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Study suggests eco-driving techniques could reduce public transit fleet fuel consumption by up to 18.7%

Transit fleets could reduce fuel consumption on average by as much as 18.7% by engaging in fuel-efficient, eco-driving best practices, according to a Public Transit Fuel Efficiency Study released by SmartDrive Systems, a provider of fleet management and driver safety systems and services. Eco-driving best practices for public transit include... Read more →

Proposed route for the Alaska Pipeline project. Click to enlarge. Alaska Governor Sean Parnell announced that two major milestones have been met in the state’s effort to bring Alaska’s North Slope natural gas to Alaskans and markets beyond. The North Slope holds more than 35 trillion cubic feet of discovered... Read more →

NRC clears path for issuing licenses for two AP1000 reactors at Summer site in South Carolina

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in a 4-1 vote, found its staff’s review adequate to make the necessary regulatory safety and environmental findings, clearing the way for the NRC’s Office of New Reactors (NRO) to issue the two Combined Licenses (COLs) for the South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) and... Read more →

ARRA funding raises R&D expenditures within federally funded R&D centers 11% to $16.8B in FY 2010

Research and development expenditures at the US’ 39 federally funded R&D centers (FFRDCs) rose from $15.2 billion in FY 2009 to $16.8 billion in FY 2010, according to data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) FFRDC Research and Development Survey. More than $1 billion of the FY 2010 total was... Read more →

EnerDel parent Ener1 completes financial restructuring and emerges from Chapter 11

Ener1, Inc., the parent of lithium-ion battery maker EnerDel, has completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a privately-held company. On 26 January, the company had filed a pre-packaged bankruptcy case to implement a restructuring plan agreed on by its primary investors and lenders. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Illinois Governor launches EV fast-charging network, currently US’ largest

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and representatives from the Illinois Tollway, 350Green LLC and 7-Eleven, Inc. announced the availability of the US’ largest network of fast-charging electric vehicle (EV) stations to date. Through the Chicago-Area EV Infrastructure Project, 26 fast-chargers have been installed, with 73 total fast-chargers planned. Eight of these... Read more →

Ford investing $1.3B in Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant for Fusion and Lincoln MKZ

Ford is investing $1.3-billion in its Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant for the production of Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ lineups. Ford is making a significant investment in this facility and a significant commitment to the employees here while also transforming our vehicle lineup for customers throughout North America.... Read more →

CAR releases study on use of bio-based materials in automotive sector; potential for the Great Lakes Region

There is significant potential for the expansion of bio-based automotive parts and components manufacturing in the US Great Lakes region, according to a newly-released study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), a nonprofit research organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The report defines bio-based materials as industrial products... Read more →

NETL to install new supercomputer to simulate carbon capture, utilization and storage scenarios

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will install a new supercomputer this summer to help to develop solutions to carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology barriers. Housed at NETL’s Simulation-Based Engineering User Center, a facility primarily devoted to advancing CCUS... Read more →

Obama Administration launches $200M Big Data Research and Development Initiative

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in concert with several Federal departments and agencies, launched a $200-million “Big Data Research and Development Initiative” to improve greatly the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. The Big Data... Read more →

Well-to-wheel emissions for gas and diesel trucks over the CCE drive cycle. Source: Cenex report. Click to enlarge. Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) in the UK has released a report on the trial of a heavy-duty truck operating solely on biomethane gas. The report showed the gas vehicle provided similar drive performance... Read more →

Corvus Energy’s marine lithium polymer battery pack used in Europe’s first hybrid tugboat

Lithium polymer battery packs from Corvus Energy were recently installed in Europe’s first hybrid tugboat, the RotorTug RT Adriaan of KOTUG, an international maritime service provider headquartered in The Netherlands. This diesel-to-hybrid retrofit represents Europe’s first low emissions hybrid tugboat. Corvus uses Dow Kokam cells. The conversion features Corvus’ AT6500... Read more →

