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New regs for Monday: Emissions, Dodd-Frank financial reforms

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-07-18 10:14
Monday's edition of the Federal Register rolls back new emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants and a number of financial reform regulations, ...

Two new Wärtsilä JVs with CSSC: 2-stroke engine business and medium-speed diesel and dual-fuel engines

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-07-18 10:02

Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC)—one of the largest shipbuilders in the world—will form two new joint ventures. The first will take over Wärtsilä’s 2-stroke engine business. Through the agreement, CSSC will own 70% of the business through its affiliate CSSC Investment and Development Co. Ltd, while Wärtsilä will hold a 30% ownership position.

Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) also signed an agreement to establish a joint venture for manufacturing medium- and large-bore medium speed diesel and dual-fuel engines. The company will in particular target the growing offshore and LNG markets, as well as the market for very large container vessels. The Wärtsilä share of the joint venture is 49% and the size of Wärtsilä’s equity investment is approximately €12 million (US$16 million).

2-stroke business. Wärtsilä acquired the 2-stroke business in 1997, but has been struggling with market share between 10 and 20%, said Björn Rosengren, President & CEO. Rosengren said that a share of at least 30% is needed. After looking at different alternatives, he said, the company “found a way we are happy with.”

Wärtsilä and CSSC will co-operate in 2-stroke engine technology, marketing, sales, and service activities. The parties have agreed to transfer CSSC’s whole position as shareholder to a joint venture established by an entity connected with the Municipal Government of Shanghai and CSSC.

Responsibility for servicing Wärtsilä’s 2-stroke engines will remain with Wärtsilä Services through its global network to support customers in a more dedicated and efficient way. The joint venture parties will support Wärtsilä Services by providing global ship owners with complete solutions of advanced 2-stroke technologies.

The value of the transaction is approximately €46 million (US$62 million). The financial impact of the deal will be dependent on the timing of the closing and certain related mechanisms. The deal will have a positive effect on Wärtsilä’s continuing operations. The closing of the transaction is subject to the required regulatory approvals, which are expected during the first quarter of 2015.

The joint venture will be domiciled in Switzerland, and the head office will remain at the present 2-stroke engine headquarters in Winterthur. The current 2-stroke engine business management team will remain in place.

The joint venture will assume ownership of Wärtsilä’s 2-stroke engine technology, and will continue to develop and promote sales of the engine portfolio with the full support of both partners.

The objective of the partnership is to combine the strengths of the two partners, both of whom are major players in the global marine sector. The participation of CSSC, the largest shipbuilding conglomerate in China, will accelerate the company’s growth in important Asian markets, while retaining its position as an international supplier to the global shipping industry. The partnership will enhance the position of Wärtsilä’s 2-stroke technology in the marine engine market, the company said, and will provide a base for future investments in leading 2-stroke technology and customer support.

Medium-speed. The CSSC Wärtsilä Engine (Shanghai) Co. Ltd factory will be located at Lingang, Shanghai and is expected to have its first engine ready for delivery by the end of 2015.

The new joint venture company, CSSC Wärtsilä Engine (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, together with two other already existing Wärtsilä joint ventures for medium-speed engine production, will now be able to offer the most complete portfolio of Wärtsilä branded medium speed engines in China.

It will also be the first China-based company able to manufacture locally large-bore medium-speed diesel and dual-fuel engines. By being able to produce and deliver locally, the new joint venture will provide CSSC Group and other Chinese yards with closer access to the Wärtsilä range of engines with the benefits of faster delivery times and competitive pricing.

When in full production, the company will manufacture Wärtsilä 26 engines in V-configuration, Wärtsilä 32 main and auxiliary engines, Wärtsilä 46 engines and the Wärtsilä 34DF and Wärtsilä 46DF dual-fuel engines. With LNG becoming increasingly popular as a marine fuel and dual-fuel capability being of increasing importance for both economic and environmental reasons, Wärtsilä’s industry-leading dual-fuel offering is a major consideration for Chinese yards.

