Chrysler/McMaster lightweight materials project focusing on door side impact beam; Al and Mg casting

In October 2013, Chrysler entered a $3.9-million research project supported by the Canadian government to explore ways to leverage the weight-saving properties of aluminum and magnesium alloys for vehicle production. (Earlier post.) The primary academic partner in the project is McMaster University in Ontario, with Ryerson University and CANMET, an... Read more →


NREL initial report on performance of BC Transit fuel cell electric buses

Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, commissioned by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), have issued their initial evaluation of the hydrogen fuel cell buses in operation at BC Transit. The report covers two years of revenue service data on the buses from April 2011 through March 2013. In... Read more →


Incremental well-to-wheels GHG emissions from WCSB Oil Sands Crudes Compared to Well-to-Wheels GHG Emissions from Displacing Reference Crudes Click to enlarge. The State Department released the long-anticipated and voluminous Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final Supplemental EIS) for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project. The document is posted on... Read more →


2013 STO-AVT electric bus test results chart: BYD Electric Bus energy consumption (Wh/km) over speed (km/h). Click to enlarge. The first phase of a ten-month trial for a 40-foot BYD battery-electric bus (which commenced the Summer of 2013) was completed in Gatineau, Québec and Ottawa, Ontario in December. (Although the... Read more →


Overview of the outer limits of the expanded Canadian continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean. Click to enlarge. On 6 December, Canada filed a submission to define the outer limits of its expanded continental shelf area in the Atlantic Ocean with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.... Read more →


Average estimated biodiversity intactness for >350 species in the AOSA. Dark red identifies the quarter sections that are estimated to have the lowest average biodiversity intactness, and dark green identifies quarter sections with the highest intactness. The enlarged area highlights the estimated intactness for quarter sections of land in the... Read more →


Trends in well-to-wheel pathway-specific CI. In situ production began in 1974, so no value is computable for 1970. Click to enlarge. The carbon intensity (CI) of Alberta oil sands production has significantly decreased over the last 40 years, according to a new study by a team from Stanford University published... Read more →


Study finds biodiesel use in HD trucks in Canada will result in very minimal changes in air quality and health benefits

Results of a study by a team from Health Canada and Environment Canada suggest that the use of B5 and B20 biodiesel fuel blends (5% and 20% biodiesel, respectively) compared to ULSD in on-road heavy-duty diesels in Canada will result in very minimal changes in air quality and health benefits/costs... Read more →


Chrysler Group in 5-year, $18.2M partnership with McMaster University to develop advanced electric and hybrid powertrains; funding from Canadian Government

Chrysler Group LLC has entered a 5-year, $18.2-million partnership with McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, with funding support from the Canadian government, to develop next-generation, energy-efficient, high-performance electrified powertrains and powertrain components. For McMaster, the project partnership is one of three new partnerships with Chrysler, the federal government and other... Read more →


Annual light duty PEV Sales, top 5 states, 2013-2022. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge. In an update to its 2012 geographic breakdown of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales in North America, Navigant Research now forecasts that overall sales of will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6% between... Read more →


The proposed Keystone XL pipeline for transporting oilsands-derived crude to Gulf Coast refineries would have “no material impact” on US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a new Insight report by IHS CERA. In a June speech at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama said that the controversial Keystone XL pipeline... Read more →


BC government won’t support Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline as presented over spill response concerns

In its final written submission to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel (JRP), the government of British Columbia states that it cannot support the project as presented to the panel primarily because Northern Gateway (NG) has been unable to adequately detail its response to a spill. The Northern Gateway... Read more →


The Government of Canada is supporting a three-year project that will result in the construction of a $19-million, demonstration-scale facility in Alberta that will use algae to recycle industrial carbon dioxide emissions from an oil sands facility into commercial products such as biofuels. The Algal Carbon Conversion (ACC) Pilot Project... Read more →


Comparison of proposed Keystone XL route to previously proposed project segment. Source: Draft SEIS. Click to enlarge. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) in response to TransCanada’s May 2012 application for the Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada’s oils... Read more →


Flowchart of the MSG process. Source: Western Hydrogen. Click to enlarge. A consortium led by Canada-based Western Hydrogen Ltd. will receive a $C1.5-million investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada to support the development and commercialization of a new hydrogen manufacturing technology called Molten Salt Catalyzed Gasification (MSG), originally developed at... Read more →


Standardized values (Z scores) of (A) visible reflectance spectroscopy (VRS) chlorophyll a inferences from the five lakes proximate to major oil sands operations as indicators of lake primary production; (B) total PAH concentrations and (C) total DBT concentrations from all six study sites. Source: Kurek et al. Click to enlarge.... Read more →


Nissan and Tsinghua University’s Suzhou Automotive Research Institute sign MOU on cooperative research

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Suzhou Automobile Research Institute at Tsinghua University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in which the two parties have agreed to promote a cooperative effort regarding the research of future automotive technology. Aiming to solidify the strategic joint research efforts between Nissan and Tsinghua University,... Read more →


