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Amyris has partnered with Brazilian airline GOL to fly the industry’s first commercial flight with sugarcane-derived farnesane, the recently approved renewable jet fuel. (Earlier post.) The first flight, GOL flight 7725, departed from Orlando, Florida on 30 July 2014 and traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil. On 15 June, ASTM revised... Read more →

Ultracapacitor manufacturer Skeleton Technologies raises €3.9M (US$5.2 M) in Round A financing (corrected by mfr)

Skeleton Technologies, a manufacturer of high power- and energy-density ultracapacitors (earlier post) has completed Round A financing of €3.9 million (US$5.4 million). The financing will be used for production scale-up and product development in addition to sales and marketing efforts. The total Round A financing, led by Estonian venture capital... Read more →

Continental acquires 100% ownership of exhaust aftertreatment JV Emitec

Continental has acquired 100% ownership of the exhaust technologies specialist Emitec. Until now, it was a 50/50 joint venture with Continental and Continental’s partner GKN. The acquisition takes effect today, with Emitec becoming part of Conti’s Powertrain Division. Continental already has a comprehensive product portfolio in the field of exhaust-gas... Read more →

Ford holding auto app developer conference; hackathon with LA data

Ford Motor Company will hold an automotive app developer conference on 8 September as part of the Connected Car Expo taking place at CTIA’s Super Mobility Week at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The conference will be followed by an overnight hackathon where developers will be... Read more →

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB in Erlangen, Germany are pursuing an alternative approach to inductive (wireless) charging for electric vehicles. Rather than mounting induction coils on the underside of the vehicle to work with floor-mounted charging stations, the Fraunhofer team has developed a... Read more →

A3 e-tron. Click to enlarge. Audi’s first plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback e-tron (earlier post), is now available to order for customers in Europe. Approximately 410 Audi dealers in Europe—including 105 in Germany—are selling the A3 e-tron. Pricing on the German market is €37,900 (US$50,800). The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron... Read more →

S 500 Plug-In Hybrid. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz has begun taking orders for the new S 500 Plug-In Hybrid (earlier post), with prices (in Germany, including 19% VAT) from €108,944.50 (US$146,000); the sedan will begin arriving at dealerships in September. The Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid offers a combined system... Read more →

Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors, Inc. signed an agreement that lays out their cooperation on the construction of a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the United States (the specific location yet to be announced) known as the Gigafactory. (Earlier post.) During Tesla’s Q4 earnings call in February, Tesla CEO Elon... Read more →

Chromatin and California ethanol producers to support sorghum feedstock program with CA Energy Commission’s $9M grants

Chromatin, Inc., a leading producer of innovative crop breeding technology, sorghum seed products and feedstocks, announced a collaborative sorghum feedstock program with Pacific Ethanol, Inc.; Calgren Renewable Fuels; and Aemetis, Inc. The California Energy Commission announced on 18 July 2014 that it had awarded the ethanol companies with a total... Read more →

UT and ORNL researchers develop new class of pseudocapacitor; anion-based intercalation pseudocapacitance

Scientists in the The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering, in collaboration with a researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have developed the first of a new class of pseudocapacitor that may eventually lead to devices that... Read more →

M&G Chemicals & Anhui Guozhen form JV to build the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in China

M&G Chemicals’s subsidiary M&G International S.à.r.l has entered into a Sino-foreign joint venture with Anhui Guozhen ℅, Ltd. The JV company—Anhui M&G Guozhen Green Refinery CO, Ltd—will employ PROESA technology licensed by Beta Renewables to convert 970,000-1,300,000 metric tons per year of agricultural residues into cellulosic ethanol, glycols and by-products... Read more →

Michigan State awarded $1M to develop hardier switchgrass

Michigan State University has been awarded $1 million from a joint US Department of Energy and US Department of Agriculture program to develop hardier switchgrass, a plant native to North America that holds high potential as a biofuel source. If switchgrass could better endure northern United States’ winters, the plant... Read more →

