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Scanning electron micrograph of wood being decayed by the white rot fungus Punctularia strigoso-zonata. (Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota) Click to enlarge. Coal deposits—the fossilized remains of plants—were formed during a 60-million year period from around 360 to 300 million years ago. A team of 71 researchers from 12 countries,... Read more →

Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has completed the hybrid car carrier vessel Emerald Ace, designed to generate zero emissions while berthed, at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) Kobe shipyard. Emerald Ace. Click to enlarge. Conceptual diagram of system. Click to enlarge. The Emerald Ace is equipped with a hybrid... Read more →

Argonne releases new version of GREET fuel cycle model

The GREET team at Argonne National Laboratory has released a new version of the GREET fuel cycle model. The Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model simulates the energy use and emissions output of various vehicle and fuel combinations, and is widely used in lifecycle analysis.... Read more →

Green Automotive to acquire Liberty Electric Cars

US-based Green Automotive Company has signed an agreement to acquire UK-based Liberty Electric Cars Limited (earlier post). Liberty Electric Cars is a electric vehicle design, engineering and manufacturing company. Green Automotive will purchase all of the issued and outstanding stock of Liberty Electric Cars Ltd. and its subsidiary LEC 2,... Read more →

4th International Conference on Biofuels Standards: current issues, future trends

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO) and the European Commission’s Directorate C (Renewables, Research and Innovation, Energy Efficiency) are organizing the 4th International Conference on Biofuels Standards to be held 13–15 November 2012 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The... Read more →

Fit EV. Click to enlarge. The battery-electric 2013 Honda Fit EV (earlier post) will be available for lease beginning 20 July 2012, with a three-year lease price of $389 per month. The Fit EV received the highest fuel-efficiency rating given yet by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with an adjusted... Read more →

Rockwood Lithium opens new lithium production facility in Nevada; announces global price increases for lithium salts

Rockwood Lithium has opened its expanded manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Rockwood is leveraging a $28.4-million investment from the Recovery Act to expand its North Carolina lithium production facility as well as its production operations in Silver Peak, Nevada. This project will increase the United States’ capacity to... Read more →

Solazyme announces successful commissioning of integrated renewable oil production biorefinery in Peoria, Illinois

Solazyme, Inc. announced the successful commissioning of its first fully integrated biorefinery (IBR) in Peoria, Illinois, to produce algal oil. Solazyme has been running routine fermentations at commercial scale since 2007 and began running fermentation operations at the Peoria facility in Q4 2011. Solazyme uses heterotrophic microalgae—i.e., they grow in... Read more →

GM harvests energy from Torino engine test benches to power facility’s computers

At its Powertrain Engineering Center in Torino, Italy, GM is harvesting the 300 kWh of energy from its test benches—equipment that tests various measures of a running engine—to power all of the facility’s computers. The plant runs 15 test benches, with five more on the way, as engineers design fuel-efficient... Read more →

The XJ_e plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will display the XJ_e plug-in hybrid engineering research vehicle at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The XJ_e demonstrates how an advanced parallel plug-in hybrid design can deliver reductions in CO2 emissions of more than 70%, without compromising vehicle performance.... Read more →

ITM Power and GHR collaborate on dual 700 and 350 bar H2 refueling in Germany

ITM Power has signed an agreement with GHR Hochdruck-Reduziertechnik GmbH (GHR), part of IMI plc, to collaborate on the deployment of dual 700 bar and 350 bar hydrogen refueling products in Germany. GHR has developed a mobile hydrogen dispenser for both 700 bar and 350 bar refueling which has been... Read more →

The Audi R8 e-tron (earlier post) has set a world record for a production vehicle with an electric drive system on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Racing driver Markus Winkelhock piloted the sports car around the demanding 20.8-kilometer (12.9-mile) track in 8:09.099 minutes. The current record lap driven by a combustion engined... Read more →

Daimler strengthens its truck business in Japan: Fuso and Nissan cooperate on light-duty trucks

Daimler subsidiary Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and the Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. have reached a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the mutual supply of light-duty trucks. The basis for this agreement is the strategic partnership between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. (Earlier post.) The agreement seeks... Read more →