An example of the evaluation “diamonds” for one technology in each of the research, development and commercial stages. These diamonds report a weighted average score for technical, environmental, social and economic criteria, and in addition indicate the quality of the data that was available. Click to enlarge. A collaboration of... Read more →


China’s CNOOC to acquire Canada-based Nexen for $15.1B; offshore oil and gas, oil sands, and shale gas

CNOOC Limited—China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas and one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world—is acquiring all of the Common Shares of Canada-based energy company Nexen Inc. for US$15.1 billion cash. The price represents a premium of 61%... Read more →


Prototype electric New Flyer transit bus powered by 120 kWh MHI MLiX Li-ion pack in operational testing in Manitoba, Canada

An all-electric, battery-powered prototype demonstration bus under joint development by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), the government of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Red River College and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC has been completed and was recently unveiled in Manitoba, Canada. (Earlier post.) The bus will be demonstrated on the streets... Read more →


Government of Québec unveils $2.7B climate change action plan; 63% of spending targeting transport

The Premier of Québec, Jean Charest; the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand; and the Minister of Transport Pierre Moreau unveiled the Canadian province’s 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change (PACC 2020). The action plan and strategy adaptation represent a total investment of nearly C$2.7 billion (US$2.6... Read more →


Focus Metals and Hydro-Québec IREQ sign graphite purification technology agreement and anode production agreement for Li-ion batteries

Focus Metals Inc., a Canadian emerging mid-tier junior mining company and the lead partner in Grafoid Inc., a graphene development and patenting JV (earlier post) and Hydro-Québec’s Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ) recently signed a licensing agreement enabling Focus Metals to develop a graphite purification center as well as a... Read more →


Canada proposes regulations to reduce GHG emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines; harmonization with US rules

The Government of Canada has proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines. The Canadian regulations are aligned with the US fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles announced in August 2011. (Earlier post.) These proposed regulations would reduce... Read more →


Automotive Partnership Canada awarding nearly $19M to 6 new projects; lightweight materials, lower-cost fuel cells and Li-ion batteries

Automotive Partnership Canada (APC)—a 5-year, $145-million initiative launched in 2009—is awarding nearly $19 million to six new projects to advance R&D in Canada’s automotive industry by supporting new technologies that will lower the cost of PEM fuel cells by reducing platinum loading, provide lighter material alternatives for cars, and significantly... Read more →


Canada oil sands producers form alliance to improve environmental performance

Twelve of Canada’s oil sands producers have formed a new alliance, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), focused on accelerating the pace of improving environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands through collaborative action and innovation. Through COSIA, participating companies will capture, develop and share the most innovative approaches and best... Read more →


North American, annual-mean OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) tropospheric NO2 VCDs (vertical column density) (2005–2010) averaged onto a 0.25° x 0.25° grid. The oil sands region within Alberta is indicated. McLinden et al. Click to enlarge. Atmospheric nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide pollution over Canada’s oil sands region is comparable to... Read more →


Government of Québec to invest $27M in Enerkem/Greenfield Ethanol waste-to-biofuels plant

The Government of Québec plans to inject C$27 million in Québec’s first full-scale commercial cellulosic ethanol plant through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Investissement Québec. This facility will be built and operated by a joint venture partnership formed by Enerkem, a waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company, and GreenField... Read more →


Proposed oil sands monitoring by 2015. Click to enlarge. The Government of Canada and Government of Alberta unveiled “The Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring” in a partnership to improve environmental monitoring in the oil sands region with a program that will sample more sites for more substances... Read more →


Natural Resources Canada team investigates solvent extraction process for oil sand bitumen; non-aqueous alternative to hot water processing with reduced environmental impacts

A team of two researchers from Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY reports on a new process for solvent extraction of bitumen from mineable Athabasca oil sands (i.e., surface mining, not in situ well-based production) in a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels. Wide-scale deployment of such a non-aqueous... Read more →


Enbridge’s current liquids pipelines (not showing Seaway or proposed Flanagan South and Wrangler). Click to enlarge. Canada-based Enbridge Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire ConocoPhillips’ 50% interest in the Seaway Crude Pipeline System for US$1.15 billion. On closing, Enbridge will become joint owner of the pipeline with Enterprise... Read more →


Government of Canada investing $6.5M in five next-generation auto R&D projects; total project value of $16M

The Government of Canada is supporting five new projects through the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative, including development of a battery pack thermal management system for hybrid electric vehicles; more efficient systems for wheel production; performance-enhancing catalytic converters; enhanced fuel cell technology; and improved automotive manufacturing workplace design and ergonomics. These... Read more →


Canada awards C$4.5M to two electric drive research projects; part of C$53M in new funding for 17 clean tech projects from SDTC

Canada will invest C$17M (US$17.9 million) from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) SD Tech Fund in 17 new clean technology projects in the areas of agriculture, transportation, mining and energy. The awards include C$3.1 million (US$3.3 million) to a consortium led by TM4 Inc. in Boucherville to develop a new... Read more →