This agreement marks an historic moment for our two companies, and it opens the door to exciting new opportunities. China is today the largest shipbuilding nation on earth, and CSSC is the largest shipbuilding company in China. Wärtsilä offers the marine industry’s broadest scope of products, solutions and services, and through this joint venture our two companies can deliver leading edge engine technology that can improve efficiencies and lower operating costs for owners and operators everywhere.—Jaakko Eskola, Senior Executive Vice President & President, Ship Power, Wärtsilä Corporation

CSSC is one of the largest shipbuilding groups in the world, with ten yards in China accounting for approximately 25% of the country’s newbuild capacity. In 2004 Wärtsilä set up its first joint venture with the CSSC Group when establishing Wartsila CME Zhenjiang Propeller Co Ltd for propeller production.

Wärtsilä has been present in China for more than 20 years, through its fully owned subsidiary and long-term licensing agreements. To serve the world’s largest shipbuilding region, Wärtsilä has established joint ventures for propeller, auxiliary engines and mid-size medium-speed engine production with strong Chinese industrial groups and a joint venture for automation services.

Wärtsilä also manufactures thrusters at its fully owned company facilities, while low-speed engines are produced by eight licensees and by a joint venture company.

Big data used to guide conservation efforts

Pipe: Climate and Health - Fri, 2014-07-18 09:57
Genetic studies have given us detailed information about the evolutionary relationships embodied in the Tree of Life, while newly digitized museum collections contain a wealth of information about species distribution. To date, however, these big data collections have not been applied to conservation efforts. Now researchers have created a model taking both distribution and relationships into account to identify lineages that need preservation, in particular rare endemics.

Breaking the Grip of the Fossil <b>Fuel Economy</b>: If It Can Happen in Appalachia, It Can Happen <b>...</b>

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-07-18 09:42
A mural in Benham, Kentucky. Photo by Catherine Moore for Appalachian Transition Fellows. Benham, Ky., in the heart of Harlan County, is a quiet ...

Flight MH17 – facts and reactions

Pipe: Aviation - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:51
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on Thursday in east Ukraine killing all 298 people on board near the town of Torez in Donetsk province

Manipulationsskandal: Hausdurchsuchung bei Ex-ADAC-Kommunikationschef

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:50
Die Münchner Staatsanwaltschaft hat das Haus des ehemaligen ADAC-Kommunikationschefs Michael Ramstetter durchsucht. Laut Behördenangaben steht die Aktion in Zusammenhang mit dem Manipulationsskandal beim Autopreis "Gelber Engel".

UK aviation group calls for government backing to kick-start production of sustainable aviation fuels

Pipe: Aviation - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:48
Fri 18 July 2014 - The potential to reduce UK aviation's annual carbon emissions by up to 1.7 million tonnes by 2030 through the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels can only be realised with government support, says UK industry environmental strategy group Sustainable Aviation (SA). It calls for a clear policy framework to stimulate investment and production of new generation alternative aviation fuels, which could provide up to £480 million ($820m) to the UK economy in 2030 and create 4,400 jobs if 12 new plants were to be built. Backed up by a parallel report from sustainable energy consultancy E4tech, SA has published a discussion paper, Fuelling the Future, outlining the potential market penetration both in the UK and globally for sustainable alternative fuels up to 2050. It is seeking views from policymakers and stakeholders ahead of a roadmap it intends publishing later in the year.

Autogramm VW Amarok V8 Passion: Die Pritsche prescht an

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:26
Mehr Leistung für den VW Amarok: Ein Tuner aus Ostfriesland rüstet den Pick-up mit einem Achtzylinder aus. Dank 410 PS, Chrom und Alcantara wird aus dem Laster ein Luxuswagen. Einen prominenten Fan für den Wagen gibt es schon.

Google iLUC alert: Magazine Store

ICCT ILUC - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:13
...measures relating to the indirect land use change (ILUC) in the EU biofuels policy, which... Application ... decision to incorporate indirect land use change (ILUC) into EU biofuel policies and to limit the production...

Suffolk A12 road declared <b>Air Quality</b> Management Area

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:03
An action plan is being drawn up by Suffolk Coastal district council to tackle nitrogen dioxide emissions on the A12 after part of the road was declared ...

