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Eden Energy Reports Successful Testing of Naturally-Aspirated 6L Hydrogen-Methane Engine for India Bus Fleet; Turbo Version Under Development

Australia-based Eden Energy Limited has successfully tested a production-ready 6-liter engine that will enable India’s largest bus manufacturer, Ashok Leyland, to power buses with Eden’s low-emission Hythane blend of hydrogen-enriched natural gas (usually 20% hydrogen by volume). (Earlier post.) The 6-cylinder 92 kW (123 hp) 2010 H06B CNG engine—developed by... Read more →

Finnish and Russian Companies Partner to Develop and Build Specialty Icebreaker to Combat Oil Spills

The Finnish companies STX Finland Oy, Aker Arctic Technology Oy, Southeast Trading Oy (SET Group), and the Russian companies OAO Sovcomflot and FSUE Rosmorport have signed a cooperation agreement for the purpose of developing and building a new generation of icebreaking and rescue vessel for oil spill combat in the... Read more →

With the top kill procedure having failed, BP is moving on to its next attempt: the placement of a containment cap on the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP). (Earlier post.) The LMRP is the top half of the blowout preventer (BOP) stack. This procedure is not intended to stop the... Read more →

MIT researchers used modified M13 bacteriophages as templates to assemble noble metal allow nanowires for Li-ion anode materials. Credit: ACS, Lee et al. Click to enlarge. An MIT team including Drs. Gerbrand Ceder and Angela Belcher has synthesized gold (Au) and silver (Ag) alloy nanowires as anode materials for Li-ion... Read more →

ES&T Editor Calls for Papers on Gulf Spill; Ending the Addiction

Dr. Jerald Schnoor, the Allen S. Henry Chair, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa and the Editor of the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology is calling on Gulf researchers to consider submitting their scientific articles about the oil spill to ES&T. Schnoor was an... Read more →

Jatropha Biodiesel-FT Blends Reduce Most Criteria Pollutants Compared to Neat FT; Higher NOx

Blending jatropha biodiesel (JBD) with Fischer-Tropsch synthetic diesel (FT) results in lower CO, THC, smoke and PM emissions compared to neat FT, according to a study by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels. However, NOx emissions were higher,... Read more →

Report: China’s New-Energy Vehicle Subsidy Plan to Be Tested in 5 Cities Rather Than Nationwide

China Daily. China’s incentive plan for private purchases of new-energy vehicles may be introduced by the end of this month and will be tested in five cities, rather than nationwide, according to a report in the Shanghai Securities News. The five cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing and Wuhan, the... Read more →

MTI: Mumbai Derailment Could Have Serious Implications for Rail Security Worldwide

The Mumbai train derailment two days ago could point to a growing trend in India, according to Brian Jenkins, director of the Mineta Transportation Institute’s (MTI) National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. But it also could have serious implications for other countries. Terrorists make note of methods, taking lessons from... Read more →

EnerFuel is developing a HT PEM cell/on-board reformer system that enables the use of conventional fuels in the fuel cell range extender. Source: EnerFuel. Click to enlarge. EnerFuel, a subsidiary of Li-ion manufacturer EnerDel’s parent Ener 1, is developing a range extender system for electric vehicles that consists of a... Read more →

The three major elements of the third-generation Zytek EV powertrain are the inverter and powertrain related electronics (top), the transmission (middle) and the air-cooled motor (right). This is the configuration that will power the T.27 electric city car concept. Click to enlarge. Gordon Murray Design has announced the specification and... Read more →

$3M Award Supports Production of New Multi-tasking “Fuzzy Fiber” Nanomaterial; Energy Applications

A $3 million Ohio Third Frontier award to the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) will fund the scale-up and production of a new nanomaterial that will allow composites to multitask—enabling a wind turbine tower that can store energy to release on a calm day or a military vehicle whose... Read more →

Harris AutoTECHCAST Study Finds US Vehicle Owners Currently Would Choose Lower-cost, Higher Fuel Economy Gasoline-Engined Vehicles Over Higher-Priced Alt Fuel Engines or Electric Vehicles