Summary of the current oil sands developments (mining and in-situ) and associated land use changes in the Fort McMurray region, highlighting some of the challenges the integrated monitoring design addresses. Click to enlarge. Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent released an integrated monitoring plan for the oil sands region. The Government... Read more →


Canadian oil sands & conventional production. Source: CAPP. Click to enlarge. Oil sands growth will drive Canadian crude oil production to about 4.7 million barrels per day by 2025 from 2.8 million bpd in 2010—a 67% increase—according to the latest forecast from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). This... Read more →


Principal North American trade corridors. Click to enlarge. Cross-border cooperation to improve environmental performance of the North American freight system is urgently needed not just to enhance environmental sustainability, but to safeguard regional economic competitiveness, according to a new report from the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).... Read more →


Alberta moving ahead with major new oilsands refinery with carbon capture

The Alberta government has successfully negotiated contracts for two projects that will advance the upgrading and refining of oil sands bitumen to diesel fuel. The first project, with the North West Upgrading (NWU) / Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) Partnership will lead to construction of a new bitumen refinery as... Read more →


Maquette of the Can-Am plug-in Hybrid Spyder. Click to enlarge. The Centre de technologies avancées BRP at the Université de Sherbrooke (CTA) is receiving C$11.3 million (US$11.3 million) in financial support to develop a plug-in hybrid version of BRP’s (Bombardier Recreational Products) Can-Am Spyder roadster. The government’s Automotive Partnership Canada... Read more →


Suncor is targeting 1 million barrels per day output in 2020, with its growth in the oil sands underpinned by its alliance with Total. Click to enlarge. Canada-based Suncor Energy Inc., which pioneered commercial development of the Athabasca oil sands in 1967, plans to increase production to more than one... Read more →


Examples of emerging oil sands related technologies and trade-offs. Credit: ACS, Bergerson and Keith. Click to enlarge. Although it is technically possible to make deep reductions in oil sands well-to-tank greenhouse gas emissions through the use of technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the co-firing of biomass... Read more →


Canada Awards C$40M to 18 Clean Technology Projects, Including Li-ion Batteries and Renewable Hydrocarbon Fuels

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) awarded C$40 million (US$38.4 million) to 18 clean technology projects in the transportation, oil and gas and wastewater treatment sectors. These new investments bring SDTC’s total portfolio value to more than C$1.6 billion (US$1.5 billion). Included in the awards are $5 million to Electrovaya in... Read more →


Alberta Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation Awarding C$37.5 Million in Funding for Renewable Energy Projects from Biofuels to Home Generation

Alberta, Canada’s Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCMEC) Corporation is awarding more than C$37.5 million (US$36.6 million) to five Alberta-based renewable energy projects including waste to biofuels and energy, concentrating solar power, biogas and home generation. Funding for the CCEMC comes from the Government of Alberta, which collects it from... Read more →


Growth of production of Canadian oil sands. Source: IHS CERA. Click to enlarge. The Canadian oil sands are now poised to become the number one source of US crude oil imports in 2010, according to new research from the IHS CERA Canadian Oil Sands Dialogue. In addition, oil sands imports... Read more →


City of Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson and Ontario Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid with the Burlington Hydro REV EV. Click to enlarge. Burlington Hydro Inc. (Ontario, Canada) has taken delivery of the first all-electric vehicle to be used in a commercial fleet application in Canada—the REV 300 ACX... Read more →


Perspective: Government Leadership Needed for Electric Vehicles to Succeed

Perspective by Chris Hill, Manager, Central Fleet for the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and author of Hamilton’s Green Fleet Implementation Plan. [Mr. Hill is currently chair of the Ontario Chapter of NAFA Fleet Management Association, and a Green Party candidate for Canada’s Parliament in the next general election. The... Read more →


Government of Canada Releases Draft Regulations to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Light-Duty Vehicles; Outcome Aligned With US

Environment Canada released draft regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year. Canada and the US are working towards a common North American approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by introducing aligned and progressively tighter regulatory requirements over the 2011-2016 model years. The... Read more →


Emission reduction actions for the more aggressive scenario (25% below 1990 by 2020). Source: Pembina. Click to enlarge. Canada can succeed economically while meeting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to an economic modelling study commissioned by the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation. “Climate Leadership, Economic Prosperity”... Read more →


Overview of the Quest CCS project. Click to enlarge. The provincial government of Alberta and the federal government of Canada will invest C$865 million (US$822 million) in a large-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project in the Athabasca oil sands. The province signed a Letter of Intent with Shell Canada... Read more →


SOLVE adds a solvent to the steam in SAGD (basic operation depicted above) to reduce energy input and water consumption. Source: StatoilHydro. Click to enlarge. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has awarded C$6 million (US$5.6 million) to the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in Regina, Saskatchewan and StatoilHydro Canada for... Read more →


Canadian Study Concludes Rebates to Hybrid Buyers Not Cost-Effective for Reducing Carbon Emissions

Canadian government programs that offer rebates to hybrid vehicle buyers are failing to produce environmental benefits commensurate with the cost, according to a study by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The study finds that the rebates had a large and positive effect on the market share of... Read more →