Volkswagen has launched a new range of diesel engines (TDI) characterized by extremely low nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx). The Touareg V8 TDI, generating 310 kW (421 PS) (earlier post), is among the first Volkswagens to feature an exhaust purification system that brings NOx to these low level: it emits between... Read more →


MECA: industry could exceed relaxed US efficiency standards as it has to meet tighter standards elsewhere

On 31 March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the final rule for The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles for Model Years 2021-2026. The final rule requires a 1.5% year-over-year increase in fuel efficiency and reduction in GHG emissions standards, which... Read more →


EPA eases several gasoline-related regulations in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is easing several gasoline-related regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, EPA intends to provide additional flexibility to the marketplace to transition from winter-grade, high volatility gasoline to summer-grade low vapor pressure gasoline. Due to the steep fall-off in gasoline demand as a... Read more →


DOT and EPA release revised fuel economy and GHG emission standards for MY 2021-2026 light-duty vehicles

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule setting corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and CO2 emissions standards for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. These final rules follow... Read more →


The falling cost of making hydrogen from wind and solar power offers a promising route to cutting emissions in some of the most fossil-fuel-dependent sectors of the economy, such as steel, heavy-duty vehicles, shipping and cement, according to a new report from BloombergNEF (BNEF). Hydrogen Economy Outlook, a new and... Read more →


DOE to provide $22M for research on capturing carbon dioxide from air

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $22 million for research aimed at achieving breakthroughs in the effort to capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air (DAC). The initiative encompasses two concurrent funding announcements—one by DOE’s Office of Science (SC) (LAB 20-2303) and another by DOE’s Office... Read more →


Study links air pollution to dementia and cardiovascular disease

People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology. Patients with cardiovascular diseases who live in polluted environments may require additional support from care... Read more →


EEA data show air pollution goes down as Europe takes hard measures to combat coronavirus

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) data confirm large decreases in air pollutant concentrations—of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in particular—largely due to reduced traffic and other activities, especially in major cities under lockdown measures. Reductions of around half have been seen in some locations. The EEA’s data are measured hourly, on... Read more →


A container ship leaves a trail of white clouds in its wake that can linger in the air for hours. This puffy line is not just exhaust from the engine, but a change in the clouds that’s caused by small airborne particles of pollution. New research led by the University... Read more →


Data from the ESA’s Tropomi (TROPOspheric Monitoring) instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite shows the variation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions over China from December to March. A decline in NO2 corresponds to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a subsequent resurgence corresponds to the succes of measures to contain... Read more →


Volvo Cars is significantly cutting CO2 emissions in its logistics operations by switching transports between its manufacturing plants and new car depots from trucks to trains. Especially in Europe, where trucks are still ubiquitous in transporting new cars to distribution depots and dealerships in individual markets, the company is in... Read more →


Those living in polluted cities are more at risk from COVID-19, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) warned today. Air pollution can cause hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases, conditions that doctors are starting to link to higher mortality rates for COVID-19. A 2003 study on victims of the coronavirus SARS... Read more →


UCI-led study finds California’s strict air quality regulations have helped farmers

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have conducted a statistical analysis of pollution exposure and yields from 1980 to 2015 on a key sector making up about 38% of the state’s total agricultural output: perennial crops such as almonds, grapes, nectarines, peaches, strawberries and walnuts. They... Read more →


Vitesco Technologies, formerly (until September 2019) the Continental Powertrain Division, has won a major contract from an European vehicle manufacturer for the supply of innovative electric heating elements for diesel catalytic converters. This EMICAT brand e-catalyst technology will be used in two of the manufacturer’s 48-volt hybrid van models. Start... Read more →


Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method to analyze particulate matter more precisely than ever before. With its help, they disproved an established doctrine: that molecules in aerosols undergo no further chemical transformations because they are enclosed in other suspended particulate matter. An open-access paper... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has developed an airless paint atomizer that uses static electricity instead of air to replace the conventional air paint atomizers used in the vehicle body painting process. The newly developed airless painter, the first of its kind, achieves more than 95% coating efficiency (the amount of paint... Read more →


BASF has successfully developed and tested an innovative Tri-Metal Catalyst technology that enables partial substitution of high-priced palladium with lower-priced platinum in light-duty gasoline vehicles without compromising emissions standards. Adoption of the Tri-Metal Catalyst can reduce catalytic converter costs for automakers and partially rebalance market demand for PGMs (platinum-group metals),... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Officer has certified the 2020 annual update to the carbon intensities (CI) of the lookup table pathways for a) California Average Grid Electricity Used as a Transportation Fuel in California and b) Electricity Supplied under the Smart Charging or Smart Electrolysis Provision. The... Read more →


