« September 2013 | Main | November 2013 »

DOE BETO issues request for information on advanced biofuel, bioproducts and biopower validation and deployment

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is soliciting feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to advanced biofuel, bioproducts, and biopower technology validation and potential deployment strategies. (DE-FOA-0001013) BETO’s mission is to develop... Read more →

GE Aviation and the University of Cincinnati collaborate on new research center

GE Aviation, in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati Research Institute (UCRI), has created the GE Aviation Research Center at the company’s world headquarters in Evendale, Ohio. The scope of this agreement marks a first in Ohio between a leading aerospace company and a leading university research institute. The Research... Read more →

VIA launches electric vehicle assembly plant in Mexico

VIA Motors inaugurated its first high volume electric vehicle assembly line this week at its new facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The new facility is strategically located in a free trade zone near several major automakers and suppliers. New vehicles are transported from the General Motors production facility in... Read more →

Fairbanks Morse Model 38 opposed-piston engine. Click to enlarge. The leading manufacturer of opposed-piston engines, Fairbanks Morse Engine (FME), an EnPro Industries company, has signed a joint development and licensing agreement with Achates Power, Inc., the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), to reduce emissions... Read more →

DSM joins LIPA-Team to develop series production of advanced thermoplastic composites parts

Royal DSM has joined the LIPA (“Lightweight Integrated Process Application”) project team, set up to develop an industrial process for the manufacture of endless-fiber-reinforced advanced thermoplastic composite parts. DSM will contribute with materials know-how and in-depth understanding of polyamide 6 applications. With the participation of DSM as support-partner in the... Read more →

Breakthrough in study of aluminum could yield new technological advances

In an open access paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon report a scientific advance that has eluded researchers for more than 100 years—a platform to study and fully understand the aqueous chemistry of aluminum, one... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (DE-FOA-0000827) aimed at research and development (R&D) for the continued development of advanced hydrogen storage systems and novel hydrogen storage materials supported... Read more →

Distance to 2012 target by individual manufacturer. Source: EEA. Click to enlarge. Based on emission levels recorded in vehicle tests, car registration data analyzed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in the report “CO2 emissions performance of car manufacturers in 2012” shows that in 2012 all major car manufacturers met... Read more →

Enbridge to develop two pipelines for total of $3B in Canadian oil sands

Enbridge is developing two pipelines in the Canadian oil sands area for a combined investment of about $3 billion. The first is a new industry diluent pipeline with associated capital of up to $1.4 billion, depending on scope, to meet the needs of multiple producers in the Athabasca oil sands... Read more →

Petrobras says it will increase production capacity by 1M barrels per day in 2013

This year, Petrobras bring online nine new production units in a single year for the first time; the installed production capacity of the platforms amounts to 1 million barrels per day. The units coming on stream will be essential for the company to double its current production and achieve the... Read more →

ORION infographic. Click to enlarge. UPS has launched its ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) advanced route optimization software. The rollout of ORION is intended to optimize 10,000 delivery routes by the end of the year, reduce miles driven and reinforce UPS’ sustainability efforts. US deployment to nearly all 55,000... Read more →

Argentina’s largest ethanol plant begins operations; Vogelbusch technology

Promaíz S.A. has begun operations of its new bioethanol plant in Alejandro Roca in the central Córdoba province of Argentina. The corn ethanol plant, which uses technology from Vogelbusch Biocommodities, has a nameplate capacity of 420,000 liters (111,000 gallons US) per day, making it the largest of its kind in... Read more →

Universal LNG Solutions Inc. (ULNG) has placed a blanket purchase order for 900 Westport iCE PACK LNG Tank Systems (iCE PACK) to be delivered over the next two years. iCE PACK tank. Click to enlarge. The Westport iCE PACK is an onboard LNG tank system customized for spark-ignited engines, and... Read more →

Panasonic and Tesla expand supply agreement for Li-ion cells; nearly 2 billion through 2017

Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors have expanded their 2011 supply agreement so that Panasonic will now supply nearly 2 billion automotive-grade lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla through 31 December 2017 at long-term preferential prices. Panasonic also has a position in Tesla, having purchased $30 million of Tesla’s common stock in... Read more →

Honda begins construction of the first wind farm by an automaker in Brazil

Honda Energy do Brasil Ltda. (Honda Energy), Honda’s wind power generation business subsidiary in Brazil, has started construction of a new wind farm in the city of Xangri-lá in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil (approximately 1,000 km south of Honda’s current automobile production plant in Sumaré,... Read more →

IXYS releases new 600A 650V IGBT module based on XPT IGBT technology

IXYS Corporation announced a new high power phase-leg in the SimBus-F outline with a total Current - Voltage capability of 600 Ampere and 650 Volt. The MIXD600PF650TSF is designed for high power control applications such as UPS, battery chargers, inverters, solar inverters, motor drives, electrical vehicles, elevators and other industrial... Read more →

Subaru to introduce updated VIZIV plug-in hybrid concept at Tokyo Motor Show

At the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, Subaru will debut the Subaru VIZIV Evolution Concept plug-in hybrid—an advanced form of the future-generation crossover concept VIZIV CONCEPT exhibited at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The VIZIV Evolution Concept features a power unit which represents one of the ideas Subaru... Read more →

Republic deploys 67 CNG solid waste and recycling trucks in southern NJ and Philadelphia area

Continuing its string of local deployments (earlier post) Republic Services, Inc. has brought 67 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) solid waste and recycling trucks to serve customers throughout southern New Jersey and in Philadelphia. The new CNG fleet will replace older diesel-powered trucks. One of the more lasting contributions we can... Read more →

Stanford faculty awarded $2.2 million for innovative energy research; fuel cells, hybrids, splitting CO2

Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy have awarded 11 seed grants totaling $2.2 million to Stanford faculty for promising new research in clean technology and energy efficiency. The seed funding supports early work on concepts that have the... Read more →

In celebration of the completion of the West Coast Corridor of the Tesla Supercharger Network, Tesla is heading out on a Model S drive from San Diego to Seattle on their first Supercharged trip up the West Coast. West Coast Superchargers. Tesla drivers leave San Diego this morning from San... Read more →

PwC’s Autofacts forecasts global light vehicle assembly to reach 81.8M units in 2013, up 3.3% from 2012

Global light vehicle assembly will reach 81.8 million units in 2013, representing a 3.3% year-over-year gain, according to Autofacts, PwC’s automotive analyst group. While there has been speculation around the long-awaited recovery of the European Union (EU), 2013 is poised to mark a turning point, setting the stage for recovery... Read more →

Greater London Authority, Welsh Government and Transport Scotland join UK H2Mobility

The Greater London Authority, Welsh Government and Transport Scotland are the latest organizations to join UK H2Mobility, a national project in which industry leaders and Government are working together to realize the benefits of hydrogen-fueled road transport. (Earlier post.) The new partners will strengthen the project’s national reach and its... Read more →

Navistar completes heavy-duty product transition to SCR for emissions compliance

Navistar, Inc. introduced its International LoneStar on-highway tractor with Cummins ISX15 engine with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) emissions technology is now available for order. The LoneStar is the company’s final heavy-duty Class 8 on-highway truck model to incorporate SCR emissions technology since Navistar began its SCR transition in December 2012.... Read more →

Univ of Bath powertrain researchers receive £3.2M in new funding; Centre for Low Emission Vehicle Research

Researchers from the University of Bath Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC) in the UK have received a total of £3.2 million (US$5.1 million) of new funding. An EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Funding) grant of £2 million (US$3.2 million) will see the current vehicle facility upgraded and branded... Read more →

UQM introduces PowerPhase HD 250 for high-voltage applications

UQM Technologies, Inc. has added the PowerPhase HD 250 to its expanding production-ready product line of electric drive systems for heavy-duty vehicles. This system delivers high performance for high-voltage electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, including heavy commercial truck, transit bus and marine applications. The UQM PowerPhase HD 250 provides 900 N·m... Read more →