DOE to award up to $4.5M to increase acceptance and deployment of alt fuel vehicles

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-07-18 06:00

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $4.5 million (DE-FOA-0000951) to create and implement high impact and highly innovative approaches to increase the acceptance and deployment of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs).

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) anticipates that many different projects will be proposed and encourages new and innovative approaches that are projected to have a high impact. The alternative fuel types to be addressed under this FOA are specified by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and are:

  • Methanol, ethanol, and other alcohols
  • Blends of 85% or more of alcohol with gasoline
  • Natural gas and liquid fuels domestically produced from natural gas
  • Liquefied petroleum gas (propane)
  • Coal-derived liquid fuels
  • Hydrogen
  • Electricity
  • Fuels (other than alcohol) derived from biological materials (including pure biodiesel (B100))
  • P-Series

The newly released Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) designates three different Areas of Interest (AOI) which focus on: AFV-use demonstrations via hands-on experiences; safety-related training; and emergency preparedness.

  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demonstration and Enhanced Driver Experience Projects. The intent of this AOI is to combine a targeted vehicle demonstration project with a driver/fleet education experience to allow participants to better understand the benefits that these vehicles/technologies can offer.

  • Alternative Fuel Training for First Responders, Public Safety Officials, and Critical Service Providers. Applications under this AOI will develop and/or deliver alternative fuel safety and technical training to emergency first responders, public safety officials, and critical service providers that have a broad impact across the alternative fuel user community. This may include training for technicians and service personnel that will be operating and maintaining AFVs; and the associated fueling/charging infrastructure and service facilities. Training may also include tow- truck operators and automotive salvage/recycling operators that are dealing with wrecked vehicles and equipment end-of-life processes.

  • Incorporating Alternative Fuels into Emergency Response and Preparedness Operations. Applications under this AOI will include collaboration and participation with state and local governments to incorporate the use of AFVs, and alternative fuel infrastructure across multiple city, state, and regional emergency management and response entities into existing and future emergency preparedness plans.

First high-heat plastic air intake manifold with integrated charge air cooler in production on hybrid sports car

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-07-18 05:30

Plastic air intake manifold with integrated CAC for 3-cylinder 1.5-liter engine.

The world’s first high-heat plastic air intake manifold (AIM) with integrated charge air cooler (CAC) in Stanyl Diablo, Royal DSM’s high-temperature-resistant polyamide 46, recently went into production on a recently introduced hybrid sports car—by its description (although not by confirmation from DSM) the BMW i8 (earlier post). Royal DSM noted that the use marks another major step forward in the use of thermoplastics in automotive high-heat zones.

The injection-molded AIM/CAC manifold operates at 220 °C and withstands pulses of high internal pressure. DSM worked closely together with a leading system supplier to develop the AIM/CAC combination, with DSM providing extensive development and processing support. The part is made in Stanyl Diablo OCD2100, which contains 40% glass fiber reinforcement as well as a specially developed and patented heat stabilizer. This grade has a continuous-use temperature of 220 °C and is able to withstand peak temperatures up to 250 °C.

In 2012, Röchling Automotive and DSM received the 2012 Automotive Innovation Award (Powertrain Segment) from the Society of Plastics Engineers–Europe for the first serial production of a DSM Akulon-based air-intake manifold (AIM) with an integrated liquid charged air cooler. Akulon is used for lower temperature AIM applications, combining long term heat aging performance and mechanical properties at 180-200 °C. That unit is applied in Volkswagen TSI engines.

Integrating the CAC into the AIM reduces the length of piping previously needed to reach the air-to-air cooler in the front of the car, leading to increased engine responsiveness and reducing turbo lag. However, this application requires a great deal more from its constituent plastic materials.

Integrating the cooler into the AIM significantly changes the geometry of the manifold in a way that could cause a loss of stiffness and strength, which are critical at higher temperatures, DSM notes. The new geometry also requires materials with high weldability and weld-aging resistance to maintain the part’s integrity. At the same time, the material must withstand exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and blow-by.

Integrated high temperature AIM/CACs have been produced before, but they have typically incorporated metal components for the manifold. However, the car maker wanted a plastics solution in order to minimize weight and maximize the design flexibility to enable a highly functional assembly to fit into a small space.

