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 →


Thirty-seven globally prominent scientists representing the International Journal of Engine Research have published an open-access editorial addressing the future of the Internal Combustion Engine, and stressing the importance for continued development of more efficient and even lower-emitting technologies. The article provides an assessment of the state of power generation in... Read more →


Study: California will hit climate targets >100 years too late at current pace of reductions; transportation, wildfires & landfills

California will meet its 2030 climate targets more than three decades late, in 2061, and could be more than 100 years late in meeting its 2050 target if the average rate of emissions reductions from the past year hold steady, according to a new study tracking more than a decade... Read more →


NYC Comptroller Stringer and investors with $1.1T urge GM to get on board with the California compromise agreement on vehicle standards

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and a coalition of 25 major investors with $1.1 trillion in collective assets under management called on General Motors (GM) to join other OEMs in the compromise agreement with California and other states on clean vehicle standards. In a letter sent to GM’s... Read more →


Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws that regulate engine idling, but each of these states has different applications of idle reduction and various exemptions. Some states regulate only certain vehicle types, such as school buses, state vehicles, commercial vehicles, diesel vehicles, or vehicles over a certain weight... Read more →


In a new study of PM2.5-related damages, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford have found that, US-economy-wide, gross external damage (GED) due to premature mortality has decreased by more than 20% from 2008 to 2014. The paper is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Second,... Read more →


Study finds NSAIDs may lessen air pollution effects on lung function

A new study is the first to report evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin may lessen the adverse effects of air pollution exposure on lung function. The team of researchers from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Boston University School... Read more →


The European Commission has begun work aimed at post-Euro 6 emission standards for on-road vehicles. The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)—an independent nonprofit organization founded to provide unbiased research and technical and scientific analysis to environmental regulators—has pitched a paper into the pre-regulations mix. The paper highlights issues and... Read more →


US cities could see a decline in mortality rates and an improved economy through midcentury if federal and local governments maintain stringent air pollution policies and diminish concentrations of diesel freight truck exhaust, according to a new study published in Environment International by researchers at Cornell University, the University of... Read more →


An analysis of the early impacts of London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) found that in the first four months of its operation (March – July 2019) there was a reduction of 12,524 older, more polluting, non-compliant vehicles detected in the zone—a reduction of more than one-third. There was... Read more →


London study finds taxi drivers face highest levels of black carbon compared to other professional drivers

Professional drivers working in congested cities are exposed to black carbon levels that are on average a third higher than would be experienced at a busy roadside, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress. The research also found that taxi drivers experience the highest exposures to... Read more →


Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI) is replacing its entire diesel trucking fleet with near-zero emission natural gas trucks, which it plans to fuel with carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG). The announcement was made in conjunction with the non-profit Coalition for Clean Air (CCA) to raise awareness of the importance of... Read more →


Bloom Energy and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), a part of Samsung Group, today are collaborating to design and develop ships powered by Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell technology. Bloom Energy is the world’s leading provider of stationary fuel cells and SHI is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding companies.... Read more →


Rio Tinto, China Baowu, Tsinghua U sign MOU to explore improving environmental performance across steel value chain

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Baowu Steel Group (China’s largest steel producer) and Tsinghua University to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain. The China Iron... Read more →


Honda secures auto industry’s largest renewable energy purchase; 60% reduction in CO2 from N.A. manufacturing operations

Seeking to slash CO2 emissions from its North American manufacturing operations, Honda has entered into long-term virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for renewable wind and solar power that will cover more than 60% of the electricity that Honda uses in North America. These VPPAs will enable Honda to fully offset... Read more →


California Governor signs two bills to strengthen emission standard for trucks; Executive Order leverages $700B portfolio to strengthen climate resiliency

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills to strengthen emission standards for trucks, semis and other high-pollution vehicles. The Governor also issued an executive order directing the leveraging of the state’s $700-billion CalPERS, CalSTRS and UC Retirement Program portfolio to drive investment toward carbon-neutral technologies. The order also directs the... Read more →


24 states, LA and NYC file suit against Trump Administration over One National Program Rule

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today, with Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Air Resources Board, led a coalition of 24 state attorneys general and the cities of Los Angeles and New York in filing a lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The lawsuit challenges the Trump... Read more →


