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Climate change threatens California's air quality, report says

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 21:07
"The achievements we've made to date could be put in peril,” said Jack Broadbent, air pollution control officer for the San Francisco Bay Area and ...

omb -- May 2, 1014 Public Meeting and Workshop to Consider Changes to the 2011 Carl Moyer Memorial Program Guidelines

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2014-04-23 20:59
On May 2, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) will be holding a public meeting to discuss proposed changes to the 2011 Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment (Carl Moyer) Program Guidelines (Guidelines).

newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for April 23, 2014.

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2014-04-23 18:55
ARB Newsclips for April 23, 2014.

In reversal of roles, eyes of trucking will be on CARB this week

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 18:04
The Truck and Bus Rule is CARB's most expensive air quality regulation to date and is predicted to cost the trucking industry billions of dollars in truck ...

Drought may take toll on Congo rainforest, NASA satellites show

Pipe: Climate and Health - Wed, 2014-04-23 17:09
A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade. Scientists use the satellite-derived "greenness" of forest regions as one indicator of a forest's health. While this study looks specifically at the impact of a persistent drought in the Congo region since 2000, researchers say that a continued drying trend might alter the composition and structure of the Congo rainforest, affecting its biodiversity and carbon storage.

Transport Canada orders removal of least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars within 30 days, non-compliant cars within 3 years

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2014-04-23 17:03

Transport Canada is ordering the least crash-resistant DOT-111 tank cars be removed from dangerous goods service within 30 days. These are older cars that have no continuous reinforcement of their bottom shell, said Transport Minister Lisa Raitt. There are roughly 5,000 of these tank cars in North America that must be immediately removed from dangerous goods service in Canada. DOT-111 tank cars were the type involved in the Lac Mégantic derailment and disaster last year. (Earlier post.)

The mandate is one of a set of Transport Canada actions addressing the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s initial recommendations regarding the ongoing investigation into Lac-Mégantic.

On 11 January 2014, Transport Canada proposed a new standard for the DOT‑111 tank car in Canada Gazette, Part I. The changes include thicker steel as well as additional top fitting and head shield protection. DOT-111 tank cars are used for transporting liquid dangerous goods, such as crude oil.

As another one of the newly announced actions, DOT-111 tank cars that do not meet the new January 2014 standard—or any other future standard—must be phased out or refitted within three years.

Industry is already building new tank cars to this standard; approximately 55,000 of them have been ordered, representing nearly half of the current DOT-111 tank car fleet used to transport flammable liquids, such as crude oil.

Other actions include:

  • Issuance of a Protective Direction requiring Emergency Response Assistance Plans for for trains that have even a single tank car loaded with one of the following flammable liquids transported in large quantity by rail: crude oil, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, or ethanol;

  • Creation of a task force that brings stakeholders such as municipalities, first responders, railways and shippers together to strengthen emergency response capacity across the country; and

  • Requiring railway companies to reduce the speed of trains carrying dangerous goods and implement other key operating practices.

Transport Canada is also issuing a Ministerial Order that requires railway companies to develop new rules regarding operating practices for the safe transportation of dangerous goods.

Dayton unveils electric car charging

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 17:00
“In making this investment, the city took advantage of a Clean Fuels Ohio grant, which paid for half of the installation,” said Romona Carver with ...

Ford Motor Company Executive Hired As Organic <b>Transit</b> General Manager

Pipe: India - Wed, 2014-04-23 16:45
"I became involved in clean transportation because of the extreme pollution I experienced growing up in India. At Organic Transit, I hope to further ...

China's Toxic Soil, <b>Air Pollution</b>, and Dead Animals Prompt Environmental Reform

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 16:24
Animal carcasses in its waterways, heavy particles in its air, toxic metals in its soil and food supply — these are a few of the things that led China to ...

omb -- Public Workshops to Discuss AST EVR Regulatory Advisory and Subsequent Rulemaking

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2014-04-23 13:41
The Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) staff invites you to participate in a public workshop to discuss the Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) Regulatory Advisory and proposed November 2014 changes to AST EVR regulations.

The 'invisible killer' in Haringey's traffic-filled streets

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 12:52
Dr Yvonne Doyle, regional director for PHE London, said: “The major effect of long-term exposure to air pollution is on deaths from cardiorespiratory ...

ab32publichealth -- May 1 Climate Action Team Public Health Workgroup Meeting

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2014-04-23 12:24
Thursday, May 1, 2014 1:00 - 4 pm PST WEBCAST Sierra Hearing Room, Cal/EPA Sacramento.

