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Panasonic has developed novel thermoelectric tubes designed for fluid heat sources such as hot water and steam. The tubular shape enables direct and efficient heat transfer without additional heat exchangers, yielding high density of generated power. Panasonic says that its thermoelectric tube is suited for capturing unused or wasted heat... Read more →

Land Rover pricing the Range Rover Evoque starting at $43,995; most fuel efficient model to date

Land Rover is pricing the new 2012 Range Rover Evoque starting at $43,995 for the five-door, and $44,995 for the coupe. Both prices include Destination and Delivery. The Range Rover Evoque is the brand’s most fuel-efficient model to date, and achieves an estimated 28 mpg US EPA highway and 19... Read more →

Re-powered ultra-low emission locomotive features idling-stop function; reduction in NOx and PM of 80%

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled upstate New York’s first ultra-low emission locomotive at a railroad yard in Selkirk, NY. The cleaner energy locomotive was made possible by an EPA award of more than $1 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the New York State Department... Read more →

Johnson Controls endowing University of Wisconsin System for energy storage research

Johnson Controls, Inc. is endowing a professorship, research labs and graduate studies in energy storage at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Between our scientists and the talented UW students, we expect groundbreaking projects to develop. This is a historic, collaborative step that will unify the state’s... Read more →

A general diagram of Blue Marble’s manufacturing system. A photobioreactor and algae perform the “water recycling”; the pelletized solid waste material will be used in the gasifier. Source: Blue Marble. Click to enlarge. Blue Marble Biomaterials, a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Marble Energy Corp., has launched the first zero-waste... Read more →

New PLUS Performance Package for 2011 Prius

Toyota is offering a new accessory package for the 2011 Prius. First debuted at the 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, the Prius PLUS Performance Package features components of the new PLUS hybrid performance line from Toyota Racing Development (TRD). Developed to meet the evolving demands of the growing... Read more →

US DOE offers conditional loan guarantee commitments to support nearly $4.5B in Loans for 3 California Cd-Te photovoltaic solar power plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is offering conditional commitments for loan guarantees of approximately $4.5 billion to support three alternating current Cadmium Telluride (Cd-Te) thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar generation facilities: DOE is offering a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee to AV Solar Ranch 1, LLC to support... Read more →

Renault selects DHL for Li-ion battery pack replacement logistics services

Renault has selected DHL as its first logistics provider to manage and distribute replacement Li-ion batteries to the “Expert Z.E.” dealers network for its entire electric vehicle range. DHL has signed a three-year contract to implement a service to coincide with the launch of the first Renault electric vehicles, Fluence... Read more →

Study finds culture influences response to climate change; consumption and reproduction

How people choose to consume resources and use contraception influences their responses to climate change, according to a new study by a team of psychologists. Janet K. Swim, Penn State professor of psychology and her colleagues report that growing consumption and growing population are two significant contributors to human impact... Read more →

US EPA proposes to approve California’s PM2.5 air quality plans for South Coast, San Joaquin Valley; push toward zero emissions transportation systems

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve California’s air quality plans (the State Implementation Plans, SIP) for fine particles (PM2.5) in the South Coast (SC) and San Joaquin Valley (SJV). These plans will reduce pollution to the level required by the health-based 1997 PM2.5 standard (NAAQS) by... Read more →

Daimler expanding activity in China with €2B investment in JV with BAIC

Daimler AG and its Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) signed a strategic framework agreement to further expand their cooperation in China. With this agreement, Daimler is further expanding its activities in China and the successful cooperation with BAIC; the company will invest about €2 billion (US$2.9 billion) in... Read more →

Rasmussen poll finds 75% say US not doing enough to develop its gas and oil resources; 49% say increasing supply is better policy than reducing demand

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 75% do not think the country is doing enough to develop its own gas and oil resources. These findings are virtually unchanged from late February. 49% said, when given the choice, that increasing the supply of oil by... Read more →

