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Stewart K. Griffiths from Sandia National Laboratories reports in a paper accepted for publication in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology that the likely total discharge from the BP Macondo Prospect well (MC252) during the Deepwater Horizon accident was in the range of 4.9 to 5.8 million barrels. Minimum... Read more →

DOT issues discussion document on principles for a connected vehicle environment; safety as top priority

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO) has issued a discussion document expressing a set of working principles intended to guide DOT’s research, demonstration and implementation activities related to a connected vehicle environment. DOT’s National Highway Traffic... Read more →

Electric two-wheel vehicle sales by country, Asia Pacific: 2012-2018. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge. Pike Research forecasts that annual sales of electric two-wheel vehicles (e-scooters, e-motorcycles, and e-bicycles) will show robust growth and reach more than 65 million units in 2018. Sales will be dominated by China, where annual... Read more →

Hydrogenics and Enbridge jointly to develop utility-scale renewable energy “storage” via natural gas; “Power-to-Gas”

Hydrogenics Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, recently entered into an agreement with Enbridge Inc. jointly to develop utility-scale energy storage in North America. This relationship also includes an equity investment of CA$5.0 million in Hydrogenics. The collaboration will bring together Hydrogenics’ expertise in... Read more →

Shell and Iogen abandon project to build large-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Manitoba

Royal Dutch Shell is abandoning the pursuit of a project with Iogen Corporation to build a larger scale cellulosic ethanol facility in southern Manitoba. In June 2010, the two companies made a further investment in Iogen Energy, their jointly owned subsidiary, to accelerate the commercial deployment of Iogen Energy’s process... Read more →

Galten Biodiesel to supply jatropha oil to Neste Oil

Globes. Israel-based Galten Biodiesel has signed a NIS 225-million (US$60-million) contract to supply 60,000 of Jatropha oil to Finland-based Neste Oil, the producer of NExBTL renewable fuels, beginning in 2014. Galten operates its first Jatropha plantation in Ghana. Galten chairman Doron Levy said, “60% of vehicles in Europe are fuelled... Read more →

U. Wisc, GM team extends operation range for gasoline direct-injection compression-ignition using triple-pulse injection

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and General Motors have extended the operation range for a light-duty diesel engine operating on gasoline using extended controllability of the injection process via a triple-pulse injection strategy. (Earlier post.) In a paper presented at SAE 2012 World Congress, the team reported the use... Read more →

Report: GM, Isuzu to start talks on another capital, business tie-up

The Nikkei reports that General Motors Co. will enter talks with Isuzu Motors Ltd. on a capital and business alliance aimed at launching joint projects for commercial vehicles in Central and South America. GM is looking to acquire a stake of roughly 10% in Isuzu, according to the report. GM... Read more →

Differences in CO2 emissions according to type-approval values (set at 100%) and other data sources (compared against type-approval values) over time. ADAC EcoTest (NEDC hot) includes the effect of the air conditioning system turned on; ADAC EcoTest (NEDC cold) does not. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge. A new study by... Read more →

13 governors send letter to automakers encouraging natural gas vehicle development

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that he and 12 other governors sent a letter to the CEOs of 19 auto companies encouraging them to manufacture vehicles that use natural gas. This letter is part of a multi-state agreement initiated last fall by Hickenlooper and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to promote... Read more →

Rhodia and the National Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory in Brazil partner on pathways for high value-added molecules from sugarcane biomass

Rhodia, a member of the Solvay Group, and the National Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE) in Brazil have signed an agreement to develop chemical routes and processes to obtain high value-added molecules from sugarcane biomass. Under the agreement, research will be conducted at CTBE, backed by researchers from both... Read more →

Study suggests city center pollution doubles risk of calcium build-up in arteries

City center residents who took part in a study were almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery calcification (CAC), which can lead to heart disease, than people who lived in less polluted urban and rural areas, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of... Read more →

