DOE issues Notice of Intent for 2020 advanced vehicle technology research

The US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office published a notice of intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research FOA.” This FOA may include the following topics: Lithium-ion batteries using silicon-based anode. The objective of this potential area of interest is... Read more →


California Energy Commission approves first local energy efficiency standards that go beyond 2019 statewide requirements

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved six applications for local energy ordinances that exceed statewide requirements of the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. There is a clear mandate to decarbonize our energy systems and our economy. At the state level, we should partner with, learn from, and support local jurisdictions... Read more →


EPA announces ~$44M in DERA funding to reduce emissions from diesel engines

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of grant funding to implement projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of older diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $44 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants. EPA is soliciting applications... Read more →


Rolls-Royce and Canadian vessel designers Robert Allan have developed the world’s first shallow-water push boat powered by LNG natural gas engines. At the International Workboat Show in New Orleans, classification society DNV GL gave its “Approval in Principle” to the new design. Powered by two MTU 8V4000M55RN natural gas engines... Read more →


EPIC-UCAS Joint Center awards six grants for energy and environmental research in China

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) announced the first research grants from the EPIC-UCAS Joint Center for Energy Policy Research in China. Formed in January 2019, the EPIC-UCAS Joint Center supports the development of research-based insights on... Read more →


Study finds rapid health benefits following air pollution reduction

Reductions in air pollution yielded fast and significant impacts on health-outcomes, as well as decreases in all-cause morbidity, according to new open-access research published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society. The study by the Environmental Committee of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) reviewed interventions that have reduced... Read more →


Graphene Flagship team develops powerful graphene-titania photocatalyst to reduce NOx

Graphene Flagship partners the University of Bologna, Politecnico di Milano, CNR, NEST, Italcementi HeidelbergCement Group, the Israel Institute of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, and the University of Cambridge have developed a graphene-titania photocatalyst that degrades up to 70% more atmospheric nitrogen oxides (NOx) than standard titania nanoparticles in tests... Read more →


Hydro-Québec operates some 60 hydroelectric generating stations, making it one of the largest hydroelectricity producers in the world. Decarbonizing the economy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the company’s priorities. In addition to having access to Québec’s vast water resources to generate green, renewable power at competitive... Read more →


Solicitation for $60M Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Combustion Freight and Marine Project funding

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced the opening off the application period for the competitive Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Combustion Freight and Marine Project funding. This solicitation is open to eligible owners of in-use freight trucks, switcher locomotives, ferries, tugboats and towboats throughout California. The South Coast Air Quality Management... Read more →


Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and colleagues earlier developed an efficient process for methane pyrolysis. Methane pyrolysis separates methane (CH4) into gaseous hydrogen and solid carbon that is a valuable material for various industry branches and can also be stored safely. Now, KIT is partnering with industry... Read more →


Driven by rising natural gas and oil consumption, levels of CO2 are expected to hit 37 billion metric tons this year, according to new estimates from the Global Carbon Project (GCP), an initiative led by Stanford University scientist Rob Jackson. The findings are outlined in three new papers published in... Read more →


Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in Madrid and as part of the Group’s commitment to further reduce carbon emissions along the entire value chain, the BMW Group has joined the “Getting to Zero Coalition”. The objective of this initiative is to use zero-emission cargo vessels... Read more →


Researchers from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory and users from ExxonMobil have developed a new approach to identifying atoms that are neither carbon nor hydrogen within a specific type of molecule in crude oil. The team used non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc–AFM), a process in which... Read more →


Harvard study links short-term exposure to PM2.5 with risks of common but rarely studied causes of hospital admissions; substantial economic costs

Hospitalizations for several common diseases—including septicemia (serious bloodstream infection), fluid and electrolyte disorders, renal failure, urinary tract infections, and skin and tissue infections—have been linked for the first time with short-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5), according to a comprehensive new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School... Read more →


Concentrations of the harmful NO2 pollutant across 30 major European cities could be reduced by up to 40% with the correct traffic policy measures, according to EU Joint Research Center (JRC) scientists. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe.... Read more →


Largest pilot plant for CO2-neutral production of hydrogen begins operation at voestalpine site in Linz

What is currently the world’s largest pilot plant for the CO2-neutral production of hydrogen has successfully commenced operation at the voestalpine site in Linz, simultaneously setting an international milestone in the advancement of new energy supply options. As part of the EU-funded H2FUTURE project, partners voestalpine, VERBUND, Siemens, Austrian Power... Read more →


PM2.5 pollution linked to higher glaucoma risk

Living in a more polluted area is associated with a greater likelihood of having glaucoma, a debilitating eye condition that can cause blindness, according to a new UCL-led study in the UK. People in neighborhoods with higher amounts of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution were at least 6% more likely... Read more →


S Dakota, Minnesota governors ask Trump to direct EPA to reduce toxic aromatics in gasoline

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Chair of the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition, and Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem sent a joint letter to President Trump requesting that he direct the EPA to enforce Section 202 of the Clean Air Act that requires the reduction and elimination of toxic carcinogenic aromatics from... Read more →