Average CO2 emissions from new cars in the EU dropped by 3.7% last year

The European Environment Agency today published provisional data on average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars sold in the EU in 2010, showing a 3.7% drop compared to last year. This is the second largest annual decline since the monitoring scheme began in 2000. The data are now available to... Read more →

Fujitsu Semiconductor introduces new 32-bit microcontrollers for electric and hybrid vehicle motor control

Fujitsu Semiconductor America (FSA) introduced a series of new 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) that combine performance with a wide range of peripheral functions to enable optimal, high-speed and efficient 3-phase inverter motor control in electric (EV) and hybrid vehicles (HV). The new MB91580 series is part of the FR family of... Read more →

US DOT to award up to $101.4M to transit projects to reduce emissions and to promote clean-fuel technologies

The US Department of Transportation will award up to total of $101.4 million to transit projects that improve emissions while supporting emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies. The money is being provided competitively through the Federal Transit Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 Sustainability Initiative, which includes funding from two programs:... Read more →

Gevo to proceed to jet engine testing of its renewable jet fuel from isobutanol with approval of ASTM alcohol-to-jet task force

Gevo, a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, recently announced that it had presented positive test results from fit-for-purpose testing of its renewable kerosene produced from isobutanol to ASTM’s alcohol to jet (ATJ) task force (D02J006 Alcohol to Jet TF). The ATJ task force consists of technical experts from a... Read more →

Aluminum-Celmet (40x) Click to enlarge. Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., having newly developed its porous aluminum Aluminum-Celmet, has set up a small-scale production line at its Osaka Works to accelerate development efforts toward mass production of the new material. Aluminum-Celmet can be used to significantly improve the capacity of lithium-ion secondary... Read more →

Volkswagen study Golf Variant twïnDRIVE. Click to enlarge. Volkswagen, in cooperation with 6 project partners and the German Ministry of the Environment, presented in Berlin the current status of the “Fleet study in electric mobility” that was initiated in July 2008. The primary goal of the project, which runs until... Read more →

Maxwell Technologies to receive more than $500K in funding for collaborative energy storage programs

Maxwell Technologies, Inc., a leading producer of ultracapacitor-based energy storage products, will receive more than $500,000 in state and federal funding for collaborative energy storage research and development programs with three US-based companies. Maxwell will receive more than $300,000 for collaborative R&D programs with Connecticut-based battery manufacturer Yardney Technical Products,... Read more →

The T.27. Click to enlarge. At an event held at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London Gordon Murray Design unveiled its latest ultra-compact electric city vehicle, the T.27 (earlier post), along with the updated specification and performance targets for the car. In parallel with the announcement of the completion... Read more →

Toyota conducting voluntary safety recall of some 2006 and 2007MY Highlander Hybrid and RX 400h vehicles

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS) will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles sold in the US. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved. The Intelligent Power Module (IPM) located inside the Hybrid System Inverter contains a control board... Read more →

DOE awards nearly $7.5M to develop next-generation wind turbine drivetrains

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected six projects in four states—California, Colorado, Florida, and New York—to receive nearly $7.5 million over two years to advance next-generation designs for wind turbine drivetrains. Drivetrains, which include a turbine’s gearbox and generator, are at the heart of the turbine and are... Read more →

UK Automobile Association survey finds 1% plan to buy hybrid or EVs; RAC report finds price key barrier to green car take-up

LowCVP. The latest annual survey of the UK Automobile Association (AA) has found that of the respondents who may be replacing their car within 12 months only 1% will be looking to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle. Meanwhile, the Royal Automobile Club’s (RAC) latest Report on Motoring 2011 suggests... Read more →

Lowy Institute Poll finds 41% of Australians view global warming as a serious and pressing problem, down from 68% in 2006

The seventh annual Lowy Institute Poll, which surveys Australian public opinion on a wide range of foreign policy issues including climate change, has found that 41% of Australians view global warming as a serious and pressing problem requiring immediate action even at significant cost, down from 68% in 2006. This... Read more →

Global surface temperatures continue to rise, as 2010 was one of the two warmest years on record. Source: State of the Climate in 2010. Click to enlarge. Worldwide, 2010 was one of the two warmest years on record, according to NOAA’s just-released 2010 State of the Climate report. The peer-reviewed... Read more →