The car incorporates a number of technologies that give it the performance of a top-level sports car but a carbon footprint lower than that of a compact city car—among them a hybrid synchronous electric motor combined with a turbocharged 1.5-liter gasoline engine. The engine makes use of an extremely high turbo pressure that results in a very high internal air temperature.

While the integrated AIM/CAC unit makes it possible to deliver higher performance while still meeting the latest gas emission requirements, integrating the cooler into the AIM drives the internal air temperature up to 220 °C in continuous use, with peaks up to 250°C. This increase in pressure and temperature puts additional demands on the manifold material.

Stanyl Diablo polyamide 46 provides a weight reduction of up to 40% versus aluminum, and its optimized processing characteristics reduce system cost. It combines very good mechanical performance with outstanding high temperature resistance, retaining its high stiffness even under continuous-use temperatures of up to 220 °C.

The AIM/CAC is assembled from several moldings using hot gas welding. Due to Stanyl Diablo’s best-in-class weld strength, the assembly is highly resistant to pressure pulsation loads. In addition, parts show good dimensional stability, and Stanyl Diablo OCD2100 produces parts with good surface finish, despite the high level of glass reinforcement.

With national laws everywhere clamping down on engine emissions, and car makers focusing more and more on energy efficiency, we expect the use of plastics air intake manifolds with integrated charge air coolers to increase globally. Stanyl Diablo OCD2100 out-performed the competition in this project, with its combination of high temperature resistance and weld line performance after aging. DSM can expect strong business with this material in that type of application in the future.

With the latest generation of engines, it’s a tough challenge to create air management systems that combine long-term high performance with low weight and top environmental credentials. So I am really happy that, thanks to Stanyl Diablo, we have been able to achieve the challenging targets together with our customer.—Kurt Maschke, Global Segment Manager Air/Fuel, at DSM

DSM is a leader in the development of high temperature resistant thermoplastics for automotive engines. Diablo technology, developed and patented by DSM, improves the long term temperature resistance of materials such as Stanyl polyamide that already have better high temperature performance than standard polyamides; and DSM is also using it to upgrade performance in its Akulon polyamide 6. DSM also licenses Diablo technology to other high temperature thermoplastics suppliers.

Government fleets awarded £5 million funding for plug-in vehicles

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-07-18 05:08
Government car fleets are to be provided with £5m funding to introduce plug-in cars and vans, transport minister Baroness Kramer has announced.

Government fleets awarded £5m funding for plug-in vehicles

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-07-18 05:08
Government car fleets are to be provided with £5m funding to introduce plug-in cars and vans, transport minister Baroness Kramer has announced.

DOE awards $3.5M to Cellana to develop cost-competitive algal biofuels; hybrid production system

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-07-18 05:01

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $3.5 million to Cellana for an algae project aimed at accelerating the development of sustainable, affordable algal biofuels. This research project supports the goal of producing 2,500 gallons of algal biofuel feedstock per acre per year by 2018, an important milestone toward reducing the cost of algal biofuels to cost-competitive levels of 5,000 gallons per acre per year by 2022.

Cellana, LLC, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, will develop a fully integrated, high-yield algae feedstock production system by integrating the most advanced strain improvement, cultivation, and processing technologies into their operations at their Kona Demonstration Facility.

Cellana’s core technology is a photosynthetic production system that economically grows proprietary algae strains at commercial scale. The patented production system, called ALDUO technology, couples closed-culture photobioreactors with open ponds in a two-stage process.

Previous attempts at scaling up algae production have used a photobioreactor or open pond individually, not coupled. Open pond production, which is needed for rapid algae growth, has historically been hampered by the contamination by undesirable algae strains. Photobioreactors by themselves are unable to produce algae at an acceptable rate and would take up too much room to become commercially viable.

Cellana says that its hybrid production system has achieved significant breakthroughs for the large-scale production of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts.

Cellana’s process. Click to enlarge.

