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DOE will award up to $25M to reduce costs of algal biofuels to less than $5/gge by 2019

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $25 million in funding to reduce the cost of algal biofuels to less than $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2019. (Earlier post.) The release of the new funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0001162) occurred on the first full program day for... Read more →

DOE issues draft loan guarantee solicitation for up to $12.6B for advanced nuclear energy projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a draft solicitation that would provide up to $12.6 billion in loan guarantees for Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects. Once finalized, these loan guarantees will provide critical financing to help commercialize advanced nuclear energy technologies, supporting projects that are often unable to secure... Read more →

Chrysler’s Ram Truck increases EcoDiesel mix to 20% of Ram 1500 production; double expectations

Chrysler’s Ram has decided to increase the 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel powertrain mix to 20% of the total Ram 1500 production volume—double the initial expectation. The EcoDiesel delivers 240 hp (179 kW), 420 lb-ft (569 N·m) of torque with up to 9,200 pounds (4,173 lbs) of towing capability and 28 mpg... Read more →

Fraunhofer holding 3rd annual workshop on Li-sulfur batteries in November

Fraunhofer IWS in Dresden, Germany will hold its 3rd annual workshop on Lithium-sulfur batteries from 12-13 November 2014. Fraunhofer says that Lithium-sulfur batteries are the most promising choice for future energy storage systems, with novel materials such as nanostructured carbon/sulfur composite cathodes, solid electrolytes and alloy-based anodes expected to enhance... Read more →

Conventional 3D metal printing (additive manufacturing) is generally restricted to metals with a high melting point, and the process is can be rather time consuming. Now, scientists at the Beijing Key Laboratory of CryoBiomedical Engineering, part of the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences,... Read more →

Study finds solo hybrid drivers in California HOV lanes amplify congestion, create up to $4,500 per car in adverse social costs annually

Allowing single-occupant low-emission cars in California to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on congested highways exacerbates the congestion and causes up to about $4,500 per car in adverse social costs annually, including increased commute times and carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new study in the American Economic Journal: Economic... Read more →

The automotive turbocharging industry will generate $12 billion in revenue by equipping 49 million vehicles with turbochargers annually by 2019, according to Honeywell Turbo Technologies’ 2014 Global Turbo Forecast. The continued growth of turbocharging technologies will be driven by requirements for manufacturers to meet global environmental emissions regulations and bolstered... Read more →

Velocys raises £52 ($85) million for smaller scale GTL

On the heels of three new projects announced in the past three months, Velocys has raised approximately $85 million through an oversubscribed equity placing, priced at a premium to the market price. The new funds will be used to build upon the company’s recent successes and maintain commercial momentum, helping... Read more →

Cover courtesy of S. Nygaard, Haldor Topsøe A/S. Click to enlarge. Researchers from Haldor Topsøe A/S have analyzed an industrial-style MoS2-based hydrotreating catalyst at the single-atom level using electron microscopy. With this method, the sites of single cobalt atoms, which are responsible for promoting sulfur removal from oil distillates, are... Read more →

BMW teams up with Baidu in autonomous driving project in China

BMW’s autonomous driving research prototypes have already driven thousands of kilometers in highly automated—i.e. self-driving—mode on German highways. In February 2013, the focus shifted to European motorways when BMW launched a joint project with Continental. Now, BMW is embarking on a research project which will pave the way for highly... Read more →

Roland Berger: Russian embargo against the Western automotive industry would hit Russia harder

A decision by Russia to retaliate against sanctions imposed by the European Union and the US over Ukraine by imposing strong Russian sanctions—i.e., an embargo—on car imports from Europe and the US could undermine a faltering Russian economy even more, according to a new analysis by Germany-based Roland Berger Strategy... Read more →

Pennsylvania’s Public-Private Partnership Board approves CNG project for public transit, private fleet fueling

Pennsylvania’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Board has approved a project seeking a private partner to develop compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations at public transit agencies around the state that would also provide public access to the facilities. Through the project, the private partner will design, build, finance, operate and maintain... Read more →

