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BMW partners with Green Mountain Energy Company to offer renewable energy certificates to BMW ActiveE Drivers

BMW of North America will partner with Green Mountain Energy Company to offer drivers of the BMW ActiveE the choice to support renewable energy for their cars. The ActiveE drivers can purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Green Mountain to cover the estimated electricity that will be used to charge... Read more →

Pioneer Natural Resources adding 225 bi-fuel Westport WiNG natural gas F250s to fleet

Pioneer Natural Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company, is adding 225 bi-fuel, Westport WiNG natural gas powered Ford F250 Super Duty trucks to its fleet. (Earlier post.) Pioneer has begun transitioning a number of its fleet vehicles from gasoline- and diesel-powered to those able to run on... Read more →

Amyris enhances strategic partnership with Total for renewable diesel and jet fuels; to form JV

Amyris, Inc. signed an amendment to its existing technology collaboration agreement with Total. (Earlier post.) Under the enhanced collaboration, Total reaffirms its commitment to Amyris’ technology and dedicates its $82-million funding budget over the next three years exclusively for the deployment of Biofene, Amyris’ renewable farnesene, for production of renewable... Read more →

Pattern diagram of Li-ion containment in CARBOTRON P. Click to enlarge. Kureha Corporation, Itochu Corporation, Kuraray Co., Ltd. and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) have concluded an agreement intended to further accelerate the growth of Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd. (KBMJ). Under the agreement, Kuraray and the... Read more →

ORNL team demonstrates high-performance lithium-sulfur battery with nitrogen-doped carbon/sulfur cathode and ionic liquid electrolyte

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a high-performance lithium-sulfur battery using nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon (NC) and sulfur to prepare a composite cathode and an ionic-liquid electrolyte of 0.5 m lithium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) in methylpropylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethane sulfonyl)imide ([MPPY][TFSI]). Their study is published in the journal ChemSusChem. They also fabricated... Read more →

UK take-up of grants for EVs and hybrids rises 20% in first half of 2012; 134 more claims

Take up of grants for the purchase of electric and hybrid cars rose by nearly 20% in the UK in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. Overall, 134 more claims were registered according to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) the cross-departmental body... Read more →

Scripps Institution of Oceanography and SoCalGas to explore system using algae to capture CO2 from natural gas equipment and power plants

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego (Scripps) and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) have entered into an agreement focusing on the design of a novel system in which algae consume carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas combustion and cost-effectively convert it into valuable byproducts such as biomethane, biodiesel... Read more →

Dual-powered locomotives—the first in the US to be powered by the overhead catenary or by twin diesel engines—recently made their debut in New Jersey. The first Bombardier ALP-45DP locomotive to run on NJ TRANSIT arrived at Montclair State University Station in Montclair, NJ, under diesel power, raised its pantograph arm... Read more →

Sino-US workshop on new energy standardization held in Beijing, focus on EVs

A day-long workshop organized by the China Association for Standardization (CAS) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) focusing on new energy standardization—specifically electric vehicles—was held 23 July in Beijing. The bilateral workshop provided a unique opportunity for experts from both sides to learn about EV standardization efforts taking place... Read more →

TRL: all European cars to be fitted with autonomous emergency braking

The UK’s TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) reports that new regulations soon to be brought in by the European Commission will mean that all new cars will be fitted with autonomous emergency braking technology (AEB). TRL has carried out several analyses of AEBS (Advanced Emergency Braking Systems) and LDWS (Lane Departure... Read more →

DOE selects 7 Solid Oxide Fuel Cell research projects for further development

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 7 projects that will help develop low-cost solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology for central power generation from fossil energy resources for further research. The projects, managed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), are valued at a... Read more →

Electrovaya introduces 600 Wh Li-ion SuperPolymer PowerPad unit, targeting healthcare

Electrovaya introduced the PowerPad 600, a 600 Wh Li-ion SuperPolymer battery unit targeted at replacing existing lead acid and low energy density Lithium-Ion batteries used in hospitals, construction sites, warehouses, telecommunications, retail, standby power and wherever mobile power is required. The PowerPad 600 extends the PowerPad family of products and... Read more →

