In Denmark the world’s first biomass-based plant to produce a sustainable marine fuel

It will be a major achievement to use waste materials from forestry or paper-pulp industry to produce something which will certainly be a part of the transformation of the marine sector a more sustainable operation.

IL BIOECONOMISTA

The Port of Frederikshavn, in Denmark, and Steeper Energy, a Danish specialist energy project and technology development company , along with Aalborg University has entered into a partnership to establish the world’s first biomass-based plant to produce a sustainable marine fuel. The plant will produce sulphur-free fully renewable fuel for the several thousand vessels passing through the port annually. A new zero-tolerance law on sulphur content as well as the general acceptance that every part of society must do its part for climate change are the keys for success, according to the consortium.

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Sweet sorghum even sweeter when grown in partnership

Sweet sorghum has great potential as an energy crop for first generation ethanol production, without the risk of compromising food security. These sorghums produce grain in addition to the sugar- rich stalks and are less demanding in water and fertility needs compared to other energy crops (sugar cane and maize). The leaves and bagasse (crushed cane) are rich sources of fodder for animals.

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

Sorghum production by a farmer association in collaboration with Malibiocarburant and ICRISAT in Mali.

Sweet sorghum could be one of the key crops to stave off the threats to food and energy insecurity due to climate change. A private-public partnership initiative piloted by Malibiocarburant and the International Crop Research Insitute for the Semi-Arids Tropics (ICRISAT), Malian farmers lead the way in integrating improved sweet sorghum into their traditional production system in West and Central Africa.

The partnership has initiated the development of a sweet sorghum value-chain model focusing on integrated energy production by small-scale sorghum growers and livestock holders for local markets. The first phase will see sweet sorghum used to produce grain for human consumption, as well as fodder from the sweet stems, and later even bioethanol from the extracted juice–food and energy all in one crop.

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Biofuels – the good, the bad, and the dirty

The basic premise of biofuels is that they emit less carbon than traditional fossil fuels. When biofuels are burnt, the gases are less toxic than fossil fuels, the handling and storage is safer, and there is a carbon sequestration credit that occurs when growing crops for the use of biofuels

Environmental Folklore

We all know that driving our cars around town creates a lot of GHG emissions that are not helping the global warming crisis. We know that burning fossil fuels for transport energy contributes to pollution and climate change. But does buying ethanol or biodiesel to fuel our cars actually mitigate any of the carbon emissions? Or is this simply another way for fuel producers to scam extra dollars from the concerned citizen’s wallet?

As with all of the topics we will discuss on this website, there is no easy answer as to what is the most environmentally friendly option for fuelling our energy-intensive world. Certainly our transport system is fossil fuel intensive, and searching for new ways to reduce carbon emissions produced by this large system is a start to creating a world that is sustainable (whatever that means). But as the environmental blogger Damian Carrington states; “there are good…

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Powers of Green Slime

Innovation in Business, Energy, and Environment

By Anonymous

No, this essay will not reminisce about your favorite Mark Summers-hosted Nickelodeon game show, sadly.  What it will tout are the emerging commercial and environmental benefits of an emerging algae production industry.  Yes, algae, the goopy organisms better known for poisoning aquatic environments with blooms, as eyesores in unkempt ponds, and as the perennial foes of fish tank hobbyists.  Algae is quietly bettering its reputation as several of its very useful qualities are being commercialized, both to (hopefully) generate profit and lessen humanity’s burden on the habitats we require for our survival and comfort.  It turns out the muculent creature has one of the most efficient systems for converting CO2, water, and light energy into useful oils and oxygen

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Algae based Biofuel & Biochemical Technologies

Energy Matters

There are a few companies specializing in the development of technologies based on Algae. We will discuss some of them in the posts that follow. Foremost among the companies is Solazyme. We will discuss this company, their technology, their products etc in this post.

Basic Technology:

This company was founded by Jonathan Wolfson & Harrison Dillon in the year 2003 with the sole purpose of  making fuels and chemicals using microalge. A proprietary strain of Micro algae is grown in dark in huge stainless steel containers. They are then fed with sugars, which is the basic feedstock. This unique strain of algae then converts sugars to specialty oils similar to natural triglyceride vegetable oils. The technology also involves a process for extracting the oils from the algal mass.

Unique features of Technology:

What is unique about this technology is the ability to tailor make oils with different chain lengths and…

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A race has begun from oil refineries to bio-refining

Innovation in Business, Energy, and Environment

By Maive Rute

When filling up a tank at the gas station, we are aware of consuming finite fossil fuel resources and contributing to greenhouse gases. However, when we buy another unnecessary, but nice plastic object not many of us think where this plastic comes from. Up to 15 % of oil imports to Europe go to the chemical industry and are converted into a broad range of products from lubricants to plastics and various other materials. Practically all the same products could be derived from biological renewable raw materials like energy crops, waste and various other types of biomass.

