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Acetylene as dual fuel with diesel

Researchers from the College of Engineering at Anna University (India) are proposing the use of acetylene as a dual fuel with diesel in compression ignition engines. Dual-fuel operation with acetylene induction coupled with cooled EGR resulted in lowered NOx emissions and improved part load performance. Acetylene Hydrogen Diesel Formula C2H2... Read more →

Ballard to provide 1MW fuel cell system to Toyota for California campus

Ballard Power Systems will deploy a one-megawatt fuel cell generator that will provide peak electrical power and heat at the Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. (TMS) sales and marketing headquarters campus in Torrance, California. The CLEARgen fuel cell system will utilize hydrogen produced by steam-reformation of renewable bio-gas generated at... Read more →

Direct oxidation of methane to methanol derivative

Researchers at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology have demonstrated a system for the direct selective oxidation of methane to a methanol derivative, methyl trifluoroacetate. Methyl trifluoroacetate can be readily hydrolyzed to produce methanol and trifluoroacetic acid. Methanol is a versatile chemical that can produce a range of polymers and... Read more →

BAF bi-fuel CNG-gasoline system for F-250/350 pickups and 3-250/350 vans available next month

BAF’ proprietary bi-fuel CNG-gasoline system for the Ford F-250/350 pickup and the E-250/350 vans will be available on 1 May 1, 2011. This bi-fuel system will carry EPA OBD-II certification and will be fully compliant with FMVSS 303 (crash-tested). BAF is Ford’s only certified Quality Vehicle Modifier (QVM) for gaseous... Read more →

DOE says novel water cleaning technology could lessen environmental impacts from shale gas production

A novel water cleaning technology currently being tested in field demonstrations could help significantly reduce potential environmental impacts from producing natural gas from the Marcellus shale and other geologic formations, according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). ABSMaterial’s Osorb technology, which uses swelling glass to... Read more →

LaunchPoint’s Magnetic Valve Actuator. Click to enlarge. LaunchPoint Technologies Inc. has been awarded a $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant (No. IIP-1058556) to continue the development of a novel magnetic valve actuator. Once fully developed, the actuator will enable the implementation of electronically-controlled... Read more →

California gasoline consumption up 2.7%, diesel up 1.4% in January

California gasoline consumption was up 2.7% in January, and diesel consumption rose 1.4%, compared with last year, according to figures from the California State Board of Equalization (BOE). California’s gasoline consumption increased 2.7% in January when Californians used 1.20 billion gallons of gasoline, compared to 1.17 billion gallons the same... Read more →

CAMISMA project developing new composites for lighter cars

Evonik, three other industrial partners (Johnson Controls GmbH, Jacob plastics GmbH and Toho Tenax Europe GmbH) and the University of Aachen (Institute for textile technology [ITA] and Automotive Institute [IKA]) are developing a novel lightweight construction concept for auto bodies that partially replaces both steel and lightweight metals. The project... Read more →

Amyris’ first Biofene commercial production facility complete and operational

Amyris, Inc., a renewable chemicals and fuels company, today announced the completion of the first industrial-scale facility for the production of Biofene, Amyris’s renewable farnesene. Biofene may then be sold directly into industrial applications or put through simple chemical finishing steps to form a broad range of renewable products including... Read more →

Siemens building HVDC transmission system with record capacity of 2,000 MW

Siemens is building power converter stations for a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system with a record capacity of 2 x 1,000 megawatts. Beginning in 2013, the new HVDC PLUS technology will transmit 2,000 MW as direct current over a distance of 65 kilometers underground. This system, which is being... Read more →

CALSTART launching E-Truck Task Force

CALSTART, the California operating division of WestStart, a North American advanced transportation technologies consortium, is creating an E-Truck Task Force (E-TTF) to accelerate the development of electric and zero-emissions medium-and heavy-duty vehicles. CALSTART supports all clean fuels and technologies, and often creates targeted work in emerging sectors of our industry... Read more →

Opposed-piston engine maker Pinnacle initially targeting developing markets, with vehicles expected in 2013

Startup Pinnacle Engines, the developer of a four-stroke, spark-ignited (SI), opposed-piston, sleeve-valve architecture engine (earlier post), is initially targeting lower power applications (such as tuk tuks) in developing markets in its commercialization strategy. The company has signed a licensing and joint development agreement with a major, as yet unnamed, Asian... Read more →