New investment in wind, solar, and other clean energy projects in developing nations dropped sharply in 2018, largely due to a slowdown in China. While the number of new clean power-generating plants completed stayed flat year-to-year, the volume of power derived from coal surged to a new high, according to... Read more →


Study links exposure to PM2.5 exposure to brain atrophy, memory decline in older women

Women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution experienced greater declines in memory and more Alzheimer’s-like brain atrophy than their counterparts who breathed cleaner air, according to a new study by researchers at USC, Wake Forest School of Medicine, and their colleagues at... Read more →


New MOF material captures and converts NO2

New research led by The University of Manchester has developed a metal-organic framework (MOF) material that provides a selective, fully reversible and repeatable capability to capture nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic air pollutant produced particularly by diesel and bio-fuel use. The NO2 can then be easily converted into nitric acid,... Read more →


“Insights into Future Mobility,” a multidisciplinary report released by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), explores how individual travel decisions will be shaped by complex interactions between technologies, markets, business models, government policies, and consumer preferences—and the potential consequences as personal mobility undergoes tremendous changes in the years ahead. The report... Read more →


Uber is adding more polluting car trips to already-clogged European cities such as London and Paris, new analysis by European NGOs suggests—contributing to air pollution and climate change and exploding the company’s sustainability claims. Data compiled by Euromonitor for European research and campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) shows a... Read more →


Volkswagen Group Logistics is the first to use two car freighters powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in overseas traffic. The two charter ships of Siem Car Carriers were launched last Friday in Xiamen, China. We are entering a new field here to reduce emissions. Both ships are the first... Read more →


LanzaTech moving forward on scale-up of sustainable aviation fuels in US and Japan

LanzaTech continues to make strides in scaling up its alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) platform. Commercialization of the ATJ process has been years in the making, starting with the partnership between LanzaTech and the US Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL developed a unique catalytic process to upgrade ethanol to alcohol-to-jet synthetic... Read more →


CEC funds $11M project to fast-track commercialization of clean energy technologies: CalTestBed

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has launched a new funded program to help speed the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The California Test Bed (CalTestBed) initiative is designed to reduce the stumbling blocks of time, cost, and bureaucracy most entrepreneurs face when trying to bring breakthrough concepts to market. The... Read more →


California prohibits state purchase of ICE sedans, effective now; to stop buying from GM, Toyota, FCA and others over emissions fight

On Friday, the California Department of General Services (DGS) that, effective immediately, it is prohibiting purchasing by state agencies of any sedans solely powered by an internal combustion engine, with exemptions for certain public safety vehicles. A second policy, currently being developed by DGS, will require state agencies, starting on... Read more →


Canadian study links exposure to ultrafine particle air pollution to brain cancer

Greater exposure to ambient ultrafine particles (UFPs, <0.1 µm) produced by fuel burning could increase people’s chances of getting brain cancer according to a new study by a team of researchers in Canada in the journal Epidemiology. This is the first study to suggest a relationship with the incidence of... Read more →


Scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a low-temperature catalyst for removing NOx gas from industrial exhaust using ammonia. Composed of bulk “defective” vanadium oxide instead of vanadium oxides supported on titanium oxide as in commercial catalysts, the catalyst works at lower temperatures (< 150 ˚C) with much higher efficiency.... Read more →


Cummins announces PLANET 2050 strategy; net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

Cummins Inc. announced its next environmental sustainability strategy—PLANET 2050—which includes science-based goals that meet or exceed the goals in the United Nations Paris agreement on climate change. By 2050, Cummins is targeting net-zero carbon emissions. PLANET 2050 focuses on three priority areas: addressing climate change and air emissions; using natural... Read more →


Empa researchers investigate release of micro-rubber particles from tires into environment

Although the presence of microplastics in the environment is raising concerns, the amount of microplastics in air and water is small compared to another polymer that pollutes air and water: micro rubber. These are the finest particles resulting from tire abrasion, which enter soil and air via the road surface... Read more →


Study finds climate impact of hydropower varies widely

Although hydropower is broadly considered to be much more environmentally friendly than electricity generated from fossil fuels (e.g., earlier post), a new study by a team at Environmental Defense Fund finds that the climate impact of hydropower facilities varies widely throughout the world and over time, with some facilities emitting... Read more →


2020 Keeling Curve Prize application period open; transportation and mobility category

The application period has opened for the 2020 Keeling Curve Prize, which awards $25,000 to each of 10 projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase their uptake. Each year, this prestigious competition attracts entries from around the world. The prize is named after scientist Charles David Keeling’s iconic... Read more →


Pierburg (Rheinmetall Automotive), Swoboda, BASF and General Motors (GM) have developed the first all-plastic fuel vapor pump assembly in series production. It is currently produced at Pierburg’s facility in Fountain Inn, South Carolina and placed on the 2019 Cadillac XT4. The assembly is mounted on the engine and directly transfers... Read more →


