Study finds lead from leaded gasoline persists in London air despite ‘90s ban

Lead levels in London’s atmosphere have dropped significantly since lead additives in gasoline were phased out, and currently meet UK air quality targets. However, despite this drop, airborne particles in London are still highly lead-enriched compared to natural background levels, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the... Read more →


SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have now produced hydrogen-reduced sponge iron on a pilot scale. The technological breakthrough within the HYBRIT (earlier post) initiative cuts about 90% of the emissions in connection with steel production and is a decisive step on the road to fossil-free steel. The test production was carried... Read more →


In Russia, JSC Rusatom Overseas (a company of ROSATOM); Metalloinvest, a leading manufacturer and supplier of iron ore products and hot briquetted iron (HBI) in the world market, and one of the regional producers of high-quality steel; and Air Liquide signed a memorandum of understanding to study the possibility of... Read more →


Audi funding expansion of renewable energy to increase the number of charging stations in Europe that use green power

Electric cars do not emit carbon on the road, but the generation of electricity also produces carbon emissions—far more when the power is generated from fossil fuels than from renewable energy sources. Audi is thus partnering with energy providers to support the expansion of renewable energy sources in Europe. The... Read more →


Ricardo, Arup AECOM consortium developing system to measure non-exhaust emissions of particles under real driving conditions

Ricardo, in collaboration with the Arup AECOM consortium, is supporting the UK Department for Transport (DfT) in developing a system for measuring non-exhaust emissions (NEE) of particles, under real-world driving conditions. Non-exhaust emissions of particles from road vehicles primarily arise from a combination of brake wear, tire wear, road surface... Read more →


Volvo Cars is teaming up with Swedish steel maker SSAB to jointly explore the development of fossil-free, high-quality steel for use in the automotive industry. The collaboration makes Volvo Cars the first carmaker to work with SSAB and its HYBRIT initiative (earlier post), the steel industry’s most ambitious and advanced... Read more →


Rio Tinto has partnered with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to study whether hydrogen can replace natural gas in alumina refineries to reduce emissions. Rio Tinto will conduct a $1.2-million feasibility study, equally funded with ARENA through a $580,000 grant, into using clean hydrogen to replace natural gas in... Read more →


GE Aviation and Safran launched a technology development program targeting more than 20% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s engines. The CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) program will demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines that could enter service by... Read more →


Soot particles from oil and wood heating systems as well as road traffic can pollute the air in Europe on a much larger scale than previously assumed. This is what researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) conclude from a measurement campaign in the Thuringian Forest in Germany.... Read more →


EPA to reconsider particulate matter NAAQS

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will reconsider the previous administration’s decision to retain the particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (earlier post), which were last strengthened in 2012. EPA is reconsidering the December 2020 decision because it says that available scientific evidence and... Read more →


Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Florida International University have demonstrated the first real-time measurement—using lab-based methods—of free radical particles reacting under cosmic conditions, prompting elementary carbon and hydrogen atoms to coalesce into primal benzene rings. The researchers say that their... Read more →


LSE report calls for global investment of an additional $3T each year to drive economic recovery and transformation

The world should invest at least $3 trillion more every year in sustainable infrastructure and nature to drive the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to a zero-emissions and climate-resilient global economy over the next decade, according to a new report that was requested by the UK Prime... Read more →


SK Corp, the holding company of SK Group, has made a strategic investment in Monolith, a US company that has developed a plasma-based process to produce “cyan” hydrogen—between green (via electrolysis using renewable energy) and blue (conversion of methane accompanied by CO2 capture and storage). As a strategic partner and... Read more →


Denmark, Norway, and US to lead Zero-Emission Shipping Mission

The governments of Denmark, Norway, and the United States, along with the Global Maritime Forum and the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, will lead a new Zero-Emission Shipping Mission as part of Mission Innovation. The Mission aims to accelerate international public-private collaboration to scale and deploy new... Read more →


Average emissions from new passenger cars in Europe increased for the third consecutive year in 2019, reaching 122.3 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometrer (g CO2/km), according to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) final data. Data about newly registered vans show a stable trend. Key reasons include the growth in the sport... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator that provides estimates of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with driving an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), including emissions from the production of electricity used to power the vehicle. The consumer chooses... Read more →


Total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU) decreased by 3.8% in 2019, according to latest official data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). These data confirm the EEA’s preliminary estimates, published in October 2020. The large decline in emissions, achieved before the COVID-19 crisis, was mainly due... Read more →


The air in the United States and Western Europe is much cleaner than even a decade ago. Low-sulfur gasoline standards and regulations on power plants have successfully cut sulfate concentrations in the air, reducing the fine particulate matter that harms human health and cleaning up the environmental hazard of acid... Read more →


