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Stanford team develops model and controller for reducing HCCI cycle-to-cycle variation

A team led by researchers from Stanford University has developed a simplified, discrete-time analytical model of homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) dynamics. The model forms the basis for the design of a simple controller that reduces combustion timing variations in simulation. Late-phasing homogeneous charge compression ignition operating conditions have the... Read more →

Toyota Motor to consolidate development and production of diesel engines under TICO; manual transmissions under Aisin Seiki; brake systems under Advics

Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will consolidate their joint diesel engine development and production under the control of TICO. The purpose of this decision is to strengthen the competitiveness of both companies by bringing the development and production of diesel engines under one roof and enabling... Read more →

Sayaringo STaGE. Click to enlarge. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed development of the “Sayaringo STaGE,” a next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carrier. The Sayaringo STaGE was developed as a successor to the Sayaendo (earlier post), the company’s LNG carrier evolved from carriers with Moss-type spherical tanks that offer... Read more →

Lexus to introduce new active safety package from 2015

Lexus will next year launch the “Lexus Safety System +” package, a newly-developed set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds. While Lexus vehicles already feature a wide range of safety technologies and systems based on the Integrated Safety... Read more →

UK makes additional $336 million investment in bicycling; total of $923 million

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced a package of measures totalling £214 million (US$336 million) to expand the use of bicycling in the UK. This will bring the total invested in cycling by the government to £588 million ($923 million).The investment will include: £114 million ($179 million) to secure... Read more →

Ricardo study finds retrofitted Euro III bus can emit less NOx than newer Euro V hybrid

Measurements by Ricardo found that an older Euro III bus retrofitted with a selective catalytic reduction and continuously regenerating particulate trap system can be cleaner in terms of lower NOxemissions than newer Euro V hybrid buses. The measurements of the retrofitted Euro III bus were an extension of a study... Read more →

Univ. of Manchester team finds monolayer graphene permeable to protons; implications for PEM fuel cell and other hydrogen technologies

Researchers at the University of Manchester in the UK have found that monolayers of graphene—which, as a perfect monolayer is impermeable to all gases and liquids—and its sister material boron nitride (BN) are highly permeable to protons, especially at elevated temperatures and if the films are covered with catalytic nanoparticles... Read more →

KIT team develops electrolyte for high energy density magnesium-sulfur batteries

A team headed by Maximilian Fichtner and Zhirong Zhao-Karger from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany reports developing an electrolyte that may be used for the construction of magnesium-sulfur battery cells. Their paper is published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials. Magnesium-sulfur batteries, which combine a magnesium anode... Read more →

Neste Oil launching new low-sulfur marine fuel in December

Neste Oil will bring to the market a low-sulfur marine fuel in accordance with the EU sulfur Directive requirements entering into force in 2015, and will begin distributing it in mid-December. The new fuel will significantly reduce sulfur, nitrogen and particle emissions in marine transportation. The sulfur Directive sets a... Read more →

Honda begins operation of 1st wind farm by an automaker in Brazil; covering electricity needs for annual local auto production

Honda Energy do Brasil Ltda. (Honda Energy), Honda’s wind power generation business subsidiary in Brazil, has begun operation of its wind power generation facility. Honda thereby the first automaker in Brazil to start a wind power generation business. Honda Energy built its wind farm, an investment of approximately 100 million... Read more →

BMW 3 Series Plug-in hybrid prototype. Click to enlarge. BMW has unveiled a 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype. Combining a four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine from the new Efficient Dynamics engine family with an electric motor, the BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype offers performance on a par with a... Read more →

Platts Report: China oil demand rises 2.9% in October from year ago, YTD up 2%

China’s apparent oil demand in October rose 2.9% year over year to 42.65 million metric tons (mt), or an average 10.09 million barrels per day (b/d), according to a just-released Platts analysis of Chinese government data. The official data has also showed that China’s year-to-date import and export volumes between... Read more →

TM4 JV Prestolite Electric Propulsion Systems launches production at its Chinese facility