According to Harris Interactive’s 2010 AutoTECHCAST study, conducted between 6-26 April 2010, there is currently greater demand among US vehicle owners for technologies that deliver improved fuel economy of existing gasoline-driven engines at a lower initial cost, rather than for higher-priced alternative-fueled engines. One in five Americans indicate they would... Read more →

DOE Awards $122M to Oak Ridge-Led Team to Establish and Operate Nuclear Energy Modeling and Simulation Energy Innovation Hub

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected of a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for an award of up to $122 million over five years to establish and operate a new Nuclear Energy Modeling and Simulation Energy Innovation Hub. The Hub, which includes partners from universities,... Read more →

Schematic diagram of the trade-offs between the implications for regional air quality and global climate change of new policies for management of the atmosphere. The gray ellipse approximately represents the direction of current trends in the US. Source: NOAA. Click to enlarge. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the... Read more →

California Gasoline and Diesel Consumption Increased In February Despite Higher Prices

California gasoline consumption rose 0.8% in February, the first gain in four months, according to figures released by the Board of Equalization. Diesel consumption in California was up 7.6%, the largest increase since February 2008. Californians used 1.13 billion gallons of gasoline in February 2010 compared to 1.12 billion gallons... Read more →

BWI’s new roll control actuator (bottom) is substantially more compact than the current generation actuator (top) and contributes to a total system weight reduction of around 30%. Click to enlarge. Global braking and chassis systems specialist BWI Group has developed a new ultra-compact version of its Active Stabilizer Bar System... Read more →

Royal Dutch Shell plc Expands Tight Gas Position in US; $4.7B Cash Acquisition of East Resources

Royal Dutch Shell plc is expanding its portfolio in North America tight gas (natural gas produced from tight, low permeability formations) with new positions in high potential US shale gas acreage in the Marcellus shale and Eagle Ford plays. Shell has agreed to acquire subsidiaries which own substantially all of... Read more →

The recent oil spill has spurred a significant shift in Americans’ environmental attitudes, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll. For the last few years, Americans’ environmental concerns declined as the public placed a higher priority on concerns such as the economy and energy. However, in two months’ time, that... Read more →

DOE Seeking Applications for Processes to Upgrade Bio-oils to Hydrocarbon Transportation Fuel

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) (DE-FOA-0000342) for up to $11 million over three years, seeking applications to develop integrated upgrading processes of bio-oils (biomass fast pyrolysis oils) at the bench scale. The proposed upgrading process must demonstrate the ability to produce a... Read more →

Bills in Congress Propose Up to $11B to Accelerate Deployment of Electric Vehicles; 50% by 2030

US legislators have introduced similar bi-partisan bills in both House and Senate to support the rapid, near-term deployment of plug-in electric drive motor vehicles with up to some $11 billion in funding. Full text of the two bills as introduced is not yet published. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Lamar Alexander... Read more →

Mitsubishi Chemical Increasing Li-ion NMC Cathode Material Production 3.7x

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation is increasing its production capacity of lithium-ion battery cathode materials some 3.7 times, from 600 tons per year to 2,200 tons per year. Mitsubishi is manufacturing nickel-cobalt-manganese materials with a lower cobalt ratio (about 10%) than typical (usually about Ni:Mn:Co = 1:1:1, or about 33% cobalt content).... Read more →

The winner: the MSU biodiesel EREV. Click to enlarge. Students from Mississippi State University placed first in the 2010 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge finals in San Diego, Calif. after designing and building an biodiesel extended-range electric vehicle (EREV). Virginia Tech earned second place with an ethanol EREV design and Penn... Read more →

Bayer CropScience and Brazil’s CTC to Partner On Research to Increase Sugar Content of Sugarcane for Biofuels

Bayer CropScience and the CTC—Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, the Center for Sugarcane Technology, São Paulo, Brazil—intend to enter into a broad cooperation on the research and development of biotech sugarcane varieties. The main goal is to combine the expertise of both partners to develop varieties with higher sugar content, aiming... Read more →

