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Uhde Gasification Selected for Commercial Biomass-to-Methanol Plant in Sweden

VärmlandsMetanol AB has selected Uhde, a ThyssenKrupp company, as technology supplier and engineering partner for a biomass-to-methanol plant in Hagfors, Sweden, with an annual production of 100,000 tonnes of fuel-grade methanol from forest-residue biomass. Investment for the plant will be about SEK 3 billion (US$416 million). The VärmlandsMetanol plant will... Read more →

Quallion LLC, a developer of customized lithium-ion batteries, modules and packs for medical, military, aerospace, and vehicle applications (earlier post), supplied the Li-ion battery pack for the first flight of the hypersonic X-51A WaveRider ScramJet Demonstrator Program. Quallion X-51A Lithium-Ion Battery. Click to enlarge. Quallion developed a high discharge rate... Read more →

Sanyo Completes New Factory for Automotive Li-ion Batteries; Initial Capacity of 1M Cells Per Month

Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. has completed its new factory for automotive lithium-ion batteries in its Kasai Plant (Kasai city, Hyogo prefecture, Japan.) The factory will start with a production capacity of 1 million cells per month, with the aim to expand the production scale depending on demand. Sanyo has already... Read more →

CSIRO Develops New Technique for Quick Detection of Petroleum Hydrocarbons; More Rapid Response in Cases of Contamination

CSIRO scientists in Australia have developed a new technique for the rapid on-site detection and quantification of petroleum hydrocarbons (commonly derived from crude oil) in soil, silt, sediment, or rock. Developed in collaboration with waste technology specialist, Ziltek Pty Ltd, the technique enables the quantification of the presence of petroleum... Read more →

1-for-20 Reverse Stock Split for Advanced Engine Technologies, Developer of OX2 Engine

The common stock shares of Advanced Engine Technologies, Inc., the developer of the OX2 rotary engine (earlier post), have been reverse split 1-for-20. The announcement was made following the recent approval of the proposed reverse stock split by current shareholders. We believe the reverse stock split will facilitate long term... Read more →

GM to Boost Volt US Production Capacity by 50% to 45,000 Units in 2012

Due to what it termed “strong public interest” in the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors will increase US production capacity of the Volt by 50%, from 30,000 units to 45,000 units, in 2012. The announcement came as US President Barack Obama toured the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, where the Volt is being produced... Read more →

Coulomb Technologies Unveils First ChargePoint America EV Charging Stations in San Jose

Coulomb Technologies has installed its first Networked Charging Station for electric vehicles in San Jose, California from its $37 million ChargePoint America program (earlier post). ChargePoint America will offer hundreds of free stations for public and home charging to individuals and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including San... Read more →

The 2009 State of the Climate report released earlier this week draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that the world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the... Read more →

The Vito E-CELL van. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz is introducing the Vito E-CELL electric van. Production of a small series of 100 Vito E-CELL vans has already begun, and a further 2,000 units are planned from 2011. The van, targeted for inner-city operations and for particularly environmentally sensitive areas, is... Read more →

JGC, INPEX and BASF to Perform Demonstration Tests of New Technology to Capture CO2 from Natural Gas

JGC, INPEX and BASF have entered into an agreement to carry out joint demonstration tests on a new technology for effectively capturing and recovering CO2 contained in natural gas. The tests will be carried out at INPEX’s Koshijihara natural gas plant (Nagaoka city, Niigata prefecture) starting August 2010. A Natural... Read more →

Nissan Begins Taking LEAF Orders Now in Portugal and Ireland, UK on 1 Sep

Nissan International SA will begin taking orders today for the Nissan LEAF EV in Portugal and the Republic of Ireland. Pre-orders in the UK, Nissan’s additional lead market in Europe, will begin 1 September. Nissan LEAF deliveries begin in Portugal in January, Ireland in February and the UK in March.... Read more →

QinetiQ Zephyr Used Sion Li-S Batteries in Record Unmanned Flight

Sion Power’s proprietary lithium sulfur (Li-S) batteries (earlier post) played a critical role in the QinetiQ Zephyr smashing the world record for the longest duration unmanned flight. A result of an intensive joint development effort between Sion Power and QinetiQ, the Zephyr flight exceeded 336 hours (14 days) of continuous... Read more →

