EERE Network News
February 04, 2009
News and Events
DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on January 30 that they will invest up to $25 million over the next four years to develop processes that produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products.
Using oils from algae, Jatropha seeds, and camelina seeds, several biofuel companies are working with Boeing, UOP, engine manufacturers, and airlines to test the use of biofuels. In the past month, biofuel blends were tested in flight by Air New Zealand, Continental Airlines, and Japan Airlines.
The 17 teams of university students competing in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge must all have a clear vision for the future of the automobile: all of their plans involve plug-in electric vehicles with lithium-ion battery packs. DOE and General Motors Corporation (GM) are the main sponsors for the challenge.
General Motors Corporation (GM) is planning to test its upcoming extended-range electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt, in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, California. Other communities can test the vehicle as well, but GM prefers that they be "plug-in-ready."
Volkwagen fans may be disappointed that the diesel-fueled Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen fell just short of the latest top-12 list of green vehicles. They can place some of the blame on General Motors Corporation, which has landed two of its vehicles on the list for the first time.
Students in elementary school, middle school, and high school will all find something of interest in the new "Fuel Our Future Now" Web site, an educational Web site inspired by the Progressive Automotive X Prize Competition. The Web site is part of a DOE-funded educational effort to complement the competition.
The U.S. demand for petroleum dropped by 1.2 million barrels per day in 2008, according to the American Petroleum Institute. The demand for petroleum-based fuels dropped across the board, with one notable exception: the production of ultra-low sulfur diesel was up by 10%.