Argonne releases updates to GREET models; LiMn2O4 replaces cobalt for Li-ion batteries

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has released updates to its GREET 2 2012 Vehicle-Cycle model and GREET 1 2012 Fuel-Cycle model used in lifecycle analysis of transportation options. The new release of the GREET 2 Vehicle-Cycle model includes the following major updates: Steel production pathways are updated with detailed coke production... Read more →

Dana introduces multi-layer steel transmission separator plates

Dana Holding Corporation has developed multi-layer steel (MLS) transmission separator plates capable of withstanding three times the sealing pressures of current products in the light-vehicle market. This technology also allows optimized channel paths and smaller valve bodies through the reduction of fasteners that can interfere with desired flow paths. Traditional... Read more →

Schematic view of artificial photosynthesis system. Click to enlarge. Panasonic has developed an artificial photosynthesis system using a gallium nitride photoelectrode and a metal catalyst which uses sunlight to convert CO2 mainly to formic acid (an important intermediate in chemical synthesis) at an efficiency (solar energy to chemical energy) of... Read more →

Sierra Energy selects Oxford Catalysts microchannel FT reactor for California waste-to-liquids commercial demonstration plant

Sierra Energy has selected microchannel Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reactor technology developed by Velocys, Inc., the US-based subsidiary of the Oxford Catalysts Group, for use in a waste-to-liquids (WTL) commercial demonstration plant to be constructed in northern California by the California-based company Sierra Energy. The plant, which is partially funded by a... Read more →

Balqon Corporation introduces HIQAP industrial lithium-ion packs to replace lead-acid batteries

Balqon Corporation, a developer of heavy-duty electric vehicles, drive systems and lithium battery storage devices, has introduced high-capacity lithium-ion batteries as an alternative to the current industrial deep cycle lead acid batteries. The new HIQAP batteries are available in 12, 24 and 48 Volt configurations with an amp hour capacity... Read more →

USA awarded patent on method for producing renewable high-density biofuels from pinene

The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, has been awarded a patent (Nº 8,227,651) on a method for producing high-density fuel candidates from the selective dimerization of pinenes. (Earlier post.) These renewable fuels have potential for use in rocket engines and in a wide... Read more →

University of Leeds and Chinese Academy of Sciences create joint institute to develop next-generation thermal and mechanical energy storage systems

The University of Leeds (UK) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have partnered to create a joint research institute to develop next generation energy storage systems, with a focus on thermal- and mechanical-based energy storage systems. A wide variety of technologies can store energy, such as batteries, pumped hydro power... Read more →

by Jack Rosebro The new prototype motor. Click to enlarge. General Electric engineers have successfully tested a prototype hybrid and electric vehicle motor with a peak power level of 55 kW and the ability to operate continuously at up to 105 °C (221 °F), using conventional transmission fluid as the... Read more →

MAN Diesel & Turbo announced that its first super-long-stroke, 90-cm bore Mk 9 engine has successfully completed test bed trials at Hyundai Heavy Industries Engine & Machinery Division. Physically the largest two-stroke engine ever designed by MAN Diesel & Turbo, the engine will deliver a massive torque of 8.5 million... Read more →

Siemens has produced the world’s longest rotor blades for wind turbines. Measuring 75 meters in length, the blades are almost as big as the wingspan of an Airbus A380. Beginning this fall, the B75 rotor blades will be installed into a prototype six-megawatt offshore wind power system in Denmark’s Østerild... Read more →

A team of British and Australian scientists has discovered an important method of how carbon is drawn down from the surface of the Southern Ocean to the deep waters beneath. The Southern Ocean is an important carbon sink in the world—around 40% of the annual global CO2 emissions absorbed by... Read more →

Vehicle efficiency improvements via effective standards and policies could reduce annual CO2 e emissions from the US, China, and the EU by 1.3 Gt at a savings of about $135 billion per year by 2030. Source: McKinsey & Co., ICCT-ClimateWorks. Click to enlarge. The US, China, and the EU could... Read more →