The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners earlier this month approved changes centered around incorporating the international Environmental Ship Index (ESI) into the Port’s Green Ship Incentive Program, which began in 2012. A voluntary system, the ESI identifies seagoing ships exceeding the current emission standards of the International Maritime Organization.... Read more →


In Japan, JERA and IHI Corporation will conduct a demonstration project under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s “Development of Technologies for Carbon Recycling and Next-Generation Thermal Power Generation / Research, Development and Demonstration of Technologies for Ammonia Co-Firing Thermal Power Generation” program. This will be the world’s... Read more →


CO2 emissions from private jets in Europe increased by nearly a third (31%) between 2005 and 2019, rising faster than commercial aviation emissions, according to a new report from environmental campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E). The report, Private jets: can the super-rich supercharge zero emission aviation?, finds that private... Read more →


If a ban were introduced on the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars, and they were replaced by electric cars, the result would be a significant reduction in lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions primarily due to reduced tailpipe CO2 emissions, according to a new lifecycle study by researchers at Chalmers... Read more →


Volvo Cars announced that its Torslanda site in Sweden is its first car manufacturing plant to reach fully climate-neutral status. This makes Torslanda the second plant in its overall manufacturing network to reach this status, after the Skövde engine plant in Sweden became climate-neutral in 2018. Torslanda plant Volvo Cars... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz AG is the first car manufacturer to take an equity stake in Swedish start-up H2 Green Steel (H2GS) as a way to introduce CO2 free steel into series production. Together with its steel suppliers, the company is retooling its supply chain to focus on the prevention and reduction of... Read more →


A new lifecycle analysis by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory has found that the carbon intensity of corn ethanol has decreased 23%—from 58 to 45 gCO2e/MJ—from 2005 to 2019. Their open-access paper is published in the journal Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. Carbon intensity (gCO2e/MJ undenatured ethanol) of corn ethanol without... Read more →


New iron catalyst helps preferentially reduce NO to hydroxylamine; pollution control and clean energy

Researchers from Korea and France have shown that iron–nitrogen-doped carbon is an efficient and durable electrocatalyst for selective nitric oxide reduction into hydroxylamine. An open-access paper on the work is published in Nature Communications. Among the major pollutants, nitrogen oxide (NOx) accumulation can cause severe respiratory diseases and imbalance in... Read more →


Each year, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) posts the Annual Crude Average carbon intensity for crude oil delivered to California refineries. In 2020, although the volume of crude supplied to refineries dropped to 476,730,992 barrels from 584,313,143 the year before, the average carbon intensity (CI) rose to 13.41 gCO2e/MJ... Read more →


CARB approves Clean Miles Standard for TNCs

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved the US’ first standard to transition ride-hailing fleets to zero-emission vehicles by 2030. The Clean Miles Standard (CMS) (earlier post) sets electrification and greenhouse gas emission targets for transportation network companies (TNCs)—e.g., Uber and Lyft. The goals of the CMS are to:... Read more →


The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is awarding Alcoa of Australia $8.8 million (A$11.3 million) toward testing the potential use of renewable energy in a Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) process for alumina refining. Total project cost is US$21.9 million (A$28.2 million). The development project has the potential to reduce carbon... Read more →


IEA report calls for no investment in new fossil fuel supply and end to sales of ICE cars by 2035

The world has a viable pathway to building a global energy sector with net-zero emissions in 2050, but it is narrow and requires an unprecedented transformation of how energy is produced, transported and used globally, according to a new special report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Climate pledges by... Read more →


According to the ITF Transport Outlook 2021, the biennial flagship report of the International Transport Forum, a sister organization of the OECD, global transport activity will more than double by 2050, and traffic emissions will rise by 16% compared to 2015 even if existing commitments to decarbonize transport are fully... Read more →


Startup ClearFlame Engine Technologies announced a partnership with Alto Ingredients, a leading producer of specialty alcohols and essential ingredients, to conduct pilot demonstrations of ClearFlame’s solution for diesel engines using low-cost ethanol in Class 8 trucks. ClearFlame will provide Alto with a Class VIII truck retrofitted with a 500hp heavy-duty... Read more →


Cement and asphalt are vital to modern construction materials; cement is used for the construction of various buildings and structures, while asphalt is primarily used for highways and runways. They have been widely used for these purposes since the 1800s. It has been observed modern concrete structures and asphalt structures... Read more →


DOE awards $35M to 15 projects in ARPA-E ECOSynBio program to reduce carbon footprint of biofuel production

