Sugar-Based Biofuels

BIO FUEL - SUGAR BASED

BIO FUEL - SUGAR BASED

Madison, Wis.,-based Virent Energy Systems has a low-temperature, low-pressure, catalytic process for turning carbohydrates (sugars) into gasoline, diesel and other fuels. Its 70 employees now make a gallon or so daily. Targeting gasoline as its first fuel, Virent hopes within five years to raise that production to 10 million to 15 million gallons annually. Virent has pulled in more than $30 million in venture funding and has strategic relationships with the likes of Cargill, Honda Motor and Royal Dutch Shell.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31 st March 2009

Improved Lithium Ion Batteries

LARGE FORMAT LITHIUM IRON BATTERIES

LARGE FORMAT LITHIUM IRON BATTERIES

Lithium ion batteries were commercially introduced in 1991 for consumer electronics. The automotive and defense industries also look promising for these powerful rechargeable batteries. A123Systems makes lithium ion batteries suitable for both autos and heavy duty vehicles. The company is working with General Motors to produce batteries for the Saturn Vue and the Chevrolet Volt, both plug-in hybrids.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31st March 2009

Electronic Stop-Start System

ELECTRONIC STOP START SYSTEM

ELECTRONIC STOP START SYSTEM

Another way to reduce fuel consumption and emissions is to switch the engine off when a car isn’t moving–in a traffic jam or at a stop light. Bosch offers an electronic stop-start system that turns the engine off when the vehicle is stopped and starts it again when the driver releases the brake. Bosch claims that in urban traffic their stop-start system reduces fuel consumption and CO-2 emissions by 8%. Currently the Bosch system is available on the BMW1 series.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31 st March 2009

Electric Cars And Plug-in Hybrids

ELECTRIC CARS

ELECTRIC CARS

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, three-quarters of American commuters drive less than 40 miles to and from work. General Motors, which has tinkered for decades with the electric car concept, has a new undertaking for a vehicle that that can travel up to 40 miles on batteries alone. The Chevrolet Volt, scheduled to be available in 2010, is a plug-in hybrid car that has both a rechargeable battery and a small engine.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31 st March 2009

Advanced Ceramics

CERAMIC MATERIALS

CERAMIC MATERIALS

Ceramics are what you get when you shape and bake a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay. Advanced ceramics are made from synthetic raw material. Though they have some limitations, notably brittleness, advanced ceramics are hard, relatively lightweight and extraordinarily heat resistant. California-based company Ceradyne sees particular potential in the automotive market for its products, notably its shims–very thin fasteners made of metal but with a ceramic surface.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31 st March 2009

By-Wire Technologies

BI-WIRE TECHNOLOGIES

BY-WIRE TECHNOLOGIES

The idea behind by-wire technology is to replace complex and often heavy mechanical or hydraulic systems with electronic controls. A lighter car performs more efficiently. The Toyota Prius is the most well-known vehicle with by-wire technology. It has an electronic throttle and shift lever.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31 st March 2009

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic

CARBON FIBRE MATERIALS

CARBON FIBRE MATERIALS

One important element in designing more efficient cars is reducing weight. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic has been used in race cars but has only recently made its way to commercial car design. Several manufacturers have introduced cars with CFRP parts, notably the 2008 BMW M3 Coupe and M6.Watch and see others adopt the use of this material.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31 st March 2009

Continuously Variable Transmission

Gearbox power and control improved

transmissions improved

transmissions improved

The continuously variable transmission concept has been around for quite a time. Leonardo da Vinci sketched out a variation in 1490. In the last 25 years, automobile companies have seen the fuel economy advantages of the CVT. Unlike manual or automatic transmissions, the CVT allows for an infinite number of gear ratios. This allows the engine to run efficiently at any speed, which saves fuel. There are a number of automakers using CVT technology; Nissan has a CVT available in nearly all its models.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31st March 2009

Direct-Injection Engine

DIRECT FUEL INJECTION

DIRECT FUEL INJECTION

Direct injection refers to the delivery of fuel directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder, rather than into the intake manifold. Its benefits are better combustion, increased fuel efficiency and lower pollution. An example: Ford introduced the EcoBoost engine this year and will make it available for the 2009 Lincoln MKS and Ford Flex. Using direct gasoline injection and turbo boosting, the smaller engine can produce as much power as a heavier traditional engine. Ford plans to have 500,000 EcoBoost vehicles on the road annually in the next five years.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31st March 2009

Clean Diesel

CLEAN DIESEL FUEL

CLEAN DIESEL FUEL

A diesel engine is 20% to 30% more efficient than a gasoline engine but produces more emissions. BlueTec, the new diesel system from Mercedes-Benz, addresses the matter. In order to meet diesel emission regulations in all 50 states, BlueTec uses two catalytic converters and a urea injection system to remove pollutants from the exhaust. The first catalytic converter traps nitrogen oxide and then moves it to the second converter, which turns it into water and nitrogen

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 31 st March 2009