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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (8/13/06)
Mike Millikin, 13 Aug 06

citroen.jpg Mike Millikin covers the ongoing evolution of sustainable mobility at Green Car Congress.

China’s net import of crude oil rose to 70.33 million tons (about 2.9 million barrels per day) and of refined oil products to 12.03 million tons (about 500,000 barrels per day) in the first half of the year, according to the country’s General Administration of Customs. That represents an increase of 17.6% in imported crude, and 48.3% in product, year-on-year. (More...)

New York Governor George Pataki called for a national policy to be implemented over the next 10 years to replace 25% of current US oil consumption—the equivalent of oil imported today from OPEC nations—through greater efficiency, greater domestic production, and greater use of petroleum alternatives. (More...)

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels introduced today the state’s “Hoosier Homegrown” Energy Plan which focuses on the substitution of Indiana coal and biomass for current coal, natural gas and petroleum imports for use in power generation and transportation. (More...)

A new analysis of ocean-floor sediment cores collected near the North Pole finds that the Arctic was extremely warm, unusually wet and ice-free the last time massive amounts of greenhouse gases were released into the Earth’s atmosphere during a prehistoric period 55 million years ago. The findings appear in the 10 August issue of Nature. (More...)

A team of researchers has concluded that deep-sea sediments could provide a virtually unlimited and permanent reservoir for carbon dioxide. The researchers estimate that seafloor sediments within US territory are vast enough to store the nation’s CO2 emissions for thousands of years to come. (More...)

The Center for Automotive Research’s annual Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich. provides auto executives with an opportunity to outline their short-term strategies. Top of mind this year was the rapidly changing profile of the market, with sales of large SUVs and trucks dropping and smaller cars rising.

Ford said it is considering investments of up to $1 billion in several Michigan facilities. The investments would fund expanding flexible manufacturing at several Ford facilities in Michigan and be used for the research and development of future products, advanced powertrain technologies and hybrid vehicles. (More...)

Chrysler said it was focused on improving fuel efficiency of its gasoline engines, offering flexible-fuel vehicles (FFV) and a future powertrain strategy which includes a new V-6 engine program based on the World Engine program. The company will introduce its first hybrid (Dodge Durango) in 2008, and is "looking for ways to leverage" the diesel expertise of Mercedes-Benz. (More...)

GM announced that the company has developed a drivable version of its Sequel fuel-cell concept car and said that the company is "standing right on the threshold of the ramp-up of our major [hybrid] assault." (More...)

Honda described a powertrain strategy focused on three critical issues requiring unique technological approaches: (a) the continued reduction of air pollution with conventional engines; (b) improving the fuel efficiency of the internal combustion engine, including hybrids and diesels; and (c) developing alternative fuel technologies—vehicles and infrastructure—to address energy sustainability and work toward a mode of transportation with zero mobile source CO2 emissions. The company outlined an aggressive emerging focus on diesels for larger vehicles, with hybrid powertrains targeted for smaller. (More...)

Toyota talked about its design and manufacturing approaches developed for the global introduction of the new Camry.


Toyota Motor is raising the US price of the Prius by 2.1% ($450) for the 2007 model, bringing the starting price to $22,175. Toyota is also adding a new Prius model: the Touring Edition. (More...)


Lansing, Michigan’s Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) added three buses powered by General Motors’ diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system and manufactured by New Flyer to its mass transit fleet. The three vehicles are the first hybrid buses to enter service in the state of Michigan. (More...)

The city of Elk Grove, California—on the outskirts of Sacramento——is having problems using its fleet of series hybrid buses for high-speed commuter transport on freeways. (More...)

Rolls-Royce has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Magnetic Systems Technology Ltd (MST), a company specializing in power dense electric drives, permanent magnet motor systems and power electronics. Rolls-Royce will assist in the development of electric drive systems, and provide manufacturing and marketing expertise for customers in aerospace, defence, marine and energy markets, including hybrid electric military vehicles. MST will continue to provide electric drive systems for land-based civilian and industrial applications. (More...)


Phoenix Motorcars, the California-based developer of an all-electric sport utility pickup truck (SUT) has placed an order with Enova Systems for the integration of ten of the company’s 90kW Electric Drive Systems in Phoenix SUTs. (More...)


Citroën is now running its UK Head Office-based diesel cars and vans, including all those used by the media, on a 30% biodiesel blend. The B30 blend can be used in all current Citroën diesel vehicles without any modifications. (More...)

Stagecoach Group is conducting the first UK trials of an ethanol-powered bus outside London. The Perth, Scotland-based company, which represents 16% of the UK bus market, will test a Scania OmniLink ethanol bus for two weeks from 14 August for potential use in Stagecoach’s 8,000-vehicle fleet in the UK. The Scania OmniLink ethanol bus uses 95% ethanol with a 5% ignition improver (E95) in a compression ignition (diesel) engine. (More...)

Moller International, the developer of the Skycar aircraft, the Rotapower line of Wankel-type rotary engines and the Aerobot line of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), has achieved emission levels below California SULEV standards in recent tests of the Rotapower engine fueled by E95 ethanol without exhaust aftertreatment. (More...)

