinder medium-duty engines while also offering significant advantages with... Read more →

Joule Closes $30 Million Funding Round to Advance Renewable Solar Fuel Production

Joule Unlimited, a company advancing a process for the direct microbial conversion of carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons via engineered organisms, powered by solar energy (earlier post), has closed of a $30-million second round of funding. The round includes investments from undisclosed institutional and private sources that joined Flagship Ventures, Joule’s... Read more →

GM To Invest $893M to Produce New Generation of Fuel Efficient Small Block Truck and Car Engines

General Motors will invest $893 million to produce a new generation of small block truck and car engines which will offer improved fuel efficiency through direct injection and an all-new advanced combustion system design. The new engine family will rely exclusively on aluminum engine blocks, which are lighter and contribute... Read more →

Hitachi Maxell Ltd will start shipping high capacity Li-ion batteries incorporating a silicon-based anode material for smart phones in June 2010. The company has not yet disclosed the names of customers, or the capacities of the cells. Nano-silicon composite material for anode. Click to enlarge. Silicon is of great interest... Read more →

The Lotus Engineering 2020 lightweight Toyota Venza. Click to enlarge. Lotus Engineering has conducted a detailed study to develop a commercially viable mass reduction strategy for mainstream passenger vehicles. This study, released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), focused on the use of lightweight materials and efficient design... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen Begin a New Collaboration on a Compact SUV Based on the RVR

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and PSA Peugeot Citroën have come to an agreement to start a new collaborative project regarding a compact SUV. This agreement provides for the development and adaptation for both the Peugeot and Citroën marques of the compact SUV, based on the Mitsubishi RVR platform. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Opel Ampera Passes Production Milestone

The Opel Ampera—the Chevy Volt’s European cousin—passed an important milestone on 23 April when the first pre-production Model Year 2012 Ampera rolled off the line at GM’s Pre-Production Operations assembly line in Warren, Michigan. Assembly workers will build more pre-production Amperas in the coming months. These pre-production vehicles will be... Read more →

Wegmans’ Warehouse Operations Launches 50 Fuel-Cell Powered Pallet Trucks

Wegmans, a supermarket chain leader, has launched a fleet of 50 hydrogen fuel cell-powered pallet trucks fitted with Plug Power’s GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell power units and fueled using Air Products’ hydrogen and hydrogen fueling station technology at its Pottsville, Pa. warehouse. The GenDrive systems can be quickly refueled in... Read more →