MIT team finds aviation emissions’ impacts on air quality larger than on climate

Researchers at MIT have determined that growth in aviation causes twice as much damage to air quality as to the climate. In an open-access paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, they examine how this damage can be mitigated, and provide consistent comparative assessments of aviation emissions trade-offs, considering both... Read more →


Qantas Group targets net zero carbon emissions by 2050; $50M investment in sustainable aviation fuels

The Qantas Group announced it will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in a major expansion of the airline’s commitment to a more sustainable aviation industry. With actions starting from today, the Australian national carrier will immediately double the number of flights being offset; cap net emissions from 2020... Read more →


ExxonMobil and FuelCell Energy, Inc. signed a new, two-year expanded joint-development agreement to further enhance carbonate fuel cell technology for the purpose of capturing carbon dioxide from industrial facilities. The agreement, worth up to $60 million, will focus efforts on optimizing the core technology, overall process integration and large-scale deployment... Read more →


MAN Energy Solutions and Wessels Marine GmbH announced a technical showcase whereby the 2017-retrofitted Wes Amelie, a 1,036-TEU feeder container ship, will use liquefied SNG (Synthetic Natural Gas) produced from renewable electrical energy as drop-in fuel. The companies are cooperating on the Wes Amelie project with Nauticor, the LNG transportation... Read more →


Volkswagen has begun to fit all its models with an activated carbon filter. The technology has been available for a long time as part of the Air Care Climatronic option, which filters out pollen, bacteria, fungal spores and particulates before they make their way through the ventilation system into the... Read more →


Aerial methane survey finds a fraction of point sources responsible for more than a third of California’s methane emissions

An aerial methane survey conducted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), California Energy Commission (CEC) and NASA has found that just 10% of the point sources were responsible for 60% of the total methane emissions detected. Researchers believe that statewide, these relatively few super emitters are responsible for about... Read more →


Ammonia, produced via the Haber-Bosch (HB) process, is globally the leading chemical in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. In ammonia plants, hydrogen is generated by steam-methane reforming (SMR) and water-gas shift (WGS) and, subsequently, is purified for the high-pressure ammonia synthesis. Now, a team of researchers in Greece has... Read more →


Study finds long-term exposure to black carbon from traffic exhaust at residential address increases the risk of stroke

Long-term residential exposure to locally emitted black carbon (BC) from traffic exhaust increases the risk of stroke even in low-pollution environments, according to a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and other universities in Sweden. The open-access study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that it is mainly... Read more →


Prenatal air pollution exposure linked to infants’ decreased heart rate response to stress

A mother’s exposure to particulate air pollution during pregnancy is associated with reduced cardiac response to stress in six-month-old infants, according to an open-access study by researchers at Mount Sinai research published in Environmental Health Perspectives. This study is the first to find that particulate air pollution exposure in utero... Read more →


Study: alcohol, biomethane and ammonia are the best-positioned fuels to reach zero net emissions for shipping; OPEX, not CAPEX challenge

A study by A.P. Moller - Maersk and Lloyds Register has found that the best opportunities for decarbonizing shipping lie in finding new sustainable energy sources. Based on market projections, the best positioned fuels for research and development into net zero fuels for shipping are alcohol, biomethane, and ammonia. Energy... Read more →


Eaton says it has shown in regulatory test cycles and real-world use that its cylinder-deactivation (CDA) technology can play a key role in helping commercial vehicle manufacturers meet or exceed 2024 and 2027 US emissions regulations. The company will make the announcement at the North American Commercial Vehicle show (NACV)... Read more →


Volkswagen has unveiled the eighth generation of the Golf—the most successful Volkswagen model, having sold more than 35 million units. The newest Golf is digitalized, networked, predictive, intuitively operated and electrified, with five hybrid versions from mild to plug-in. Its digital interior architecture opens up a new dimension of intuitive... Read more →


Application period for Volkswagen Mitigation Zero Emission Transit, School, and Bus funding open; $130M

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that the application period for the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Zero‑Emission Transit, School, and Shuttle Bus program is now open. This solicitation is open to eligible bus owners throughout California, and funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The San Joaquin Valley Air... Read more →


ExxonMobil expands participation in MIT Energy Initiative’s low-carbon research; Mobility of Future study

ExxonMobil said extended its support of the MIT Energy Initiative’s (MITEI) low-carbon energy research and education mission by renewing its status as a founding member for another five years. ExxonMobil first signed on as a member of the initiative in 2014. With its renewed membership, ExxonMobil will expand its participation... Read more →


The European Environment Agency’s (EEA’s) “Air quality in Europe — 2019 report” shows that almost all Europeans living in cities are still exposed to air pollution levels that exceed the health-based air quality guidelines (AQGs) set by the World Health Organization (WHO). The new EEA analysis is based on the... Read more →


Velocys’ Bayou Fuels project set to produce negative emission fuels; partnering with Oxy

Velocys, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Velocys plc, signed an agreement with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC (OLCV), to capture CO2 from Velocys’ planned Bayou Fuels biomass-to-fuels project in Natchez, Mississippi, and securely store it underground in a geologic formation. OLCV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental, will take,... Read more →