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Major Compelling Reasons for Thrust on Cellulosic Ethanol

Energy Matters

I have been asked by some friends regarding the compulsions for focusing so much on Cellulose when we can do the same in a much simpler manner at a much lower cost with other renewable materials like Sugar cane or corn grains. The reasons may be fairly obvious to many but I will try to capture all arguments together to drive home the point in this post.

1. Food versus Fuel Controversy:

This is the first and foremost reason for pursuing cellulose for ethanol over food based feedstocks like sugar cane or Corn grains. Carbohydrates present in Cellulose ( present mainly in wood, straw, and much of non-edible portions of plant kingdom) cannot be digested by humans. Therefore it doesn’t compete or interfere with food production.

2.Cost of feedstock:

There are two factors that bring down the cost of cellulosic feedstock. They are discussed below:

A. Yield Factor:

This is…

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Cellulosic Ethanol

Energy Matters

Current commercial processes for ethanol use sugar cane or Corn kernel which is a kind of starchy biomass. There are two major problems with these popular processes: One is that it competes with food crops which has led to controversial Food versus Fuel debate. Secondly, the cost of production is not competitive vis-a- vis gasoline. These are the reasons for shifting of attention to Cellulosic ethanol.

Challenges with Cellulose processing:

Breaking down plant biomass(cellulosic) is no easy task. Nature has taken millions of years to evolve to make them hard and recalcitrant. This means they have tremendous resistance to natural forces like attacks from bacteria, fungi, insects, extreme weather etc. Therefore breaking cellulose to fermentable sugars is the primary challenge for the researchers in this area. In any bio process to make ethanol, one has to make easily fermentable sugars as the critical step. Cellulosic biomass also contains sugars but…

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Biofuels and energy production dominate Europe’s landscape

Barber's Meaty Issues

After a week in England and a month touring central Europe by road, rail and river, I have gained a superficial impression of the predominant types of agricultural activity in the region. I am talking about Austria, Bavaria, Rhineland and some of the old Communist countries – East Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the CzechRepublic.

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Defending Biomass Energy

Energy and the Future

Tim Searchinger has a history of questioning assumptions and justifications put forward by proponents of biofuels.  His points are usually valid, or at least adds to the conversation.  In his latest article with Keith Smith in Global Change Biology, he questions two assumptions used in most lifecycle analyses (LCA) in regards to crop based biofuels.  These LCAs attempt to estimate or measure inputs and outputs from a system or process – in this case, the process of making bioenergy.  First, some basics: when plants grow they capture CO2.  When they are used for bioenergy, this CO2 is released again: this is net neutral CO2 (not including emissions from other aspects of growing and processing the plant).

” The problem is not that biofuels reduce GHG emissions, and land-use change increases them; the problem more accurately in such a case is that biofuels result in no positive land use or other market-based change that…

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Significance of Biorefineries

By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – Biorefineries, as are called the industrial complexes that produce fuel, electricity and chemicals from biomass, are becoming enterprise capable of converting a wide variety of materials, including agricultural waste, into several products. This process with more energy efficient, economic and environmental benefits compared to conventional technological processes that give rise to only one or two products.
According to Jonas Contiero, a professor at Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Campus of Rio Claro, the first biorefineries plants were characterized by production of ethyl alcohol by grinding dry grains such as raw materials and have a line of fixed production , which consists of ethyl alcohol in co-products and carbon dioxide.
Later, began to emerge in second generation Biorefineries that use technology for grinding “wet”, which enables the production of various final products, depending on demand, using mainly grains as raw materials. There are currently undergoing research…

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Next Generation Biofuels

Environmental Engineering Engenharia do Ambiente

May 18 (Reuters) – After a decade of promise, advanced biofuels makers are entering a crucial make-or-break period with the first of a new generation of production facilities about to come on line.

The new facilities are designed to take biofuels beyond corn-based ethanol and begin to shift the industry to “advanced” fuels made with a lower carbon footprint derived from products that will not compete with demand for food.

Many of the companies are turning to cellulosic plant materials, animal waste and plant oils to churn out millions of gallons of ethanol, diesel, jet fuel or components for gasoline.

Driving the industry are U.S. government targets stretching out a decade that call for fuel suppliers to blend billions of gallons of the new biofuels into the U.S. gasoline and diesel pools, on top of the corn ethanol that already makes up about 10 percent of the gasoline market.

The…

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