Appellate Court Allows EPA Proposal on Cement Plant Emissions to Proceed in Part

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 11:56
... Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule outlining maximum emissions from cement plants, allowing the agency's emissions standards and ...

ASG seeks to find the most eco-friendly truck

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 11:33
Pickups are not known for their remarkable fuel economy. However, their target audience is seeking continually more powerful engines without being ...

Maserati Ghibli S: Ghibli's got sex appeal, but it wasn't a long-term thing

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 10:26
FUEL ECONOMY (MPG) 47.8. CO2 EMISSIONS (g/KM) 158. I was trying to work out how to express my disappointment with the Maserati Ghibli ...

Political ravens? Ravens understand the relationships among others

Pipe: Climate and Health - Wed, 2014-04-23 10:19
Cognitive biologists have revealed that ravens do understand and keep track of the rank relations between other ravens. Such an ability has been known only from primates. Like many social mammals, ravens form different types of social relationships -- they may be friends, kin, or partners and they also form strict dominance relations. From a cognitive perspective, understanding one's own relationships to others is a key ability in daily social life ("knowing who is nice or not"). Yet, also understanding the relationships group members have with each other sets the stage for "political" maneuvers ("knowing who might support whom").

Dearman-led consortium awarded $3.1M to develop waste-heat-recovery system using liquid air engine

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:38

A consortium led by the Dearman Engine Company has been awarded £1.86 million (US$3.12 million) in the latest round of IDP10 funding from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to support the development of a heat-recovery system for urban commercial vehicles. The tenth competition under the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform’s integrated delivery program (IDP), IDP10 is targeting the building of an integrated low-carbon-vehicle innovation chain, from the science base, through collaborative R&D to fleet-level demonstration.

The Dearman project is to deliver a production-feasible waste-heat recovery system for urban commercial vehicles, which offers life-cycle CO2 savings of up to 40%; fuel savings of 25%, with the potential of up to almost 50%; and potential payback in less than three years. The project uses the Dearman Engine, a highly-efficient liquid nitrogen or air (LiN) engine (earlier post) that harvests low-grade heat sources and, in this configuration, is most effective in urban duty cycles, working with the internal combustion engine (ICE) as a hybrid powertrain.

The Dearman Engine operates by the vaporization and expansion of cryogenic fluids. Ambient or low grade waste heat is used as an energy source with the cryogen providing both the working fluid and heat sink. The Dearman Engine process involves the heat being introduced to the cryogenic fluid (liquid air or nitrogen) through direct contact heat exchange with a heat exchange fluid (HEF) (water and glycol) inside the engine. The HEF facilitates extremely rapid rates of heat transfer within the engine. This allows injection of the liquid cryogen directly into the engine cylinder whereupon heat transfer occurs via direct contact mixing with the HEF. The heat transfer on injection generates very rapid pressurization in the engine cylinder.

Direct contact heat transfer continues throughout the expansion stroke giving rise to a more efficient near-isothermal expansion. With the pressurization process taking place in the cylinder, the amount of pumping work required to reach a given peak cylinder pressure is reduced. After each expansion cycle the heat exchange fluid is recovered from the exhaust and reheated to ambient temperature via a heat exchanger similar to a conventional radiator.

In January, Dearman announced that it had completed its shakedown testing milestone at the end of 2013 at Imperial College, London, and was moving into a three-month program of tests and performance mapping. (Earlier post.)

Using the Dearman Engine allows efficient use of the waste heat, leading not only to greater economy, but also offering the potential for improved air quality. The technology uses readily-available materials with low embedded carbon, and operates with commercially-available liquid nitrogen, which is readily available and is frequently produced using off-peak electricity,with great potential for storing wrong-time renewables.

The IDP10-funded project will cost £3.25 million (US$5.46 million), £1.9 million (US$3.19 million) of which has come from the Technology Strategy Board grant. Dearman is working with MIRA, Air Products, Productiv, The Manufacturing Technology Centre, CENEX and TRL, bringing together expertise in the Dearman system, industrial gases, ICEs, vehicle systems, legislation and standards and manufacturing. The consortium will deliver an on-vehicle demonstration of the hybrid system over the next two years as well as engage the potential supply, demand and legislative chains.