Prestolite Electric Propulsion Systems (PEPS) has officially launched production at its new factory in Beijing. PEPS is a joint venture between TM4, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, and Prestolite Electric (Beijing) Limited (PEBL). The automated PEPS production line currently has a monthly capacity of 200 electric motors and power electronics modules.... Read more →

Starting next year, some of Toyota Motor Corporation’s new models will be compatible with advanced vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems that use a wireless frequency reserved for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). This compatibility will be offered as an option for the “Toyota Safety Sense P” active safety package that will be made... Read more →

Global Bioenergies reports first successful production of bio-butadiene by direct fermentation

Global Bioenergies (GBE) has successfully produced bio-sourced butadiene by direct fermentation. This marks the first time an entirely biological production process—i.e. without any chemical step—has been reported for butadiene, an important petrochemical building block. Butadiene is a key platform molecule of the petrochemical industry with a world-wide market of more... Read more →

Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold 200,000 EVs worldwide so far; 58% ZEV market share

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has passed the 200,000th electric vehicles sold mark and currently has a leading 58% market share for zero-emission cars (ZEVs) worldwide. Together, Renault and Nissan EVs have driven approximately 4 billion zero-emission kilometers (2.5 billion miles)—enough to circle the earth 100,000 times. Alliance EVs also represent 450... Read more →

Counties where measured ozone is above proposed range of standards, based on 2011-2013 monitoring data. Source: EPA. Click to enlarge. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing tightening the ground-level 8-hour ozone (O3) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to within a range of 65 to 70 parts per... Read more →

GE Aviation and Turbocoating SPA form JV for Ceramic Matrix Composite Components (CMCs); lighter, more efficient engines

GE Aviation and Turbocoating SPA of Parma, Italy, have formed a 50/50 joint venture, called Advanced Ceramic Coatings, to provide thermal barrier coatings for Ceramic Matrix Composite Components (CMCs) used in jet engines. (Earlier post.) The use of lightweight and heat-resistant CMCs in the hot section of GE jet engines... Read more →

AkzoNobel exploring possibility of producing renewable chemicals from beet sugar

AkzoNobel has joined forces with SuikerUnie, Rabobank, Deloitte, Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands (NOM), Groningen Seaports, and the Province of Groningen, to investigate the possibility of producing chemicals from beet-derived sugar feedstock. The parties have asked Deloitte to perform a feasibility study to provide an independent critical... Read more →

Toyota Motor absorbing Toyota Technical Development R&D business; reorganizing to strengthen Toyota’s R&D development structure

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and subsidiary Toyota Technical Development Corporation (TTDC) have agreed to reorganize TTDC on 1 January 2016, absorbing TTDC’s vehicle R&D business—which includes vehicle engineering, testing and prototype-building, along with approximately 5,000 TTDC employees—into TMC. TTDC will continue its business of measuring-instrument development, data analysis, and other... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz is introducing a Shooting Brake version of its CLA compact coupé. The CLA Shooting Brake (length/width/height: 4630/1777/1435 mm) will initially be available with a choice of two diesel and three gasoline engines—all equipped as standard with the ECO start/stop function and Euro 6-compliant—as well as with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.... Read more →

Lawrence Livermore, ETH researchers develop efficient method to produce nanoporous metals; improved electrode performance

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) researchers have developed a cost-effective and more efficient way to manufacture nanoporous metals over many scales, from nanoscale to macroscale. Nanoporous metals are foam-like materials that have some degree of air vacuum in their structure posses a... Read more →

Gevo signs letter of intent with Highlands EnviroFuels to license isobutanol technology for Florida plant; sugar cane and sweet sorghum

> Highlands EnviroFuels, LLC has signed a letter of intent to become a Gevo licensee to produce renewable isobutanol, using syrup from sugar cane and sweet sorghum as feedstock. Highlands will build a commercial-scale “Brazilian-style” syrup mill in Highlands County, Florida, which would have a production capacity of approximately 200,000... Read more →

