DOE to award more than $55M to 31 projects for plug-in and efficient vehicle technologies; Delphi receives $10M to further GDCI

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding more than $55 million to 31 new projects to accelerate research and development of vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs under a program-wide funding opportunity announced in January. (DE-FOA-0000991, earlier post.) These new projects are aimed at meeting... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $49.4 million to projects to to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies. The new program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0000991) (earlier post), was announced by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Washington Auto Show. The funding opportunity will contains a total of... Read more →


DOE to issue FY14 Vehicle Technologies program-wide funding opportunity announcement

The Department Of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of its Vehicle Technology Office (VTO), a program-wide Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000991) for fiscal year 2014 on or about January 2014. The advance notice (DE-FOA-0001053) is to alert interested parties of the... Read more →


Second-generation Air Free Concept from Bridgestone. Click to enlarge. Bridgestone Corporation unveiled its second-generation “Air Free Concept (Non-Pneumatic) Tire” at the Tokyo Motor Showin November. (Earlier post.) The new design features improved load-bearing capabilities, environmental design and driving performance. The latest improvements bring Bridgestone one step closer to a viable,... Read more →


Overview of BioButterfly process steps. Click to enlarge. Axens, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and Michelin have launched a plant chemistry research partnership that aims to develop and bring to market a process for producing bio-sourced butadiene, or bio-butadiene. Butadiene is a chemical intermediate derived from fossil resources that is used... Read more →


Fraunhofer and Continental building pilot system to extract Russian dandelion rubber for tires

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, in collaboration with Continental, are building a pilot system to extract rubber from the Russian dandelion for making tires. Working jointly with industry and science, the IME scientists have optimized the cultivation and production engineering for dandelion rubber... Read more →


Eni’s Versalis to partner with Genomatica and Novamont for bio-based butadiene; rubber for tires

Versalis, Eni’s chemicals subsidiary leader in the production of elastomers, together with Genomatica, a leading developer of process technology for renewable chemicals, and Novamont, a leader in biodegradable plastics and pioneer in third-generation integrated biorefineries, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a strategic partnership to enable production of... Read more →


USDA awards Cooper Tire & Rubber and partners $6.9M for research on guayule as source for tire rubber and biofuel

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded Cooper Tire & Rubber and its consortium partners a 4-year, $6.9-million grant to support research efforts to develop enhanced manufacturing processes, testing and utilizing of guayule natural rubber as a strategic source of raw material in tires, and evaluating the remaining biomass... Read more →


Study finds automobile tires are a potential source of carcinogenic dibenzopyrenes to the environment

A new study by researchers from Stockholm University concludes that automobile tires may be a potential previously unknown source of carcinogenic dibenzopyrenes—a type of high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)—to the environment. Their findings are published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Automobile tire rubber in general... Read more →


Volvo Trucks/Michelin study finds correct tires, pressure and wheel alignment can reduce truck fuel consumption up to 14.5%

A recent study by truck maker Volvo and tire manufacturer Michelin found that having the correct tires, tire pressure and wheel alignment can reduce truck fuel consumption by up to 14.5%. The two-week long, 1,000-km (621-mile) test conducted at Hällered, Volvo’s test circuit in Sweden, featured two Volvo FH 4x2... Read more →


The DeltaWing. Click to enlarge. Michelin will be the first major technical partner to support the Project 56 DeltaWing prototype car in the 2012 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Michelin has developed a tire solution that pushes the performance envelope and matches the innovative DeltaWing strategy to... Read more →


Schematic diagram of the two-stage pyrolysis-gasification experimental system. Credit: ACS, Elbaba et al.Click to enlarge. A team at the University of Leeds (UK) is investigating hydrogen production from waste tires using a two-stage pyrolysis-gasification reactor and Ni-Mg-Al (1:1:1) catalyst. A paper describing their work was published online 10 June in... Read more →


Genencor and Goodyear Partnering on Process to Develop BioIsoprene from Sugars; To be Used in Manufacture of Tires

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, have established a research collaboration to develop an integrated fermentation, recovery and purification system for producing BioIsoprene from renewable raw materials for use in tires. Genencor intends to commercialize the technology within the next five years. Synthetic... Read more →


European Parliament Backs Regulations for Quieter, More Energy-Efficient Tires

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection has voted to support proposed amended legislation that would make tires quieter and more energy efficient. The legislation, originally proposed by the European Commission in May, will set harmonized minimum noise and rolling resistance standards for tires. Tires not... Read more →


