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Airbus, Boeing, Embraer collaborate on aviation biofuel commercialization

March 23, 2012 7:52 am | News | Comments

Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The collaboration agreement supports the industry's multi-pronged approach to continuously reduce the industry's carbon emissions.

Aircraft of the future could capture and re-use their own power

February 23, 2012 9:09 am | News | Comments

Tomorrow's aircraft could contribute to their power needs by harnessing energy from the wheel rotation of their landing gear to generate electricity. They could use this to power their taxiing to and from airport buildings, reducing the need to use their jet engines. This would save on aviation fuel, cut emissions, and reduce noise pollution at airports.

A natural solution for transportation

February 3, 2012 3:46 am | News | Comments

As the United States transitions away from a primarily petroleum-based transportation industry, a number of different alternative fuel sources—ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen—have each shown their own promise. Hoping to expand the pool even further, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have begun to investigate adding one more contender to the list of possible energy sources for light-duty cars and trucks: Compressed natural gas.

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Wireless power could revolutionize highway transportation

February 2, 2012 5:02 am | News | Comments

A Stanford University research team has designed a high-efficiency charging system that uses magnetic fields to wirelessly transmit large electric currents between metal coils placed several feet apart. The long-term goal of the research is to develop an all-electric highway that wirelessly charges cars and trucks as they cruise down the road.

Fuel economy of new vehicles slipped in December

January 16, 2012 8:06 am | News | Comments

After two months of increases, the average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States fell by a half mile per gallon last month, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Clearing a potential road block to bisabolane

January 10, 2012 3:12 am | News | Comments

Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers have determined the 3D crystal structure of a protein that is key to boosting the microbial-based production of bisabolane as a clean, green, and renewable biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel fuel.

The case of the missing gas mileage

January 4, 2012 2:40 am | by Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Contrary to common perception, the major automakers have produced large increases in fuel efficiency through better technology in recent decades. There's just one catch: All those advances have barely increased the mileage per gallon that autos actually achieve on the road.

Fuel economy of new vehicles continues to rise

December 6, 2011 8:40 am | News | Comments

Average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States is up for the second straight month, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Average fuel economy of cars, light trucks, minivans, and SUVs purchased in November was 22.7 mpg, up from 22.6 mpg in October and up from 22.1 mpg in both August and September.

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E. coli bacteria engineered to make transportation fuels

November 29, 2011 6:54 am | News | Comments

Strains of E. coli bacteria were engineered to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The switchgrass, which is among the most highly touted of the potential feedstocks for advanced biofuels, was pre-treated with ionic liquid, a key to the success of this study.

Researchers develop 'super' yeast that turns pine into ethanol

November 18, 2011 6:55 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a "super strain" of yeast that can efficiently ferment ethanol from pretreated pine. Their research could help biofuels replace gasoline as a transportation fuel.

Alaska Airlines takes key steps toward lower carbon flight

November 14, 2011 2:44 am | News | Comments

On Nov. 9, Alaska Airlines initiated the first regular commercial service in the United States powered by a blend of sustainable biofuels from used cooking oil and petroleum-based jet fuel. The flights from SeaTac Airport to Washington D.C. and Portland, Ore. are important steps in a long journey that will provide a more sustainable and lower carbon future for the aviation industry.

Fuel economy up for first time since last spring

November 9, 2011 3:41 am | News | Comments

For the first time in seven months, average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States is on the rise, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Average fuel economy of cars, light trucks, minivans, and SUVs purchased in October was 22.6 mpg, up from 22.1 mpg in September.

Hybrid trucks, buses focus of new Purdue center

October 17, 2011 12:13 pm | News | Comments

Purdue University will lead a new effort aimed at cutting fuel consumption in half for commercial vehicles by perfecting hybrid technologies for the world's burgeoning bus and truck fleets.

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Fuel economy of new vehicles at lowest point in past year

October 10, 2011 7:32 am | News | Comments

For the second straight month, the average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States remained the same, according to a researcher at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. The average fuel economy of vehicles purchased in September was 22.1 mpg, unchanged from August.

Project aims to bring bio-based jet fuel production to the Northwest

September 30, 2011 4:34 am | News | Comments

Seattle biofuel producer Imperium Renewables and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing a new method to make biomass-based drop-in jet fuels so that additional renewable jet fuel production facilities can be built in the Pacific Northwest. So far, their novel process has produced a meaningful amount of fuel that is being evaluated to determine how well it can blend with traditional, petroleum-based jet fuel.

Artificial leaf makes fuel from sunlight

September 30, 2011 3:41 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Daniel Nocera have produced something they're calling an "artificial leaf". Like living leaves, the device can turn the energy of sunlight directly into a chemical fuel that can be stored and used later as an energy source.

Drive like the wind

September 12, 2011 8:06 am | News | Comments

In a new report, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory show how electric vehicles could help operators more seamlessly add more renewable energy sources like wind into the Pacific Northwest's energy grid. The Northwest increasingly is looking to add more wind power to meet growing energy demands and policy requirements to tap more renewable energy sources.

Driving a gas-guzzler? You can still cut fuel costs

September 8, 2011 5:12 am | News | Comments

While driving a fuel-efficient vehicle is the best way to save gas, motorists can still cut fuel consumption nearly in half by driving slower and less aggressively, properly maintaining their vehicles, and avoiding congested roads, say University of Michigan researchers.

Increasing fuel efficiency with a smartphone

August 25, 2011 4:38 am | by Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University developed a system that uses a network of smartphones mounted on car dashboards to collect information about traffic signals and tell drivers when slowing down could help them avoid waiting at lights. By reducing the need to idle and accelerate from a standstill, the system saves gas.

Things that go bump convert to watts

August 14, 2011 8:00 pm | Award Winners

The Energy-Harvesting Shock Absorbers continuously collect vibration energy from vehicle suspension that is currently dissipated into waste heat by conventional oil shock absorbers and uses it to charge the battery.

Obama announces 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standard

July 29, 2011 8:59 am | News | Comments

President Obama announced a historic agreement with thirteen major automakers to pursue the next phase in the Administration’s national vehicle program, increasing fuel economy to 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025.

OSC lifts OSU land speed racer toward 400-mph goal

July 22, 2011 6:27 am | News | Comments

A team of engineering students at The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Center for Automotive Research (CAR) recently began running aerodynamics simulations at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), one of the first steps in the long and careful process of designing, building, and racing the fourth iteration of their alternative-fuel streamliner.

First commercial flight completed using Dynamic Fuels jet fuel

July 1, 2011 7:00 am | News | Comments

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines became the first airline in the world to operate a commercial flight on 'biokerosene,' which included renewable jet fuel supplied by Dynamic Fuels LLC.

AC Propulsion powers Yokohama-sponsored electric vehicle

June 27, 2011 9:54 am | News | Comments

AC Propulsion announced that the Yokohama-sponsored electric race car using AC Propulsion's proprietary electric drive system broke its own 2010 record at the 89th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Giving electric vehicles a jolt

June 6, 2011 4:00 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A radically new approach to the design of batteries, developed by researchers at MIT, could provide a lightweight and inexpensive alternative to existing batteries for electric vehicles and the power grid. The technology could even make "refueling" such batteries as quick and easy as pumping gas into a conventional car.

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