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Greenway Operator inaugurates battery swap station for electric vans up to 3.5t

Slovak electromobility operator GreenWay Operator has inaugurated its first battery swap station for electrovans up to 3.5 t in Bratislava. The company says that it is the first up its kind (for vans up to 3.5 t)in Europe. The company plans to offer its clients a complete rental service for... Read more →

EPA approves emergency gasoline fuel waivers for 16 states and DC

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act temporarily to waive certain federal clean gasoline requirements for gasoline sold and distributed in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, District of Columbia, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New... Read more →

EPA approves emergency diesel fuel waiver for New Jersey

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act temporarily to waive federal clean diesel fuel requirements in New Jersey to allow the use of home heating oil in most generators and pumps in emergency service in New Jersey. The waiver was granted by EPA... Read more →

New platinum-cobalt nanocatlysts for fuel cells greatly enhance activity and stability and cut costs

A research team at the Energy Materials Center at Cornell (EMC2) is developing platinum-cobalt nanoparticles with a platinum enriched shell that show improved catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel-cell applications. The new class of Pt–Co nanocatalysts—composed of ordered Pt3Co intermetallic cores with a 2–3 atomic-layer-thick platinum shell—exhibited... Read more →

Breakdown of (a) equivalent annualized life cycle cost and (b) life cycle GHG emissions for four independently cost-optimized vehicle designs. Traut et al. Click to enlarge. In a new study, a team from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Ford Research and Advanced Engineering set out to determine the optimal mix... Read more →

Canada’s NRC flies the first civil jet powered by 100% ReadiJet biofuel

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has flown the first civil jet powered by 100% unblended biofuel. (Earlier post.) The ReadiJet biofuel used for this flight was transformed by Applied Research Associates and Chevron Lummus Global, using oilseed crops commercialized by Agrisoma Bioscience Inc. The ReadiJet effort combines ARA’s... Read more →

SPX Service Solutions to distribute and install Plugless Power wireless electric vehicle charging systems

Evatran has signed an agreement with SPX Service Solutions to distribute and install Plugless Power wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging systems. (Earlier post.) These systems, available to individual Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt owners starting in April 2013, require station installation in customers’ homes, as well as the installation of... Read more →

Cobalt Technologies adds Bunge as strategic investor

Bunge Global Innovation LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global agribusiness and food company Bunge Limited has joined bio n-butanol company Cobalt Technologies’ Series E Preferred Stock round as a strategic investor. The investment follows Cobalt’s agreement with Bunge and specialty chemicals company Rhodia Poliamida e Especialidades Ltda. to operate a... Read more →

Lux: charging stations for electric vehicles will be $1.2B market in 2020

With government policy and investment driving automotive companies toward plug-in vehicles, the technology for delivering electricity to these vehicles will rise to a $1.2 billion market in 2020, according to a Lux Research report. Lux Research developed a forecast using vehicle sales to project the global electric-vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)... Read more →

ORNL unveils 20 petaflop Titan supercomputer

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched Titan, a 20 petaflop (20,000 trillion calculations per second) supercomputer that will be 10 times more powerful than ORNL’s last world-leading system, Jaguar, while overcoming power and space limitations inherent in the previous generation of high-performance computers.... Read more →

Volkswagen launches second-generation Santana; up to 28% improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions

Volkswagen held the world premiere of the second-generation Santana sedan at its plant in Wolfsburg. First introduced in China in the 1980s, the first generation sold nearly 4 million units, and is one of the most successful models in China. The new Sanata improves fuel economy and CO2 emissions by... Read more →

New Novozymes enzyme improves corn ethanol yield

Novozymes launched a new enzyme product, Novozymes Avantec, which improves the efficiency and profitability of biofuel production. Avantec enables producers of corn ethanol to squeeze an extra 2.5% ethanol out of the corn, thereby improving their profit margins. Corn is the single biggest input cost for an ethanol producer, and... Read more →

Westport and Tata to develop new light- and medium-duty natural gas engines

Westport Innovations Inc. announced an agreement with Tata Motors to develop an engine for light- and medium-duty trucks and buses. Details of the combustion technology are being withheld for competitive reasons, the company said. Westport is developing a next generation engine technology for integration into a new engine platform with... Read more →