PetroSA in talks with Mozambique for GTL plant; 70% diesel output

Reuters. South African state-owned oil company PetroSA is in talks with Mozambique to develop a 40,000 barrels-per-day gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant there. Gareth Shaw, PetroSA’s business development manager for GTL, said his company was proposing the building the plant at a cost of around $4 billion. Shaw said the plant could... Read more →

New Jersey launches Large Scale CHP/Fuel Cell Program

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) launched the Large Scale Combined Heat and Power (CHP)/Fuel Cell Program. This competitive grant program was created to support CHP and standalone fuel cell projects serving commercial, institutional and industrial customers in New Jersey.... Read more →

DARPA LoCo program to seek non-thermal approaches to thin-film deposition

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking non-thermal approaches to thin-film deposition, including new approaches to reactant flux, surface mobility, reaction energy, by-product removal, nucleation and other components of thin-film deposition. The agency plans to issue a Local Control of Materials Synthesis (LoCo) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)... Read more →

US DOE to award up to $3M for coal-biomass-to-liquid projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to a total of $3 million to projects (1) to develop and to test novel technologies for the economical and environmentally-sustainable conversion of coal-biomass feedstocks to liquid transportation fuels (CBTL) and (2) to assess concepts and evaluate the feasibility of building... Read more →

Neste Oil sells first batch of NExBTL renewable diesel to the US market

Neste Oil recently supplied its first batch of NExBTL renewable diesel to the US market. The fuel, which qualifies as an advanced biofuel in the US, was produced at the company’s Porvoo refinery in Finland from waste fats. Neste Oil has sold 305,000 tons of NExBTL renewable diesel to several... Read more →

Performance of supercharged Mustang with and without NuVinci CVP; variable ratio vs. 1:1. Source: Fallbrook. Click to enlarge. Fallbrook Technologies Inc. is developing a variable speed supercharger utilizing its NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology. (Earlier post.) Fallbrook has targeted and is soliciting select automotive OEMs for such a variable... Read more →

Small modular reactor company Gen4 Energy will not pursue DOE SMR Licensing funding

Gen4 Energy, developers of a 25MW small modular nuclear reactor, announced it has decided not to pursue the recently released DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Small Modular Reactor Licensing Support Program. (Earlier post.) Gen4 Energy, based in Denver, Colorado, was founded in 2007, and is working in collaboration with... Read more →

Siemens puts two virtual power plants into operation; integrating small renewable sources, including vehicles eventually

Siemens recently put two virtual power plants into operation. Virtual power plants are networks of several small power stations that are run as a single system. One of the new virtual power plants enables the Munich municipal utility company to run six of its cogeneration modules, five hydroelectric facilities, and... Read more →

Sainsbury’s increases biomethane dual-fuel order from Clean Air Power

Sainsbury’s, a major UK supermarket, has increased its order for an additional 10 units of Clean Air Power’s Genesis Edge Dual-Fuel system. This additional order will be delivered during the current financial year. This order will take their total to 24 trucks which will operate using biomethane gas which has... Read more →

New study finds GHG emissions from palm oil production significantly underestimated; palm oil biofuels could be more climate-damaging than oil sands fuels

When peat swamps are drained for agriculture, the peat begins to decompose, and is an enormous source of carbon emissions. Based on visual interpretation of high-resolution (30 m) satellite images, a new study in the journal Global Change Biology: Bioenergy determined that industrial plantations covered over 3.1 Mha (20%) of... Read more →

Registrations of commercial vehicles in EU down 11.8% in March, 9.6% in 1st quarter

In March, new commercial vehicle registrations dropped by 11.8%, totaling 184,235 units in the EU, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). With the exception of Germany (+0.3%), all other significant markets shrank, from -7.0% in the UK to -11.2% in France, -22.1% in Spain and -45.4% in Italy.... Read more →

Unitary HPAC System. Source: Delphi. Click to enlarge. Delphi Automotive is developing an advanced HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) system that significantly increases efficiency and reduces emissions while keeping passengers comfortable. Delphi engineers presented a paper on the new Unitary Heat Pump Air Conditioner (HPAC) at SAE 2012 World Congress... Read more →