Renault improves fuel efficiency of Kangoo and Kangoo Express ENERGY dCi 75 and 90 to equivalent of 54.7 mpg US with stop/start and energy management

Renault has further improved the fuel economy of its diesel-powered light commercial van Kangoo and Kangoo Express with the ENERGY dCi 71 and 90 models. Renault first presented the Kangoo equipped with an ENERGY dCi 90 diesel engine at the last Geneva Motor Show. The Kangoo and Kangoo Express emit... Read more →

Nikkei: Panasonic developing artificial photosynthetic technology almost as efficient as plants; production of ethanol from CO2

The Nikkei reports that Panasonic Corp. has developed technology that artificially induces photosynthesis five times more efficiently than existing methods and almost as efficiently as plants. The technology could theoretically reduce the generation of carbon dioxide while producing ethanol that could be used an alternative fuel for automobiles...Panasonic used an... Read more →

Cellulosic sugar producer Sweetwater Energy closes $9M Series A round

Cellulosic sugar manufacturer Sweetwater Energy, Inc. has oversubscribed and closed its Series A funding round. The company sought $5 million in initial funding, but investor response was greater than expected, leading CEO Arunas Chesonis to close the round at $9 million. Sweetwater Energy uses a novel technology to produce low-cost... Read more →

Seasonal ethanol emissions from North America. Emissions for present-day are compared to those for the EISA and All-E85 scenarios. Numbers inset give the total North American ethanol source. Labels at left are months (e.g., DJF = December, January, February). Credit: ACS, Millet et al. Click to enlarge. A study by... Read more →

Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, is introducing a single-engine airplane—the new Turbo 182 Skylane—equipped with the first engine of its kind in the single-engine industry designed to run on Jet A aviation fuel. SMA SR 305-230 engine on the stand at Le Bourget 2007 SAFRAN. Intended for general... Read more →

Nesscap Energy completes $8.5M private placement

Ultracap company Nesscap Energy Inc. closed a US$8.5 million private placement of common shares from affiliates of each of I2BF Global Ventures and Arbat Capital Group at a price of C$0.38 per common share. The financing will be used primarily to expand Nesscap’s operations in South Korea. I2BF subscribed for... Read more →

Nikkei reports Japan-China JVs for rare-earth magnets foundering on Japanese regulations

The Nikkei reports that joint ventures being planned by Japan-based TDK Corp. and Hitachi Metals Ltd. to make powerful magnets in China have foundered due to Japanese regulations that will complicate the necessary exports and technology transfers. In essence, the projects have been caught in the trade diplomacy crossfire over... Read more →

ETI announces £2.5M lower drivetrain HDV efficiency project

The UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has launched a three-year, £2.5-million (US$3.9-million) project to improve the efficiency of Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) by cutting the amount of parasitic losses in the lower drivetrain system by 50%. The ETI is a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies—BP, Caterpillar, EDF,... Read more →

TransCanada receives final key permit for Gulf Coast Project pipeline; construction set to begin this summer

TransCanada Corporation has received the final of three key permits needed from the US Army Corps of Engineers in order to advance the 485-mile (780-kilometer) Gulf Coast Project. (Earlier post.) The Gulf Coast Project represents the Cushing-to-Gulf portion of the original Keystone XL pipeline plan. With the permit from the... Read more →

Delta Motorsport to integrate Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging into Delta E-4 Coupé EVs for London trial

Delta Motorsport, a leading UK automotive and motorsport engineering consultancy, will integrate the Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) system into its Delta E-4 Coupé electric vehicles, which are intended for deployment in Qualcomm’s London WEVC trial. The London WEVC trial is scheduled to commence in the second half... Read more →

Cloud Peak Energy and Crow Tribe reach tentative agreement for up to 1.4B tons of in-place coal in Montana

Cloud Peak Energy Inc., one of the largest US coal producers, and the Crow Tribe of Indians reached tentative agreements regarding exploration rights and exclusive options to lease and develop up to an estimated 1.4 billion tons of in-place Northern Powder River Basin coal on the Crow Indian Reservation in... Read more →

