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AllCell consortium launches Jordan solar EV project with Nissan

A consortium of cleantech companies, led by AllCell Technologies, unveiled an off-grid solar charging station in Amman, Jordan. The station, which can simultaneously charge both a Nissan LEAF and multiple light electric vehicles, is completely off-grid and includes a lithium-ion energy storage system that is protected from the heat of... Read more →

A123 Systems, Hydro-Quebec, and the University of Texas settle lithium metal phosphate battery chemistry patent dispute

A123 Systems, Hydro Québec, and the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, on behalf of the University of Texas at Austin (UT) have settled their patent disputes regarding lithium metal phosphate technologies, entering into a Settlement Agreement and related Patent Sublicense Agreement that will resolve the existing... Read more →

New recycling solution introduced to treat Marcellus Shale flowback frac water

A new joint partnership between Casella Waste Systems, Inc. based in Rutland, VT, and Altela, Inc., a privately held water desalination company in Albuquerque, NM, is seeking to provide a solution to the environmental issues surrounding the treatment of mineral‐laden brackish water from Marcellus Shale drilling. Brackish, salty water produced... Read more →

ECOtality installs first DC fast charger in Tennessee

ECOtality and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store unveiled the first Blink Direct Current (DC) Fast Charger in Tennessee at the Lebanon Cracker Barrel location. This is the first of 12 Cracker Barrel locations statewide that will install DC Fast Chargers as a part of The EV Project. The stations are... Read more →

GM investing $385M in Romulus Engine plant to prepare for production of new fuel-efficient engine program

General Motors will invest approximately $385 million to prepare the Romulus Engine plant in Michigan for production of an all-new, fuel-efficient engine program. The plant, which currently has about 840 employees on two shifts, produces a variety of V6 and V8 engines that power GM full-size vans, SUVs and pickups,... Read more →

Honda adjusting production at North American plants due to flooding in Thailand; auto production at 50% through 10 November

American Honda Motor will temporally adjust automobile production at all six Honda auto plants in the US and Canada due to the disruption of the flow of parts from Honda suppliers in Asia because of the ongoing flooding in Thailand. (Earlier post.) Honda anticipates that this situation will require adjustments... Read more →

California gasoline consumption down 2.2% in July, diesel fuel consumption increased 1.9%

In California, gasoline consumption declined 2.2% in July 2011, while diesel fuel consumption increased 1.9%, according to figures from the State Board of Equalization. California’s gasoline consumption decreased 2.2% to 1.25 billion gallons in July 2011 compared to 1.27 billion gallons used in July 2010. In California, average gas prices... Read more →

The CO peak observed by gas chromatography as a function of the total potential applied to the cell. (OC = open cell). Gas phase CO production is observed at an applied potential of 1.5V—i.e., slightly above the 1.33V equilibrium potential for the reaction. Rosen et al. Click to enlarge. A... Read more →

USDA awarding $44.6M to 156 biofuel producers

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $44.6 million in payments for 156 advanced biofuel producers across the country to support the production and expansion of advanced biofuels. The funding is being provided through USDA’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels program. Under this program, payments are made to eligible... Read more →

Honda Automobile Thailand uncertain as to when production will resume; flood impact rippling out to other Honda plants

Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC), the Honda automobile production subsidiary in Thailand (headquarter in the Rojana Industrial Park, Ayutthaya), issued a statement saying that it does not have a clear outlook for when production will resume as flooding on its facilities has continued since 8 October 2011. HATC suspended... Read more →

ThyssenKrupp System Engineering building assembly line for Li-ion battery systems for Renault

ThyssenKrupp System Engineering has received the order to plan and build an automatic assembly line for the manufacturing of Li-ion battery systems for Renault electric drive vehicles in France. The work is already underway. Renault has so far announced four electric drive models. The entire cell production process at the... Read more →

Renault reveals new diesel compact Pulse for India market

Renault revealed Pulse, an upscale compact car developed for the Indian market by Renault’s Design Center in Mumbai. Equipped with the 1.5 dCi diesel engine, Pulse is scheduled for release in January 2012. Pulse is the third in line after Fluence and Koleos and it will constitute the core of... Read more →

US Department of Transportation award $34.7M to Los Angeles for improvements to transit; new natural gas buses

