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On December 13, Audi celebrated its synthetic methane (e-gas) vehicle fuel plant, which is under construction in Werlte, Germany. Audi says that it is the world's first industrial plant for generating e-gas from CO2 and renewable electricity. Its end product will be hydrogen and synthetic Audi e-gas, which will be used as climate-friendly fuel for vehicles such as the new Audi A3 Sportback TCNG. E-gas production will begin in the spring of 2013.

We've seen cars that run on biodiesel and even those propelled by wood pellets, but neither of these alternative fuel sources pose a near-term alternative to petrol-based gasoline. But, what if we could produce gas from a more abundant, clean source of energy than oil? That's exactly what Primus Green Energy hopes to do.

Virent Energy Systems has taken a major step in the certification process of its biofuel. Virent's much-like-gas biofuel successfully completed road tests organized and executed by Virent's collaborator, Shell. The tests found Virent's biofuel caused "no harm" to vehicles when compared to Shell's pump gas.

Ballard Power Systems will deploy one of its one-megawatt CLEARgen fuel cell generators at Toyota's U.S. sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance, CA. The CLEARgen fuel cell system will utilize hydrogen produced by steam-reformation of renewable biogas generated at a nearby landfill. Deployment of the CLEARgen system will enable Toyota to satisfy its peak and mid-peak power needs by utilizing electricity from either the fuel cell system or from the electrical grid.

Clean Air Power, a developer of dual-fuel combustion technology that enable engines to operate on both diesel and natural gas, has inked a deal to supply Volvo Bus Corporation with its dual-fuel systems. Volvo will outfit 11 of its conventional buses with Clean Air Power's dual-fuel system and aims to have these coaches servicing routes in Sweden by summer. Once in action, the 11 vehicles will become Volvo's first batch of buses that can operate on both biogas and diesel.

Researchers at Kettering University, along with officials from Swedish Biogas International and Flint, MI Mayor Dayne Walling have unveiled Flint's first biomethane-powered truck. Students and faculty members at Kettering set out on the ambitious project of converting a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD to run on a duel-fuel system supplied by Baytech. Corporation. The converted truck can automatically switch between good ol' gasoline and the renewable alternative fuel, biomethane.

Click on image to get full-size pics of the Opel Zafira ecoFLEX Turbo CNG minivan

The world now has its first ecolabelled fuel. Great... what's it mean? First of all, the certification itself comes from the Nordic Ecolabel, "the official Nordic environmental award [that] is given to products and services that fulfill stringent environmental criteria." All right. What's the award signify? "Reduction of emissions that negatively affect global warming and climate change, an absolute threshold value to the amount of CO2 that may be released to the atmosphere during the entire lif

Audi has announced a record-beating A4 that has a maximum speed of 327.2 km/h (203 mph). The unusual feature of this A4 is that it runs on biogas, naturally obtained from the anaerobic fermentation of switchgrass. The experiment was performed to promote the use of biogas as an alternative fuel. Bear in mind that Germany imports almost all the country's gas needs from Russia, so a biologic alternative has a lot of domestic support. Regarding the technical side of the experiment, the A4 was a stan

Olmix, a French company that specializes in what they call "green chemistry," has announced a prototype vehicle powered with a new type of biofuel. This fuel is a type of biogas obtained from green algae plus a mix of animal and vegetable waste. Animal waste contains a lot of highly pollutant nitrates and green algae proliferation and is actually a problem at the region's beaches.

The city of Monterrey, Mexico, will have its subway system, called Metrorrey, propelled with electricity obtained from biogas. Simeprode, the company that manages the city waste system, is finishing a 5.3 MW power plant that will produce electricity for the two subway lines. This plant will allow Monterrey not only to run its mass transit system with bioenergy but also to expand the subway networks in the near future. The remaining power will be used for public lightning. The technology was impo

Creating methane gas from waste products in anything but a new concept, with the gas being pumped and burned off from landfills the world over. What is a newer idea, though, is taking care of the problem right from the point of its creation... your own toilet or garbage pile. In emerging countries like India, and even in rural areas in the U.S., there are many households which are not directly connected to a sewage system, and there is no big garbage truck on its way to pick up your trash. Sinte

Stockholm is making a clear step towards the widespread use of CNG (compressed natural gas) in vehicles. The City Councillor for the Environment, Ulla Hamilton, is promoting a policy that will increase the use of CNG vehicles, with biomethane as a primary source for that gas. Gas obtained from fossil sources will only be used in case demand surpasses supply.

Mercedes will soon start selling its B class B 170 NGT, their first compact to run on Natural Gas (the other model being an E 200). The vehicle, which will go on sale in June 2008, has a 112 HP engine that uses 4.9 kg of natural gas to run 100 km, which is equivalent to 7.4 liters of gasoline (about 32 mpg). On that trip, it'll produce CO2 emissions of just 135 grams per kilometer. The B 170 NGT can be equipped with any trim level except Sport.

Some cities are powering public transport with Natural Gas. Despite the just slightly lower CO2 emissions than other fuels, natural gas is a very clean energy because no other side pollutants are present - and it avoids the problems of particullates that cause smog and respiratory problems. There's a company that goes a step further and is speaking not only about gas obtained from drilling the earth but biomethane. What's this gas? Well, the gas that is generated at waste landfills by the simple

A professor at Polytechnic University, Dr. Richard Gross, has developed a fuel-latent bioplastic, that is, a plastic made from vegetable oils where the fuel capability remains "hidden" until the plastic is converted into biodiesel. His prize: a $2.34 million award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dr. Gross is director of Polytechnic University's National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing of Macromolecules (CBBM). The next step, unsurpri

The University of California - Davis has started up a new renewable energy demonstration facility. They will be trying to capture the energy that diners leave behind on their plates when they eat out at restaurants in the Bay area. The new Biogas Energy Project is the first large scale demonstration of an anaerobic phased solids digester. This concept was developed at UC-Davis by professor Ruihong Zhang specifically to process a wide range of waste products.

Monsters and Critics is reporting that in Stockholm on Wednesday, Volvo announced that it would discontinue its development of biogas and natural gas-fueled vehicles. According to the online version of Goteborgs-Posten, a major daily newspaper in Sweden, Volvo spokesman Christer Gustafsson said that, instead, they would focus on hybrid and ethanol solutions as E85 is more readily available than natural gas at filling stations.

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