Boulder Ionics raises $4.3M for high-throughput production of ionic liquid electrolytes for energy storage devices

Boulder Ionics Corporation, a startup that has developed a novel, high-throughput, low-cost synthesis platform for producing ionic liquid electrolytes for use in advanced energy storage devices, completed a $4.3-million Series A financing. With this $4.3 million financing and grant awards totaling almost $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF),... Read more →

Conceptual difference between PPCI injection and combustion (left) and MPCI injection and combustion. Wang et al. Click to enlarge. In a project funded by the joint research program between General Motors and Tsinghua University, a team from Tsinghua is developing a different approach to gasoline direct injection compression ignition (GDICI)... Read more →

GM begins market positioning for Cruze Diesel in 2013; small displacement diesels to “fill an important niche”

GM expects that the North American introduction of a 2.0L turbodiesel engine on Cruze—one of the top-selling gasoline-powered cars in the US in 2011 and General Motors’ best-selling model globally—will establish Chevrolet as the only domestic automaker offering an American-manufactured diesel-powered compact car with a European-American developed engine. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Audi Q5. Click to enlarge. Audi is launching its completely updated Q5 SUV series with five engine options: three TDI (diesel) and two TFSI (gasoline) engines, as well as the Q5 Hybrid Quattro (earlier post, earlier post for more details on the hybrid technology). All of these engines combine direct... Read more →

EIA: US summer gasoline demand expected to be at 11-year low, prices at record high

US gasoline demand this summer is expected to be the lowest in 11 years, while the average summer fuel price is forecast to be at a record level, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). High prices at the pump—mostly a result of global crude oil prices—and the use... Read more →

Three plug-in hybrid-electric Chrysler Town & Country minivans (earlier post) went into service with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), bringing to 25 the total number of such vehicles on US roads. With this completion of the demonstration fleet’s deployment, the second, data-collection phase of Chrysler Group LLC’s plug-in hybrid... Read more →

Obama Administration releases National Bioeconomy Blueprint; health, food, energy and environment

The White House today released a national Bioeconomy Blueprint, a comprehensive approach to harnessing innovations in biological research to address national challenges in health, food, energy, and the environment. In coordination with the Blueprint’s release, Federal officials also announced a number of new commitments to help achieve the Blueprint’s goals.... Read more →

Axion Power receives initial Norfolk Southern order for PbC batteries for hybrid switcher

Axion Power International Inc., the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries (earlier post) and energy storage systems, has received an order from Norfolk Southern Corp (NS) for PbC batteries for use in a hybrid switcher locomotive. Axion Power said this first $400,000 purchase order is part of a $475,000 total... Read more →

Porsche focusing on deployment of plug-in hybrid technology

“Porsche is focusing on the deployment of plug-in hybrid technology in production,” according to Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board - Research and Development, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. Hatz made the announcement at this year’s Vienna Motor Symposium. Porsche began taking orders for the 918 Spyder plug-in... Read more →

Novozymes joins Maabjerg Energy Concept biorefinery project

Novozymes and Maabjerg Energy Concept have entered into an agreement making Novozymes a partner in the consortium alongside national energy giant DONG Energy A/S and local utility companies Vestforsyning A/S, Struer Forsyning A/S and Nomi I/S. The consortium will use Novozymes’ biotech expertise to design a new biorefinery which will... Read more →

BASF acquires Novolyte Technologies for Li-ion battery electrolytes

BASF, private-equity firm Arsenal Capital partners and LiPF6-producer Foosung announced BASF’s acquisition of Novolyte Technologies. Novolyte is a manufacturer of electrolyte formulations for lithium-ion batteries, as well as specialty chemicals for several key market segments. With 167 employees, Novolyte operates sites in the United States and China. BASF purchased Novolyte... Read more →

Teijin develops first mass-production aramid nanofiber; promising material for heat-resistant separators in Li-ion batteries