Washington state legislature passes ZEV mandate; expands to medium-duty vehicles

Both houses of the Washington state legislature have passed SB 5811, the ZEV mandate bill. Governor Inslee says he will sign it. This will result in the entire West Coast—from California to British Columbia—having a ZEV mandate. Washington originally adopted the California emissions standards in 2005—but without the ZEV mandate.... Read more →


Power management company Eaton has expanded its portfolio of valvetrain solutions for diesel off-highway vehicles to help OEMs reduce emissions and improve fuel economy. Eaton’s new technology allows for cost-effective, variable valve actuation with hydraulic lash adjustment (HLA) function. This technology enables precise valve lift control through HLA, coupled with... Read more →


Pollution from tire wear can be 1,000 times worse than a car’s exhaust emissions, Emissions Analytics has found. Emissions Analytics is an independent global testing and data specialist for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions and fuel efficiency for passenger and commercial vehicles and non-road mobile machinery. Harmful particulate matter... Read more →


Leading short sea ro-ro operator UECC and sustainable marine biofuel pioneer GoodFuels have launched a joint trial of GoodFuels Bio-Fuel Oil (MR1-100 or BFO) on UECC’s ro-ro vessel M/V Autosky. The three-month trial will test 3,000 metric tonnes of sustainable biofuel on the 140m, 2080 vehicle carrier. The biobunkering, which... Read more →


The technology group Wärtsilä, together with a consortium of six other industry and academic partners, has been awarded EU funding for a major project aimed at reducing fuel consumption and lowering emission levels for shipping. The SeaTech project consortium has been formed to develop two symbiotic ship engine and propulsion... Read more →


For the first time, some US Postal Service packages are being delivered via emission-reducing propane autogas trucks. McAbee Trucking, a freight shipping and trucking company based in Blacksburg, SC, purchased eight Ford F-750 delivery trucks fueled by propane autogas, a domestically produced, clean and economical alternative fuel. The vehicles are... Read more →


Air pollution is responsible for shortening people’s lives worldwide on a scale far greater than wars and other forms of violence, parasitic and vector-born diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and smoking, according to an open-access study published in Cardiovascular Research. Professors Jos Lelieveld and Thomas Münzel, of the Max Planck... Read more →


In addition to the European car market recording tepid growth in 2019, CO2 emissions have continued to increase, despite new regulation designed to curtail this, according to JATO Dynamics. Last year, the volume-weighted average CO2 emissions for European markets were at their highest recorded levels since 2014. According to data... Read more →


In the US, Model Year (MY) 2018 vehicle fuel economy was 25.1 miles per gallon, 0.8% higher than the 24.9 miles per gallon MY 2017, according to the annual Automotive Trends Report released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In model year 2018, the average estimated real-world CO2 emission... Read more →


California’s Lower-Emission School Bus Program (LESBP) is a grant program that provides funds to purchase new buses to replace old, high-emitting public school buses, and to equip in-use diesel school buses with retrofit devices that significantly reduce toxic particulate matter emissions. The primary goal of the Lower-Emission School Bus Program... Read more →


Black carbon particles absorb heat in the atmosphere. For years, scientists have known that these particles are affecting Earth’s warming climate, but measuring their exact effect has proved elusive. Researchers at Michigan Technological University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, along with partners at other universities, industry, and national labs, have now... Read more →


Resource Watch has introduced a new data-driven Air Quality Dashboard featuring the latest maps and data visualizations on the state of the world’s air. Resource Watch worked with WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities to create this resource for data on air quality and emissions. From the Air Quality Dashboard:... Read more →


Gevo secures funding from Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund

Gevo, Inc. has been awarded part of The Queensland Waste to Biofutures (W2B) Fund to support the development of waste to biofutures projects in Queensland, Australia. The W2B fund provides targeted funding for pilot, demonstration or commercially scalable biorefinery projects in Queensland that use conventional waste streams or biomass to... Read more →


Mining giant Rio Tinto will invest around $1 billion over the next five years to support the delivery of its new climate change targets and a company objective for net zero emissions from operations by 2050. The new targets for 2030 are: A further 30% reduction in Rio Tinto’s emissions... Read more →


A new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) finds that the rising use of ride-hailing services is increasing carbon emissions, with ride-hailing trips producing nearly 70% greater emissions compared to the trips they are replacing. This significant increase in emissions comes in part from “deadheading”—the miles a driver... Read more →


Virginia Tech team developing intelligent wearable analyzer for pollutants in transportation-related workplaces