Argonne tool predicts economic impacts of building new natural gas stations

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new tool for analyzing the economic impacts of building new compressed natural gas fueling stations. Called JOBS NG, the tool is freely available to the public. JOBS NG is designed to help states and local governments evaluate... Read more →

Magna providing composite liftgate assembly for BMW i3 EV

Magna International Inc. is leveraging its advanced composites and exteriors systems expertise to produce an innovative, lightweight composite liftgate assembly on the BMW i3. Magna’s collaboratively-designed liftgate achieves the BMW i brand appearance and vehicle mass requirements through the use of a lightweight composite structure which integrates the liftgate’s functional... Read more →

Passat GTE sedan. Click to enlarge. In his remarks before the opening of the Geneva Motora Show in March 2014, Volkswagen Group Chairman of the Board of Management Prof. Dr. Winterkorn said that a plug-in hybrid version of the Volkswagen Passat would join the Group’s range of low-CO2 vehicles “soon.”... Read more →

Passat GTE sedan. Click to enlarge. In his remarks before the opening of the Geneva Motora Show in March 2014, Volkswagen Group Chairman of the Board of Management Prof. Dr. Winterkorn said that a plug-in hybrid version of the Volkswagen Passat would join the Group’s range of low-CO2 vehicles “soon.”... Read more →

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have, for the first time, been able to use laser measurement techniques and microphones to make highly precise, simultaneous measurements of the sources of noise in the air stream behind an aircraft engine. Aircraft engine noise is... Read more →

A new method developed for studying battery failures points to a potential next step in extending lithium-ion battery lifetime and capacity. Using a novel X-ray technique—coherent X-ray diffractive imaging (CXDI)—at the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory, researchers have revealed surprising dynamics in the... Read more →

UConn team devises chemistry-adaptive battery fuel gauge based on probabilistic data association

Researchers at the University of Connecticut have developed a chemistry-adaptive battery fuel gauge based on a probabilistic data association (PDA) algorithm. Their paper, available online in the Journal of Power Sources, addresses the problem of tracking the state-of-charge (SOC) in Li-ion batteries when the battery chemistry is unknown. It is... Read more →

The September 2014 Monthly Energy Review (MER) published on Friday by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has provided more data to support a trend in rising CO2 in the US that began in 2013. In 2012, according to the EIA, carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption (in million metric... Read more →

Rosneft announced a major oil discovery at the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area in the Kara Sea, following the successful completion of the drilling of the northernmost well in the world—the Universitetskaya-1 well. The Kara Sea is part of the Arctic Ocean north of West Siberia. The drilling was completed in record... Read more →

Divergence of real-world CO2 emissions from manufacturers’ type-approval CO2 emissions for various on-road data sources, including an average estimate for private and company cars as well as all data sources. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge. The gap between official and real-world fuel-economy figures in Europe has risen to about 38%,... Read more →

MANs TGX hybrid concept at IAA. Click to enlarge. At the IAA, MAN (part of the Volkswagen Group) presented a concept diesel-electric parallel hybrid version of its long-haul TGX truck. (MAN showed the Metropolis research truck, a range-extended electric refuse collection truck developed in collaboration with Benteler Engineering Services for... Read more →

Statoil will postpone the previously planned Corner field development at the Kai Kos Dehseh (KKD) oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, for a minimum of three years, due in part to rising labor and materials costs and market access issues including limited pipeline access. The decision has no implications for... Read more →

Groundbreaking in Turkmenistan for major synthetic gasoline plant; first full-scale Haldor Topsøe TIGAS facility

In August, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Ovadan-Depe near the capital of Ashgabad in Turkmenistan to launch the construction of a major plant focused on the conversion of natural gas into synthetic gasoline. The plant will be based on Haldor Topsøe’s TIGAS (Topsøe Improved Gasoline Synthesis) technology (earlier post)... Read more →

API publishes set of recommended practices for crude-by-rail

The American Petroleum Institute (API) this past week published a new set of recommended practices for testing and classifying crude oil for rail shipment and loading it into rail tank cars. API’s Recommended Practice for Classifying and Loading of Crude Oil into Rail Tank Cars, known as RP 3000, provides... Read more →