BMW and Toyota expanding cooperation: fuel cells, sports car, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies

Expanding their existing cooperation agreement signed in December 2011 (earlier post), Toyota Motor Corporation and the BMW Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at long-term strategic collaboration in four fields: joint development of a fuel cell system; joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle;... Read more →

BorgWarner supplying turbochargers for first GDI engine designed by BYD Auto in China

BorgWarner is providing its leading turbocharging technology for BYD Auto’s 1.5-liter gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine, the first developed in-house by a domestic Chinese company. Boosted by BorgWarner’s KP39 turbocharger, the inline four-cylinder engine achieves a power output of 154 HP (113 kW) and a maximum torque of 240 N·m (177... Read more →

Michelin introducing intelligent tires to provide easy tire pressure monitoring for large commercial vehicles

Michelin will introduce a new generation of tires which can automatically communicate pressure levels and also provide traceability of tires throughout their lives in service to a fleet of 100 double-decker buses operated by Stagecoach in London. The system offers the potential for better tire management which can improve fuel... Read more →

Jaguar adds two new smaller forced induction gasoline engines to 2013 XF and XJ lineup; 8-speed automatic and start-stop

For the 2013 XF and XJ lineup, Jaguar is adding two new downsized forced induction gasoline powerplants: 3.0-liter V6 Supercharged and 2.0-liter i4 Turbocharged units. These join the existing line-up of 2.2-liter i4 Turbodiesel, 3.0-liter V6 Turbodiesel and both naturally-aspirated and Supercharged 5.0-liter V8 gasoline units. Eight-speed ZF automatic transmissions... Read more →

California ARB holding public workshop for review of OPGEE crude oil production lifecycle assessment model

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is holding a public workshop on 12 July 2012 to discuss the lifecycle assessment of crude oil production within the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation. ARB staff will present for public review v1.0 Draft Version A of the Oil Production Greenhouse Gas Emissions... Read more →

The research team used a unique process to encourage growth of ultra-thin zeolite nanosheets at 90-degree angles, similar to building a house of cards. Credit: U of Minn. Click to enlarge. An international team led by University of Minnesota chemical engineering and materials science professor Michael Tsapatsis reports in the... Read more →

California ARB approves more rebate funding for hybrid and zero-emission cars, trucks, buses9

The California Air Resources Board approved $27 million for its Air Quality Improvement Program, a statewide effort to provide incentives for the purchase of advanced-technology passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks. ARB will use the majority of those funds for its California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project to provide incentives for the... Read more →

Left. The individual Si nanoparticles contained within the carbon shell expands without breaking the coating or disrupting the SEI layer. Right. Delithiation capacity and Coulombic efficiency of the first 1000 galvanostatic cycles between 0.01−1 V (alginate binder). The rate was C/10 for one cycle, then C/3 for 10 cycles, and... Read more →

Microvast ultrafast charge station for electric buses begins operation in Chongqing

The first commercial, ultrafast charge, electric vehicle charging station has begun operations in Chongqing, China. The 3,200 kW, 2,065 m2 charging station—jointly developed by Microvast and the China State Grid—includes six 400 kW individual chargers; each charger fills a bus battery in 5 to 10 minutes. Commercial operation of this... Read more →

Study finds aftertreatment systems will largely eliminate benefits of using CARB diesel in the future

A team from the University of California Riverside and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has evaluated California and Federal diesel fuels with heavy-duty engine and chassis dynamometer tests and concluded that aftertreatment systems for PM and NOx will, over time, largely eliminate any potential benefits that might be obtained... Read more →

€20M European research alliance focuses on liquid metals; energy applications

A new 5-year, €20-million European research alliance—LIMTECH—is pursuing the objective of researching and continuing the development of liquid metal technologies for a broad spectrum of applications. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), which coordinates the Alliance, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are pooling their competences in this network together with... Read more →

Nanotube array architecture, triple-layered structure, and high conductivity in electrodes provide ion and electron “superhighways”. Credit: ACS, Li et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China designed and synthesized novel MnO2/Mn/MnO2 sandwich-like nanotube arrays for supercapacitors. In testing reported in the ACS journal Nano Letters,... Read more →

