CARB adopts REAL to track GHG and NOx emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles; beefing up OBD

The California Air Resources Board adopted a new emissions tracking program that will help regulators identify vehicles with excess smog-related and greenhouse gas emissions. Real Emissions Assessment Logging (REAL) is part of the amendments to the OBD (On-board Diagnostic) Regulations approved by the Board at Thursday’s hearing. OBD systems mainly... Read more →


London study finds Low Emission Zone has contributed to modest NOx reduction, with little effect on lung health of children

The introduction of the low emission zone (LEZ) in London, UK, has only contributed to modest reductions in exposure to NOx from diesel vehicles, and these improvements appear to have little effect on the lung health of children, according to an open-access observational study published in the journal The Lancet... Read more →


A team at the Clean Combustion Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia has shown that burning fuel at high pressure can significantly increase the size of the soot particles that are produced. A paper on their work is published in the Proceedings of... Read more →


EPA launches Cleaner Trucks Initiative to update NOx standards for heavy-duty trucks

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI) to further decrease NOx emissions from on-highway heavy-duty trucks and engines. The CTI will include a future rulemaking that will update the existing NOx standard which was last set in 2001 while also streamlining compliance and certification... Read more →


European Parliament backs CO2 emissions cuts for trucks; 35% by 2030; 20% of new HDVs to be zero- or low-emissions by 2030

The European Parliament has backed plans for trucks to cut CO2 emissions by 2030. MEPs adopted a higher target (35%) than the European Commission (30%) for new trucks to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. Manufacturers will also have to... Read more →


New research by George Mason University found that exposure to certain air pollutants is linked to increased emergency department (ED) visits for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Mason Assistant Professor of Global and Community Health Dr. Jenna Krall led the research with colleagues from Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and... Read more →


Yale study finds that organic aerosols more complicated than previously thought

Yale researchers have found that organic aerosols—a type of air pollution—are much more complicated than previous studies indicated. Using high-powered equipment to analyze air samples, the researchers were able to get a detailed look at the molecular makeup of organic aerosols, which have a significant presence in the atmosphere. The... Read more →


USC study suggests early life exposure to near-road air pollution contributes to increased obesity risk in children

A study lead by a team from the University of Southern California has found that higher exposure to early life near-road air pollution (NRAP) increased the rate of change of childhood body mass index (BMI) and resulted in a higher attained BMI at age 10 years that were independent of... Read more →


EPA requires trucking companies to reduce air pollution near Los Angeles schools as part of emissions violation settlement

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with two interstate trucking companies which will pay $225,000 in penalties to resolve violations of California’s Truck and Bus Regulation. The companies failed to install particulate filters on some of their heavy-duty diesel trucks and failed to verify that trucks they hired... Read more →


BorgWarner, a leader in clean and efficient solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles, is supplying its best-in-class EGR system to a major global automaker across different regions of the world. Featured in one of the automaker’s engines, BorgWarner’s solution will reduce NOx emissions for several diesel vehicles, helping them... Read more →


The City of Westminster and operator Veolia have ordered a retrofit of 92 Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs) for the upcoming Ultra-low Emission Zone in London. As the first Euro VI RCV fleet retrofit, the combination of Amminex, a Faurecia company (earlier post), and Eminox technology (earlier post) has removed the... Read more →


Report finds says “negative emissions technologies” need to play a large role in mitigating climate change

To achieve goals for climate and economic growth, “negative emissions technologies” (NETs) that remove and sequester carbon dioxide from the air will need to play a significant role in mitigating climate change, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report—“Negative Emissions Technologies... Read more →


Berkeley Lab researchers launch projects to apply AI to optimize traffic and reduce pollution

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have launched two research projects to apply artificial intelligence to self-driving cars to smooth traffic, reduce fuel consumption, and improve air quality predictions. In collaboration with UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab scientists are using deep reinforcement learning, a computational... Read more →


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the European Union rose slightly in 2017, mostly because of the transport sector. Preliminary estimates published in the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) annual trends and projections assessments show a 0.6% emissions increase in 2017 from 2016. This limited increase means that the EU is still... Read more →


International study finds air pollution leads to millions of hospital visits for asthma attacks worldwide

Air pollution—specifically PM2.5, ozone and NO2—could be to blame for up to 33 million emergency asthma attack visits to hospital a year, according to a new open-access study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers aimed to estimate the number of asthma emergency room visits and new onset... Read more →


Swiss study finds that studies on air pollution that ignore impact of noise overestimate effects of pollution on heart attacks

Air pollution and transportation noise are both associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. However, studies on air pollution which do not take into account traffic noise tend to overestimate the long-term effect of air pollution on heart attacks, according to a study conducted by the Swiss Tropical and... Read more →


CARB approves $483M funding plan for clean transportation investments; 94% of funding from cap-and-trade