Dongfeng Nissan launches Venucia R50 in China

Venucia, the new brand from Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company (DFL-PV), launched its second production vehicle—the Venucia R50, scheduled to go on sale in September 2012. (Earlier post.) Based on Nissan's global platform, the new sports hatchback was developed by DFL-PV especially for the Chinese market and will be built... Read more →

Renault, LG Chem and CEA preparing to sign three-way agreement concerning next-generation traction battery development and production; European plant, based in France

Renault, LG Chem and CEA (France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) are preparing to sign a three-way agreement in September concerning next-generation battery production. In 2010, Renault and the CEA initiated a strategic partnership in the areas of clean vehicles and mobility. As part of this partnership, they signed... Read more →

Siluria Technologies raises $30M in Series C to commercialize its OCM process for converting natural gas into commodity chemicals and transportation fuels

Siluria Technologies, a startup developing novel catalysts for the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) reaction to produce ethylene (C2H4) directly from methane (CH4) with high performance at low temperatures (earlier post), has closed its Series C financing, raising $30 million. Ethylene is a highly flexible chemical intermediate that can be... Read more →

SwRI and collaborators receive $12.3M from DOE to develop turbo-expander and turbine combustor for more efficient concentrating solar plants

Southwest Research Institute and its industry collaborators have been awarded a total of $12.3 million through two contracts from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative. The first is an $8.5-million contract to develop a high-efficiency supercritical CO2 hot gas turbo-expander for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. The second... Read more →

Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariant recently inaugurated Germany’s largest pilot plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural waste. (Earlier post.) Located in Straubing, Bavaria and supported by the Bavarian government and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the project will produce up to 1,000 tonnes of cellulosic... Read more →

University Of Dayton Research Institute wins $3M funding to develop materials for additive manufacturing of aircraft engine components

The Ohio Third Frontier awarded $3 million to the University of Dayton Research Institute to provide specialized materials for use in additive manufacturing. UDRI will work with program partners, Stratasys, PolyOne and Rapid Prototype Plus Manufacturing Inc. to develop aircraft-engine components for GE Aviation—who also collaborated on the program proposal—as... Read more →

DOE awards $7M to eight oxy-combustion coal technology projects; carbon capture, utilization and storage

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected eight projects to advance the development of transformational oxy-combustion technologies capable of high-efficiency, low-cost carbon dioxide capture from coal-fired power plants. The Energy Department’s $7 million investment—leveraged with recipient cost-share to support approximately $9.4 million in total projects—will support the development and deployment... Read more →

DHL Express adds 100 more propane autogas vans for pickup and delivery fleet

DHL Express has added 100 more pickup and delivery vans fueled by propane autogas to its fleet. The new Ford E-250 cargo vans, each equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech dedicated liquid propane autogas fuel system, will be on the road by late August 2012 and will support DHL Express pickup... Read more →

GM developing Wi-Fi Direct driver assistance systems for wireless pedestrian and bicyclist detection

General Motors researchers are developing a driver assistance feature potentially capable of detecting pedestrians and bicyclists on congested streets or in poor-visibility conditions. The feature relies on Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer (P2P) wireless standard that can allow mobile devices such as smartphones to communicate directly with each other rather than... Read more →

Fuel-cell maker Ballard acquires IdaTech’s backup power system product lines, ip and customer base

Ballard Power Systems signed an agreement to acquire key assets from IdaTech, including its fuel cell product lines for backup power applications, distributor and customer relationships, as well as a license to intellectual property. IdaTech supplies both hydrogen- and methanol-fueled systems. This transaction gives Ballard key benefits immediately, both financial... Read more →

JD Power 2012 APEAL highlights ongoing downsizing trend for new car buyers in US; increasing satisfaction with smaller vehicles

J.D. Power and Associates’ latest APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) study—an examination of how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of more than 80 vehicle attributes—highlights an ongoing downsizing trend among US auto buyers, and finds that owners of small cars and... Read more →

The Navy program seeks to enable the operation of pier-launched UUVs in littorals for 70+ days. Source: US Navy. Click to enlarge. The US Navy has awarded FuelCell Energy, Inc. a $3.8-million Phase I contract to develop and test a Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)-Battery power system for large... Read more →