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 →


Aemetis will be implementing the Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation ZEBREX zeolite membrane dehydration system at the 60 million gallon per year Aemetis fuel ethanol plant in Keyes, California. The Aemetis plant upgrade is the first ZEBREX system installation in North America and is the largest implementation of the ZEBREX system worldwide.... Read more →


Team from Daimler, ZBT, Jülich finds impact of air pollution on fuel cell power and lifetime “significant”

Traffic-related air pollutants can lead to a short-term loss of power and long-term reduction in lifetime for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). However, while research has been carried out on the reaction mechanisms, the impact of this for vehicles has not been studied extensively under real-world conditions. A team... Read more →


A KAIST research team has developed a fully dispersed Rh ensemble catalyst (ENS) that shows better performance at lower temperatures than commercial diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC). This newly developed ENSs could improve low-temperature automobile exhaust treatment. Precious metals have been used for various heterogeneous reactions, but it is crucial to... Read more →


PRIME Coalition invests in three startups: electrochemical reduction of CO2, lightweight materials; Li extraction

PRIME Coalition, a 501(c)(3) public charity funding tech start-ups that fight climate change, closed three new investments: Opus 12 in Berkeley, CA; Mallinda in Denver, CO; and Lilac Solutions in Oakland, CA. With these investments, PRIME has now funded nine start-up companies through 11 financing rounds mobilizing more than $17... Read more →


Eberspaecher and China Yuchai subsidiary form JV for emission control systems for commercial vehicles

Eberspaecher Exhaust Technology International GmbH and China Yuchai International Limited will form a joint venture company: Eberspaecher Yuchai Exhaust Technology. The JV Company will produce and sell exhaust emission control systems for Chinese commercial vehicles to meet the highest domestic emission standard, China National 6. The new exhaust emission control... Read more →


ROUSH CleanTech develops near-zero NOx propane autogas engine; CARB-certified at 0.02 g/bhp-hr

Alternative-fuel technology company ROUSH CleanTech has developed the first available propane autogas engine certified to California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) optional low oxides of nitrogen emissions standard for heavy-duty engines with 0.02 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr). (Earlier post.) The engine is 90% cleaner than the current Environmental Protection Agency’s... Read more →


Study finds long-term exposure to air pollution negatively impacts cognitive performance and may become more pronounced with age

Researchers from China and the US have found that long-term exposure to air pollution impedes cognitive performance in verbal and math tests. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they report that the effect of air pollution on verbal tests becomes more pronounced as... Read more →


PM2.5 pollution now associated with chronic kidney disease

Adding to the list of health issues associated with PM2.5 pollution, new open-access research published in PLOS ONE suggests that PM2.5 is connected with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which occurs when a person’s kidneys become damaged or cannot filter blood properly. Similar to smoking, air pollution contains harmful toxins that... Read more →


Emissions of NOx, a key component of smog, at the Port of Los Angeles are down 60% compared to 2005 emissions levels. The newly released 2017 Inventory of Air Emissions shows the Port set new record lows for emissions reductions while its container volume reached an all-time high of 9.34... Read more →


PM2.5 pollution shortens human lives by more than a year, according to a new open-access study from a team of environmental engineers and public health researchers published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Better air quality could lead to a significant extension of lifespans around the world.... Read more →


Study provides more insight into air pollution mechanisms that cause cardiovascular diseases

Air pollution, and fine dust in particular, is calculated to contribute to more than four million deaths each year. Almost 60% of deaths occur as a result of cardiovascular diseases. Scientists around Professor Thomas Münzel, Director of Cardiology I at the Department of Cardiology at the Medical Center Mainz of... Read more →


Colorado AQCC moves forward with California LEV regulations; to consider separate ZEV mandate

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) will move forward with a proposal to adopt California Low Emission Vehicle standards for new light- and medium-duty motor vehicles sold in Colorado beginning in MY 2022. (Earlier post.) The proposed rule is now set for a Public Rulemaking hearing, scheduled for November.... Read more →


Aerosols are tiny particles released into the atmosphere by human activities; they have proven negative effects on air quality—damaging human health and agricultural productivity. However, while greenhouse gases cause warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere, some aerosols can have a cooling effect on the climate because the aerosol particles... Read more →


Babies in strollers can be exposed to up to ~60% higher average concentrations of pollution than their parents, causing potential damage to their frontal lobe and impacting on their cognitive abilities and brain development, according to a study by researchers at the University of Surrey (UK). In the study published... Read more →


Latest generation diesels power 36% of US commercial trucks

Thirty-six percent of all commercial diesel trucks on US roads are now powered by the newest generation of diesel technologies (MY 2011 and newer), up from 30% in 2016 and 25.7% in 2015, according to analysis by the Diesel Technology Forum of operation data from 2017 of vehicles (GVW 3-8)... Read more →


Testing of the latest Nexcel active engine oil management system (earlier post) across three different engine types has a{demonstrated} the system’s potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 2 g/km. The reduction is delivered by ensuring a precise oil-engine match, helping the oil to warm up more quickly and boosting the... Read more →


Blue Bird first to offer certified ultra-low NOx level for propane school buses; 0.02 g/bhp-hr

Blue Bird is providing the cleanest propane engine available for school buses on the market, with this version being 90% cleaner than the current emissions standard and 10 times cleaner than any non-Blue Bird propane school bus option available today. Blue Bird’s Vision Propane buses now offer an optional ultra-low... Read more →


Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Food Express, Inc. (FXI) announced the addition of 11 new ultra-low emission natural gas trucks to the FXI fleet. The company, with the assistance of SoCalGas, applied for and received $1.1 million in grant funding for the new Kenworth T680 trucks (earlier post) which... Read more →


Colorado DPHE proposing rule to adopt California LEV standards for MY 2022 and following

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will propose Regulation Number 20, Low Emission Vehicles (Colorado Low Emission Automobile Regulations, CLEAR), to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) to the AQCC at its regular meeting on 16 August. The proposed rule adopts California Low Emission Vehicle standards for... Read more →


PNNL: increases in aerosols from East Asia decreased effects of reductions in US emissions in western states by 25%

A study led by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that, in the western United States, increases in aerosols from East Asia decreased the radiative warming effect induced by reductions in US emissions by 25% from 1980-2014. The open-access study appears in the AGU... Read more →


Study concludes environmental regulations drove steep declines in US factory pollution even with increased production

The federal Clean Air Act and associated environmental regulations have driven steep declines in air pollution emissions over the past several decades, even as US manufacturers increased production, according to a study by two University of California, Berkeley, economists. The study, forthcoming in the American Economic Review, found that polluting... Read more →


CARB proposes amending California LEV III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to maintain stringency if US standards change

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed amending the California Low-Emission Vehicle III Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation to ensure that cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025 continue to meet California standards even if Federal standards are frozen. (Earlier post.) Recognizing the value of a national program to... Read more →


New analysis by IHS Markit suggests that automakers failing to meet 2021 fleet CO2 emissions compliance for passenger vehicles sold in the European Union (EU) could be fined more than €14 billion (US$16 billion) in 2021. Legislators in the European Union (EU) are imposing a new passenger car fleet CO2... Read more →


Broad opposition to EPA, NHTSA proposed freeze of GHG, CAFE regs

When the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rolled out their proposed rulemaking for changing the greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulations governing MY 2012-2026 light duty vehicles, opposition from environmental groups, affected state governments and other sectors was broad and rapid—partly because the... Read more →


US EPA and DOT propose freezing light-duty fuel economy, GHG standards at 2020 level for MY 2021-2026 vehicles; 43.7 mpg for cars; 50-state solution

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released their long-expected notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to adjust the Congressionally-mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the first... Read more →


CARB investigation leads to nationwide recall of 500,000+ Cummins heavy-duty trucks due to defective SCR catalysts

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that 500,000 heavy-duty trucks manufactured by Cummins Inc. will be recalled due to excess emissions caused by defective catalysts. The cause of the excess emissions was purely mechanical—the faster-than-expected degradation of the catalyst—and not the product of a defeat device. The degrading catalysts... Read more →


Developed for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), BorgWarner’s innovative Exhaust Heat Recovery System (EHRS) can improve fuel economy by up to 8.5% and reduce emissions significantly. The EHRS enters production later this year for vehicles from a major North American automaker. By using the heat... Read more →


Study provides insight into mechanism of atmospheric new particle formation in polluted cities

The formation of new atmospheric particulates—i.e., de novo rather than as direct emissions—via nucleation and growth is a major source of aerosol pollution in terms of number concentration. In spite of a great deal of research, it is still a puzzle why and how such new particule formation (NPF) occurs... Read more →


Findings presented in a new working paper by a team at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) suggest that the new generation of supersonic aircraft currently in development by three US-based companies (e.g, earlier post) are unlikely to comply with existing international environmental standards for subsonic aircraft. The ICCT... Read more →


CARB and US EPA approve final Volkswagen diesel modification to remove defeat devices; marks end of 3-year redesign of >500k vehicles

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have approved emissions modifications for the last remaining Volkswagen (VW) vehicles containing undisclosed software which deliberately shut down emission control equipment (defeat devices). The legal process began in 2015 and eventually involved more than a half million... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that greenhouse gas emissions in California in 2016 fell below 1990 levels for the first time since emissions peaked in 2004—a reduction roughly equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road or saving 6 billion gallons of gasoline a year. Under Assembly... Read more →


Greyrock, NREL study determines reduction in GHG and criteria pollutant emissions from using synthetic fuels produced from flare gas

A “well-to-wheel” life cycle assessment (LCA) by a team from synthetic fuels producer Greyrock (earlier post), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has determined the potential reduction of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutant emissions from the use of synthetic fuels directly converted from flare gas. The results of this... Read more →


During the first three years of California’s 5-year-old cap-and-trade program, the bulk of the greenhouse gas reductions occurred out of state—i.e., state residents did not see the benefits of improved air quality from presumed reductions in harmful co-pollutants, such as particulate matter—according to a new study led by UC Berkeley... Read more →


Audi presents results of diesel assessment to KBA

Following the conclusion of internal technical analyses of all its V TDI engines, Audi has passed on its essential findings to the German Federal Motor Vehicle Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, KBA) as the responsible authority. The details will be discussed over the coming weeks. For current models with third-generation V6 TDI... Read more →


Study links PM2.5 pollution to increased risk of diabetes; even low levels pose risk

A study by a team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System links PM2.5 pollution—even at levels deemed safe—to an increased risk of diabetes globally. The open-access findings, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, raise the... Read more →