The construction sector accounts for a quarter of CO2 emissions, in Sweden and globally. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg studied the construction of an 8km stretch of road in detail and calculated how much emissions can be reduced now and until 2045, looking at... Read more →


Southwest Research Institute has launched a new automotive emissions aftertreatment catalyst testing facility, expanding the capacity and capabilities of its Universal Synthetic Gas Reactor (USGR) technology. These systems simulate real-world exhaust gas conditions to characterize catalyst performance quickly and accurately. The Catalyst Technology Center includes two new USGR systems, bringing... Read more →


Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have developed a web tool called the Carculator that can be used to compare the environmental performance of passenger cars in detail. The program determines the environmental balance of vehicles with different size classes and powertrains, and presents the results in comparative graphics. The... Read more →


Levels of two major air pollutants have been reduced significantly since lockdowns began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a secondary pollutant—ground-level ozone—has increased in China, according to new research. Two new studies in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters find nitrogen dioxide pollution over northern China, Western Europe and... Read more →


FCA says that its latest Global Warming Potential (GWP) analysis found that the redesigned-for-2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has an overall GWP 15% lower than that of its predecessor. The GWP improvement was calculated using industry-standard software that examines multiple factors associated with a vehicle’s design, production and on-road performance. These... Read more →


A new World Bank Group report finds that the production of minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, could increase by nearly 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that more than 3 billion tons of minerals and metals will be needed to... Read more →


US energy-related CO2 emissions declined by 2.8% in 2019 to 5,130 million metric tons (MMmt), according to data in the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Monthly Energy Review. CO2 emissions had increased by 2.9% in 2018, the only annual increase in the past five years. Because of continuing trends in... Read more →


A team from the University of Tennessee and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has the fuel savings due to fuel economy improvements over the past 43 years amount to approximately two trillion gallons of gasoline. They further estimated that roughly one-fifth of the savings can be attributed to gasoline... Read more →


A new report from the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis has found that total US vehicle miles traveled (VMT) at the county and state level have declined by 61% to 90% following the various government stay-at-home orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from... Read more →


Berkeley Law’s CLEE report provides policy options for phasing out oil and gas production in California

Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) released a new report “Legal Grounds: Law and Policy Options to Facilitate a Phase-Out of Fossil Fuel Production in California.” The report analyzes steps California leaders could pursue on state- and privately-owned lands to achieve this reduction. California is the... Read more →


A comprehensive three-year scientific study into the air, water and soil impacts of hydraulic fracturing (HF) in coal seam gas (CSG) in Queensland, Australia has found little to no impacts on air quality, soils, groundwater and waterways. The study also found current water treatment technology used for treating water produced... Read more →


Researchers from Duke University have devised a computer vision algorithm for estimating ground-level PM2.5 at a high spatiotemporal resolution by directly processing global-coverage, daily, near real-time updated, micro-satellite imagery of spatial coverages significantly smaller than 1 x 1 km (e.g., 200 x 200 m) available from Planet Lab. The results appear in... Read more →


Researchers from Saudi Aramco and KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology), with a colleague from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, assessed the effects of adopting 4 hybrid architectures on the life-cycle GHG emissions of a novel high-reactivity fuel in an advanced compression-ignition engine (GCI). Their paper appears... Read more →


Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed an improved catalyst for the synthesis of ammonia by taking the common dehydrating agent calcium hydride and adding fluoride to it. The catalyst facilitates the synthesis of ammonia at merely 50 °C, with an extremely small activation energy of 20... Read more →


Cummins Inc. and Tula Technology, Inc., developer of Dynamic Skip Fire cylinder deactivation technology (earlier post), collaborated on a significant technical demonstration of diesel Dynamic Skip Fire (dDSF) cylinder deactivation. By using dDSF software to control cylinder deactivation in a diesel engine, Cummins and Tula demonstrated significant reductions in emissions... Read more →


Lloyd’s Register (LR) and the University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) have published their latest assessment of the current and future fuels available to shipping to help define the optimum solutions as the maritime industry seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Building on research already undertaken by LR and UMAS into... Read more →


Australia’s ARENA opens $70M hydrogen deployment funding round

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has opened the $70-million Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round to help fast track the development of renewable hydrogen in Australia. As announced in November last year, the funding round is expected to play a significant role in supporting... Read more →


German KBA approving hardware retrofits to reduce NOx emissions for passenger cars

Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has approved various retrofit systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. This means that Euro 4 or Euro 5 diesel cars can be retrofitted and exempted from traffic restrictions in certain regions. In addition to new, low-emission vehicles and emission-reducing software solutions, hardware retrofits offer... Read more →


UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) are conducting a stakeholder-led research initiative focused on identifying strategies to improve sustainability and governance across the EV battery supply chain. Diagram of the EV battery supply chain from “Building... Read more →


EPA proposes retaining current NAAQS for particulate matter

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to retain, without changes, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) including both fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10). The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set NAAQS for criteria pollutants—currently PM, ground-level ozone (O3), carbon... Read more →


The 2020 edition of US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) comprehensive annual report on nationwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions shows that emissions increased from 2017 to 2018 by 3.1% (after accounting for sequestration from the land sector). In 2018, US greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,677 million metric tons of carbon dioxide... Read more →


by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. Battery electric vehicles are only as clean as the energy source used to generate the electricity that powers them. The calculated relative amounts of well-to-wheels emissions of greenhouse gases from eight different energy sources are shown in the table below. (The calculations were based... Read more →


Researchers from Surrey’s Global Center for Clean Air Research (GCARE) in the UK have investigated the amount of harmful air pollutants babies potentially inhale while out in a stroller with their parents or caretakers. The study looked at three different stroller types—single facing the road, single facing the adult and... Read more →


Harvard study finds small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in COVID-19 death rate

A new study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health concludes that a small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in COVID-19 death rate, with the magnitude of increase 20 times that observed for PM2.5 and all-cause mortality. US government scientists estimate... Read more →


Researchers suggests high level of air pollution in Northern Italy a co-factor in COVID-19 mortality rate

Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy and Aarhus University in Denmark are suggesting that the high level of pollution in Northern Italy should be considered an additional co-factor of the high level of COVID-19 fatalities recorded in that area. An open-access paper on their work is published in... Read more →


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 →