The Mini Cooper Countryman was the only small car to earn a good rating among the latest group of 12 cars subjected to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) small overlap front crash test. Two battery- electric models and a hybrid also are in the mix, with varied results.... Read more →

Tamarind Energy and Blackstone Energy Partners to form $800M partnership with a focus on SE Asia oil and gas development

Tamarind Energy, a new exploration and production company headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, announced its formation with a commitment from Blackstone Energy Partners. The Tamarind team comprises senior executives with experience across a range of basins in South East Asia. Tamarind will focus on growing production and reserves from producing oil... Read more →

DOE awarding $11M to advance renewable carbon fiber production from biomass

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $11.3 million for two projects that aim to advance the production of cost-competitive, high-performance carbon fiber material from renewable, non-food-based feedstocks, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass. Carbon fiber can lower the cost and improve performance of fuel-efficient vehicles... Read more →

Schematic illustration of the the hybrid Mg-Li battery designed in this work. This battery has a piece of Mg foil as the anode, Mo6S8 as the cathode, and the electrolyte contains both Mg2+ and Li+. Cheng et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have devised... Read more →

New catalyst improves conversion of CO2 to syngas

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have identified molybdenum disulfide as a promising cost-effective substitute for noble metal catalysts for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. A paper on their work is published in the journal Nature Communications. While noble metals such as gold and silver are... Read more →

Daimler to invest $2B in Sindelfingen Plant by 2020

By 2020, Daimler will invest €1.5 billion (US$2 billion) at the Mercedes-Benz Cars Sindelfingen Plant and will significantly improve its competitive position. The company has reached a multi-year agreement with the Works Council on cost reductions in a triple-digit million euro amount. In return, Daimler will invest billions of euros... Read more →

Optical micrographs of severe corrosion on steel alloy samples exposed to ethanol and acetic acid vapors—conditions typical of underground gasoline storage tanks—after 355 hours, 643 hours, and 932 hours. Source: NIST. Click to enlarge. In recent years, field inspectors in nine states have reported many rapidly corroding underground gasoline storage... Read more →

Automatic Parking Assist standard on every Chevrolet SS Sedan

The SS Sedan is Chevrolet’s first and only vehicle to offer standard Automatic Parking Assist. The technology uses sensors on the front and rear bumpers to detect the width and depth of parallel and reverse right-angle parking spaces to provide hands-free parking help. The system can detect obstacles, gauge the... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC’s) vehicle powertrain production subsidiary in Changshu, China, Toyota Motor (Changshu) Auto Parts Co., Ltd. (TMCAP), has begun localized production of continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), which is a first for Toyota outside Japan. Production of transaxles for hybrid vehicles—also a first for Toyota outside Japan—is scheduled to... Read more →

Remy introduces new high-output alternator

Remy International, Inc. has launched the Delco Remy 38SI, its latest high output alternator. With this high-efficiency, mid-range amperage (215 A) alternator, Remy offers customers a comprehensive portfolio of high output products. The 38SI offers: Remote Sense that can reduce battery charge time by 50%; Unique stator design with best-in-class... Read more →

DOE announces steps to help modernize natural gas infrastructure

The White House and the Department of Energy hosted the fifth in a series of meetings on reducing methane emissions from natural gas systems. Following the meeting, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced several new initiatives as DOE’s part of the larger Administration Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. Efficiency Standards... Read more →

Isolated droplet combustion experiments performed on the International Space Station (ISS) by a team of international researchers have revealed a new type of cool-burning flames. The long durations of microgravity provided in the ISS enable the measurement of droplet and flame histories over an unprecedented range of conditions, enabling the... Read more →

Sakor Technologies announces turnkey test system for hybrid and electric vehicles

p> Sakor Technologies, Inc., a recognized leader in the implementation of instrumentation products for dynamometer testing, announced the availability of its complete testing system for hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs). The system features one or more AccuDyne AC motoring dynamometers; a high-voltage DC battery simulator; and a DynoLAB PT data... Read more →

Exelon to provide financing for 21MW of Bloom Energy SOFC projects at 75 commercial facilities