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is awarding $34.7 million to Los Angeles, California from the 2011 Bus Livability and State of Good Repair competitive discretionary programs. The transit grants will help Los Angeles Metro purchase new compressed natural gas buses and construct a new Patsaouras Plaza... Read more →

Wyoming legislators approve bill providing $10M for coal or natural gas to liquids FEED study

Billings Gazette. The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Interim Committee recently approved a bill providing up to $10 million in matching funds to fund one or more front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies to determine the feasibility of constructing and operating a commercial scale facility which converts... Read more →

RWTH Aachen and FEV engine study concludes 2-methylfuran is a promising novel biofuel candidate

Researchers from RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and FEV GmbH have performed what they believe is the first study on the use of the novel biofuel 2-methylfuran in a direct-injection spark-ignition engine. Their investigations, reported in a paper just accepted by the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, focus on the in-cylinder... Read more →

Cascade catalysis for the lower temperature conversion of CO2 to methanol. Credit: ACS, Huff and Sanford. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated the viability of cascade catalysis—i.e., the use of a series of different homogeneous catalysts operating in a single vessel—for the reduction of CO2... Read more →

Study examines effect of different ethanol blends on criteria, GHG and unregulated pollutants

A team from UC Riverside and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory report in the journal Fuel on their study of the impact of different ethanol blends on criteria emissions (THC, NMHC, CO, NOx); greenhouse gas (CO2); and a suite of unregulated pollutants in a fleet of gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles. The... Read more →

Voith Turbo recently reported the test results from a SteamTrac (Steam Traction) waste heat recovery system installed in a rail vehicle of SWEG Verkehrsbetriebe Breisgau Kaiserstuhl, Germany showed a decrease in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 4 to 12%, depending upon the driving profile. Voith developed SteamTrac to target... Read more →

US DOE launches cost calculator to compare emissions and operating costs for alternative fuel and conventional vehicles

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) recently launched a new Vehicle Cost Calculator and accompanying widget. The Vehicle Cost Calculator, an easy-to-use tool that allows users to compare emissions and lifetime operating costs of specific vehicle models, including conventional cars and trucks, as... Read more →

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. exhibited five models from its Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) lineup, including three trucks all based on the Atlas 24 model equipped with Nissan LEAF components and other EV-related technologies at the 2011 Tokyo Truck Show: the e-NT400 Atlas Concept; the Atlas F24 Refrigerator Van by Li-ion... Read more →

Shanghai OnStar and Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell team up for 4G vehicle demonstration in China

Shanghai OnStar is joining forces with Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, a leader in communications technology, to develop telematics services based on the fourth-generation (4G) digital communication network in China. Their demonstration program is aimed at helping accelerate the development of next-generation wireless communications. The R&D process has entered the application testing... Read more →

SEAT, Ficosa and Sanyo join forces to develop batteries for electric vehicles in Spain and Portugal

Volkswagen Group member SEAT, Ficosa and Sanyo have signed an agreement to promote the development of batteries for electric vehicles in Spain and Portugal. The strategic agreement includes that the three companies will study and prove the technical feasibility and technology of manufacture of batteries for SEAT and Volkswagen plants... Read more →

Japan research team reports on new organic electrodes for high-capacity batteries

A research team in Japan reports on the demonstration of high capacity, organic tailored batteries using organic molecules with degenerate molecular orbitals (MOs) as electrode active materials in a paper in the journal Nature Materials. Research on organic electrodes has been underway for more than 25 years, as the technology... Read more →

GE unit invests with KGAL in 50-MW Spanish concentrated solar power plant featuring molten salt energy storage

GE Energy Financial Services and German fund KGAL are jointly investing €111.1 million in a 50-megawatt parabolic trough concentrated solar power plant using molten salt energy storage in Torre de Miguel Sesmero, Badajoz, Spain. The GE unit and KGAL agreed to invest structured equity in Extresol II, developed by Spain-based... Read more →

AM General the exclusive North American assembler for Bright Idea plug-in hybrid electric work-truck platform

Bright Automotive, Inc. has entered into an agreement for AM General LLC to be Bright’s exclusive North American assembler for the Bright IDEA vehicle platform. AM General will build the Bright IDEA in its Commercial Assembly Plant in Mishawaka, Ind., under a contract assembly agreement. The Bright IDEA is an... Read more →