FedEx Express doubles and diversifies all-electric fleet with 24 new units; adding more than 4,000 new, fuel-efficient vehicles in total

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. is adding more than 4,000 new, fuel efficient vehicle. As part of that, within the next two months FedEx Express will place 24 new all-electric vehicles into service, expanding to three new cities and more than doubling its fleet to 43 all-electric vehicles... Read more →

U. of Minnesota researchers demonstrate new method for direct conversion of heat to electricity

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have demonstrated a new method for the direct conversion of heat to electricity using a multiferroic alloy, Ni45Co5Mn40Sn10, which they had discovered earlier (Srivastava 2010). An open access paper on the work appears in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. The researchers say the material... Read more →

GE providing produced water handling systems to Blackgold Oil Sands Project; new solidification process for disposal of SAGD waste

GS Engineering & Construction (GS E&C) has selected GE to supply the produced water evaporation and zero liquid discharge (ZLD) system for the Blackgold Oil Sands project, located near Conklin, Alberta. Blackgold is owned and operated by a subsidiary of the Korean National Oil Corp. (KNOC). The Blackgold Oil Sands... Read more →

Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium membership reaches all-time high

The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) announced the additions of several companies to its membership list, bringing its current membership to 66 companies—its highest tally ever. The consortium, which coordinates research programs for advanced lead-acid and lead carbon batteries, is also looking to build upon that number soon as... Read more →

Better Place unveils Europe’s first battery switch station in Denmark

In preparation for commercial launch later this year, Better Place unveiled the company’s first Battery Switch station in Europe at an event in Gladsaxe, just outside Copenhagen. The station, which showcased the company’s Battery Switch technology, switching a Renault Fluence Z.E., is the first of 20 Battery Switch Stations to... Read more →

EPA and partners launch SmartWay Drayage program for ports

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPA, joined by the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), launched the SmartWay Drayage Program at the Port of Charlston, South Carolina with the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The SmartWay Drayage Program... Read more →

Energy Technology Ventures—a joint venture among GE, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips—is making its first non-US and first water-related investment by providing capital to Emefcy Ltd, an Israeli company that uses naturally occurring bacteria in an electrogenic bioreactor (microbial fuel cell, MFC) to treat wastewater. Concept of a microbial fuel cell.... Read more →

DSM acquiring C5 Yeast Company to strengthen position in cellulosic ethanol

Royal DSM, a global life sciences and materials sciences company, is acquiring C5 Yeast Company B.V. (Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands) from Royal Cosun. The acquisition will allow DSM to combine C5 Yeast Company’s business with its own advanced yeast and enzyme technologies for second-generation biofuels (cellulosic ethanol derived from agricultural... Read more →

Westport to work with GM to develop advanced natural gas engine technology for light-duty vehicles

Westport Innovations Inc. has entered into an agreement with General Motors to help develop advanced natural gas engine technology for light-duty vehicles. Both General Motors and Westport will bring their expertise to developing natural gas engine controls, emissions and performance strategies. To support OEM programs, Westport plans to add research... Read more →

JCI is projecting between 70-–92% demand for start-stop systems in new vehicles by 2020 in the Europe, North America and China markets, squeezing out conventional ICE vehicles. Source: JCI. Click to enlarge. Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) plans to invest $138.5 million to convert its battery plant near Toledo, Ohio into... Read more →

NETL investigating researching chemistries for large-scale battery- and supercapacitor-based grid energy storage systems

The US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is conducting research on alternative options to reduce costs and make large-scale energy storage safer and more practical. This includes research on appropriate anodes, cathodes, and electrolytes for magnesium (Mg)-, sodium (Na)-, and lithium (Li)-based batteries and novel transition metal... Read more →

EPA, US Coast Guard to enforce air pollution requirements for vessels operating in US waters

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US. Coast Guard (USCG) will jointly enforce US and international air pollution requirements for vessels operating in US waters. The requirements establish limits on NOx emissions and require the use of fuel with lower sulfur content. The most stringent requirements apply to... Read more →