Exelon Corporation will provide equity financing for 21 megawatts (MW) of Bloom Energy solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) projects at 75 commercial facilities in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The power buyers include new and repeat blue-chip customers, such as AT&T, which will use the fuel cells to... Read more →

JV greenlights commercial small-scale GTL plant in Oklahoma using Velocys technology; commercial reference site

Velocys plc announced that the final investment decision (FID) has been made to proceed with construction of a commercial small-scale GTL plant using its technology. The project is being funded by a joint venture (JV) between Waste Management, NRG Energy (NRG), Ventech Engineers International (Ventech) and Velocys, formed to develop... Read more →

Fifth DOT connected vehicle PlugFest in August

The USDOT will hold its fifth Connected Vehicle PlugFest on 5-7 August 2014, in Farmington Hills, Michigan. PlugFests provide venues for vendor-to-vendor connected vehicle device testing to help ensure that devices and systems meet the base standard requirements and level of interoperability necessary for the Southeast Michigan Connected Vehicle Test... Read more →

EPRI, 8 automakers and 15 utilities to create an open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles

The Electric Power Research Institute, 8 automakers and 15 utilities are working to develop and to demonstrate an open platform that would integrate plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) with smart grid technologies enabling utilities to support PEV charging regardless of location. The open platform will simplify and streamline V2G (vehicle-to-grid) communications,... Read more →

GKN to supply 500 electric flywheel hybrid drive systems to Go-Ahead Group for buses

UK transport operator Go-Ahead Group has ordered 500 electric flywheel Gyrodrive systems from GKN Hybrid Power for use in buses. The Gyrodrive Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) system (featured in Audi’s LeMans-winning R18 e-tron quattro) harvests braking energy normally lost as heat. When the driver brakes, a traction motor on... Read more →

ABS, a leading provider of global marine classification services, has been chosen to class the world’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) carrier, which has been ordered by Pelayaran Bahtera Adhiguna, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PT PLN). PT PLN’s inaugural CNG ship, which will be... Read more →

Intelligent Energy signs agreement with Japanese automotive OEM to develop fuel cell technology towards commercial launch

Intelligent Energy Holdings plc has signed a further two-year, multi-million pound development agreement with a Japanese volume automotive OEM. The agreement will focus on the development of Intelligent Energy’s differentiated fuel cell engine technology towards commercialization in applications that are targeted to include compact cars and two-wheeler vehicles, as well... Read more →

Evatran’s wireless charging technology available for Cadillac ELR; two more premium model announcements expected

Evatran Group, Inc. announced that its Plugless wireless charging technology (earlier post) will soon be available on the Cadillac ELR. Evatran currently has systems that are compatible with the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt. The Cadillac ELR is the first model to be announced in what the company expects to... Read more →

The aluminum body of the XE. Click to enlarge. In the second of four technology previews leading up to the introduction of the new Jaguar XE on 8 September, Jaguar outlined its extensive use of aluminum in the new model. Designed around Jaguar’s modular vehicle architecture, the XE is the... Read more →

GM bringing wireless smartphone charging with Powermat to Cadillac models

Cadillac will add wireless charging of smartphones in the 2015 model ATS sport sedan and coupe launching this fall, to the CTS sport sedan this fall and to the Escalade SUV at the end of 2014.Compatible with Powermat and other in-phone wireless charging technologies, the feature eliminates the need for... Read more →

New Vito. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz introduced its new Vito model series for the mid-size van (2.5–3.2 t GVW) segment. Among the variants is the Vito 116 CDI BlueEfficiency, offering fuel consumption of 5.7 l of diesel per 100 km (41.3 mpg US). The new Vito is also the first... Read more →

BMW of North America launched its BMW i DC Fast Chargers, which can charge the BMW i3 all-electric vehicle’s battery up to 80% in 30 minutes, at the Plug-In 2014 conference. The fast chargers are a joint development between BMW and Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. BMW also announced its new... Read more →

Google and the IEEE have launched the Littlebox Challenge—an open competition to design and build a small kW-scale inverter with the highest power density (of at least 50 W/in3, or 3.05 kW/L) in an enclosure of less than 40 in3 in volume (0.66L). The winning inverter, which will receive a... Read more →

