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Soil quality, water quality, and possibly even farm profits will all benefit by using a perennial cover crop on corn fields that allows for similar yields to traditional farming methods, according to Iowa State University research. Corn remains vigorous with little competition from Kentucky bluegrass. Click to enlarge. Using standard... Read more →

Citroën DS5. Click to enlarge. PSA Peugeot-Citroën Group has adopted plastic glazing made from Teijin Chemicals Limited’s Panlite polycarbonate resin in the rear quarter windows (quarter lite) of the Citroën DS5 five-door hatchback unveiled at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show. In the drive to produce more environmentally friendly vehicles, the... Read more →

Amyris commissions 2nd industrial-scale facility for production of renewable farnesene

Amyris, Inc. has commissioned its second industrial-scale facility for the production of Biofene, Amyris’s renewable farnesene. Biofene may be sold directly into industrial applications or put through simple chemical finishing steps to form a broad range of renewable products including squalane, base oil and finished lubricants and diesel. The production... Read more →

Weizmann Institute team reports on new synthesis route for methanol from CO2

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel report in Nature Chemistry on a new synthesis route for the production of methanol from CO2 under mild conditions: the catalytic hydrogenation of organic carbonates, carbamates and formates. ...these compounds can be produced from CO2 and CO, and their mild hydrogenation... Read more →

Dow and Saudi Aramco form JV for $20B petrochemicals complex in Jubail; largest ever built in one phase

The Dow Chemical Company and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) will form a joint venture (JV) to build and operate a world-scale, fully integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The authorization for the new joint venture, named “Sadara Chemical Company”, comes after an... Read more →

Gravimetric Ragone plot comparing energy and power characteristics of CNF electrodes based on the pristine and discharged electrode weight with that of LiCoO2. Source: Mitchell et al. Click to enlarge. A team at MIT, led by Carl V. Thompson and Yang Shao-Horn, has synthesized carbon nanofiber (CNF), binder-free electrodes for... Read more →

Terrabon awarded $9.6M by Logos Technologies to produce 6,000 liters of renewable jet fuel for DARPA via MixAlco process

Houston-based Terrabon, Inc. has been awarded a $9.6-million, 18-month contract by Logos Technologies to design a more economical and renewable jet fuel (BioJet) production solution for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Started in April of 2011, a customized production process for DARPA will be engineered, constructed and operated... Read more →

BMW Manufacturing launches study to convert landfill gas to hydrogen to power material handling equipment fleet

BMW Manufacturing has launched the first phase of an integrated program of work with the intent to validate the economic and technical feasibility of converting landfill gas (LFG) into hydrogen. If successful, the follow-up phases of the project will provide infrastructure for using this hydrogen to fuel the company’s entire... Read more →

Fallbrook Technologies, TEAM Industries, and Tomberlin expanding and accelerating joint development activities on low-speed EVs

Fallbrook Technologies Inc., the developer and manufacturer of NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmissions (earlier post), low-speed EV manufacturer Tomberlin Group and TEAM Industries, a designer and manufacturer of drivelines, are expanding their joint development activities. In January, 2011, Fallbrook announced a partnership with TEAM Industries to develop electric vehicle... Read more →

USABC awards LG Chem Power a development contract to focus on reducing Li-ion PHEV 40 pack cost

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) has awarded LG Chem Power Inc. (LGCPI) a development contract valued at $9.62 million; the program aims to make significant strides toward achieving the USABC goals for PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) 40-mile battery pack system performance requirements while driving down the... Read more →

Russian entrepreneur Boris Zingarevich buys EV maker Think

Russian entrepreneur Boris G. Zingarevich, who has been the principal investor since 2002 in lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc., is the winning bidder for Think Global AS, following a bankruptcy proceeding initiated by the Norwegian carmaker last month. (Earlier post.) Zingarevich also signed a memorandum of understanding with Ener1, Inc.... Read more →

Energy Conversion Devices seeking to sell Ovonic Battery Company; focus on solar

Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD), a global manufacturer of thin-film flexible solar laminate products and systems for the building-integrated and commercial rooftop markets, has initiated a process to divest its Ovonic Battery Company (OBC) subsidiary. OBC invented NiMH rechargeable battery technology that is used globally in hybrid-electric vehicles, and in... Read more →