MIT research team finds most efficient oxygen evolution reaction catalyst yet; potential for hydrogen production and rechargeable metal-air batteries

A team of MIT researchers lead by Prof. Yang Shao-Horn, in collaboration with Prof. John Goodenough from the University of Texas as Austin, has found one of the most effective catalysts yet discovered for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) for use in water-splitting to produce hydrogen or in rechargeable metal-air... Read more →

Testing shows isobutanol fuel blends show promise for use in small engines, off-road vehicles

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) reported that a side-by-side evaluation of the performance, durability and emissions of ethanol and isobutanol fuel blends run by Briggs & Stratton (B&S) on its small engines found that isobutanol fuel blends (provided by Gevo) did not cause any irregular or unstable engine or... Read more →

Renault wins first lot of UGAP tender for electric vehicles; companies ordering more than 15,600 Renault Kangoo electric vans over 4-year period

Renault has won the first lot of a call for bids for electric vehicles in France initiated by French public authorities and organized by the public procurement organization UGAP (l’Union des groupements d’achats publics). A total of 15,637 Kangoo Z.E. (earlier post) electric light commercial vans will be ordered over... Read more →

Pilot project kicks off with 20 Audi A1 e-tron extended range electric vehicles in Munich

Twenty units of the Audi A1 e-tron extended range electric vehicle (earlier post) are on the roads of the Munich pilot region in a fleet trial by partners Audi, E.ON, the public utility Stadtwerke München (SwM), and Technische Universität München (TUM). E.ON and SWM are in charge of expanding and... Read more →

Amyris and Method partner to develop renewable ingredients for household & personal care products

Amyris, Inc., a renewable chemicals and fuels company, and Method Products, Inc., a provider of household and personal care products, have signed a Joint Development Agreement to generate a portfolio of novel molecules from Biofene, Amyris’ renewable farnesene made from plant sugars, for use in Method’s products. Amyris technology produces... Read more →

Air China, Boeing and industry partners conduct first China sustainable biofuel flight

Air China, Boeing, and China and US aviation energy partners conducted China’s first sustainable biofuel flight. The two-hour mainland flight from Beijing Capital International Airport was witnessed by officials from both countries and highlights the viability of using sustainable aviation biofuel sourced in China. PetroChina, working with Honeywell’s UOP, sourced... Read more →

The open architecture common core system (CCS) that houses third-party modules. Source: GE Aviation. On Wednesday, ANA made the first commercial flight with one of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliners (earlier post)—a 4-hour hop from Tokyo to Hong Kong. The Dreamliner marks a number of visible—and many more not so visible—innovations... Read more →

Linc Energy submits permit for Wyoming underground coal gasification demo facility

Australia-based Linc Energy Ltd. has submitted a permit application and commenced the approval process with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) to build and operate a Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) demonstration plant in its coal tenement lease areas in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin (PRB). (Earlier post.) Linc recently announced... Read more →

SORL introduces China’s first electronic foot brake valve for hybrid and electric commercial vehicles

SORL Auto Parts, Inc., a leading supplier of brake and control systems to the global commercial vehicle industry, has developed a new electronic foot brake valve for electric and hybrid electric commercial vehicles. Compared with conventional foot brake valves, the new electronic foot brake valve uses both traditional air pressure... Read more →

SAIC-GM-Wuling completes expansion of Qingdao mini-commercial vehicle facility; 70% increase in capacity

SAIC-GM-Wuling (SGMW) completed the expansion of the second phase capacity expansion of its manufacturing facility in Qingdao, Shandong. The project, which represented investment of RMB 1.1 billion (US$173 million), has increased the production capacity of SGMW’s Qingdao plant by 70% to 510,000 vehicles annually. It will help SGMW keep up... Read more →

Alpheon eAssist Click to enlarge. GM Korea introduced the Alpheon eAssist, the first hybrid vehicle from the company and the first hybrid vehicle in its segment in Korea. The new Alpheon eAssist, which will go on sale in November, offers improved fuel economy of 25% and reduced CO2 emissions of... Read more →

Cenovus Energy Inc., a Canadian integrated oil company, reported an increase in third quarter crude oil production year-on-year of about 4% due to oil sands production that was 14% higher compared with the same period a year earlier. Conventional oil production slightly declined due to a combination of factors. A... Read more →