Iron projecting into the center of the tube-like metal-organic framework (center, looking down its roughly nanometer-wide opening) attracts the light hydrocarbon molecules that surround it to varying degrees. These varied attraction levels could make the framework more efficient at hydrocarbon separation than current refinery processes. Credit: Bloch et al. Click... Read more →

FMC Technologies, Inc. has signed a four-year agreement with Petrobras for the supply of pre-salt subsea equipment. The total award would result in approximately $1.5 billion in revenue to FMC Technologies if all of the subsea equipment included in the agreement is ordered. The initial call-off has an approximate value... Read more →

EVI launches 500 electric medium-duty truck deployment initiative in California

Electric Vehicles International is launching a new initiative to deploy 500 fully electric return-to-base medium-duty delivery trucks in California. (Earlier post.) With the partnership and support of agencies such as the California Energy Commission, the California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution... Read more →

EVs represented 0.25% of vehicle registrations in France in February; diesels gain 4 points of share

Challenge Bibendum. Electric vehicles represented 0.25% (406 registrations) of the vehicle market in France in February. 290 Bolloré BlueCars were registered in February, almost double the January figure, representing 71.4% of the electric vehicle registrations. The Renault Fluence was well behind with 28 registrations, followed by the Mia (27 units),... Read more →

NSF to award up to $17.9M for research in catalysis and bio-catalysis, bio-engineering, and process and reaction engineering

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued three separate solicitations for up to a combined $17.9 million in awards for research projects in Catalysis and Bio-Catalysis ($4.8 million, 16 awards); Biotechnology, Biochemical, and Biomass Engineering ($8.2 million, 34 awards); and Process and Reaction Engineering ($4.9 million, 47 awards). Catalysis... Read more →

Mascoma and Lallemand Ethanol Technology enter commercial agreement with Pacific Ethanol for drop-in MGT yeast product

Mascoma Corporation, developer of a consolidated bioprocessing platform (CBP) for renewable fuels, and Lallemand Ethanol Technology, a leading supplier of fermentation ingredients to fuel ethanol producers, have entered into a commercial agreement with Pacific Ethanol Columbia, LLC, the owner of the ethanol production facility located in Boardman, Oregon and operated... Read more →

DaniMer Scientific and Myriant form strategic alliance; bio-succinic acid for production of bio-based polymers

DaniMer Scientific and Myriant have formed a strategic alliance focused on delivering innovative, cost-effective bio-based materials to the marketplace. As part of the alliance, DaniMer will utilize Myriant’s bio-succinic acid for the production of high-performance, bio-based polymers used to make a broad range of products. According to a 2011 report... Read more →

Nissan’s one-motor two-clutch hybrid system wins the Contribution Prize of Ichimura Prizes in Industry

Nissan Motor won the Contribution Prize of the Ichimura Prizes in Industry hosted by the New Technology Development Foundation for the development of the one-motor two-clutch parallel full-hybrid system. (Earlier post.) The Ichimura Prizes in Industry, which is in its 44th year, is given annually to an excellent technology developer... Read more →

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has approved Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.’s Oil Spill Response Plan (OSRP) for Alaska’s Beaufort Sea. This decision follows the bureau’s review of the plan and consultations with federal and state partner agencies involved in Arctic oil spill response. Shell has... Read more →

UK House of Commons Transport Select Committee undertaking inquiry into low carbon vehicles

The UK House of Commons Transport Select Committee is inquiring into the potential for plug-in vehicles to contribute to decarbonizing transport and Government action to facilitate this. In its announcement, the Committee noted that more than 90% of the UK’s domestic transport emissions come from road transport. The Government says... Read more →

JAPAN-GTL process demonstration test project completed successfully

The partners conducting the 6-year JAPAN-GTL Demonstration Test Project announced that the project achieved all of the associated R&D goals and successfully established a JAPAN-GTL process as an applicable technology to commercial plants. (Earlier post.) INPEX Corporation, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd, Cosmo Oil... Read more →