Researchers present decision framework for determining if and when to relocate species because of climate change

Relocating species threatened by climate change—managed relocation, also known as assisted colonization—is a controversial strategy for maintaining biodiversity. In a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from CSIRO, University of Queensland and United States Geological Survey present a pragmatic decision framework for determining when, if ever, to... Read more →

Vision Industries receives LOI from Total Transportation Services, Inc. to purchase 100 Class-8 hydrogen fuel cell trucks for about $27M

Vision Industries Corp. recently received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI) to purchase 100 Tyrano hydrogen fuel cell-electric class 8 heavy-duty trucks (earlier post) at a total purchase price of approximately $27,000,000 dollars. The purchase is subsequent to the successful trial of the initial vehicle... Read more →

Cathay’s current bio-refinery model using corn starch as feedstock. Click to enlarge. Shanghai-based Cathay Industrial Biotech, a producer of bio-derived n-butanol and of bioprocess-based long-chain dicarboxylic acids (LCDAs) used as chemical intermediates, has filed a form F-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for offering American depositary... Read more →

Study indicates warming Arctic is remobilizing persistent organic pollutants into the atmosphere

A new study by researchers from Canada, Norway and China indicates that warming in the Arctic is revolatilizing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that have accumulated in sinks such as water and ice. Their paper appears in the journal Nature Climate Change. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—organic compounds produced by human activities... Read more →

Smith School report recommends individual governments take more national and bi-lateral actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions

The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford recently published a report recommending that individual governments take more action to curb their own greenhouse gas emissions and put pressure on other governments to do the same. The “International Climate Change Negotiations: Key Lessons and Next... Read more →

US State Department to issue Final EIS on Keystone XL pipeline in August; additional meetings in affected states

The US Department of State plans to issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline (earlier post) in mid-August. Following the issuance of a Final EIS, the next step is a 90-day review period where interested federal agencies, such as the Department of Energy and... Read more →

Daihatsu develops e:S Technology for 30 km/l in JC08 Mode; equivalent to 71 mpg US or 3.3 L/100km

Daihatsu, the minivehicle specialist in the Toyota Group, has developed “e:S Technology (Energy Saving Technology) that it says will be at the heart of production of future motor vehicles with high fuel efficiency, low prices, and resource-saving features. In the process of this development, Daihatsu overhauled all aspects of the... Read more →

Cost-effectiveness of the fleet renewal schemes analysed from the perspective of CO2 and NOx reduction and increased safety. Click to enlarge. Car fleet renewal schemes introduced in the US, France and Germany to stimulate consumer spending on cars in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis fell short of their... Read more →

UW-Madison Hybrid Vehicle Team working with Engine Research Center to apply dual-fuel RCCI engines in series and parallel hybrids

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Hybrid Vehicle Team will work with the UW-Madison Engine Research Center to test implementations of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) engines being developed by UW mechanical engineering professor Rolf Reitz and his colleagues. RCCI is a dual-fuel compression-ignition engine low-temperature combustion (LTC) strategy that uses in-cylinder... Read more →

Brammo developing racing version of Empulse electric motorcycle for exclusive use in TTXGP World Championship 2013 program

Electric motorcycle maker Brammo, in partnership with TTXGP, will develop a racing version of its six-speed Empulse, called the Empulse TTX, for exclusive use of teams racing in the TTXGP World Championship 2013 worldwide program. This Empulse TTX race package includes: Full race kit: fairing / headlight removal / associated... Read more →

Zinc tungstate nanorods show promise as higher-capacity anode materials for Li-ion batteries

Researchers in S. Korea have synthesized a divalent wolframite-structure zinc tungstate (ZnWO4) in the form of one-dimensional nanorods; used as anode material in Li-ion batteries, the nanorods deliver reversibly sustained high capacities of more than 420 mAh g–1 after 150 cycles—much higher than the capacities of graphite-based anodes which are... Read more →