Liquid air technologies have the potential to significantly reduce well-to-wheel emissions. This exciting project builds on a programme of activity already underway jointly with Dearman and it will validate the use of liquid nitrogen hydride powertrains in urban applications.—Chris Reeves, Commercial Manager of Future Transport Technologies at MIRA

Liquid air and the Dearman Engine were recently recognised as a potential road transport energy vector by the European Road Transport Advisory Council (ERTRAC). (Earlier post.) ERTRAC is the European technology platform for the road transport industry and is seeking to deliver the accelerated development of sustainable, integrated transport solutions. Called “Energy Carriers for Powertrains”, the ERTRAC report seeks to establish a road map for how the industrialised countries of Europe and elsewhere can reduce the production of greenhouse gases in the road transport sector by up to 80% by 2050 when compared to 1990 levels.

The report identified liquid air as ”an adaptable energy vector which can be created and consumed using traditional mechanical engineering technologies, stored safely in un-pressurised containers, and made from a free abundant raw material.” The report adds that liquid air can be used in many applications to improve or replace existing transport solutions.

Zero emission applications as a primary source is certainly of interest in urban scenarios for light duty, short range applications. For heavy duty applications, it may provide opportunities for more efficient and cost effective waste heat recovery from internal combustion engines—“Energy Carriers for Powertrains”

Other IDP10 awards. TSB made four other IDP10 awards. These are:

  • About £2 million to a consortium led by Ariel Ltd. to develop a low-volume, ultra-high performance production sports car with zero and low emissions achieved through advanced hybrid technology to be built in low-volume using and expanding a UK technology-led supply-chain.

  • About £2 million to a consortium led by Jaguar Land Rover. Jaguar Land Rover, in partnership with Ford Motor Company Ltd, European Thermodynamics Ltd and Nottingham University, will launch a 3-year program of research in which conventional concepts of engine management of thermal energy will be re-examined using advanced simulation tools, and a novel test engine which will allow the heat available to be directed to the most import components such as the cylinder liner walls.

    Some of the heat that will inevitably escape down the exhaust will be converted into electricity using a thermoelectric generator (TEG). In the longer term, if all the project targets are met, it is believed that a 5% improvement in fuel economy is possible through the conversion and management of heat energy. The project builds on an earlier TSB-funded project.

  • £2.6 million (US$4.37 million) to a consortium led by Lotus Cars to accelerate the maturation of a mechanical flywheel energy storage system from Flybrid for use in a Lotus Evora road car. The integration of the flywheel into the manual gearbox will deliver a CO2 reduction while increasing available power and torque. The project will accelerate the development of the Flywheel, electronic clutch, vehicle integration and control software by the consortium members to a production-intent status.

  • £2.7 million (US$4.54 million) to a consortium led by Torotrak Ltd to research and develop an innovative supply chain processes for the production of key components. These components form part of a range of products that will support vehicle manufacturers to meet their obligations to reduce carbon emissions. The group will evaluate and develop the most appropriate steels that suit the innovative forging processes to ultimately reduce post processing and thus costs and the supply chain lead time. The outcome will then enable industry to exploit the new processes and therefore see the CO2 reducing products into market to support the vehicle manufacturers.

Northern Transportation &amp; <b>Air Quality</b> Summit | NASTO

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:13
Mark your calendar! Join us August 19-20, 2014 for a cutting-edge transportation and air quality conference for your region is coming this summer.

Tesla and Sixt Leasing partner in Switzerland; monthly Model S payments start at about US$920

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:00

Tesla has expanded its strategic relationship with Sixt Leasing to include Switzerland as well as Germany. With 10% down on a 36-month lease, Sixt offers payments of approximately CHF 810 - 950 (US$919 - $1,078) per month, depending on the mileage selected by the customer.

Tesla suggests that Model S customers will save up to CHF 300 (US$340) per month in fuel and tax savings compared to premium internal combustion vehicles, resulting in a potential effective net cost of driving Model S of about CHF 660 (US$749) per month.

Electric vehicles are exempt from annual road tax (CHF 40, US$45 per month) in certain cantons including Zurich, Geneva and Ticino. Tesla expects the bulk of the monthly savings (CHF 100 - 260, US$113 - $295) to come from driving with electricity instead of gasoline—including access to—Tesla’s free Supercharging Network—at 10,000 - 25,000 kilometers (6,200 - 15,500 miles) per year.

It's Official - Toyota Aygo Coming With New High Efficiency 1-Liter Engine

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2014-04-23 08:45
The 1-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine powering the outgoing Toyota Aygo generation was recognized for its fuel economy, responsiveness and ...