In a new report (Transportation Forecast: Global Fuel Consumption), Navigant Research forecasts total road transportation energy consumption will grow from 81.1 quadrillion Btu in 2014 to 101.7 quadrillion Btu in 2035—an increase of 25.4%. Approximately 84% of that will be provided by conventional fuels. The United States is currently the... Read more →

Ceres awarded Brazil government loan and grant to enhance sorghum and sugarcane development programs

Ceres, Inc. , an agricultural biotechnology and seed company, will enhance its product development programs in Brazil and expand its development activities in biotech traits for sorghum and sugarcane over the next four years. The programs will now be funded in part under the Brazilian government’s PAISS Agricola initiative, which... Read more →

China BAK Battery and Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics collaborate on next-gen batteries

China BAK Battery, Inc. (CBAK) will collaborate with Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences (DICP) in the R&D of next-generation battery manufacturing technologies with new battery materials, from lab scale tests, pilot scale tests to industrial tests, and related special preparation techniques. In addition, CBAK and... Read more →

Fuel cycle analysis (FCA)—or “well-to-wheels analysis”—is a type of lifecycle analysis (LCA) that examines fuel products and their supply chains, and that has greatly influenced climate-related research priorities and public policies for transportation fuels. However, in a major review of methods for evaluating the net CO2 impacts of liquid transportation... Read more →

GE GHG Ecomagination Innovation Challenge for higher value use of low grade waste heat from oil sands production

NineSigma, representing the General Electric Company, is inviting participation in a GE GHG Ecomagination Innovation Challenge to create value from excess low grade heat resulting from Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) oil sands production and/or related surface facility operations. The challenge is one of two that will seek to address... Read more →

Dr. Yi Cui and colleagues at Stanford University—including Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate and the former Secretary of Energy, now a professor in the Physics department at Stanford—report progress toward a stable lithium metal anode for use in high-energy-density batteries such as Li-sulfur or Li-air systems. Lithium metal is a... Read more →

(a) Charge and discharge voltage curves in repeated charge/discharge cycles at 45 mA g−1. (b) Charge and discharge voltage curves at various current densities (13.5–1080 mA g−1). Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of Tokyo, led by Dr. Noritaka Mizuno (“oxygen rocking”, earlier post), in collaboration with Nippon Shokubai... Read more →

Hydrogenics selected for 2 MW Power-to-Gas project in Canada

Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, was selected by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for Ontario as one of five grid storage projects. The Hydrogenics project, which will use PEM electrolyzers in a Power-to-Gas system, will deliver 2MW of storage capacity... Read more →

Delphi to debut new Tech Truck at IAA CV show; new high-pressure fuel injection system and new HPDI injector for natural gas

Delphi Automotive PLC will unveil the second generation of its Technology Truck concept highlighting future technologies at the upcoming IAA Commercial Vehicles show being held 25 Sept - 2 Oct in Hannover, Germany. Among the technologies Delphi will unveil is the next-generation fuel injection system for commercial vehicles applications. The... Read more →

Audi to demonstrate automated driving technology in Florida

Audi will be the first to test its automated driving technology on the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa, Florida—which recently was designated as an automated driving and connected car test bed—using an Audi A7 equipped to handle piloted driving functions on freeway conditions up to 40 mph (64 km/h).... Read more →

Renewable Fuels Association says DOE is under-representing E85 stations

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) database severely under-represents the number of stations selling E85. RFA says it uncovered nearly 1,000 missing stations as it compared the 2,391 stations found in the database as of 22 July 2014 to... Read more →

Charge–discharge profiles of ion-exchanged MgFeSiO4. Three-electrode cells using Mg metal counter electrode and silver reference electrode were used. Electrolyte was 0.5 M magnesium (trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (Mg(TFSI)2) in acetonitrile (solvent). Measurement temperature was 55°C. Current density was 6.62 mA·g−1 (MgFeSiO4). Orikasa et al. Click to enlarge. A team of researchers from Kyoto... Read more →