NSF awards Univ. of Maryland and Genovation $438K to develop novel hybrid energy storage system for EVs

The National Science Foundation has selected a project by researchers at the University of Maryland and their partners from Genovation Cars (earlier post) for a $438,418 GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) award to develop a novel hybrid energy storage system for electric vehicles. The specific objectives of... Read more →

Navigant forecasts revenue from hydrogen consumption will reach $50B by 2030

According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from hydrogen consumption for new and emerging markets will grow from $1.3 billion annually in 2013 to $49.8 billion in 2030. Demand segments include hydrogen as a fuel for fuel cells, in both transport and stationary applications (the power-to-transport and... Read more →

The tested AEB systems can offer two functions: automatic braking and forward collision warning. Source: NCAP. Click to enlarge. Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) released the first results of rear-end crash avoidance systems tested against the upcoming 2014 rating protocol. The testing compared 8 vehicles with respect to... Read more →

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated Ford’s 2014 1.0L EcoBoost-powered Fiesta sub-compact, arriving at dealers later this year, at 45 mpg (5.2 l/100 km) highway. (Earlier post.) The fuel economy rating outperforms some competitors’ diesels and hybrids on the highway driving cycle. As an example, the 2014 Honda... Read more →

Air Liquide forms JV with Toyota Tsusho for hydrogen supply for fuel cell electric vehicles

Air Liquide Japan and Toyota Tsusho Corporation have signed a partnership agreement for a hydrogen supply business for fuel cell electric vehicles in Japan. According to this agreement, the two companies will establish a new JV company (Toyota Tsusho 51%, Air Liquide Japan 49%). As a first step, the new... Read more →

Pacific states and BC agree to align GHG and clean energy policies; targeting 10% new vehicle ZEV purchases by 2016

The Governors of California, Oregon and Washington and the Premier of British Columbia signed a regional agreement strategically to align policies to reduce greenhouse gases and promote clean energy. The agreement has no legal effect and imposes no legally binding obligation. The pact seeks to enhance cooperation through a range... Read more →

ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute), a Taiwan-based high-tech applied research institution, is introducing ButyFix, a technology for cellulosic bio-butanol production with a negative carbon footprint. ButyFix uses a three-step process: (1) the hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose to release sugars; (2) fermentation of the sugars to produce butyrate; and (3)... Read more →

EnerSys to acquire Li-ion manufacturer Quallion LLC

EnerSys has entered into an agreement to acquire Quallion LLC, a manufacturer of Li-ion cells and batteries for high integrity applications for $30 million. (Earlier post.) The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. With the United States government's Title III investment of $65 million in Quallion's... Read more →

Overall Scheme for doped graphene oxide Copyright: UNIST. Click to enlarge. A research team from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), S. Korea, has developed a high-performance, stable and metal-free electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). A paper on their work is published in the RSC journal... Read more →

Volvo Trucks North America optimizes its regional haul models for greater fuel efficiency and payload

Volvo Trucks in North America is boosting fuel efficiency and payload capacity for regional haul carriers with the introduction of its Optimized Series, now available for order. The series includes eight models equipped with proven fuel- and weight-saving specifications to deliver a greater value of ownership for regional tanker, bulk... Read more →

Fraunhofer and Continental building pilot system to extract Russian dandelion rubber for tires

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, in collaboration with Continental, are building a pilot system to extract rubber from the Russian dandelion for making tires. Working jointly with industry and science, the IME scientists have optimized the cultivation and production engineering for dandelion rubber... Read more →

Chevrolet Spark EV Tech Performance concept. Click to enlarge. Chevrolet previewed the Spark EV Tech Performance concept, as well as other performance-oriented concepts of the Sonic, Malibu, new Impala, and Cruze Diesel. The cars will debut at the SEMA Show, 5-8 Nov. in Las Vegas. SEMA is the world’s largest... Read more →

