Tuesday titbits

August 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Nissan is updating the Qashqai. The 1.6 petrol model (now 117PS) gains the option of stop-start (£200), which improves fuel economy by 3% and drops CO2 emissions down a tax band;  the 1.5 dCi diesel (now 110PS) gets a particulate filter; and all engines in the Qashqai and Qashqai+2 line-ups now meet the Euro 5 emissions requirements. There are new trim and equipment options; deliveries start in October.

  • You’ve heard of the Mille Miglia; now there’s the e-miglia for electric vehicles. The inauguaral event, a 560km, four-day tour of the Alps with a E10,000 price tag, saw the first two places taken by Teslas, and the third slot on the podium by a brave little Think City. Pictures, video etc at Autoblog Green.
  • Researchers in the Netherlands and Spain have worked out a more efficient method of  catalytic cracking to make petrol, propene or butenes from unsaturated vegetable oils. Yield up 32%, thanks to nickel in the catalyst (Green Car Congress).
  • A team from Tohoku University, Japan, is working on deriving diesel fuel from glucose (Green Car Congress).
  • More on the butter-as-biofuel project at the NY Times today, plus news of a project in San Francisco to collect waste oil and yukky pan scrapings from the city’s restaurants and convert ’em all into biodiesel. The tech’s called BlackGold – remember that name.
  • And here’s a term we’ll be hearing more often: synthetic biology. The LA Times has an overview of work in this field, including more on the LS9 bacteria-biofuel programme.
  • More research, this time from the University of California, Irvine: they’ve found an enzyme to convert carbon monoxide from exhaust emissions into propane. That’s literally running on fumes, then (San Francisco Chronicle).
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