Teijin Techno Products Limited, a Teijin group company producing advanced aramid fibers, has developed the first mass-producible aramid nanofiber to offer reliable heat and oxidation resistance together with high quality. The nanofiber, which is uniformly sized with a diameter of just several hundred nanometers, is based on Teijin’s proprietary Teijinconex... Read more →

Congestion prevention or minimization using the new system. Click to enlarge. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has developed what it claims it the first technology to detect the potential for traffic congestion and determine whether the driving pattern of the vehicle is likely to create traffic jams. Honda developed this technology... Read more →

DOE to award up to $2.5M to deploy fuel-cell-powered baggage tow tractors at commercial airports

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $2.5 million this year to demonstrate and to deploy fuel-cell-electric baggage tow tractors (BTT) at major US commercial airports. DOE plans to select up to three projects under the terms of a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000701), which will also... Read more →

Alkaline surfactant polymer flooding shown to improve recovery in very mature oilfield by more than 300%

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the use of an alkaline surfactant polymer (ASP) flooding technique has successfully improved oil recovery at a 106-year old Illinois field by more than 300%. This method of extraction could help pull as many as 130 million additional barrels of oil from... Read more →

Engine test results with one of the five injectors for 1500rpm-2bar IMEP, 1500 rpm-3bar IMEP, and 1500 rpm-6bar IMEP. Sellnau et al. Click to enlarge. In 2010, The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected Delphi, along with partners Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc (HATCI); Wisconsin Engine Research Consultants (WERC); and... Read more →

Rosneft and Eni partner to explore fields in the Barents and Black Seas

Rosneft and Eni signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement jointly to explore fields in Russian sections of the Black and Barents Seas and exchange technology and staff. The agreement, which also envisages Rosneft’s participation in Eni’s international projects, is similar to the recent Rosneft-ExxonMobil partnership (earlier post). The Eni agreement envisages... Read more →

Nissan Cima. Click to enlarge. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has launched the fifth-generation of its luxury sedan the Nissan Cima, equipped with Nissan’s one-motor two-clutch parallel hybrid system. (Earlier post.) The Cima also features, among its other technologies, the first application of sound-absorbing tires on a Nissan vehicle. The Cima... Read more →

EV Project collects more than 24 million miles of EV operating data since inception

ECOtality, Inc. has collected more than 24 million miles of electric vehicle operating data since the inception of The EV Project in 2010. (Earlier post.) The EV Project is currently gathering data at a rate of 100,000 miles per day. The 24 million miles recorded so far is the equivalent... Read more →

BorgWarner parallel dual clutch w/ integral torsional vibration damper. Click to enlarge. BorgWarner United Transmission Systems (BWUTS), a majority-held joint venture between BorgWarner and 12 leading Chinese automakers in Dalian, China, has been selected to supply DualTronic control modules and clutch modules with integral torsional vibration dampers for FAW’s new... Read more →

GE’s WattStation Connect for mobile device users. Click to enlarge. GE Energy’s Industrial Solutions business unveiled the new WattStation and WattStation Connect software at the SAE 2012 World Congress in Detroit, Mich. (Earlier post.) The solution allows WattStation owners to manage charging stations remotely, giving them the ability to manage... Read more →

Shengquan and Novozymes in partnership to commercialize cellulosic ethanol for solvents

Shengquan Group, a Shandong-based company specializing in furan resin and polymers, and Novozymes, a world leader in bioinnovation, have formed a partnership enabling Shengquan to start commercial-scale production of cellulosic ethanol for solvents in June 2012 using Novozymes’ technology. Shengquan is a leading producer of furfural using xylose in corncobs,... Read more →

UQM introduces PowerPhase HD 220 electric propulsion system for heavy-duty trucks and buses

UQM Technologies, Inc. is introducing its most powerful electric propulsion system yet: the PowerPhase HD 220 electric propulsion system. The production-ready HD 220 will make its debut at the Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) conference in Los Angeles, 6-9 May 2012. The system is targeted for the heavy-duty truck and bus... Read more →