GE to Demonstrate First Silicon-Carbide Solid-State Primary Power Distribution Technology Use under USAF Contract

GE Aviation announced an R&D contract worth more than $7 million for the first solid-state primary power distribution technology using Silicon Carbide (SiC) power switches applicable to the latest and future United States Air Force platforms. The contracting office is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Air Force Research Laboratories in Ohio.... Read more →

LS9 Researchers Discover Microbial Biosynthesis Pathway for Hydrocarbon Fuel Components; Direct Sugar-to-Renewable Hydrocarbon Fuels

Researchers at LS9 have discovered an alkane biosynthesis pathway in cyanobacteria; i.e., a metabolic pathway that produces alkanes—the major hydrocarbon constituents of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel—in a direct, simple conversion from sugar. When the newly identified alkane operon is expressed in E.coli, the bacteria produce and secrete C13 to... Read more →

EPA Denies 10 Petitions Challenging Its GHG Endangerment Finding

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied 10 petitions challenging its 2009 determination that climate change is real, is occurring due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, and threatens human health and the environment. The petitions to reconsider EPA’s Endangerment Finding claim that climate science cannot be trusted,... Read more →

X PRIZE Foundation Announces Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE

The X PRIZE Foundation launched its sixth major incentive competition, the $1.4 Million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. The new prize was announced in Washington, DC by X PRIZE Chairman Peter H. Diamandis together with Wendy Schmidt, who personally funded the $1.4 million prize purse. Wendy Schmidt is president... Read more →

California PUC Will Not Regulate EV Charging Services Providers As Public Utilities

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today concluded that companies that sell electric vehicle charging services to the public will not be regulated as public utilities pursuant to the Public Utilities Code. The CPUC is evaluating alternative-fueled vehicle policies to ensure California’s investor-owned electric utilities are prepared for the projected... Read more →

Gevo’s production process. Click to enlarge. Gevo, a privately held renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company (earlier post), has successfully produced isobutanol from fermentable sugars derived from cellulosic biomass. The company also successfully converted the cellulosic isobutanol into isobutylene and paraffinic kerosene (jet fuel). The production of isobutanol from cellulosic... Read more →

Clean Cities Autogas Vehicle Conversion Program Rolls Out First of 1,189 LPG Cars in Virginia

The first vehicle converted to propane Autogas under the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program is on the road, with thirty more program vehicles slated to be running on Autogas by the end of August. Administered by Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University, the program will deploy nearly 1,200 propane... Read more →

Ford Anticipates 10-25% Of Its Global Fleet to Be Electrified by 2020

Ford anticipates that electrified vehicles—hybrids (HEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV), and battery-electric vehicles (BEV)—will represent 2-5% of its global fleet by 2015, and then increase rapidly to 10-25% of its global fleet by 2020, said Nancy Gioia, Ford’s Director of Global Electrification, in several talks at Plug-in 2010 in San Jose,... Read more →

FRA to Award Up To $25M to R&D Projects Supporting the Development of High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Service

The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA-2010-1) soliciting a variety of basic and applied technology research proposals to advance the state of the art in the high-speed rail and intercity passenger service area. Estimated total program funding is $25 million; the award ceiling per... Read more →

Ocean Power Technologies Wins £1.5 Million Award in UK To Spur Development of Higher Output PowerBuoy

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. UK-based subsidiary, Ocean Power Technologies, Ltd, has been awarded a £1.5 million (approximately $2.3 million) grant from the South West of England Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) for the development of its next-generation 500kW PowerBuoy wave power system. In April 2010, the US Department of Energy also... Read more →

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. is forecasting—based on vehicle manufacturer data—that Electric Park Brake (EPB) technology will be standard on one in five of all European-built vehicles by 2015. Its projections also show that approximately half of the mid- to larger-sized European passenger cars will have EPB in this timeframe, while... Read more →