BYD all-electric e6 Taxi in service in Shenzhen. Click to enlarge. In conjunction with the one-year anniversary of its all-electric vehicle Taxi fleet test, BYD announced high-level results of several pilots of its plug-in electric vehicles—the F3DM, e6 and eBUS-12—in fleet testing across the world. In total, BYD plug-ins have... Read more →

Annual American Lung Association report shows continued progress in air quality, but more to be done

The American Lung Association released its annual report on air quality, State of the Air 2011, which includes lists of the nation’s most polluted metropolitan areas. This year’s report finds that the majority of American cities most-polluted by ozone (smog) or year-round particle pollution (soot) have improved, showing continued progress... Read more →

Petrobras moves up 10 spots to 8th largest publicly trade company in world

Petrobras, the Brazilian oil, gas and energy company, has become the world’s eighth-largest publicly traded company, according to a ranking prepared by Forbes magazine. In this edition of the ranking, the Company moved up ten positions compared to 2010, when it held the 18th place. Petrobras ranked fifth in the... Read more →

Avjet Biotech negotiating strategic relationship with BioJet international for distributed refineries for drop-in renewable aviation fuel

Avjet Biotech, Inc. (ABI), a developer of small distributive refining systems in the 10 to 15 million gallon per year range and parent company of drop-in biofuel company Red Wolf Refining (RWR), is in negotiation for a strategic relationship with BioJet International Ltd, an international supply chain integrator, for renewable... Read more →

Water consumption intensity of ethanol from corn grain and crop residue and the avoided/displaced water use credits assigned to coproducts: DGS and electricity. Credit ACS, Mishra and Yeh. Click to enlarge. While a number of studies have tired to assess the water consumption required for ethanol production, the results differ... Read more →

Altech-Eco receives final EPA certification for dedicated CNG conversions systems for Ford E-Series

Altech-Eco Corporation has obtained a Certificate of Conformity (COC) from the EPA for their dedicated 2011 Ford E-Series 5.4L compressed natural gas (CNG) conversion system. The dedicated system runs entirely on natural gas. Altech-Eco’s CNG E-Series conversion system converts the E-150, E-250 & E-350 vans; the system is complete and... Read more →

Ceria is an important catalyst, primarily used in oxidation reactions because of its outstanding ability to store oxygen and release it. Now, Christopher B. Murray and a team at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a simple synthetic technique to produce ceria in the form of 2D nanoplates. As the... Read more →

Aeristech turbocharging technology to be showcased at Challenge Bibendum

Among the UK engineering innovations to be showcased by the LowCVP at the upcoming Challenge Bibendum in Berlin is the electromechanical turbocharging system being developed by Aeristech. (Earlier post.) Aeristech Technology separates conventional turbochargers into their two key elements: generator and compressor. This allows independent control of the input and... Read more →

Lignol begins sales of High Performance Lignin for industrial trials

Lignol Energy Corporation, an advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals company, has recently begun to sell tonnage quantities of its proprietary High Performance Lignin (HP-L) to its development partners for industrial production trials. Lignol’s modified solvent based pre-treatment technology facilitates the rapid, high-yield conversion of cellulose to ethanol and the production... Read more →

Positioning energy storage technologies. Source: EPRI. Click to enlarge. The total US energy storage market could be as large as 14 gigawatts of capacity if energy storage systems could be installed for about $700–$750/kWh and the energy storage owners and operators could monetize the estimated benefits, according to a new... Read more →

Denki Kagaku Kogyo develops new carbon composite LFP cathodes for extended life

Tech-On. Denki Kagaku Kogyo, in collaboration with SEI corporation, has developed a new lithium iron phosphate LiFePO4, or LFP) cathode material for Li-ion batteries that shows extended life. The new material incorporates acetylene black, which is made by pyrolytically decomposing acetylene, and carbon nanofibers as conductive additives. The carbon composite... Read more →

The Vito E-CELL van. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz Vans and Europcar, the leading car rental company in Europe, signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at further understanding customer profiles and behaviours involving the use of electric cars in cities, and how rental services can be adapted to cater to this... Read more →