Michelin Invests $6.8M In R&D To Further Reduce Tire-Related Energy Consumption

Michelin is investing $6.8 million in a research and development project focused on further improving vehicle fuel economy by reducing tire rolling resistance. These funds will support the company’s research efforts in South Carolina and include a $1.9 million research contract with Clemson University and its International Center for Automotive... Read more →


Full Compliance with US Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Regulation Coming Into Effect

With the TPMS, one of these symbols will light up on the dashboard when any tire is 25% under-inflated. September 1 marks the start of required 100% compliance with the US federal mandate for all new vehicles of 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) or less gross vehicle weight to have a... Read more →


EarthFirst and Orion Enter Joint Venture for Scrap Tire Recycling Facility

Product yields from the CAVD process. Click to enlarge. EarthFirst Technologies and Orion Industrial Services Corporation are working together on the final design, construction and commercial roll-out of a scrap tire recycling facility, known as the Catalytic Activated Vacuum Distillation Reactor (CAVD). CAVD is a low-temperature pyrolysis process, in which... Read more →


Study: Under-inflated Tires in the EU Waste 8.1 Billion Liters of Fuel Each Year

An estimated 93.5% of motorists in the EU are driving on under-inflated tires and causing an additional 18.4 million tons of carbon dioxide to be released into the environment, according to a recent analysis by Bridgestone Europe. That works out to an extra 6.9 g CO2/km for every car on... Read more →


Yokohama Tire Technology Cuts Petroleum Use in Tire by 80%

Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (YRC)—the seventh-largest tire manufacturer in the world—has developed a process that combines citrus oil with natural rubber to form a new compound it calls Super Nanopower Rubber (SNR). The major component of citrus oil is d-limonene. The process reduces the use of petroleum products in tires... Read more →


Parker Hannifin Joins Get Nitrogen Institute to Promote N2 Tire Inflation

Parker Hannifin Corporation has joined the Get Nitrogen Institute, a non-profit organization formed in 2005 to promote the use of nitrogen rather than air in filling tires. (Costco, the first retailer to offer nitrogen in its tire centers throughout North America, is a sponsor of the Institute.) The use of... Read more →


ORNL Launches Nationwide Heavy-Duty Truck Efficiency Test; Single Wide Tires a Prime Focus

The performance of single wide tires is one of the main areas of focus of the test. Shown here are Michelin X-One tires. Source: Michelin. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has launched a nationwide test of heavy-duty trucks that will include special monitoring equipment on six instrumented tractors and nine... Read more →


Ford Bumps Up the Fuel Efficiency of the 2007 Focus by 7%

Changes to the engine management software along with new low-rolling resistance tires have netted a 3-mpg increase in highway mileage for the 2007 Ford Focus 2.0-liter with a manual transmission. The Focus now will deliver 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway (31 mpg combined). The... Read more →


Goodyear Launches Fuel-Efficient Truck Tire Lines

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has introduced a new fuel-efficient commercial tire technology—Fuel Max—and three new tires for long-haul trucks that could deliver up to a 4% improvement in fuel economy, according to the company. Actual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test results of the tires driven at highway... Read more →


ORNL: Single Wide-Base Truck Tires Improve Fuel Economy

Replacing the standard two thinner tires per wheel with a single wide-base tire improves the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty tractor-trailer trucks and allows them to be made to run with more stability, according to studies by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Interstate tests by ORNL’s National Transportation Research Center show... Read more →


National Academies Report on Tires and Fuel Economy

Energy flow for a modern mid-size sedan. Rolling resistance consumes about one-third of the mechanical energy output from the engine to the wheels. Two divisions of the National Academies—the Transportation Research Board and the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems—have issued a special report examining the contribution of tires to... Read more →


Bridgestone to Build $100M Synthetic Rubber Plant in China

Bridgestone Corp. will invest about $100 million to build a synthetic rubber plant in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China to meet what it anticipates will be the surge in tire demand in Asia. The new plant, due to become operational in 2008, will produce 50,000 tons per year of styrene-butadiene rubber... Read more →


Sumitomo Rubber to Introduce Lower-Petroleum Tires

Nikkei. Sumitomo Rubber Industries has developed and will launch next year a specialty tire made with a smaller-than-usual proportion of synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum. Approximately 55% of the material in a conventional tire, including synthetic rubber and other polymers, is petroleum-derived. The new Sumitomo tire drops this... Read more →