Components of the Saturna system. Click to enlarge. Under a new partnership, New York-based evolve motorcycles will incorporate Saturna Green Systems’ wireless Communications Platform on its electric scooters and motorcycles. Saturna Green Systems Inc. is a developer of automotive wireless technology developer and provider of GPS location-based services (LBS). The... Read more →

BOEM releases for comment draft EIS on G&G survey activities to develop energy resources in Mid- and South Atlantic

The US Department of Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released for public comment the draft Atlantic Geological and Geophysical (G&G) Activities Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The PEIS describes and evaluates the potential environmental impacts of G&G survey activities in Federal waters of the Mid- and... Read more →

CODA abandoning plan to build Li-ion battery factory in Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Coda Automotive is abandoning plans to build a Li-ion battery factory in Columbus. The company has been waiting for the US Department of Energy (DOE) to act on its $500-million loan application to help pay for construction. Since Coda applied for the loan, the Department... Read more →

While the contiguous United States just experienced the fourth warmest winter on record, the globe experienced its 22nd warmest February since record keeping began in 1880, according to the latest State of the Climate report from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature... Read more →

Alberta Premier proposes $3B for oil-sands environmental research

Globe and Mail. During a campaign speech, Alberta Premier Alison Redford proposed a $3-billion government-funded research agency to support oil sands environmental research. Redford said she would revive the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) as AOSTRA 2. The original initiative, formed in 1974, spent a total of... Read more →

SIM-Drive’s 351km-range EV with 5.4s 0 – 100 km/h performance

Stephen Munday of Integrity Exports reports that the latest iteration of EV development from Keio University spin-out SIM-Drive (earlier post), the SIM-WIL, has the exterior dimensions of a B-segment compact with the interior space of an E-segment sedan, offers 351 km (218 miles) of range, and accelerates from 0-100 km/h... Read more →

Mazda bringing TAKERI Concept with SKYACTIV-D diesel engine at New York show

Mazda’s TAKERI Concept will make its North American debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. TAKERI, the second concept to fully embrace SKYACTIV Technology, made its global debut at the Tokyo Motor Show. (Earlier post.) Equipped with a SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel engine, TAKERI features the i-stop idling stop... Read more →

Sulfone separation process combined with two-step adsorption and distillation (first adsorption, sulfone separation from oxidized diesel by silica; second adsorption, sulfone separation from polar solvent by activated carbon). Credit: ACS, Lim et al. Click to enlarge. A team from the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) has developed a new... Read more →

E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz is introducing the new E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID; the luxury-class diesel hybrid offers fuel consumption of 4.2 L of diesel/100 km (56 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 109 g/km. (Earlier post.) The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is based on the E... Read more →

EIA: nearly 69% of US crude oil imports in 2011 originated from 5 countries; Canada alone accounted for 25%

The amount of crude oil the United States imported from its top five foreign suppliers—Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Nigeria—increased slightly during 2011, even though total US crude oil imports fell to their lowest level in 12 years, according to the US Energy Information Administration. As a result, the... Read more →

EGR stratification as a control technique for diesel HCCI

A team from Université d’Orléans (France) and IFP Energies nouvelles reports that exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) stratification may be used as a control parameter for combustion speed and therefore may contribute to the extension of the homogeneous charge compression ignition operating range. A paper on their work is published in... Read more →

PATAC opens climate wind tunnel in Shanghai; equipped to test New Energy Vehicles

The first climate wind tunnel operated by a Chinese joint venture automotive partner opened at the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), GM’s automotive engineering and design joint venture with SAIC in Shanghai. The facility will support the development of conventional and new energy vehicles by PATAC and Shanghai GM.... Read more →

The Terra SC. Click to enlarge. ABB launched the Terra Smart Connect (SC), a low-cost DC fast-charger that the company says will significantly improve the business case for installing electric-vehicle (EV) fast chargers throughout Europe. The Terra SC will be available for delivery in Europe in the second quarter, starting... Read more →

California ARB posts additional ethanol fuel sub-pathway for POET under LCFS; lower CIs than the reference pathway