Researchers demonstrate method for imaging individual PM sub-micron particles in flight

Using intense coherent X-ray pulses from the Linac Coherent Light Source free-electron laser at Stanford, an international team of researchers has demonstrated a new in situ fractal method for imaging individual sub-micron particles to nanometer resolution in their native environment. The research appears in the 28 June issue of the... Read more →

U-M and Shanghai Jiao Tong University fund 6 energy and biomedical projects; batteries, policy and fuels

Six research teams from the University of Michigan (U-M) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) have won a share of $1.16 million in funding for renewable energy and biomedical technology projects in the third year of a joint program that teams up investigators from both schools. The energy projects chosen... Read more →

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, Inc. (MEAA) has completed construction of a testing lab for the growing start-stop micro-hybrid systems market. In the new lab, located at its Northville, Mich., research and development center, Mitsubishi Electric will be able to test as many as 10 engines simultaneously, ranging from one liter... Read more →

European consortium receives €1.35M grant to develop supply chains for PEM electrolyzer components

A European consortium will receive a €1.35-million (US$1.7-million) grant to a consortium to develop supply chains for PEM electrolyzer components. The overall objective of the ELECTROHYPEM (Enhanced performance and cost-effective materials for long-term operation of PEM water electrolyzers coupled to renewable power sources) project is to develop cost-effective components with... Read more →

The ExxonMobil MTG process flow diagram. Source: EMRE. Click to enlarge. Sundrop Fuels, Inc., a gasification-based drop-in advanced biofuels company, finalized a licensing agreement to use ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) technology to be incorporated into a “green gasoline” production facility. Located near Alexandria, Louisiana, Sundrop Fuels plans... Read more →

VitaeMobility, ABB to deploy a network of 50 DC fast chargers throughout Belgium

VitaeMobility, specialists in e-mobility for business and government fleets and consumers, and ABB will partner to install and manage 50 Terra Smart Connect (SC) DC fast chargers at multiple locations throughout Belgium. VitaeMobility said it specifically chose ABB’s Terra Smart Connect (SC) as it is the only smart connected charging... Read more →

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack highlights USDA, GE efforts to commercialize renewable jet fuel for Ohio aviation industry

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted USDA’s collaboration with General Electric (GE) Aviation, the Ohio Aerospace Institute, air carriers and producer groups to develop a Midwest-regional strategy to provide renewable-jet fuel at GE Aviation’s Cincinnati-area facilities. The effort is bringing together agricultural producers, processing and transportation entities, refiners and finishers,... Read more →

Veolia Transdev and IBM collaborate to improve urban transport in cities

Veolia Transdev and IBM are collaborating to develop a smarter mobility solution designed to help cities alleviate road congestion, optimize transportation infrastructures and improve the urban traveler experience. The smarter mobility solution brings together Veolia Transdev’s expertise in the public transit industry and IBM’s expertise in managing big data and... Read more →

ECOtality forms JV with Changchun Eco-Power Technology for EV charging products in China

ECOtality, Inc. and Changchun Eco-Power Technology Co., Ltd. have formed a joint venture—Tianjin Eco-Power Technology Co, Ltd.—to manufacture and distribute ECOtality charging products for a range of EVs, including two and three-wheel vehicles, buses, material handling equipment, and airport ground support—all specifically designed for the regional marketplace. Operations will involve... Read more →

Westport and GM in 2nd agreement for advanced engineering development of natural gas LDVs

Westport Innovations Inc. has entered into an additional agreement with General Motors for a second advanced technology development program. Westport and GM are now developing two different combustion, controls and emissions approaches to natural gas engines. The first cooperative technology project was announced in June 2011. This new program will... Read more →

Ford developing Traffic Jam Assist, evolving active parking system

Ford is developing Traffic Jam Assist, an intelligent driving feature that employs technology from the already-available active park assist, adaptive cruise control, Lane-Keeping Aid and the PowerShift transmission to enable a vehicle to automatically keep pace with other vehicles. Ford is also enhancing the current active park assist system—a Ford... Read more →

