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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (2/18/07)
Mike Millikin, 18 Feb 07
Article Photo

Two more US governors announced targets for greenhouse gas reductions. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced a statewide goal to slash GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 60% below 1990 levels by 2050. (More...) New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine issued an Executive Order calling for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020—approximately a 20% reduction—followed by a further reduction of emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050. (More...)


In a speech to the BC Parliament, British Columbia (Canada) Premier Gordon Campbell called for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 33% from current levels by 2020. That is equivalent to a 10% reduction from 1990 levels. More...

In its monthly Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that global oil demand in 2007 will increase at almost double last year’s pace based on increasing demand in China and the Middle East. More...

The number of vehicle models sold in the US that get more than 40 mpg has dropped from 2005 levels, even as the ranks of highly fuel-efficient vehicles sold overseas—but not available to US consumers—is growing rapidly, according to data from the Civil Society Institute (CSI) think tank and its 40MPG.org project. More...

The Canadian government has introduced two new programs, with a combined total of C$35 million in funding, to help Canadians choose more eco-friendly vehicles. More...

Transport for London(TfL) will increase the priority it gives to Travel Demand Management (TDM)—programs that encourage people to reduce their reliance on the private car for short journeys. During the next year, TfL will increase funding for TDM from £5.5 million (US$10.7 million) to £30 million (US$59.5 million). More...

Total has launched a pilot CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) project in the Lacq basin in southwestern France. The pilot unit will be the first oxyfuel combustion project of its scale treating gaseous and liquid fuel and the first experiment in the realm of CO2 storage in France. Using oxygen for combustion rather than air results in a more concentrated CO2 stream that is easier to capture. More...

HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March, Toyota will introduce a new hybrid concept it is calling “Hybrid X? that it says proposes a new design language for hybrid models while also acting as a technology showcase for future hybrid cars. More...

With the central London congestion charge zone extending west to take in an even greater slice of the capital next week (earlier post), sales of the Prius—which is exempt from the daily £8 charge—in London jumped up 135% in January from the year prior. More...


ENERGY STORAGE AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Süd-Chemie, a global chemical company, will invest C$35 million (US$30 million) in 2007 and 2008 in one of its Canadian affiliates to increase lithium iron phosphate production capacity for use in new generations of lithium-ion batteries to 1,500 metric tons per year. Phostech Lithium Inc., Boucherville/Canada, an affiliate of Süd-Chemie, is already investing C$6 million to expand its production capacity from 300 metric tons per year of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) to 900 metric tons per year. More...

ZQ Power-Tech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Advanced Battery Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of rechargeable Polymer-Lithium-Ion (PLI) batteries, has received a patent from The Intellectual Property Bureau of the People’s Republic of China for the invention of a nanomaterial lithium-ion battery and technology process. More...


BIOFUELS

Demand for ethanol will push US corn output to more than 14 billion bushels by 2016, 4.3 billion (30.7%) of which will be used to produce approximately 12 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol, according to the US Department of Agriculture. In 2006, US farmers produced 10.5 billion bushels of corn, 2.15 billion (20.5%) of which went toward ethanol. More...

LS9 Inc., a startup founded in 2005 to apply synthetic biology technology to production of proprietary biofuels, officially launched today. Synthetic biology is a cross-disciplinary endeavor that designs, optimizes and assembles well-characterized biological components into integrated systems to accomplish specific tasks. More...

GM’s Saab will introduce its latest BioPower concept car at the Geneva Motor Show next month, featuring its first production-based engine to be optimized for pure bioethanol (E100) fuel. More...

John Nichols, the co-founder and former chief executive of UK-based Biofuels Corporation, is trying to raise up to £80 million (US$156 million) to design and to build a biobutanol plant in the south of Ireland, which would use local sugar beets as the feedstock. More...

Agri-Source Fuels is converting a former citrus juice factory in Dade City, Florida, to a biodiesel plant with an annual capacity of more than 125 million gallons. More...