Hydrogen demand from LDVs, buses, forklifts, UPS, and scooters, worldwide 2010-2020. Source: Pike. Click to enlarge. According to a new report from Pike Research, more than 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations for cars, buses and forklifts will be operational worldwide by 2020, up from just 200 stations in 2010. The cleantech... Read more →

European study finds only 20% of climate data accessible in digital format

Two researchers, respectively from the Centre for Climate Change at the University Rovira i Virgili (URV) in Spain and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the United Kingdom, have found that 80% of global climate data cannot be used by scientists in digital format.... Read more →

Researchers link massive atmospheric carbon injection to end-Triassic mass extinction

Researchers in the Netherlands have linked massive carbon injections in the atmosphere to the end-Triassic mass extinction (ETME, ~201.4 million years ago), which was marked by terrestrial ecosystem turnover and up to a ~50% loss in marine biodiversity. In a paper published in the journal Science, they present compound-specific carbon-isotope... Read more →

Summary of the current oil sands developments (mining and in-situ) and associated land use changes in the Fort McMurray region, highlighting some of the challenges the integrated monitoring design addresses. Click to enlarge. Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent released an integrated monitoring plan for the oil sands region. The Government... Read more →

EPA releases draft air quality permits for Shell and ConocoPhillps Arctic oil exploration activities

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two additional draft air quality permits for Shell Oil Company and ConocoPhillips Company exploratory oil drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. This process will allow the public and other key stakeholders to provide important input and feedback on air permits... Read more →

Delphi introduces A/C recharging stations with a patented manifold for efficient refrigerant recovery

As the price of R134a refrigerant continues to rise, Delphi has introduced four air conditioning (A/C) recharging stations to its service portfolio that utilize an efficient method of recovering as much refrigerant from the car as possible to help garages lessen their refrigerant costs, while helping to protect the environment.... Read more →

GM tops Patent Result ranking survey of fuel cell technology patents in the US

A recent survey of fuel cell patents in the US from 1980 through the end of May 2011 by Patent Result in Japan put General Motors at the top with a score of 2,522.2 points, followed by Honda with 2,474.0 points. The survey factored in both quantity and quality; although... Read more →

GM and OnStar launching real-world smart grid pilot with ATOMS-based services

General Motors and OnStar are launching a real-world pilot of smart grid applications for electric vehicles. Starting this quarter, hundreds of employees of regional utilities will drive leased Chevrolet Volts as their everyday vehicles and participate in the pilot. Through the OnStar Advanced Telematics Operations Management System (ATOMS), a utility... Read more →

BMW to partner with Coulomb Technologies in Boston; Coulomb offering new cloud-based service plans, new dual-port charging stations

BMW of North America and Coulomb Technologies announced that drivers of the BMW ActiveE all-electric vehicle (earlier post) will be able to take advantage of the expansion of the ChargePoint Network into the Boston Metro area. More than 150 charging stations for EVs are now being installed in the State... Read more →

Chevrolet confirms diesel variant for Cruze in North America in 2013

Chevrolet confirmed it will add a diesel variant to the Cruze lineup in North America in calendar year 2013. Diesel versions of the Cruze are currently being sold in Europe. Additional details on the Cruze diesel for North American markets will be released at a later date. Cruze recorded a... Read more →

Univ. of Illinois study argues regulatory hurdles hindering commercialization of new biofuels; biobutanol case study

Regulatory hurdles are hindering the successful commercialization of emerging liquid biofuels, according to a new study by University of Illinois law professor Jay P. Kesan and Timothy A. Slating, a regulatory associate with the University of Illinois Energy Biosciences Institute. Kesan and Slating provide a normative analysis of regulatory schemes... Read more →

Less than two years after spinning out of Oxford University, Oxford YASA Motors (earlier post) is expanding, moving from Abingdon in Oxfordshire to a new facility at Milton Park. The phased relocation will be completed in the first quarter of 2012. YASA motor. Click to enlarge. Oxford YASA Motors produces... Read more →

Corning investing $170M to expand clean air products plant in Shanghai; increased substrate capacity for automotive emissions control