Nankai University team shows “MXenes” promising anode materials for Li-ion batteries

A team from Nankai University (Tianjin, China) has shown that “MXenes”—exfoliated 2D carbide and carbonitride nanosheets that are structurally similar to graphene, where M represents transition metals, and X is either C or/and N—are promising anode materials for Li-ion batteries. A paper on their work appears in the Journal of... Read more →

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel powers full Gulfstream model range

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel produced using Honeywell’s UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process powered demonstration flights by Gulfstream Aerospace to this year’s National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention. Five Gulfstream aircraft traveled on 27 and 28 October from Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Ga., to Orlando, Fla., for the NBAA convention, the... Read more →

Bosch introducing new mid-range radar sensor, stereo-video sensor in 2014

As part of its work on developing new safety and driver assistance systems, Bosch will introduce a new mid-range 77 GHz radar sensor for front- and rear-end applications and a new stereo-video sensor. 77 Ghz radar. A leading European automaker is slated to deploy the new Bosch MRR rear mid-range... Read more →

TransCanada and Phoenix Energy forming JV to develop $3B oil sands pipeline in Alberta

TransCanada Corporation has entered into binding agreements with Phoenix Energy Holdings Limited (Phoenix) to develop the Grand Rapids Pipeline project in Northern Alberta. TransCanada and Phoenix will each own 50% of the proposed $3-billion pipeline project that includes both a crude oil and a diluent line to transport volumes approximately... Read more →

TRW launching integrated stability control and electric park brake system

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has won initial business awards for its integrated Electric Park Brake (EPBi) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. The integration of the two technologies eliminates the need for a separate electronic control unit in the system network, as the EPB control functions are performed within the... Read more →

Honda Aircraft Company has commenced production on the HondaJet business jet. (Earlier post.) During a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual meeting and convention in Orlando, Fla., the company also highlighted key testing milestones that have been successfully accomplished with the HondaJet moving closer to certification... Read more →

US consumer interest in PEVs, 2012. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge. A new Pike Research survey assessing US consumer demand, preferences, and price sensitivity for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and electric vehicle charging equipment (EVCE) has found a decline in the fundamental interest in PEVs among survey participants between... Read more →

Comparison of current federal subsidy to base case assumptions showing lifetime fuel savings (HomeEve charging scenario). An EPA estimate based on the Chevy Volt’s reported efficiency is also included for comparison. The federal subsidy significantly favors larger battery packs to a stronger degree than their potential for additional gasoline savings.... Read more →

Neste Oil launches sales of NExBTL renewable naphtha; plastics feedstock and biocomponent for gasoline

Neste Oil—the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel—has launched the commercial production and sales of renewable naphtha for corporate customers; the company is one of the first to supply bio-naphtha on a commercial scale. NExBTL naphtha is produced as part of the NExBTL renewable diesel refining process at Neste Oil’s... Read more →

Beta Renewables and Novozymes to form strategic partnership in the cellulosic biofuel market; Novozymes takes 10% stake

Novozymes, the world’s largest producer of industrial enzymes, and Beta Renewables have agreed to market, to demonstrate and to guarantee jointly cellulosic biofuel solutions. Beta Renewables is a $350-million (€250-million) joint venture formed from the Chemtex division of Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi and TPG focused on the development and broad... Read more →

IBM scientists have shown that ion-exchange chemistry can be used to fabricate arrays of individually positioned carbon nanotubes with a density as high as 1 × 109 cm−2—two orders of magnitude higher than previous reports. With this approach, they assembled a high density of carbon-nanotube transistors in a conventional semiconductor... Read more →

Continental Structural Plastics selects Siemens PLM Software to develop automotive advanced composites; application in Chevy Spark

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) has selected Siemens PLM Software’s Fibersim portfolio of software for composites engineering to support the production launch of the Chevy Spark battery enclosure. Fibersim will also be used to design and manufacture composites for other automotive applications, such as Class A surfaces and structural components. The... Read more →