Capstone HEV truck solution. Source: Capstone. Click to enlarge. Capstone Turbine Corporation has initiated a demonstration project with a major US manufacturer of Class 5 through Class 8 heavy duty trucks that will utilize a Capstone 65 kW microturbine as a range extender in a hybrid electric drive system. In... Read more →

Nexteer’s eccentric rack bearing reduces EPS systems’ noise and friction, important factors in a vehicle’s perceived quality. Click to enlarge. Electric power steering specialist Nexteer Automotive has developed a polyamide eccentric rack bearing that has superior NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) performance compared to conventional yoke-style bearings. It will help... Read more →

CORE BioFuel Engages RECAT Technologies to Pilot Biomass-to-Gasoline Production Reactors

CORE BioFuel Inc., a Canadian biofuel company that is commercializing an advanced biomass-to-gasoline production process (earlier post), has engaged RECAT Technologies to complete a pilot of gasoline production reactors. The MKS process is a thermochemical process combining gasification and catalysts to produce an essentially carbon-neutral 92 octane gasoline (Zero Fossil... Read more →

Study Finds Controlling Soot May Be Fastest Method to Reduce Arctic Ice Loss and Global Warming; Second-Leading Cause of Global Warming After CO2

Controlling soot from fossil fuels and solid biofuels may be a faster method of reducing Arctic ice loss and global warming than other options, including controlling CH4 or CO2, although all controls are needed, according to a new study by Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford University. Results of the... Read more →

Eaton Corporation and the City of Ann Arbor announced the first deployment in Michigan of recycling trucks that utilize Eaton’s Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) hybrid power system. (Earlier post.) The four trucks, based on the Peterbilt Model 320 Hybrid with Labrie body, will operate in daily curbside recycling duty and... Read more →

Senate Energy Bill Contains $3.8B for Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion and Purchasing, $400M for Plug-in Vehicle Deployment

On Tuesday, US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid released the “Clean Energy Jobs 5 and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010”—the latest version of the energy bill to emerge from the Senate. Division B of the bill outlines two major transportation-related initiatives to reduce oil consumption and enhance energy security,... Read more →

Blink residential unit. Source: Ecotality. Click to enlarge. With the market increasingly focusing on infrastructure to support the anticipated surge of plug-in vehicles produced and planned, electric vehicle supply equipment (charging stations)—including a new inductive charging system—appeared prominently on the exhibit floor at the Plug-in 2010 conference and exhibition this... Read more →

Nissan’s US Roll-Out Plan for the LEAF

Nissan’s LEAF EV first will be available to consumers in December, in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee. These areas are home to The EV Project—the largest electric vehicle and infrastructure deployment yet undertaken. The EV Project is a result of a partnership with charging infrastructure provider ECOtality and partially... Read more →

UK Consumers to Receive Up To £5,000 Towards Purchase of Ultra-Low Carbon Car

UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed today that motorists will receive up to £5,000 (US$7,800) towards purchase of an ultra-low carbon car from January 2011. The consumer grant will reduce the up-front cost of eligible vehicles by 25%, capped at £5,000. Available across the UK, it will be open to... Read more →

Mitsubishi Fuso has introduced a double-clutch transmission in commercial vehicles. Known as the "Duonic", this double-clutch transmission combines automated driving with the advantages of a manual transmission. The new double-clutch transmission for commercial vehicles drives like an automatic transmission, but unlike a fully automatic torque converter transmission, it makes for... Read more →

US Departments of Energy and Defense Partner to Accelerate Energy Innovation

The US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Defense (DOD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate clean energy innovation and enhance national energy security. The MOU covers efforts in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, fossil fuels, alternative fuels, efficient transportation technologies and fueling infrastructure,... Read more →

9 Teams Advancing to Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE Validation Stage

Nine Finalist teams in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE have made it through on-track testing at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) and now move into a Validation stage before prize money will be awarded this September. What began as a field of 136 vehicles from 111 teams has now been... Read more →

Algae Technology Company OriginOil Announces Revenue from First Customer

OriginOil, Inc. recently notified Australia-based MBD Energy Limited that it is ready to ship a Quantum Fracturing System for algae, the first unit in a multi-phase commercialization program. (Earlier post.) The notification triggers a payment under a purchase order from the Australia-based customer. The company’s Single-Step Extraction System, designed to... Read more →