The California Air Resources Board approved a $483 million plan to fund clean car rebates, zero-emission transit and school buses, clean trucks, and other innovative, clean transportation and mobility pilot projects. The Fiscal Year 2018-19 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives, largely funded with cap-and-trade proceeds, is part of California’s... Read more →


Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has launched the new SoCalGas Truck Loan Program. The program allows qualified fleet owners the opportunity to try out the latest in heavy-duty natural gas truck technology by test-driving a 12L near-zero truck. This “try before you buy” program provides fleet owners with the opportunity... Read more →


US EPA awards $9.6M in DERA grants to reduce harmful diesel emissions in California

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $9.6 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants to public and private partners in California. The funds will be used to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including school buses, heavy-duty trucks, tractors and port equipment. The DERA program... Read more →


A new study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that deaths related to air pollution in the US were nearly halved between 1990 and 2010. The open-access study is published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The team’s analyses showed that... Read more →


Volvo Group detects premature degradation of NOx emissions control component; in talks with EPA, CARB

The Volvo Group—a global manufacturer of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines, but not Volvo Cars—has reported that it has detected that an emissions control component used in certain markets is degrading more quickly than expected, which could cause the engines to exceed emissions limits for nitrogen... Read more →


A research team in China conducted a longitudinal panel study among 43 non-smoking college students in Shanghai to explore the effects of personal ozone exposure on blood pressure (BP), vascular endothelial function, and the potential molecular mechanisms. Endothelial cells line the inside of the heart and blood vessels and release... Read more →


Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have identified a way to reduce harmful NO emissions produced by ammonia fuel during combustion. The process involves swirling the gas with air as part of the power generation process. The finding helps advance research into ammonia as an alternative to carbon-based fuels for... Read more →


Duke/York study finds long-term exposure to ozone has significant impacts on human health, but lower than prior modeling results

A team from Duke University in the US and University of York in the UK have utilized a novel method to estimate long-term ozone exposure and previously reported epidemiological results to quantify the health burden from long-term ozone exposure in three major regions of the world. The team’s observationally-derived data... Read more →


European Council agrees on 35% cut in new car CO2 by 2030

The European Council agreed on setting a target of a 35% average reduction in CO2 emissions form new cars by 2030. This position is a basis on which to begin talks with the European Parliament, which just came out with its own target of 40% by 2030 (earlier post). The... Read more →


Study suggests air pollution may be linked to heightened mouth cancer risk; PM2.5 and ozone

High levels of air pollutants, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and to a lesser extent, ozone, may be linked to a heightened risk of developing mouth cancer, suggests a study by a team of Taiwanese researchers. Their open-access paper is published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. The number of... Read more →


New study finds gasoline stations vent up to 10x more benzene fumes than previously thought

A study led by environmental health scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health examined the release of vapors from gasoline station vent pipes, and found benzene emissions were 10 times higher than estimates used in setback regulations that determine how close schools, playgrounds, and parks can be to... Read more →


European Parliament proposes 40% cut in new car CO2 by 2030; acceleration of sales of electric and low-emission cars

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved a proposal which would set a higher target for reducing EU fleet-wide emissions for new cars by 2030 of 40% (compared to the EU Commission’s 30%; year of reference 2021) with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. Similar targets are set for... Read more →


SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, will introduce the first SUV powered by compressed natural at the Paris Motor Show. The new Arona TGI marks the fourth vehicle in SEAT’s line-up to benefit from the cleaner, cheaper fuel, joining the Leon, Ibiza and Mii. The Arona TGI has been... Read more →


CARB affirms that “deemed to comply” applies only to vehicles meeting current federal and California GHG and fuel economy regs

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) yesterday voted to clarify its requirement that automakers must comply with California vehicle standards if they sell vehicles in the state. A provision adopted in 2012 establishes that cars meeting federal standards for model years 2017-2025 are “deemed to comply” with California’s standards. This... Read more →


UC Riverside study confirms low NOx emissions performance of Cummins Westport ISX12N natural gas engine

Cummins Westport Inc. announced that an independent study on the Cummins Westport ISX12N 400 hp natural gas engine demonstrated that the engine meets and exceeds California Air Resources Board’s (“CARB”) optional Low NOx standard of 0.02 g/bhp-hr. The study was prepared by the University of California, Riverside College of Engineering... Read more →


CARB announces up to $205M in new funding for clean freight transportation; >$400M with partner match

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced up to $205 million in grants for projects designed to accelerate the adoption of clean freight technologies and reduce air pollution caused by the movement of goods throughout the state. Eleven projects will receive $150 million from California Climate Investments—using proceeds from the... Read more →


US DOE and California partner to support $11M in advanced natural gas engine research

The US Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), California Energy Commission, and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) have teamed up to launch new research focused on medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engines and vehicles. Through a new request for proposals (RHQ-8-82305), NREL will award up to... Read more →


MIT study finds real-world NOx from diesels cars in Europe greatly exceeds laboratory levels; transboundary emissions cause 70% of health impacts