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted an additional fuel pathway for POET LLC (sub-pathway 7) for its Emmetsburg, Gowrie, Jewell, and Lake Crystal Plants under the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Because POET operates a large number of corn ethanol plants that utilize a variety of... Read more →

OPXBIO achieves fermentation at 3,000-liter scale for BioAcrylic

OPX Biotechnologies Inc. has successfully demonstrated its fermentation process for bio-based acrylic acid (or BioAcrylic) at the 3,000-liter scale. (Earlier post.) This marks a major milestone on its pathway to commercialization, the company said. OPXBIO is working with The Dow Chemical Company to bring BioAcrylic into the $10-billion market for... Read more →

DOE awards more than $5M to two projects developing advanced hydrogen fuel cell components

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $5 million to two projects—one led by 3M Company and the other by Eaton Corporation—intended to lower the cost of advanced fuel cell systems by developing and engineering cost-effective, durable, and highly efficient fuel cell components. The 3-year projects will... Read more →

Ford to offer new diesel engine option in new Transit van; new Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Cost Calculator

Ford will bring the all-new Ford Transit commercial van to market with an option for an all-new diesel engine as well as the 3.5L EcoBoost V6. (Earlier post.) Ford says that the new Transit, which begins production in Kansas City in 2013, will achieve at least 25% better fuel economy... Read more →

The new extensions will provide enhanced capacity to carry Canadian and Bakken crude to the US Gulf Coast. Source: Enbridge. Click to enlarge. Enbridge Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners L.P. have secured capacity commitments from shippers to proceed with construction of a 512-mile, 30-inch diameter twin (a parallel line) along... Read more →

EPA proposes CO2 limits for future power plants; flexibilities for phasing in control technology; anticipates negligible impacts

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the first Clean Air Act standard for CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new power plants. EPA is proposing that new fossil‐fuel‐fired power plants meet an output‐based standard of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt‐hour (lb CO2/MWh gross), or 453.59 kg CO2/MWh.... Read more →

Lux Research forecasts Li-ion EV battery pack costs to decrease to $397/kWh in 2020

While larger-scale production of Li-ion batteries will help reduce costs, the effect of scale-up and likely technology improvements bring the nominal Li-ion electric vehicle battery pack cost to $397/kWh in 2020—short of the $150/kWh target from the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) and not enough to reach the mass market,... Read more →

Electric bicycle sales by region, world markets: 2012-2018. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge. Pike Research forecasts that the worldwide market for e-bicycles will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% between 2012 and 2018, resulting in global sales of 47.6 million vehicles in 2018, up form... Read more →

BMW Group and Toyota Motor sign lithium-ion battery collaborative research agreement

BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) have signed an agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells and have begun said research. The agreement follows the memorandum of understanding concerning a mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly vehicles and technologies announced by the two companies on... Read more →

ANA Group, Japan’s largest airline group, aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. Dubbed ANA Fly Eco 2020, the plan will see the introduction of more fuel efficient aircraft into the ANA fleet, use of biofuels in place of conventional aviation fuel and... Read more →

Montana State University researchers develop protein to increase oil yield in oilseed crops by up to 40%

Montana State University researchers have developed a protein that can be expressed in oilseed crops to increase the oil yield by as much as 40%. The technology has been demonstrated in corn and soybeans and is expected to work for a broad range of oilseed plants used for biodiesel. Seed... Read more →

ARB staff to hold workshop on rulemaking to link California and Québec Cap-and-Trade programs

The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold a public workshop on 9 April in Sacramento to discuss draft amendments to the Cap-and-Trade Regulation for linking the California program with Québec’s cap-and-trade program. The Board is slated to consider the targeted rulemaking in June. On 3 February,... Read more →

ANSI to host exploratory meeting for standards panel to develop standardization roadmap for energy efficiency initiatives

On 25 April, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the private-sector-led US voluntary standardization system, will host an exploratory meeting to examine the need for an Energy Efficiency Standards Panel (EESP) to develop a standardization roadmap for energy efficiency initiatives in the United States. Over the next ten... Read more →