Audi has set the goal of successively reducing vehicle-specific CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 compared with reference year 2015 and over the entire product lifecycle. In the long term, Audi is pursuing the vision of CO2-neutral mobility and aims to be climate-neutral throughout the company on balance by 2050.... Read more →


Volkswagen investing in climate protection projects to compensate for unavoidable CO2 emissions

Volkswagen is investing in climate protection projects to compensate for unavoidable CO2. The first project, Katingan Mentaya, a forest protection project on the Indonesian island of Borneo, compensates for the currently still unavoidable CO2 emissions from the supply chain, production and delivery of the new Volkswagen e-vehicle ID.3, as well... Read more →


Study finds that steady reduction in fossil fuel emissions will not result in short-term warming spike

One view advanced in some studies attempting to model future climate is that cleaning up fossil-fuel air pollution rapidly will unintentionally lead to a near-term rise in atmospheric warming of about a half-degree Celsius, which might take up to a century to reverse. The foundational idea is that the sun-obscuring... Read more →


EPA, NHTSA issue One National Program Rule; EPA withdraws CA waiver for GHG and fuel economy

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final action entitled the “One National Program Rule,” which will enable the federal government to provide nationwide uniform fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles and light duty... Read more →


A new International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) report finds that aviation emissions are increasing 70% faster than UN projections that already point to a tripling of CO2 by 2050. In other words, the climate challenge for aviation is worse than expected. The report was issued in advance of the... Read more →


EPA Administrator broadly outlines Trump Administration thinking on fuel economy standards and California

In a speech on Tuesday at the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in Washington, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler outlined the Trump Administration’s thinking on national fuel economy standards and California. Wheeler said that the Administration will begin taking steps in the very near future to establish... Read more →


Trump Administration revocation of California waiver reprises US denial of California waiver in 2007

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President Trump said that his administration “is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions”—a reference to the waiver of preemption under the federal Clean Air Act granted California by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Obama Administration in 2012. However, the revocation—if... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Michigan have mapped the annual flow of steel in the US, with the goal of achieving a detailed understanding of the flow to target increased material efficiency and the development of the circular economy. The results of the material flow analysis (MFA), published in the... Read more →


A new report by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) finds that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road transport in the UK rose by 6% from 1990 to 2017. The increase—albeit lower than the increase in road traffic—highlights the significant challenge in reducing emissions from road transport, the report... Read more →


CalEPA to hold public workshop on new strategies to achieve carbon neutrality in transportation; vehicles and fuels

The 2019-2020 California State Budget authorizes $3 million for two studies focused on the state’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), in consultation with the Energy Commission, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the... Read more →


Waterfront Shipping Company Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest) announced the delivery of two second-generation methanol fueled vessels—M/T Mari Couva and M/T Mari Kokako—to the Waterfront Shipping fleet. The 49,000 dwt vessels are built with the second generation of MAN B&W ME-LGIM two stroke... Read more →


Building off its 350 bar GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) system, Delphi Technologies has developed a 500+ bar GDi system that can reduce particulate emissions by up to 50% without expensive engine re-designs for the majority of applications. Left: GDi 500+ injector. Right: GDi 500+ fuel pump With an innovative new... Read more →


Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi announced a $2-million investment in a $5.1-million Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) initiative to develop an energy-efficient mining technology that could significantly reduce energy consumption at mine sites, cut costs and make remote mining operations more productive. Crushing and grinding rocks into smaller... Read more →


Researchers map CO2 emissions for entire Los Angeles Megacity to help improve environmental policymaking

A team from Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, the University of Michigan, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have developed a high-resolution, bottom-up emissions map that includes every building and road in the Los Angeles megacity basin for a total of 176... Read more →


A team of researchers at George Washington University led by Prof. Stuart Licht reports that the addition of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) produced from CO2 by low-energy C2CNT (CO2 to CNT) molten electrolysis (earlier post) to materials such as concrete or steel not only forms composites with significantly better properties, but... Read more →


Since 2018, Volkswagen has used only SCR exhaust gas treatment systems with its diesel engines. SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology significantly reduces nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gas. Volkswagen has now developed the next evolutionary stage of its SCR system: “twin dosing”. Adblue is injected selectively upstream of two SCR... Read more →


Emory, ICCT: ship emissions caused ~3,700 premature deaths in Pearl River Delta region in 2015