A new study by MIT researchers, published this month in Atmospheric Environment, finds that in Europe, 10 major auto manufacturers produced diesel cars, sold between 2000 and 2015, that generate up to 16 times more NOx emissions on the road than in regulatory tests—a level that exceeds European limits but... Read more →


At the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, Cummins introduced a concept emissions control system capable of minimizing emissions to levels previously thought unfeasible, including a possible next level of Euro VII regulations anticipated during the coming decade. Low NOx integrated system concept from Cummins. The concept emissions control system now under... Read more →


Columbia University engineers make breakthrough in understanding electroreduction of CO2 for conversion to electrofuels

Electrocatalysis and photocatalysis (artificial photosynthesis) are among the most promising ways to achieve effective storage for renewable energy. CO2 electroreduction has been capturing the imagination of researchers for more than 150 years because of its similarity to photosynthesis. Recent research in electrocatalytic CO2 conversion points the way to using CO2... Read more →


At InnoTrans 2018, the International Trade Fair for Transport Technology, MAN Engines is exhibiting the D3876 LE63x for locomotives, which produces 471 kW (632 hp) at 1,800 rpm. One of its outstanding features is the in-line six, which meets the EU Stage V emission standard for locomotives without the need... Read more →


USC study finds particulate matter in air pollution affects thyroid development in fetuses

In a cohort study of a subset of 2050 newborns from the Children’s Health Study in southern California, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) found that an increase of 2 standard deviations in prenatal exposure to particulate matter in air pollution was associated with higher newborn total thyroxine... Read more →


California first state to regulate GHGs of ridesharing companies

California has become the first state in the US to regulate the greenhouse gas produced by the surge in popularity of ridesharing. California Governor Brown signed SB 1014, a bill requiring transportation network companies (TNCs) to account for, and reduce, the greenhouse gas emissions of their operations. The explosive growth... Read more →


A new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study by Ricardo for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) across a broad range of vehicle sectors finds that the relative contribution of each vehicle life cycle stage is highly dependent on the vehicle type and powertrain technology as well as what assumptions are... Read more →


“Drive to Zero” program to fast-track adoption of clean trucks and buses

State government agencies and companies signed on to a new program intended toaccelerate the deployment of zero and near-zero emission commercial vehicles and technologies. The “Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero” pledge is championed by CALSTART, a non-profit industry organization with more than 190-member companies, aimed at reducing emissions from... Read more →


Two-year study in Canada finds large trucks disproportionately contribute to higher levels of black carbon pollution

A two-year study led by researchers at the University of Toronto has found large trucks to be the greatest contributors to black carbon emissions close to major roadways. The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. The comprehensive study led by U of T Professor Greg... Read more →


In Denmark, Air Liquide inaugurated HyBalance, a pilot site for the production of carbon-free hydrogen. The facility uses electrolysis technology to balance the electricity grid and to store surplus electricity in the form of hydrogen that will be used in industry and transportation. This project, initiated in 2016, is led... Read more →


A team led by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories has discovered a mechanism for soot formation, apparently solving a longstanding scientific puzzle. A paper on their work is published in Science. Soot, which is formed during the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, such as oil, natural gas and wood, is ubiquitous... Read more →


Rolls-Royce launched its latest in a series of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueled marine engines at the SMM maritime exhibition in Hamburg. The Bergen B36:45 model is designed in accordance with the Rolls-Royce philosophy of a common platform for all fuel options and applications, and can be configured to meet... Read more →


DOE selects 42 advanced vehicle technology research projects for $80 million in funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 42 projects for $80 million in funding to support the development of advanced vehicle technologies. Selected projects cover the following areas: Batteries and Electrification ($31.9 million): These research projects will develop technologies to recharge multiple electric vehicles quickly and at very high... Read more →


SwRI to launch 2nd phase of Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies consortium

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is launching the Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies II (AC2AT-II) consortium focusing on engine emissions solutions and innovative catalyst technologies. The AC2AT-II kickoff meeting will be 15 Nov. at SwRI’s headquarters in San Antonio and is open to interested automotive industry manufacturers. SwRI launched the... Read more →


CARB staff proposing amendments to Fill Pipes specs for gasoline-fueled cars

The staff of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is proposing amendments to the Fill Pipes Specifications to help ensure new motor vehicle fill pipes continue to be compatible and to form a good seal with Phase II recovery nozzles that are certified for use at California gasoline stations, thereby... Read more →


In China, people breathe ozone-laden air two to six times more often than people in the United States, Europe, Japan, or South Korea, according to a new international study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. By one metric—total number of days with daily maximum average ozone values (8-hour average)... Read more →


A new study on ultra-low emission natural gas heavy-duty engines found that the new Cummins-Westport 11.9-liter engine achieved California’s lowest smog-forming emissions standard, and maintained those emissions during all types of driving. Cycle averaged NOx emissions for the ISX12N 400 equipped truck. Source: UCR. The study, prepared by researchers at... Read more →