Solazyme and Bunge break ground on renewable oils production facility in Brazil

Solazyme, Inc. and Bunge Global Innovation LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bunge Limited, a global agribusiness and food company, have broken ground on a 100,000 metric ton renewable oil production facility adjacent to Bunge’s Moema sugarcane mill in Brazil. Construction started on schedule and the plant is targeted to be... Read more →

ORNL opens new automotive battery manufacturing R&D facility

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has opened a $3-million automotive battery manufacturing R&D facility, allowing for collaboration with industry and other national labs while protecting intellectual property of industrial partners. The laboratory is attracting battery manufacturers, chemical and materials suppliers, system integrators and original equipment manufacturers. We're able to integrate advanced... Read more →

DOE seeks information on enhancing algal biofuel intermediate yields for biofuel production

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a request for information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0000745) to solicit information on the development of algae production and downstream processing technology to enhance the yield of algal biofuel intermediate products. The DOE Office of the Biomass Program (OBP) considers “biofuel intermediates” to be biomass-based... Read more →

MIT team finds lead levels higher in Indian Ocean than northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans

MIT researchers have discovered that lead concentrations in the Indian Ocean are now higher than in the northern Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans. They are presenting their results this week at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Montreal. Since the 1970s, leaded gasoline has been slowly phased out worldwide, as studies... Read more →

ArcelorMittal unveils iCARe portfolio of electrical steel solutions for hybrid and electric vehicle motors

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel and mining company, unveiled its first electrical steel product range designed specifically to meet the requirements of the electric vehicle (EV) sector at the Coil Winding, Insulation and Electrical Manufacturing trade fair in Berlin. Electrical steels are specialty steels tailored to produce certain magnetic properties;... Read more →

New I-See autopilot system from Volvo Trucks uses truck’s kinetic energy to reduce fuel consumption

Volvo Trucks has developed the I-See system, which operates like an autopilot and takes over gearchanging and utilizes gradients to save fuel. The I-See system harnesses the truck’s own kinetic energy to “push” the vehicle up hills. On downhill gradients the same energy is used for acceleration. I-See is linked... Read more →

World oil production capacity to 2020 (crude oil and NGLs, excluding biofuels). Source: Maugeri 2012. Click to enlarge. Oil production capacity is surging in the United States and several other countries at such a fast pace that global oil output capacity could grow by nearly 20% from the current 93... Read more →

euroFOT brought together 28 partners testing 8 functionalities using more than 1,000 vehicles. Source: euroFOT. Click to enlarge. The euroFOT consortium published the findings of a four-year study focused on the impact of driver assistance systems in the Europe. The €22-million (US$27.4-million ) European Field Operational Test (euroFOT) project—which began... Read more →

Opel says Ampera was Europe’s best-selling passenger electric-drive vehicle in May

The extended-range electric vehicle Ampera is Europe’s Nº1 passenger electric-drive vehicle with more than 20% market share, according to Opel sales figures from May 2012. Especially in markets with governmental incentives like the Netherlands we have performed very well. —Enno Fuchs, Opel’s e-mobility launch director In the Netherlands, the Ampera... Read more →

Ford Research selects Nokia Location Platform for connected vehicles project

Ford’s research organization will use the Nokia Location Platform to advance innovation for smart and connected vehicles, as demonstrated by the Ford EVOS concept car. (Earlier post.) Ford selected the Nokia Location Platform to leverage Nokia’s high-quality global location content, including the NAVTEQ Map, as well as scaleable cloud services... Read more →

FuelCell Energy completes asset acquisition and JV with Fraunhofer IKTS

Fuel cell power company FuelCell Energy, Inc. has completed a previously announced asset acquisition of select fuel cell assets by its German subsidiary, FuelCell Energy Solutions, GmbH, including fuel cell component inventory and fuel cell manufacturing equipment. Additionally, the previously announced joint venture with Fraunhofer IKTS has been completed, with... Read more →

Supreme Court lets stand Ninth Circuit decision on maintaining California ARB low-sulfur rules for ocean-going vessels

The Supreme Court of the US has denied review of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’s 2011 decision (Case (09-17765) in Pacific Merchant Shipping Assn. v. Goldstene—a challenge by the shipping industry to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) “Vessel Fuel Rules” regulation requiring ocean-going vessels (OGV) to use lower-sulfur... Read more →