2015 hydrogen student design contest: hydrogen fueling station business and financing models

The Hydrogen Education Foundation announced the 11th annual Hydrogen Student Design Contest, which will challenge student teams to develop business and financing models for hydrogen fueling stations. Finalists will be asked to pitch their plans to investors. Registration for the Contest, which is supported by the US Department of Energy’s... Read more →

Honda under-reported to NHTSA 1,729 instances of injury or death over last decade

A Honda-commissioned third-party audit of Honda’s reporting under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act has identified 1,729 instances of under-reporting to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over the past decade due to various errors, including errors related to data entry and computer coding. Once Honda... Read more →

IBM Research and ASELSAN to collaborate on metal-air battery technology, focusing on EVs; mm-wave ICs

IBM Research and Turkish defense industry technology company ASELSAN (Askerî Elektronik Sanayii, Military Electronic Industries) have signed collaborative development agreements concerning research and development of metal-air battery technologies and millimeter wave integrated circuits. The companies will work together on these projects, and through these efforts ASELSAN will enhance its in-house... Read more →

Audi building geothermal plant for factory in Győr, Hungary; 60% of total heat requirements

Audi is building a geothermal plant in Pér, close to the Audi Hungaria factory in Győr. After going into operation in just over a year, it will supply the company with at least 82,000 megawatt hours of geothermal energy per year and will cover about 60% of total heat requirements.... Read more →

BMW i Ventures makes strategic investment in smartphone driving analytics company Zendrive

The BMW Group’s venture capital company, BMW i Ventures, has made an investment in the startup Zendrive, a company that uses data and analytics gathered from smartphones rather than OBD to improve driving through driving analytics. Related BMW mobility services investments currently include JustPark, Chargepoint, Life360, Chargemaster, and MyCityWay. The... Read more →

Neste Jacobs to build SunPine’s Tall Oil Rosin production facility; feedstock for renewable diesel

Technology, engineering and project management company Neste Jacobs and SunPine, producing biochemicals and feedstock for second-generation renewable fuels, have signed an agreement for Neste Jacobs to perform EPCM services to construct a Tall Oil Rosin production facility in Piteå, Sweden. When the new rosin plant is up and running, SunPine... Read more →

Honda Motor’s cumulative worldwide motorcycle production reached the 300 million-unit milestone in September 2014. A Gold Wing 40th Anniversary Edition produced at Kumamoto Factory, Honda’s primary motorcycle production plant in Japan, became the 300 millionth motorcycle that Honda produced globally. The 300 million-unit milestone was reached in the 66th year... Read more →

Tsinghua team devises in-cycle control method for diesel LTC using detection of Start of Combustion

Low temperature combustion (LTC) refers to a broad range of in-cylinder combustion strategies for the reduction of NOx emissions from diesel combustion; NOx is formed primarily by a thermal mechanism, which production rates increasing exponentially with temperature. LTC strategies reduce combustion temperatures by the dilution of the in-cylinder combustible mixtures,... Read more →

Monte Carlo results for the net life cycle emissions of the renewable jet fuel from sugar cane. Credit: ACS, Moreira et al.. Click to enlarge. Brazilian researchers evaluating the lifecycle GHG emissions of a renewable jet fuel produced from sugar cane in Brazil using Amyris’ proprietary technology platform (earlier post)... Read more →

Westinghouse and China, Turkey partners negotiating to develop 4-unit nuclear power plant in Turkey

Westinghouse Electric Company; China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC); and Electricity Generation Company (EÜAŞ), the largest electric power company in Turkey have agreed to enter into exclusive negotiation to develop and construct a four-unit nuclear power plant site in the Republic of Turkey based on Westinghouse AP1000 reactor technology.... Read more →

Schematic illustration of the designed hybrid-seawater fuel cell and a schematic diagram at the charged–discharged state. Kim et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Korea and Karlsruher Institute of Technology in Germany have developed a novel energy conversion and storage system... Read more →