BP cancels plans for Highlands cellulosic ethanol plant in US; investing in “more attractive projects”

BP last week announced it was canceling plans to build a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County, Florida and refocusing its US biofuels strategy on research and development as well as licensing its biofuels technology. The Highlands project (formerly known as Vercipia Biofuels, earlier post) was targeted to be... Read more →

Odyne and Altec approve non-exclusive global supply agreement for plug-in parallel hybrid work truck systems

Odyne Systems, LLC, and Altec, Inc., have agreed to market and promote the sale of Odyne’s plug-in hybrid products to Altec customers and potential customers. (Earlier post.) Odyne Systems develops and manufactures turnkey hybrid solutions optimized for fleets that utilize vehicles with driving cycles that have a high percentage of... Read more →

Cool Planet’s process relies on three core elements: novel biomass fractionation, advanced catalysis, and a char-to-soil enhancer. Source: Cool Planet. Click to enlarge. Cool Planet Energy Systems projects that using its patented mechanical process and novel scaling approach (earlier post), it will be able to produce high-octane carbon-negative (with the... Read more →

Report: Fujitsu develops radar technology for cars that detects people, obstacles

The Nikkei reports that Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. has developed radar technology for cars capable of warning drivers about people appearing suddenly from behind walls and objects in the dark. Commercialization is targeted for 2014. Fujitsu plans to develop an early-warning system that sounds an alarm when it detects approaching people... Read more →

IBM establishes the Smarter Energy Research Institute to accelerate transformation of energy and utilities market

IBM has launched the Smarter Energy Research Institute, a new industrial research collaboration model aimed at accelerating innovation across the global energy and utilities market. Hydro-Québec (Canada), Alliander (Netherlands) and DTE Energy (USA) join as the first members. Our mission is about bringing research and the energy industry closer together... Read more →

Johnson Controls acts to facilitate A123 bankruptcy process, avoid delays by threatened actions from Wanxiang

In collaboration with A123 Systems, Johnson Controls has chosen not to be the debtor-in-possession (DIP) lender during A123’s bankruptcy process to avoid potential delays posed by threatened legal actions from Wanxiang. (Earlier post.) The parties believe this move is in the best interest of the estate by ensuring an efficient... Read more →

IACT team using ALD to build nanobowls for tailored catalysts for biofuel production

A team of scientists from the Institute for Atom Efficient Chemical Transformations (IACT)—an Energy Frontier Research Center (earlier post) led by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and including Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin and Purdue University—is using atomic layer deposition (ALD) to build nanoscale “bowls” that protect metal catalysts from... Read more →

California Energy Commission to award up to $1.75M for work on economic and environmental impacts of plug-in battery packs

The California Energy Commission is issuing a competitive grant solicitation for up to $1.75 million in funding (PON-12-501), sponsored by the Transportation Research Area of the Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER), to address the economic and environmental impacts of battery packs for plug-in vehicles (PEVs). The commercial viability of... Read more →

The Utah Water Quality Board, in a 9-2 vote this week, agreed with the August 2012 recommendations of an administrative law judge (ALJ) upholding a permit-by-rule issued by the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for the proposed PR Spring an oil sands mine on state land in eastern Utah. The... Read more →

Arotech awarded contract to develop Li-ion prototypes for hybrid electric vehicles; 1st prototypes in 1Q 2013

Defense supplier Arotech Corporation’s Battery and Power Systems Division has received an order to develop three prototype Li-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles from an unnamed German automotive supply company. The first prototypes are due to be delivered in the first quarter of 2013. This contract marks Arotech’s entry into... Read more →

Two UK charging network operators enter roaming agreement; Low Carbon London offering free charge points for trial participants

Electric vehicle charging networks Source London and Source East have entered a roaming agreement enabling the members (annual £10 fee) of each to use the other’s charge points free of charge and have access to around 940 charge points throughout London and the east of England. Source London, a consortium... Read more →

Airbus’ A320neo programme has moved a step closer to the real aircraft with the assembly of the first engine-to-test—the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) PurePower PW1100G-JM engine. First engine-to-test. Click to enlarge. The PurePower engine uses an advanced gear system for the fan. This configuration was validated in Toulouse on Airbus’... Read more →