Isuzu signs agreement with GM for joint development of next-generation midsize pickup; not for US or Canada

Isuzu Motors Limited and General Motors Company signed a formal agreement jointly to develop a next-generation midsize pickup. Isuzu and GM previously developed two generations of pickups that have been popular in more than 100 countries around the world due to their strong performance, fuel efficiency and durability. The next-generation... Read more →

GM Innovation Challenge launched at four major universities; 3-D printing, augmented reality tools for manufacturing

GM has launched the GM Innovation Challenge at four major universities, recruiting student teams to develop new uses for additive manufacturing (3D printing) and augmented reality (e.g., devices similar to Google Glass) in manufacturing. The participating institutions are Pennsylvania State University; Georgia Institute of Technology; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;... Read more →

NREL updates experimental cetane number data; more than 250 new individual measurements

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently released a long-anticipated update to the source-of-record for cetane number data. This version of the compendium, which includes all available single-compound cetane number data found in the scientific literature published prior to March 2014, contains cetane values for 388 pure compounds,... Read more →

Volvo Cars is introducing the Drive-E powertrain with a 245 hp gasoline turbo T5 engine, made available earlier this year for the V40 (earlier post), for the V40 Cross Country with the added capability of AWD. Compared to the V40 Cross Country’s previous T5 engine, the new powertrain reduces emissions... Read more →

Neste Oil to recover CO2 at its renewable diesel refinery in Singapore

Neste Oil Singapore Pte Ltd and National Oxygen Pte Ltd (NOX), one of the one of the largest industrial gas manufacturers in Singapore, have signed an agreement to install a carbon dioxide recovery and liquefaction plant at Neste Oil’s renewable diesel (NExBTL) refinery in Singapore. Construction is planned to commence... Read more →

Toshiba delivers world’s first propulsion system integrating PMSM and SiC diode to Tokyo Metro

Toshiba Corporation has delivered the world’s first train propulsion systems incorporating totally enclosed Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM) and silicon carbide (SiC) Variable Voltage Variable Frequency (VVVF) traction inverters. The propulsion systems were delivered to Japan’s Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. for Ginza Line 1000 third series trains. The new propulsion... Read more →

A team led by Dr. Michael Grätzel at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland has developed a highly efficient and low-cost water-splitting cell combining an advanced perovskite tandem solar cell and a bi-functional Earth-abundant catalyst. The combination of the two delivers a water-splitting photocurrent density of around 10... Read more →

GranBio begins producing cellulosic ethanol in Brazil; very low carbon intensity of 6.98 gCO2e/MJ for California LCFS

GranBio, a 100% Brazilian industrial biotech company, has begun production at the first commercial-scale plant for second-generation (cellulosic) ethanol in the Southern Hemisphere. The Bioflex 1 unit, built in São Miguel dos Campos, Alagoas, has an initial production capacity of 82 million liters (21.6 million gallons US) of ethanol per... Read more →

Iveco to deliver first 50 Stralis LNG Euro VI vehicles to LC3

Iveco has received its first contract order for 50 Stralis Hi-Ways powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The Euro VI-compliant vehicles will be used by LC3, a company specializing in temperature-controlled transport and container trucks that has continuously strived to equip its fleet with alternative technological solutions capable of reducing... Read more →

Rendering of friction plate. Click to enlarge. BorgWarner is supplying its high-performance wet friction technology for Volkswagen Group’s DQ 400e dual-clutch transmission (earlier post)—the Group’s main near-term gearbox for all hybrid and plug-in hybrid applications that are transverse. (Earlier post.) Current examples include the Golf GTE and Audi A3 e-tron.... Read more →

SAKOR Technologies showcasing engine, hybrid vehicle, and battery testing technologies at Automotive Testing Expo; belt noise tester to Ford

SAKOR Technologies, Inc., a recognized leader in the area of high-performance dynamometer systems, will be exhibiting at the Automotive Testing Expo 2014 North America in Novi, Michigan in October. The company will showcase a number of its technologies, including hybrid and electric vehicle testing; high voltage battery testing and simulation;... Read more →