With a $2.3-million award from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an interdisciplinary team of Virginia Tech researchers led by Masoud Agah, the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is developing an intelligent wearable analyzer for vapor exposure, called iWAVE,... Read more →


An international collaboration led by Cranfield University will examine the potential for the low-carbon production of hydrogen from natural gas. The HyPER project (Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming) will construct a 1.5 MWth pilot plant at Cranfield University to test the innovative hydrogen production technology that substantially... Read more →


The UK has awarded £7.5 million for the next phase of Gigastack, a new renewable hydrogen project, as part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Hydrogen Supply Competition. (Earlier post.) The Gigastack project, led by ITM Power, Ørsted, Phillips 66 Limited and Element Energy, will show... Read more →


A team of researchers from Canada and the US has developed a system that quickly and efficiently converts carbon dioxide into simple chemicals via CO2 electrolysis. The researchers combined a copper electrocatalyst with an ionomer [polymers that conduct ions and water] assembly that intersperses sulfonate-lined paths for the H2O with... Read more →


More than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur, MIT researchers report in a paper in the journal Nature. The study focuses on the period between 2005 and 2018 and tracks combustion... Read more →


California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (South Coast AQMD) Clean Fuel Funds and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) have awarded a combined $600,000 ($300,000 each) to Landi Renzo USA for Landi Renzo’s 7.3L Near-Zero natural gas engine development program, which covers Class 4-7 vehicles. Landi Renzo USA is the... Read more →


Dominion Energy sets new goal of net zero emissions by 2050 for both power generation, natural gas operations

Dominion Energy announced a significant expansion of the company's greenhouse gas emissions-reduction goals, establishing a new commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The goal covers carbon dioxide and methane emissions, the dominant greenhouse gases, from both electricity generation and gas infrastructure operations. The company had previously committed to... Read more →


Daily exposure to ground level ozone in cities worldwide is associated with an increased risk of death, according to the largest study of its kind, published in an open-access paper in The BMJ. The findings—based on data from more than 400 cities in 20 countries across the world—show that more... Read more →


The BMW X5 and the BMW X6 now also offer 48V mild-hybrid technology to optimize the spontaneous power delivery and effectiveness of the drive system. From May 2020, the new BMW X5 xDrive40d (combined fuel consumption: 6.4 – 5.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 167 – 154 g/km) and the... Read more →


Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, with colleagues from Duke University, report that longer commutes are associated with increased human exposure to TDCIPP (tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate)—a chemical flame retardant that is a known carcinogen and that was phased out of furniture use because it required a Proposition 65 warning label... Read more →


DOE announces $64M for research into future coal power plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $64 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002057), “Critical Components for Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future.” DOE’s Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative is intended to develop... Read more →


[In the earlier version of this post, I mistakenly linked to and used the 2019 report rather than the current 2020 report. I apologize for the error. —Ed] The Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) released a new report—“Technology Feasibility for Heavy-Duty Diesel Trucks in Achieving 90% Lower NOx Standards... Read more →


Proposed CA LCFS pathways for corn starch ethanol with carbon capture and sequestration: as low as 37 gCO2e/MJ

North Dakota-based Red Trail Energy (RTE), which since 2007 has operated an ethanol production facility with annual production of about 60 million gallons per year, is proposing sequestration of CO2 produced from starch fermentation to lower the overall carbon intensity of the fuel for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard... Read more →


Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has received a five-year, $25-million contract from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide testing and analytical services related to vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency. SwRI will conduct emissions characterization and technology assessment under the “Testing and Analytical Services for Regulation of Motor Vehicles, Engines,... Read more →


UPS enters into RNG supply agreements with Kinetrex and TruStar; up to 80M gallon equivalents

UPS has entered into multi-year renewable natural gas (RNG) agreements with Kinetrex Energy and TruStar Energy. Together, these two contracts will supply UPS with up to 80 million gallon equivalents (GEs) of RNG over the terms of the agreements. The use of RNG is a very important part of UPS’... Read more →


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have identified a suite of technologies to help California to become carbon-neutral—and ultimately carbon-negative —by 2045. To achieve the goal of carbon-neutrality, California will likely have to remove on the order of 125 million tons per year of CO2 from the atmosphere. In the... Read more →


Prometheus CEO outlines tech advances that could make CO2-to-fuels renewable gasoline and jet price-competitive with fossil fuels

In a commentary in the journal Joule, Rob McGinnis, founder and and CEO of Prometheus, a company that is developing technology to remove carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into fuels, discusses the technology advances that could lead to the potential price-competitiveness of renewable gasoline and jet with... Read more →