Affordable Variety Of New Car <b>Fuel Economy</b> Stars

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-07-18 05:00
While not that long ago attaining high mileage often meant compromising elsewhere, today's fuel-economy standouts also rise to the top for their ...

Researchers synthesize diesel- and jet-range cycloalkanes from lignocellulosic platform compounds

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-07-18 04:30

Researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have synthesized, for the first time, a mixture of C9−C15 branched alkanes and cycloalkanes with relatively higher density from 2-Methylfuran (2-MF) and cyclopentanone (CPO)—selective hydrogenation products of furfural, which can be produced in industrial scale with lignocellulose.

Most work done so far with lignocellulose-based platform compounds has concentrated on the production of diesel (C9−C21) or jet fuel (C8−C16) range straight-chain alkanes and/or branched-chain alkanes, the team notes in their paper in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels. Although those alkanes have good thermal stability and excellent combustion efficiency, their lower densities require blending with conventional jet fuel (a mixture of straight-chain alkanes, branched-chain alkanes, and cyclic hydrocarbons) to meet the specifications of aviation fuel.

(Broadly, branched alkanes have relatively higher cetane values, and are favorable for diesel fuel. Cycloalkanes have higher densities and volume heat values, which are desirable for aviation fuel.)

Compared with straight-chain alkanes and branched-chain alkanes, cycloalkanes have higher densities and volumetric heating values due to robust ring strain. To fulfill the need of aviation fuel, cycloalkanes or aromatics should also be synthesized and added to the biojet fuel to increase the density or volumetric heating of the fuel. As another possible application, the cycloalkanes can also be added into the biodiesel to increase its mileage per liter (or gallon).

Cyclopentanone (CPO) is a selective hydrogenation product of furfural and a main component of bio-oil from the pyrolysis of biomass. The cyclic structure of this compound makes it a promising feedstock in the production of cycloalkanes. To our knowledge, there is no report about the production of diesel or jet fuel range cycloalkane by the combination of HAA [hydroxyalkylation/alkylation] and HDO [hydrodeoxygenation] reactions. In this work, a mixture of C9−C15 branched alkanes and cycloalkanes with relatively higher density was synthesized, for the first time, by the solid acid-catalyzed HAA reaction of 2-MF and CPO, which can be easily derived from lignocellulose, followed by the HDO over Ni-base catalysts.—Li et al.

In their study, they first performed the hydroxyalkylation/alkylation (HAA) reaction of 2-MF and CPO in a flask. The resulting diesel or jet fuel precursors from the HAA of 2-MF and CPO then underwent hydrodeoxygenation in a fixed-bed reactor, developed by the team in their earlier studies.

Of the solid acid catalysts, Nafion-212 resin exhibited the best activity and selectivity for the HAA of 2-MF and CPO. The researchers attributed the excellent performance of the resin to the high acid strength of this catalyst.

After the HDO of the HAA products of 2-MF and CPO over several nickel catalysts, a mixture of jet fuel range branched alkanes and cycloalkanes with relatively higher density was obtained at high carbon yield.


  • Guangyi Li, Ning Li, Xinkui Wang, Xueru Sheng, Shanshan Li, Aiqin Wang, Yu Cong, Xiaodong Wang, and Tao Zhang (2014) “Synthesis of Diesel or Jet Fuel Range Cycloalkanes with 2-Methylfuran and Cyclopentanone from Lignocellulose,” Energy & Fuels doi: 10.1021/ef500676z

Google iLUC alert: Australian Ethical Investment Limited (via noodls) / Australian Ethical’s...

ICCT ILUC - Fri, 2014-07-18 03:30
...been reached to include Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) in future biofuel policy. The agreement reportedly ... generation biofuels. By accounting for ILUC, biofuel production will be more sustainable similar to how lifecycle...

Sri Lanka best in <b>air quality</b> management in South Asia

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-07-18 00:41
Properly operating vehicle emission testing program and industrial emission control system are the key air quality management tools utilized for ...

Maine environmental board OKs higher mercury emissions limit for Dragon Cement

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Thu, 2014-07-17 23:56
... Maine Board of Environmental protection will permit the Dragon Cement plant in Thomaston to operate under federal emissions standards that raise ...