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $35 million to 15 research projects through ARPA-E’s “Energy and Carbon Optimized Synthesis for the Bioeconomy” (ECOSynBio) program to decarbonize biorefining processes used across the energy, transportation, and agriculture sectors. Many biofuels, including ethanol, biodiesel and other products derived from organic material... Read more →


Siemens USA aims for carbon-neutral fleet by 2030

Siemens USA has set a goal to transition to a fully carbon-neutral fleet in the US by 2030. Siemens’ US fleet coomprises more than 10,000 vehicles, from sedans and service vans to light- and heavy-duty trucks. To address these emissions, the company assembled a multi-disciplined team of experts in fleet,... Read more →


Study finds short-term exposure to air pollution may impede cognition; NSAIDs could help

Exposure to air pollution, even over the course of just a few weeks, can impede mental performance, according to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, these adverse effects were lessened in people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin. The... Read more →


A report released this week highlights the most significant breakthroughs of the last year in the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative, with details on findings that could translate into significant greenhouse gas (GHG) and tailpipe emissions reductions. Co-Optima researchers are focused on identifying... Read more →


Cummins Inc. announced that the latest B6.7 Performance Series engine in Europe—used in agriculture, mining and construction applications—not only meets EU Stage V, delivering near-zero emission levels of NOx and PM, but it also features stop-start capability which can help operators further reduce running costs, as well as their environmental... Read more →


The lower the frictional resistance of an aircraft in the air, the lower its fuel consumption. Using nature as a role model, the aviation industry has been intensively researching ways to reduce aerodynamic drag for many years. Now Lufthansa Technik and BASF have made a breakthrough as part of a... Read more →


Argonne National Laboratory is helping Caterpillar improve efficiency and reduce emissions in their heavy-duty diesel engines. Heavy-duty diesel engines still power most large vehicles used in the construction, mining and transportation industries in the United States. Engineers are working to improve the fuel efficiency of these engines while minimizing pollution... Read more →


In the period 2016-2020, the port of Rotterdam reduced its total carbon emissions by 27%. Nationwide, the volume of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere fell by 14% in the same period. In 2020, Rotterdam achieved a 12% reduction in emissions, compared to 8% in the Netherlands as a whole.... Read more →


California HVIP opening to new voucher requests; $165M in funding

The California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) will open to new voucher requests at 10 a.m. Pacific on 8 June. When HVIP begins accepting new voucher requests, funds will be available in two waves. A total of approximately $165 million will be available, however, only... Read more →


DOE announces $22.5M to reduce carbon emissions from manufacturing via recovery, recycling and reuse

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new request for proposals (RFP) for up to $22.5 million for projects that support the recovery, recycling, and reuse of material waste generated by the manufacturing sector. Projects funded through this solicitation will develop technologies that reduce embodied energy and carbon emissions... Read more →


Aemetis, Inc. has selected Axens Vegan Renewable Hydroprocessing technology for its “Carbon Zero 1” production plant in Riverbank, California. Axens Vegan technology is designed to hydrotreat a wide range of lipids and to produce a flexible slate of low-density and high cetane renewable diesel as well as renewable jet fuel.... Read more →


EPA reconsiders withdrawal of California’s waiver to enforce greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks

As directed in President Biden’s Executive Order 13990 on “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” and in response to requests by states and other stakeholders, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public input on its reconsideration of the Agency’s 2019... Read more →


Wärtsilä joins €7.9M project to develop clean marine and off-road transport solutions; RCCI in medium-speed engine

The technology group Wärtsilä is participating in a consortium of Finnish research organisations and leading companies researching means for developing radical new solutions for clean and efficient marine and off-road transport. The project is expected to run until spring 2023, and has been granted funding of €7.9 million by Business... Read more →


US President Joe Biden announced a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2030. According to the most recent GHG inventory from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US GHG emissions in 2019 (after accounting... Read more →


NHTSA proposes to withdraw its portions of Trump SAFE rule; enabling states to set GHG standards and ZEV mandates

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed to withdraw its portions of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule issued under the Trump Administration (earlier post), which, among other things, sought to preempt states, including California, from issuing their own greenhouse gas emissions standards and zero-emissions vehicle... Read more →


UC report to CalEPA outlines policy options to decarbonize California transportation by 2045

A team of transportation and policy experts from the University of California released a report to the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) outlining policy options to significantly reduce transportation-related fossil fuel demand and emissions. Those policy options, when combined, could lead to a zero-carbon transportation system by 2045, while also... Read more →


ELYSIS has selected the Alma smelter, operated by Rio Tinto in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec, for the first installation and demonstration of its inert anode technology at a commercial size of 450 kiloamperes (kA)—a common capacity for modern, full-scale smelters. ELYSIS is a joint venture company, led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa,... Read more →