Corning Incorporated will invest approximately $170 million to further increase the capacity of its clean air products plant in Shanghai, China. The investment will be used to expand the Corning Shanghai Company Limited (CSCL) facility and to increase its capacity to manufacture emissions control substrates for light-duty (automotive) passenger vehicles.... Read more →

The TCEP would integrate coal gasification, combined-cycle power generation, CO2 capture, and urea production. CO2 capture and shipment via pipeline shown at top. Click to enlarge. Summit Power Group, LLC and Blue Strategies, LLC have signed a 15-year CO2 offtake agreement with Whiting Petroleum Corporation for some of the CO2... Read more →

Neste Oil Rally to use 100% renewable diesel at this year’s event

Vehicles operated by the competition organization at this year’s Neste Oil Rally Finland, held between 28 and 30 July, will run on 100% NExBTL renewable diesel produced by Neste Oil. The organizers will run a total of 29 vehicles solely on Neste Green 100 diesel, which is expected to half... Read more →

Lawrence Livermore signs agreement with China to develop clean energy technology; CCS, EOR, shale gas and power engineering

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Clean Energy Research Institute in China to conduct joint research and development of clean energy technologies, with a focus on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), enhanced oil recovery (EOR), shale gas and power engineering. The Clean Energy... Read more →

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (JAPEX) plans to invest ¥65-70 billion (US$830–893 million) in its Canadian oil sands projects, Chief Executive Osamu Watanabe told Dow Jones Newswires. Watanabe said that JAPEX has no immediate plans to sell the output beyond Canada and the US in the near term. Earlier Wednesday, CNOOC... Read more →

A recent increase in the abundance of particles high in the atmosphere has offset about a third of the current climate warming influence of CO2 change during the past decade, according to a new study led by NOAA and published in the online edition of Science. Sources of aerosols reach... Read more →

Mexican Interjet Flight 2605 making first commercial round-trip flight with Honeywell Green Jet Fuel

Following a series of successful demonstration flights and approval of the fuel for commercial transportation through ASTM International, Mexican airline Interjet today is operating the first round trip commercial passenger flight using Honeywell Green Jet Fuel derived from locally sourced jatropha. Interjet flight 2605 MEX-TUX on an Airbus A320-214 departed... Read more →

California ARB approves $40M in additional funding for clean vehicles

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved up to $40 million for the third year of funding to promote the purchase of next-generation clean cars, trucks and off-road equipment. Californians will be able to use vouchers or rebates on a first-come, first-served basis toward the purchase of zero-emission or plug-in... Read more →

Distributed Energy Storage (DES) demonstration with GM Volt battery pack and ABB PQF inverter. Source: GM. Click to enlarge. In conjunction with the Plug-in 2011 event in Raleigh, NC, GM and ABB demonstrated a lab prototype of a distributed energy storage (DES) system that combines Volt battery technology and a... Read more →

Induced voltage as a function of fluid flow velocity for the graphene film (exposed to ~0.6 and ~0.3 M HCl solutions) and for a multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) film exposed to a ~0.6 M HCl solution. Credit: ACS, Dhiman et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)... Read more →

New 5.5-liter AMG V8 engine with AMG Cylinder Management and ECO stop/start. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-AMG has developed a new high-revving, naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 engine (M152) featuring the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder shut-off system. Although peak output in the new engine increased by 60 hp to 415 hp (309... Read more →

HIVOCOMP project advancing two CFRP systems for high-volume automotive applications

A new European collaborative research project is focusing on advancing carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) materials technology to bring it closer to mass-production for automotive applications. HIVOCOMP (Advanced materials enabling High-Volume road transport applications of lightweight structural COMPosite parts) runs until September 2014 and intends to significantly speed up the... Read more →

Report: Honeywell UOP looking to launch renewable diesel production in India

The Financial Express reports that Honeywell’s UOP plans to launch its renewable diesel technology in India soon, according to Anjan Ray, regional commercial director, renewable energy and chemicals, UOP. The [India] government targets to achieve blending 20% bio-diesel with petroleum diesel for use as automotive fuel by 2017. However, there... Read more →