Inorganic mercury converted to more toxic and bio-accumulative monomethylmercury in ocean waters, possibly by microbes

A team led by the University of Alberta has confirmed that inorganic mercury (Hg) found worldwide in ocean water is transformed into monomethylmercury (MMHg)—a potent and bio-accumulative neurotoxin—in the seawater. After two years of testing water samples across the Arctic Ocean, the researchers found that inorganic mercury, released by human... Read more →

Daimler’s car-sharing service car2go expands to Canada

Daimler’s car-sharing service car2go (earlier post) is expanding into Canada with the announcement that Vancouver, British Columbia, is the first Canadian city selected to launch its innovative mobility service. A newly created company, car2go Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, will also be located in Vancouver. First... Read more →

Bayer MaterialScience develops high-performance recyclate for auto bodywork parts; PC+PET

Bayer MaterialScience is offering a new high-tech material blend of polycarbonate and polyethylene terephthalate (PC+PET) for horizontal automobile bodywork parts. The premium material is manufactured from the highest quality post-consumer and post-industrial recyclates. The property profile of the blend is comparable to Makroblend UT 235M, which is an established material... Read more →

Enterprise Products and Energy Transfer to form JV for crude oil pipeline from Cushing to Houston

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. have agreed to form a 50/50 joint venture to design and construct a crude oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to Houston, Texas. The project would allow greater access to the US Gulf Coast-area refining complex and add approximately 500,000 barrels of... Read more →

Accelergy awarded $1.3M grant for pilot Coal-Biomass-to-Liquids plant in Pennsylvania; algae-based carbon capture

Accelergy Corporation has received a $1.3-million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to move forward on the construction of a facility to demonstrate its integrated coal-biomass-to-liquids (CBTL) technology platform (earlier post) at Intertek PARC, located at the U-PARC facility in Pittsburgh. Utilizing proprietary micro-catalytic liquefaction technologies and direct biomass conversion... Read more →

SwRI to launch automotive energy storage system evaluation and safety (EssEs) consortium

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will launch a new cooperative research project focusing on safe, reliable, cost-effective energy storage systems for electric and hybrid-electric vehicle applications. The Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety (EssEs) consortium is intended to help vehicle manufacturers and battery suppliers develop pre-competitive, detailed cell-level test data on... Read more →

Mitsubishi Heavy to develop and test all-electric transit bus with Manitoba Government, two local companies and college in Canada

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), the government of Canada’s Manitoba Province, two local companies and a Canadian college will jointly develop and test an all-electric transit bus to feature advanced battery and charging technologies. This project is the first development to come out of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed... Read more →

A GTL demonstration plant has successfully been commissioned at Petrobras’ Aracaju site in Brazil. The Brazil plant, contracted from CompactGTL in 2008, demonstrates a fully integrated small-scale GTL facility, at 200,000 scf/d capacity, incorporating: Gas pre-treatment Pre-reforming Reforming Waste heat recovery Process steam generation Syngas compression Fischer Tropsch synthesis FT... Read more →

Percentages for overall consideration of alternative powertrains (definitely would / probably would). Data: J.D. Power. Click to enlarge. Growth of alternative powertrain vehicles sales will be limited by consumer concerns about costs as well as functionality, according to the newly-released J.D. Power and Associates 2011 US Green Automotive Study. With... Read more →

500M people worldwide to use their mobiles as metro and bus tickets by 2015

Half a billion people worldwide will use their mobile devices as travel tickets on metros, subways and buses by 2015, according to new forecasts from Juniper Research. This is more than five times the number generated last year but Juniper expects usage to spread widely from the current concentration in... Read more →

Better Place, China Southern Grid sign strategic agreement on battery switching; Guangzhou accord to encourage production of EVs with switchable batteries

Better Place and China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG)signed a strategic agreement calling for the companies to open a battery switch station and joint education center in Guangzhou before the end of the year, while working to formalize a joint-venture partnership. CSG is the world’s eighth-largest utility, according to the... Read more →

Toyota and WiTricity form wireless charging alliance

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has entered into a technology collaboration agreement with WiTricity Corporation, an MIT spin-off commercializing an approach to “mid-range” wireless charging (distances from a centimeter to several meters), concerning the practical application of automotive wireless charging systems for automotive traction batteries and the promotion of their widespread... Read more →