EcoMotors, the developer of a new opoc (opposed-piston, opposed-cylinder) engine family (earlier post) has published an animation of a dual-module opoc on its website. The opoc engine operates on the 2-cycle principle, generating one power stroke per crank revolution per cylinder. Each module consists of two opposing cylinders per module,... Read more →

TMC signs on to Saitama City next-generation electric vehicle promotion project

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) signed an agreement with Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan concerning joint implementation of a project the city runs to promote the use of next-generation electric vehicles, including fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs). The project, called the E-Kizuna Project, is run in partnership with private enterprise with the aim... Read more →

Eni increases the giant Mamba South gas discovery in Mozambique by 50%

Eni announced that the discovery of gas made in the exploratory prospectus of Mamba South 1, Area 4 offshore Mozambique, is about 50% larger than what announced by the Company on 20 October. (Earlier post.) During deepening of the well, it encountered a new separated pool that contains a potential... Read more →

UQM Technologies begins volume production of PowerPhase Pro electric propulsion systems

UQM Technologies, Inc. has begun volume production of its PowerPhase Pro electric motor and controller packages. The company’s production line has a capacity of 40,000 units on two shifts. The brushless, permanent-magnet electric motor delivers greater range and improved braking. The entire system is lightweight and completely sealed. The controller... Read more →

Part of the Amsterdam car2go EV fleet. Click to enlarge. Daimler subsidiary car2go launched one of the first large-scale all-electric vehicle car-sharing fleets in Amsterdam. Beginning 24 November, 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles will be available for on-demand mobility, without the necessity of returning them to a fixed rental... Read more →

Jury decides in Novozymes’ favor in US patent law suit against Danisco

A jury in the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin found Novozymes’ US Patent No. 7,713,723 valid and ordered Danisco to pay damages of US$18,290,500 for infringement. The jury also found Danisco’s infringement to be willful. The jury’s decision is not the final verdict. The decision is... Read more →

UMaine researchers develop new thermal deoxygenation process to convert biomass to hydrocarbon fuels; no catalysts or hydrogen required

A University of Maine chemical engineer and his research team have developed a new process—thermal deoxygenation (TDO)—to transform biomass, including forest residues, municipal solid waste, grasses, and construction wastes, into a hydrocarbon fuel oil. The process requires no catalysts or hydrogen, and is “a spin on chemistry used to make... Read more →

NIST releases update to smart grid framework

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released an updated roadmap for public comment for Smart Grid interoperability. The NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0, adds 22 standards, specifications and guidelines to the 75 NIST recommended as immediately applicable to the Smart... Read more →

BYD e6 EV now available for consumers in China

The BYD e6 electric vehicle (earlier post) will now be available for consumer purchases in China; previously, the e6 was only available for fleet purchases. Consumers in Shenzhen will receive a substantial government subsidy—equivalent to about US$18,000 (or 120,000 RMB)—and the e6 unsubsidized price will start at ~$56,900 (or 369,800... Read more →

The Insight Exclusive. Click to enlarge. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. introduced the newly refreshed Insight hybrid model, accompanied by the new Insight Exclusive model featuring a 1.5-liter engine. Honda will begin sales of both hybrid models at dealerships across Japan on 11 November. Honda also will begin sales of the... Read more →

A scanning electron microscope image of chemically modified, nanofibrillized cellulose. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Switzerland’s Empa—an interdisciplinary research and services institution for material sciences and technology development within the ETH Domain—have developed a manufacturing process for nano-cellulose powder for use as a raw material for creating polymer composites. Cellulose... Read more →

Siemens reports world record efficiency for combined cycle power plant of 60.75%

A new Siemens gas turbine operated in a combined cycle with a steam turbine in Irsching, Bavaria, has set a world record for efficiency, achieving net efficiency of 60.75% during the test run. The target was 60%; the previous generation of the turbine had an efficiency of 58.5%. The new... Read more →

BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën officially launch vehicle electrification joint venture

One year after the two partners signed a memorandum of understanding, the joint venture formed by the BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën to develop and manufacture hybrid and drive technology—BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification (earlier post)—is now up and running. Production of hybrid components for the electrification of both companies'... Read more →