Petrobras Signs MoU with Turkish National Oil Company On Black Sea Deepwater Drilling

Brazil’s Petrobras signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) with the aim to expand deep-water exploration research in the Black Sea region of Turkey. At the end of December 2009, Petrobras announced the arrival of the Leiv Eiriksson drilling rig to Turkey this Thursday. The rig... Read more →

Flow Rate Group Preliminary Best Estimate Puts Oil Flow from Deepwater BP Well Between 12,000 and 19,000 Barrels per Day; Obama Administration Extends Suspension of Offshore Drilling

Based on three separate methodologies (described below), the independent analysis of the Federal Flow Rate Technical Group analyzing the flow from BP’s gushing undersea well has determined that the overall best initial estimate for the lower and upper boundaries of flow rates of oil is in the range of 12,000... Read more →

EnerDel and Wanxiang, Largest Tier 1 Parts Supplier in China, Forming Joint Venture for Co-Production of Li-ion Cells and Packs

EnerDel has signed of a letter of intent (LOI) for a new joint venture with the electric vehicle division of Wanxiang, the largest Tier One auto parts producer in China. The joint venture will begin producing lithium-ion battery systems in 2010 for Wanxiang’s existing backlog of customers in China in... Read more →

Boeing and Chinese Academy of Science to Expand Collaboration on Algae-Based Aviation Biofuels

Boeing Research & Technology and the Chinese Academy of Science’s Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) have agreed to expand their collaboration to include other research institutions and aviation supply chain entities as part of their efforts on algae-based aviation biofuel development. Boeing and QIBEBT previously announced the... Read more →

Process flow diagram for the production of synthetic paraffinic kerosene (SPK) for Green Jet fuel. Source: UOP. Click to enlarge. UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, will collaborate with aviation and refining companies, including PetroChina, Air China and Boeing, to evaluate and demonstrate sustainable aviation biofuels in China. Honeywell’s UOP will... Read more →

NOAA Expects Active Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Basin this year will experience an “active to extremely active” hurricane season, according to the seasonal outlook issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70%... Read more →

Valence Technology to Provide Li-ion Packs for 16 Hybrid School Buses

Valence Technology will provide Li-ion battery packs for the new fleet of 16 hybrid-electric school buses built by Enova and Navistar intended for service in school districts across Wisconsin and Ohio.(Earlier post.) Enova has been a Valence customer since 2006. Navistar’s CE Series school bus utilizes an 80 kW Enova... Read more →

Linc Energy Reports Initial Success with Oxygen Enrichment in Underground Coal Gasification Process

Linc Energy Limited successfully begun an oxygen air enrichment process at Chinchilla Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project over the weekend. Linc reported a “step change” in the key quality gas measures within hours of commencing the oxygen enrichment process, including an increase in gas flow rates. Oxygen enrichment of the... Read more →

Progress on Oxford Catalysts, SGCE Demo BTL Plant with Microchannel FT Reactor Skid

A biomass-to-liquids (BTL) demonstration plant jointly operated by the Oxford Catalysts Group and the Portuguese incorporated holding company, SGC Energia (SGCE), for the small scale distributed production of biofuels has achieved some significant commissioning milestones, according to Oxford. The demonstration facility, which is mechanically complete and undergoing start up at... Read more →

COFCO, Sinopec and Novozymes to Build Cellulosic Biofuel Demonstration Facility in China by 2011

Enzyme company Novozymes, COFCO, a leading producer and supplier of processed agricultural products, and Sinopec, the world’s third-largest oil refiner, signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering the next steps towards commercialization of cellulosic biofuel in China. As part of the agreement, COFCO and Sinopec will build a cellulosic ethanol demonstration... Read more →

BYD and Daimler Sign Joint Venture Contract to Develop Electric Vehicles in China

BYD Company Limited and Daimler AG signed a contract creating a 50:50 research and technology joint venture called “Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd,” that will develop an electric vehicle for China. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 1 March.(Earlier post.) BYD and Daimler will... Read more →