Buick sales in China surpass 3 million since 1999

Shanghai GM announced that sales of Buick products have surpassed 3 million units since the joint venture began offering its original vehicle brand in 1999. Buick has become one of China’s fastest-growing passenger car brands. With Shanghai GM’s rollout of its new Buick brand strategy in 2008, sales have increased... Read more →

HEI study finds London Congestion Charging Scheme shows little evidence of improving air quality

The London Congestion Charging Scheme (CCS)—which charged for travel into central London and reduced traffic volume (earlier post)—has shown little evidence that it improved air quality as well, according to Part I of a new study published by the Health Effects Institute (HEI). The study, “The Impact of the Congestion... Read more →

As manufacturers and other businesses step up efforts to cut waste, reduce energy use and improve the overall sustainability of their products and processes, the number of standards and regulations also is increasing at a rapid clip, creating a sometimes-confusing array of options for “going green.” National Institute of Standards... Read more →

Saskatchewan approves $1.2B carbon capture project

The Government of Saskatchewan has approved construction of the Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project—among the first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage facilities in the world. The C$1.24-billion (US$1.3 billion) project will transform an aging generating unit at the SaskPower Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, reducing... Read more →

BioAmber to be exclusive supplier of bio-based succinic acid to Mitsubishi Chemical

Renewable chemistry company BioAmber (earlier post) has entered a strategic agreement with Mitsubishi Chemical through which BioAmber and its Asian distribution partner Mitsui & Co. will become the exclusive suppliers of bio-based succinic acid to Mitsubishi Chemical. The three companies are conducting a feasibility study to build a succinic acid... Read more →

High-level process schematic for hydrocarbons from isobutanol. Source: Gevo. Click to enlarge. Gevo, Inc., a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, signed an engineering and consulting agreement with Mustang Engineering, LP for the conversion of Gevo’s renewable isobutanol to biojet fuel. This effort will focus on the downstream processing of... Read more →

Epyon begins delivering fast-charging systems to Lyse Energi in Norway

Epyon BV, a leading European supplier of intelligent charging solutions for electric vehicles, has started delivering EV fast-charging systems to Lyse Energi in Norway. Epyon recently installed a Terra 51 Charge Station in the southern city of Sandnes, near the E39 highway to Stavanger, and plans installations at least at... Read more →

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), a business of Raytheon Company, has placed an initial purchase order for multiple engines from Cyclone, developer of the Cyclone external combustion engine. (Earlier post.) This contract is valued at approximately $400,000. The work will be performed at Cyclone’s facility in Florida. Mark V 100... Read more →

EPRI publishes basic consumer guide about EVs

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has published a basic consumer guide that addresses questions about electric vehicle technology and performance. With a variety of electric and hybrid technologies now available commercially, potential buyers are looking to understand which options might best match their needs. The eight-page guide, “Plugging In:... Read more →

IIHS awards Chevrolet Volt & Nissan Leaf top ratings in 1st US crash tests of mainstream electric cars

The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf earned the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the first US crash test evaluations of plug-in electric cars. IIHS says that the result demonstrates that automakers are using the same safety engineering in new electric cars as they do... Read more →

Estonian shale oil company acquires shale interests in Utah

With the recent approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Eesti Energia (internationally known as Enefit) of Estonia has purchased a 100% interest in Oil Shale Exploration Company (OSEC) of Alabama, which has significant oil shale interests in Utah. The next step is for Enefit... Read more →

The GEM e2 two-passenger vehicle features six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries and a range of up to 35 miles on a charge. Click to enlarge. Polaris Industries Inc. will acquire low-speed electric vehicle manufacturer Global Electric Motorcars LLC (GEM), a wholly-owned Fargo, N.D.-based subsidiary of Chrysler Group LLC. Chrysler Group... Read more →

Projected median temperature change in °F (of 112 climate projections) over the Western United States, 2070–2099 relative to 1950–1979. Source: DOI. Click to enlarge. The US Department of the Interior released a report that assesses climate change risks and how these risks could impact water operations, hydropower, flood control, and... Read more →