Qteros and UMass Amherst augment patent portfolio in US and Japan for ethanol-producing microbe

Qteros, Inc., the developer of a Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) platform for the low-cost production of cellulosic ethanol, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, announced two intellectual property (IP) advances that extend the patent estate for their novel ethanol-producing microorganism, Clostridium phytofermentans, also known as the Q Microbe. (Earlier post.) US... Read more →

Brushless motor design. Click to enlarge. Federal-Mogul Corporation has developed an electrical brushless diesel fuel pump for on- and off-highway engines with significantly improved durability. The technology suits 12V and 24V applications and is available for diesel engines typically used in the medium- and heavy-duty on-highway sector and in the... Read more →

Exposed chassis of the winner. The gold box with the AC Propulsion logo is the AC Propulsion Power Electronics Unit (PEU), which contains power electronics and integrated charger, which supports charging at up to 18 kW. Click to enlarge. The Yokohama Tire-sponsored electric race car using AC Propulsion’s proprietary electric... Read more →

Sturman Industries electro-hydraulic valvetrain enables peak efficiencies exceeding 40% in natural gas engine with fuel consumption reduction of up to 18%

The application of a fully flexible electro-hydraulic valvetrain (“camless” engine) designed and developed by Sturman Industries was the key enabler for achieving peak brake thermal efficiencies in a spark-ignited, stoichiometrically operated natural gas engine, along with an 18% reduction in fuel consumption at part load. (Earlier post.) The work—funded by... Read more →

Cyclone Power Technologies signs Letter of Intent with Combilift

Cyclone Power Technologies has signed a letter of intent with Ireland-based Combilift to develop and sell industrial material handling and lift equipment utilizing Cyclone engine technology. The Cyclone engine is a Rankine Cycle heat-regenerative external combustion engine. The letter of intent was signed on 24 June. Combilift has provided a... Read more →

Greenstar Recycling and Vadxx Energy partner to convert recycled plastics to synthetic crude oil

Greenstar Recycling has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a joint venture (JV) with Vadxx Energy, LLC to convert recovered plastic into synthetic crude oil using Vadxx’s thermal depolymerization process. Greenstar and Vadxx expect that the JV will begin producing crude oil in mid-2012 with the target location for... Read more →

Whitefox Technologies receives C$1M payment towards developing container-based membrane ethanol dehydration system

Whitefox Technologies Canada Ltd. has received a further C$1 million (US$1 million) payment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) towards the final milestone of its project to develop and demonstrate its container-based membrane ethanol dehydration system. In May 2004, SDTC, an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada, committed... Read more →

Report: Suzuki broadening ties with Fiat with 1.6L diesel engine deal

The Nikkei reports that Suzuki Motor Corp. is broadening its alliance with Fiat SpA, which will supply Suzuki with 1.6-liter diesel engines. The Italian automaker will supply an annual supply of 20,000 to 30,000 of the European-built engines. Suzuki plans to use the engines in the SX4, which the two... Read more →

DISCOVER-AQ instrumentation deployment strategy. Source: NASA. Click to enlarge. This summer two NASA research airplanes will fly over the Baltimore-Washington region and northeast Maryland as part of a mission to enhance the capability of satellites to measure ground-level air quality from space. The flights will be supported by the US... Read more →

U of T researchers report efficient tandem solar cell that captures visible and infrared spectra

In a paper published in Nature Photonics, University of Toronto Engineering researchers report the development of an efficient tandem solar cell based on colloidal quantum dots (CQD). The U of T device is a stack of two light-absorbing layers—one tuned to capture the sun’s visible rays, the other engineered to... Read more →

California ARB to hold community meetings on coming LEV III combined tailpipe and GHG regulations

The staff of California Air Resources Board (ARB) is in the process of developing a proposal for Board’s consideration later this year to amend California’s Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) regulations. The proposed amendments, known as LEV III, ask for more stringent tailpipe and greenhouse gas emission standards for new passenger vehicles... Read more →