Neste Oil inaugurates Europe’s first pilot plant for producing microbial oil from waste and residues

Neste Oil celebrated the official opening of Europe’s first pilot plant for producing microbial oil from waste and residues at its site in Porvoo, Finland. (Earlier post.) Microbial oil produced from industrial and agricultural residues such as straw represents one of the most promising future raw materials for NExBTL renewable... Read more →

BP renews commitment to MITEI with second $25M pledge

BP is renewing its commitment to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative (MITEI) through an agreement to provide another $25 million for continued energy research over the next five years, bringing the company’s total program funding to $50 million. Launched in 2006 with BP as the inaugural founding member,... Read more →

CalBattery reports full cell testing on GEN3 Si-graphene anode material shows 525 Wh/kg; triple capacity while lowering battery cost up to 70%

According to independent test results in full cell Li-ion batteries (LIBs), California Lithium Battery’s (CalBattery) new GEN3 silicon-graphene composite anode materials, used with advanced cathode and electrolyte materials, show an energy density of 525 Wh/kg and specific anode capacity of 1,250 mAh/g. Earlier this year, CalBattery entered into a Work... Read more →

VX Cycle block diagram. Source: Expansion Energy. Click to enlarge. Dresser-Rand—among the largest suppliers of rotating equipment solutions to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical, and process industries—has entered into a definitive agreement with Expansion Energy LLC under which Dresser-Rand is granted a worldwide exclusive (for capacities up to 100,000 gallons... Read more →

Enova Systems announces delisting from NYSE MKT

Electric drive systems company Enova Systems, Inc. received notification on 24 October from the NYSE MKT (the Exchange, formerly known as the NYSE Amex) stating that, because the company was not in compliance with certain of the Exchange’s continued listing standards, the Exchange intends to strike the common stock of... Read more →

Boeing projects $820B market for 7,290 new airplanes in North America over next 20 years

Boeing forecasts that air carriers in North America will take delivery of 7,290 new airplanes over the next 20 years at a market value of $820 billion. Taking retirements of airplanes into account, the North America fleet will grow from 6,650 airplanes today to about 8,830 airplanes by 2031. The... Read more →

Researchers find tin nanoparticles promising electrode material for sodium-ion batteries

Tin (Sn) shows promise as a robust electrode material for rechargeable sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries, according to a new study by a team from the University of Pittsburgh and Sandia National Laboratory. A paper on their study of the microstructural changes and phase transformations of tin nanoparticles during electrochemical sodiation is... Read more →

Obama Administration offering more than 20M acres offshore Texas for oil and natural gas exploration and development

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau released the final details for an oil and gas lease sale that will offer more than 20 million acres offshore and will make available all unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico... Read more →

POET-DSM contracts with ANDRITZ for biomass pre-treatment process for cellulosic ethanol plant

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels (earlier post) has contracted with ANDRITZ, through its US subsidiary ANDRITZ Inc., to supply a two-step biomass treatment process for the Project LIBERTY commercial-scale cellulosic bio-ethanol plant under construction in Emmetsburg, Iowa (earlier post). The ANDRITZ technology uses a two-stage process that includes a vertical reactor, an... Read more →

Hyundai outlines future powertrain strategy

Hyundai Motor Group this week outlined its latest powertrain technologies and future plans at the 12th Hyundai-Kia International Powertrain Conference, held near the Hyundai Motor Group R&D Center in Korea. Gasoline. In keeping with the trend to downsizing, Hyundai has been expanding the application of Turbo Gasoline Direct Injection (T-GDI)... Read more →

Röchling Automotive selects Rhodia Technyl polyamide for high temperature turbo applications

Röchling Automotive has chosen Technyl polyamide from Rhodia Engineering Plastics, a member of the Solvay group, for the manufacturing of turbocharger air ducts which have to resist temperatures of up to 210 °C. Since 2007, teams from Rhodia Engineering Plastics and Röchling Automotive have been working together to develop new... Read more →