ECCO Energy, an independent oil and gas producer, has formed a subsidiary, ECCO Biofuels, to focus on production, distribution, and manufacturing of biodiesel and ethanol fuel. More...

HBS BioEnergy (HBSE), a subsidiary of Human Biosystems, has formed a joint venture with Visalia-based Dairy Development Group and Agrimass Enviro-Energy to build an Energy Park in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The Energy Park will utilize waste from surrounding dairies to provide the power needed to fuel a proposed ethanol plant to be located on site. More...

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is now accepting grant proposals for a total of $25 million in available funding from the Alternative Fuels Incentives Programs for the purposes of incentivizing biofuels and high efficiency, low-emitting vehicle technology. More...


HYDROGEN


The US Department of Energy has issued a solicitation for a project to study the potential environmental effects from increased emissions of hydrogen and criteria pollutant emissions avoided or gained through the expansion of hydrogen use in the transportation and stationary power markets. More...

UQM Technologies has received a follow-on order from Eaton Corporation, a Tier 1 supplier to automobile manufacturers worldwide, for additional UQM compressor drive motors for use as part of Eaton’s fuel cell air management product line. More...


NATURAL GAS


The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—the US’ two leading container ports—have issued a joint Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Truck Program. An LNG-powered truck fleet could help the world’s fifth largest port complex reduce particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 80 to 90 percent. More...

Using corncob waste as a starting material, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) and Midwest Research Institute (MRI) in Kansas City have created carbon briquettes with complex nanopores capable of storing natural gas at an unprecedented density of 180 times their own volume and at one-seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks. An adsorbed natural gas tank using the material could increase the viability of methane-fueled vehicles. More...

SYNTHETIC FUELS

Headwaters, Inc. is starting the second phase of a $2.8 billion, three-phase project that will result in the construction of a commercial-scale hybrid coal-to-liquids plant consisting of a direct coal liquefaction unit (DCL), an indirect coal liquefaction unit (coal gasification and syngas cleaning unit plus a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis unit) and a power block. More...

Researchers from South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Centre of Material and Process Synthesis (COMPS) are planning to build a pilot coal-to-liquids (CTL) project in the Shaanxi province in China. The R75-million (US$10.5-million) pilot project is expected to be 30% more efficient than the current technology and will consist of seven reactors. More...

Major oil sands companies in Canada have formed an industry-wide consortium—GeoPower in the Oil Sands, or GeoPOS—to explore the use of geothermal energy as a clean alternative to natural gas for oil sands production.

More...

Rentech, a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology company, is building a coal-to-liquids (CTL) Product Development Unit (PDU) at its facility near Denver. More...

DIESEL

Volkswagen will unveil a BlueMotion version of the diesel Passat at the Geneva Motor Show in March. More...

OTHER

Zeroshift, a UK company, claims to have come up with a novel two-step synchronization mechanism for automated single-clutch step-by-step transmissions. When combined with slight feathering of the dry clutch, this is supposed to permit gear changes that are faster than a DSG and smoother than a traditional AT with torque converter. We’ll have to wait for independent confirmation of these aggressive claims. More...

Union Pacific and General Electric are staging a Green Locomotive Technology Tour to showcase current and experimental technologies to reduce locomotive emissions. More...

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have successfully generated electricity from heat by trapping organic molecules between metal nanoparticles to create an organic thermoelectric material. The new UC Berkeley study marks the first time the Seebeck effect has been measured in an organic molecule. More...

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Comments

While it is encouraging that the government and industry are exploring ethanol production on an increasing scale, we should remember that irrigation water will be at a premium given the large acreage it takes to produce ethanol. This irrigation which comes from a finite water source, will be in competition between fuel agriculture and food agriculture. Fuel will win, due to the return. However it would be a shame if so much land and water resources, not to mention transportation infrastructure, were put toward ethanol production, that the US would need to import grains.


Posted by: Mike Cohen on 21 Feb 07



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