Gyrodrive. Click to enlarge. Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), Britain’s biggest bus and coach manufacturer, has chosen GKN Hybrid Power as a preferred partner and committed to the purchase of 250 of its Gyrodrive electric flywheel hybrid systems (earlier post). ADL will focus initially on the introduction of the low emission... Read more →

Wave energy company Pelamis enters administration

Pelamis Wave Power, the leading wave energy technology and company, has entered bankruptcy administration in the UK. The directors said they had been unable to secure the additional funding required for further development. The board moved to appoint an administrator to assess the options for securing the future for the... Read more →

New heterogeneous acid catalyst shows high activity in release of hydrogen from sodium borohydride; lowest activation energy yet reported

A team from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has devised a heterogeneous acid catalyst, silica sulfuric acid, that shows high activity towards releasing hydrogen from sodium borohydride (NaBH4), with a hydrolysis rate of 5.5 L min−1 g−1. Further, the activation energy of the NaBH4 hydrolysis reaction in the presence... Read more →

UC Riverside researchers find mixed emissions impact from use of higher ethanol and butanol fuels in FFVs

A study by University of California, Riverside researchers found that the use of higher ethanol blends and a 55% butanol blend in port-fueled and direct injection flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) could lead to emission changes of GHGs, CO, aldehydes, BTEX (monoaromatic hydrocarbons of benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, m/p-xylene, and o-xylene), and... Read more →

Graphene sheets show durability and performance with and without Pt as catalysts for fuel cell ORR

A team from the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai reports in a paper accepted for publication in the RSC journal Chemical Communications that platinum (Pt) supported on graphene sheets showed excellent durability as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells. Further, they... Read more →

A*STAR researchers develop predictive model for mass-transit train overloading

Researchers at A*STAR in Singapore have developed a model that uses smartcard ticket data to provide valuable predictive data on potential train overloading for Singapore’s public transport system. This will enable system planners to address critical bottlenecks as the system stretches to accommodate an expanding population. More than one million... Read more →

Based on an analysis of various cost of ownership scenarios for various drivetrains, including internal combustion engine (ICE) gasoline and diesel; hybrid (HEV); battery-electric (EV); plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV); and fuel cell vehicles, Lux Research concludes that fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are “solidly in a laggard position.” The Lux analysts... Read more →

BETO high-level schedule. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BTO) has updated its Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP), which delineates the goals and structure of the office. BTO is one of the 10 technology development offices within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy... Read more →

Delphi Automotive PLC, which already offers a suite of advanced driver assistance systems, will partner with Ottomatika, Inc., a spinout from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) led by Dr. Raj Rajkumar which provides advanced automated driving software, jointly to develop technology that will help accelerate automated driving. Dr. Rajkumar is a... Read more →

2015 Ford F-150 offers highest EPA-estimated fuel economy among full-size gasoline-powered pickups

The new 2015 Ford F-150 (earlier post) 4x2 with Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine has EPA-estimated ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined (12.4, 9.0 and 10.7 l/100 km, respectively)—the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of any gasoline-powered full-size pickup sold in America. That is 5%... Read more →

EPA delays issuing 2014 RVO standards for RFS until sometime in 2015

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not finalize the 2014 applicable percentage standards (the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations, RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program until sometime next year. In a notice to be published in the Federal Register, the agency said that it intends to take action... Read more →

Volkswagen Group to invest $106 billion over next 5 years in Automotive Division

The Volkswagen Group will invest a total of €85.6 billion (US$106 billion) in new models, innovative technologies and its global presence in its Automotive Division over the coming five years. Around two-thirds of the total investment amount will flow into increasingly efficient vehicles, drives and more environmentally friendly production. Investments... Read more →

Siemens and LG Chem plan closer collaboration on battery storage systems

Siemens and LG Chem have agreed to collaborate more closely on project development and marketing of industrial battery storage systems, and have signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect. Siemens will supply the converters and controller for the joint storage solutions and also handle the project planning and implementation... Read more →