Walmart has selected Inflation Solutions Group (ISG) to provide nitrogen tire inflation systems for its fleet. (Earlier post.) ISG nitrogen tire inflation system. Click to enlarge. As of April, ISG said in a press release, 28 of Walmart’s 54 fleet service centers are using the ISG nitrogen system, with installation... Read more →

Gevo Closes Funding Round With Global Specialty Chemical Company LANXESS

Gevo, a privately held biobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons company, has closed a round of funding led by German specialty chemicals company LANXESS. Existing investors also participated in the round. In connection with this financing, Gevo also announced that Dr. Ron Commander, head of the LANXESS Group’s Butyl Rubber Business Unit,... Read more →

Time series of SRES aviation CO2 emission scenarios (with outlook to 2100). Credit: ACS, Owen et al. Click to enlarge. A new study by a team at the Dalton Research Institute in the UK projects that carbon dioxide and other gases from air traffic will become a significant source of... Read more →

Study Finds That Major Hurricanes Produce Seabed Forces as Deep as 90m That Could Threaten Gulf Oil Pipelines

A study by a team at the US Naval Research Laboratory found that strong surface waves and currents generated by major hurricanes can produce extreme forces at the seabed that scour the seafloor and cause massive underwater mudslides. These forces could snap offshore oil pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico... Read more →

Researchers Develop Model for Locating and Forecasting Sunken Oil Following Spills

Researchers at the University of Miami (UM) have developed a computer model for finding and projecting in time sunken oil masses on the bottom of bays after a spill. The unique model can be used in oil spill planning, response, and recovery applications. Sunken oil is difficult to ‘see’ because... Read more →

Nissan Breaks Ground on Li-ion Manufacturing Facility for LEAF Packs in Tennessee; Capacity for 200,000 Packs per Year

Nissan broke ground on the manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., that will produce the lithium-ion batteries that power the Nissan LEAF zero-emission vehicle. The all-electric Nissan LEAF will be produced at Nissan’s vehicle assembly facility in Smyrna beginning in 2012. The battery plant, one of the largest vehicle battery manufacturing... Read more →

EU Industry Ministers Call for Harmonized EV Charging and Safety Standards by Mid-2011

European industry ministers in an EU Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels yesterday voiced their support for the European Commission’s strategy for clean and energy-efficient vehicles, which was published last month (earlier post). In addition, the ministers, in their communication, urged European standardization bodies to develop, as a matter of priority... Read more →

Rear Admiral Landry Green Lights Top Kill Procedure

Federal On-Scene Coordinator Rear Admiral Mary Landry, acting on the validation of government scientists and in consultation with the National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, has granted approval for BP to begin proceeding with the attempt to cap the Deepwater Horizon MC252 well using the top kill technique.This expedited step... Read more →

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and MOBI.E Tech (Portugal) to Promote Electric Mobility

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and the Portuguese consortium MOBI.E Tech have partnered for the promotion of electric mobility in Portugal. Under a Letter of Intent (LOI) signed today, the two parties will study how to promote electric mobility using MOBI.E model, the charging system being deployed by the consortium. MOBI.E will... Read more →

Issues with BOP on Transocean Drilling Rig Result in Suspension of Drilling of Deepwater Exploration Well off India

Hardy Oil and Gas plc, an oil and gas exploration and production company with assets predominantly in India, has temporarily suspended drilling on the KGV-D3-W1 exploration well due to unresolved mechanical issues associated with the blow out preventer (BOP) of the Transocean Deepwater Expedition drilling rig. “In the interest of... Read more →

Enova Announces 16 Unit Hybrid School Bus Order; Initial Deployment of Federal Stimulus Dollars for School Buses

Enova Systems confirmed today that they, along with Navistar International Corporation and its subsidiary IC Bus, will deploy 16 hybrid school buses (earlier post) used for a number of school districts. This deployment represents the initial large scale utilization of US Department of Energy grants for clean school buses. Both... Read more →