Global Bioenergies hits milestone in deal with US-based partner; negotiations for license agreement begin

Light bio-olefins company Global Bioenergies has reached the main milestone in a license option signed in 2010 with a Fortune 500 US-based industrialist. (Earlier post.) In December 2010, Global Bioenergies had signed a license option agreement with a large US-based industrial group. According to the terms of this agreement, a... Read more →

Daimler to invest around $457M in the commercial vehicle plants in Brazil over next two years

Daimler Trucks plans to invest around one billion Brazilian real ($US457 million) in the commercial vehicle plants of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil in the next two years. The financing will be placed mainly in research and development of new products and innovative technologies, as well as in process optimizations and modernization... Read more →

Turkish steel producer using laser light section technology for inspection of hot surfaces

A major Turkish steel producer is optimizing the production of high speed-compatible rails using the DIRIS 3D HOT system developed by Austria-based NextSense. The method is based on laser light section technology—a method of optical 3-D measurement technology that allows for the calculation of a precise height profile—which facilitates the... Read more →

By tuning gold nanoparticles to just the right size, researchers from Brown University have developed a catalyst that selectively converts carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO), an active carbon molecule that can be used to make alternative fuels and commodity chemicals. The findings are published in the Journal of... Read more →

ABB, Bosch, Cisco, and LG aim to set up a consortium to provide a software platform for smart homes. The companies have now signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect. The plan is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. Concept of the smart home. Click to enlarge. Under... Read more →

For all A3 variants and most other models, Audi connect now features an online service dubbed Fuel prices, which provides information on up-to-date prices at filling stations in Germany. With the aid of an online database, the service lists the cheapest filling stations at the current location, the destination or... Read more →

Canada awards $30M to 10 automotive R&D projects; from electrified powertrains to hot stamping

The Government of Canada has awarded C$30 million (US$29 million) through the Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) initiative to 10 university-industry partnerships to advance innovative automotive technologies. With a total project value of more than C$52 million (US$50 million), the funding includes some $22 million from industry and other partners. The... Read more →

Charge/discharge capacities vs cycle numbers of GO-S-Amy at different sulfur loadings. Credit: ACS, Zhou et al. 2013 a. Click to enlarge. Researchers in the lab of Hector Abruña, the Emile M. Chamot Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University, have developed two approaches to improve the durability and... Read more →

Cyprus offshore hydrocarbon exploration blocks. Paltsev et al. Click to enlarge. Based on the interim results of a new study, MIT researchers are warning smaller nations to proceed with caution in pursuing the development of their natural gas resources. The study is a part of of a larger report that... Read more →

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Stanford University are proposing a reaction mechanism for one of the key steps in assembling the hydrogen-generating bacterial catalyst hydrogenase. They report on their work in a paper in the journal Science. This hydrogen-generating cluster of iron (brown) and sulfur (yellow) atoms,... Read more →

SRC launches Synthetic Biology Research on biomedical and minimal-power electronic devices for novel semiconductor applications

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world’s leading university-research consortium for semiconductor technologies, has launched the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology (SSB) research program on hybrid bio-semiconductor systems to provide insights and opportunities for future information and communication technologies. The program will initially fund research at six universities: MIT; the University of Massachusetts... Read more →

SINTEF researchers devising energy-conserving aluminum parts manufacturing process

Parts for suspension systems are among the automotive applications for aluminium. Today, many of these parts are kneaded into shape by means of forging in order to give them the required mechanical properties. Now, Norwegian materials technologists at SINTEF aim to meet these quality requirements via an alternative, energy-conserving manufacturing... Read more →

China’s CNOOC announces first gas from UK North Sea Rochelle Field

China’s CNOOC Limited announced first production from the Rochelle gas-condensate field in the UK North Sea. At Rochelle field, Nexen Petroleum U.K. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CNOOC, acts as the field operator. CNOOC completed its acquisition of Nexen (parlier post) in February 2013. The Rochelle field in Blocks... Read more →