In 2015, ship emissions increased summer PM2.5 concentrations and O3 mixing ratios by 1.4 μg/m3 and 1.9 ppb, respectively, within the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China, according to a new study by a team from Emory University and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). This resulted in an estimated... Read more →


Researchers at MIT and the Ford Motor Company have found that depending on the location, lightweight conventional vehicles could have a lower lifecycle greenhouse gas impact than electric vehicles, at least in the near term. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Assessments of GHG... Read more →


California ARB hosting public workshop to discuss regulatory concepts for the Heavy-Duty “omnibus” Low NOx rulemaking

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will host a public workshop to discuss regulatory concepts to reduce NOx emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating. A key measure in ARB’s Mobile Source Strategy is the establishment of low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) engine... Read more →


Study finds association of pollution with increased risk of psychiatric disorders

A new study led by University of Chicago researchers finds an association between exposure to environmental pollution and an increase in the prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders. Based on analysis of large population data sets from both the United States (151 million unique individuals) and Denmark (1.4 million unique individuals), the... Read more →


Researchers in the UK report that, with a bit of management, a largely untended slag heap could absorb significant amounts of CO2, partially offsetting the emissions from steel production. Their open-access paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Pullin et al. Steel slag is a by-product... Read more →


Polish study links pollution and winter with rise in heart attack treatment

Heavily polluted areas have a higher rate of angioplasty procedures to treat blocked arteries than areas with clean air, according to research to be presented at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology. Procedures are even more common in winter, the most polluted time of year. Epidemiological... Read more →


California ARB announces grant solicitation for Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced a competitive grant solicitation for one or more grantees to implement the Clean Mobility in Schools Pilot Project for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19. This solicitation includes an option for new Grant Agreements for fiscal years FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21, if additional funds... Read more →


Study: no one knows which city has the highest concentration of PM2.5

Exposure to ambient PM2.5 is the leading global environmental risk factor for mortality and disease burden, with associated annual global welfare costs of trillions of dollars, However, no one knows what city has the highest level of the pollution. In an open-access paper recently published in Atmospheric Environment: X, an... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In this analysis, I examined recent changes in the contribution of transportation to total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States relative to the other sources of emissions (industry, commercial, residential, and agriculture). Also of interest were the changes in the relative contributions of various transportation modes,... Read more →


Major international study links short-term exposure to PM pollution to risk of premature death

A major new international study shows independent associations between short-term exposure to PM10 and PM2.5 and daily all-cause, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality in more than 600 cities across the globe. These data reinforce the evidence of a link between mortality and PM concentration established in regional and local studies, according... Read more →


Study suggests long-term exposure to NO2 and CO pollution increase risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Long-term exposure to pollutants from vehicle exhaust is linked to a heightened risk of the common eye condition age-related macular degeneration, or AMD for short, suggests research published online in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. Exposure to the highest levels of air pollutants was associated with an almost doubling in... Read more →


A study by a team of researchers from China, the US and Germany suggests that future climate change may worsen air quality for more than 85% of China’s population, leading to an additional 20,000 deaths each year. An open access paper on their work is published in Proceedings of the... Read more →


Microplastics in Arctic snow suggest widespread air pollution

Wind plays a role in carrying microplastics (MPs, shreds of plastic less than five millimeters long) to both the snowy streets of European cities and remote areas of the Arctic Ocean. The high concentrations found in snow samples from disparate regions suggest microplastics—which may contain varnish, rubber, or chemicals used... Read more →


Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopts zero-emission vehicle standard

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopted a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard for Colorado early today in an 8-1 decision. The new zero-emission standard adopts California ZEV requirements, with automakers to sell more than 5% zero-emission vehicles by 2023 and more than 6% zero-emission vehicles by 2025. Eleven states now... Read more →


University of Kentucky chemist receives NSF grant to study atmospheric reactions of pollution

University of Kentucky Chemistry Professor Marcelo Guzman has received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research, education and outreach efforts in the field of environmental and atmospheric chemistry. The $461,000-project, titled “Heterogeneous Aging Mechanisms of Combustion and Biomass Burning Emissions,” will focus on how gases, such... Read more →


Study associates long-term exposure to air pollution with increasing emphysema

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants, especially O3 (ozone), is significantly associated with increasing emphysema, according to a new study led by the University of Washington, Columbia University and the University at Buffalo. While previous studies have shown a clear connection of air pollutants with some heart and lung diseases,... Read more →