Xethanol Corporation has entered into an agreement to purchase a former Pfizer pharmaceutical manufacturing complex in Augusta, Georgia for construction of a 50 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant. (More...)

Alternative Energy Sources, a newly-formed corn ethanol producer led by former executives from Archer Daniels Midland, has entered into a letter of intent to acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of Flex Fuels USA—a developer of cellulosic ethanol technology—and its affiliate ACN Energy Consulting Inc. in a stock-for-stock merger. (More...)

US Farms, a small, niche agribusiness company, has established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Imperial Ethanol, to build a 100 million gallon per year ethanol plant based on the use of sugarcane and sugar beets as the feedstock. This would be the first major sugar ethanol plant in the US. (More...)

The US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) have jointly awarded nine grants totaling $5.7 million for bio-based fuels research intended to accelerate the development of alternative fuel resources. (More...)

Sandia National Laboratories and Monsanto Company have entered into a three-year research collaboration aimed at aligning Sandia’s capabilities in bioanalytical imaging and analysis with Monsanto’s research in developing new seed-based products for farmers, including corn products that may be able to produce more ethanol per bushel. (More...)

Integrated Genomics, a bioinformatics company, and Mascoma Corporation, a new cellulosic ethanol company, have entered into a contract to analyze the genome of a microbe important to breaking down cellulosic biomass for conversion into ethanol. (More...)

O2Diesel Corporation has received in excess of $1 million in US Department of Energy funding to verify O2Diesel, its ethanol-blended diesel fuel under the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Diesel Emissions Control Strategy (DECS). (More...)

A new study by Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research group finds that the increasing global demand for biodiesel and other biofuels is driving demand for vegetable oils to historic levels in world markets, leading to higher prices for vegetable oils relative to meals and causing soybean crushers to reevaluate their business models. (More...)

Thailand’s PTT Public Company Ltd is working on two joint projects for the production of palm oil biodiesel that will almost double its current production capacity to about 1.1 million liters/day (about 290,000 gallons US per day, or about 100 million gallons per year). (More...)

Malaysia’s Golden Hope Plantations Bhd (GHP) expects to produce close to 400,000 tonnes (about 120 million gallons) of palm oil biodiesel by 2008. By way of comparison, total US biodiesel output in 2005 was 75 million gallons, although production capacity was much higher (about 395 million gallons). (More...)


Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) plans to launch a diesel version of its premium Sonata model in October 2006, and introduce CNG-powered small cars by January 2007. (More...)

China’s Yantai Shuchi Group (YSG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand’s Siri Project Construction and PS Natural Gas to produce natural gas vehicles (NGV) in Thailand for export to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). (More...)

Heavy monsoon flooding in Gujarat disrupted half of India’s production of natural gas, threatening power generation in the north of the country and CNG supplies to automobiles in the capital. (More...)


Modine Manufacturing Company and Chevron Technology Ventures are expanding their collaboration and entering a second phase in the development of on-site hydrogen generation technology for hydrogen fueling stations. A jointly-developed, compact Advanced Steam Methane Reformer (ASMR) will be a component of a purified hydrogen unit (PHG) that will be used in a hydrogen refueling station in Michigan, designed and built by Chevron Hydrogen Company. (More...)

NanoLogix, a nano-biotechnology company engaged in the development and commercialization of technologies for the creation of hydrogen bioreactors, has received $1 million in interim funding from a California financial group. (More...)

Ford Motor Company has ordered four advanced design High-Voltage Energy Converters (HVECs) from Enova Systems, a developer and manufacturer of electric, hybrid and fuel cell digital power management systems, for application in fuel-cell hybrid vehicles. (More...)


DaimlerChrysler’s Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach Unit has delivered the first seven Citaro urban regular-service buses equipped with Euro 5-compliant turbodiesel engines. The Euro-5 emissions standard is due to come into force in the EU in 2008/2009; full enforcement for Euro-4 standards begins this October. Euro 5 stipulates a further 43% reduction in NOx emissions over Euro 4. (More...)

Tokyo Radiator Mfg. Co., an established maker of cooling systems, has developed a new exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler with a bypass channel to reduce incomplete combustion and the resulting emissions of hydrocarbons and soot. GM plans to use it in a diesel passenger car in Europe next year. (More...)

Cummins officially opened its first engine technical center in China in central China’s Wuhan City. (More...)

Clyvia Technology GmbH has successfully converted 3 tonnes (approximately 3.3 US tons) of waste oil into 2,000 liters (1.7 tonnes or approximately 528 US gal.) of diesel-like light oil in a large scale trial run of its pilot fractional deploymerization plant. (More...)


Korean researchers have developed a new type of zeolite that could serve as an energy-efficient catalyst in crude oil refining applications. (More...)

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I am an attorney, a substitute teacher, and an ardent environmentalist, here in San Francisco.I am in the initial stages of funding a large, international coal firefighting company to put out underground coal fires in the Far East.I am in contact with the Feds and the DOI re costs associated with fighting underground coal fires here in the US.I also will be contacting the World Bankand the USAID, and the UNEP.Can anyone help me by pointing out good links on this subject? My research indicated the sale of co2 credits from putting out the fires will be significant enough to perpetually put out all the planet's coal

Posted by: Mark J. Fiore on 16 Aug 06



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