RheTech Introduces Biocomposite for Automotive, Consumer and Construction Applications

RheTech, Inc., a thermoplastics compounder, has launched a new product line of biocomposite materials. Called RheVision, the proprietary product is a sustainable alternative to traditional mineral- or glass-reinforced polypropylene. RheVision uses bio-fibers from waste materials (initially wood fiber, rice hulls and flax fiber) to produce materials that have a wide... Read more →

ClipperCreek and Silver Spring Join PG&E and EPRI in EV Smart Charging Pilot

ClipperCreek, Inc., a producer of plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and partner Silver Spring Networks, a provider of smart grid solutions, are participating in a plug-in electric vehicle (EV) pilot program sponsored by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). In April, the... Read more →

Dresser Wayne Blender Pumps Receive Final UL Safety Certification

Growth Energy, the coalition of US ethanol supporters, along with Dresser Wayne announced that Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has issued certification to the dual hose ethanol blender available in Dresser Wayne Ovation eco fuel dispensers. This certification will help fuel retailers meet increasing demand for renewable fuel by dispensing mid- to... Read more →

DOE Selects Four Advanced Coal or Coal/Biomass Gasification Projects for Up To $5.9M in Funding to Test Membrane Separation Technology

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected four advanced coal gasification projects for funding of up to $5.9 million, with an addition $1.7 million of non-Federal cost sharing funds. The projects will test membrane technology to separate hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal or coal/biomass-derived synthesis gas (syngas),... Read more →

Enterprise Rent-A-Car to Begin Offering Electric Vehicles in US

Enterprise Rent-A-Car will begin a phased introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) at select offices throughout its neighborhood network of more than 5,000 US locations. Delivery of 500 Nissan LEAFs will begin in January 2011 and will continue throughout the year. In addition to the LEAFs, the company will offer customers... Read more →

Liquid Phase Methanol Process Licensed to Biofuel Producer

The Liquid Phase Methanol (LPMEOH) Process, funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and developed in collaboration with Air Products and Chemicals Inc., has been licensed to Woodland Biofuel Inc., which intends to use the technology to develop a wood-gasification process to produce methanol from wood-scrap. The first facility... Read more →

Chevrolet Volt MSRP Starts at $41,000, $33,500 Net of Full Federal Credit; 3-year Lease Program with Option to Buy

GM will introduce the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle with a starting MSRP of $41,000; after applying the Federal income tax credit of $7,500, the price drops to $33,500. Chevrolet will also offer a lease program on the Volt with a monthly payment as low as $350 for 36... Read more →

2011 Ecotec 1.4L I-4 VVT Turbo (LUJ) for Chevrolet Cruze. Click to enlarge. Internationally, customers have purchased 140,000 Chevrolet Cruze in the first six months of 2010 and a total of 270,000 since Cruze launched in the spring of 2009 in Europe, followed by other major markets, such as China... Read more →

PG&E First to Receive Two Raser EREV Fleet Trucks by End of 2010

PG&E will receive two EREV (extended range electric vehicle) fleet trucks modified with Raser’s E-REV powertrain for initial testing and demonstration before the end of 2010. (Earlier post.) The extended range electric pick-up truck features a 40-mile all-electric range, with an additional 300 miles of extended range delivered via its... Read more →

Rosetta Green and Seambiotic Will Collaborate in the Development and Large-Scale Growth of Improved Algal Strains for the Biofuel Industry

Rosetta Green, a company applying microRNA technology to plants and algae for the cleantech and plant biotech industries (earlier post), and Seambiotic, a company specializing in the growth of algae at industrial scale (earlier post), have signed a collaboration agreement to develop and test improved algal strains for the biofuel... Read more →

GM Establishing Global Battery Electric Vehicle Demo Fleets

Speaking at the “Electrification - Plugging into the Future Forum” today at the SAIC-GM Pavilion at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, GM Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering Karl Stracke announced that GM is establishing battery electric vehicle demo fleets in different regions around the world using different vehicles. These demo... Read more →