Maverick Synfuels (earlier post) introduced a small-scale, modular methane-to-methanol production plant that can be co-located at the methane source. The Maverick Oasis system allows producers to monetize biogas and natural gas (including associated or flare gas, and stranded gas reserves), as an alternative to producing electricity or venting greenhouse gases... Read more →

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, will debut an upgraded Subaru Impreza compact 4-door and 5-door models on the US market later this year as part of its 2015 lineup. This will be the first Impreza offering Subaru’s proprietary “EyeSight” Driver Assist Technology, which includes Adaptive... Read more →

Toyota to show Driver Awareness Research Vehicle 1.5 at Meeting of Minds in Detroit

At next week’s Meeting of the Minds 2014 summit in Detroit, Toyota will show the latest generation Driver Awareness Research Vehicle—DARV1.5—which is part of the company’s ongoing research into the dynamics of driver distraction at the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Toyota introduced DARV, developed in... Read more →

German researchers boost algal hydrogen production five-fold using metabolic engineering approach

Scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Chemical Energy Conversion and Coal Research and from the research group Photobiotechnology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have discovered a way of increasing the efficiency of hydrogen production in microalgae by a factor of five by using a combined metabolic engineering approach. An open... Read more →

Renault and Eco2charge developing “energy ecosystems” for EV charging at commercial buildings; second-life battery packs

France’s Eco2charge consortium, coordinated by Bouygues Energie & Services, recently launched an R&D program at the Fédération Nationale des Travaux Publics (National federation of public works) to accelerate the deployment of charging solutions for electric vehicles, especially in commercial buildings. The project aims to turn tertiary sites equipped with charging... Read more →

Skygo Fuel Systems’ latest dual fuel (natural gas/diesel) conversion system has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The dual fuel system is available as an aftermarket upgrade for 2007 to 2009 Cummins ISX engines. According to data provided to the EPA, the dual fuel system will reduce... Read more →

Air passenger traffic will grow annually at 4.7% over the next 20 years (2014-2033), driving a need for around 31,400 new passenger and freighter aircraft (100 seats and above) worth US$4.6 trillion, according to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast (GMF). The passenger and freighter fleet will increase from today’s 18,500 aircraft... Read more →

Proterro and Bunge to conduct pilot study in Brazil of Proterro’s sucrose-production technology for ethanol production

Biofeedstock company Proterro, the developer of a biosynthetic process to manufacture fermentable sugar (earlier post), and Bunge Global Innovation, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global agribusiness and food company Bunge Limited, will conduct a pilot study of Proterro’s sucrose-production technology in Brazil. Under a joint development agreement, a pilot plant... Read more →

Alcoa to roll out lightest heavy-duty truck wheel in Europe, offering increased fuel efficiency, payload

Alcoa, the inventor and global leader of forged aluminum wheels, will roll out its lightest heavy-duty truck wheel in Europe to help fleets increase payload and fuel efficiency. Announced at the 65th International Motor Show (IAA) Commercial Vehicles tradeshow in Hannover, Germany, Alcoa is now selecting fleet partners for the... Read more →

Jaguar says that its new four-cylinder Ingenium diesel (earlier post) is its most efficient diesel to date; with the new Ingenium diesel engines driving the rear wheels, the aluminium-intensive XE (earlier post) is also the most fuel-efficient Jaguar yet, with CO2 emissions as low as 99 g/km. The new aluminum-intensive... Read more →

Aleris to invest $350M to upgrade Kentucky aluminum rolling mill for anticipated growth in automotive demand

Aleris will invest $350 million to upgrade capabilities at its aluminum rolling mill in Lewisport, Kentucky. The investment positions Aleris to meet anticipated significant growth in North American automotive demand as the industry pursues broader aluminum use for the production of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Aleris is currently a leading... Read more →

SoCal Edison opens 32 MWh battery energy storage project, largest in North America; batteries from LG Chem

Southern California Edison (SCE) opened the largest battery energy storage project in North America—the Tehachapi Energy Storage Project—to modernize the grid to integrate more clean energy. The 32 MWh battery energy storage system features lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem housed inside a 6,300 square-foot facility at SCE’s Monolith substation in... Read more →