<body> -------------------
Contact Us       Consulting       Projects       Our Goals       About Us
home » Archive » Bioenergy_technology
Nature Blog Network

    Spanish company Ferry Group is to invest €42/US$55.2 million in a project for the production of biomass fuel pellets in Bulgaria. The 3-year project consists of establishing plantations of paulownia trees near the city of Tran. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree used for the commercial production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Hungary's BHD Hõerõmû Zrt. is to build a 35 billion Forint (€138/US$182 million) commercial biomass-fired power plant with a maximum output of 49.9 MW in Szerencs (northeast Hungary). Portfolio.hu - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Tonight at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing a program on geo-engineering techniques to 'save' the planet from global warming. Five of the world's top scientists propose five radical scientific inventions which could stop climate change dead in its tracks. The ideas include: a giant sunshade in space to filter out the sun's rays and help cool us down; forests of artificial trees that would breath in carbon dioxide and stop the green house effect and a fleet futuristic yachts that will shoot salt water into the clouds thickening them and cooling the planet. BBC News - Feb. 19, 2007.

    Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Indonesia with Wilmar International Ltd. this year and a wholly owned biodiesel plant in Brazil before July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Brazil plant is expected to be the nation's largest, the paper said. Worldwide, the company projects a fourfold rise in biodiesel production over the next five years. ADM was not immediately available to comment. Reuters - Feb. 16, 2007.

    Finnish engineering firm Pöyry Oyj has been awarded contracts by San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. to provide services for the first bioethanol plant in the Philippines. The aggregate contract value is EUR 10 million. The plant is to be build in the Province of San Carlos on the north-eastern tip of Negros Island. The plant is expected to deliver 120,000 liters/day of bioethanol and 4 MW of excess power to the grid. Kauppalehti Online - Feb. 15, 2007.

    In order to reduce fuel costs, a Mukono-based flower farm which exports to Europe, is building its own biodiesel plant, based on using Jatropha curcas seeds. It estimates the fuel will cut production costs by up to 20%. New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) - Feb. 12, 2007.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to use 10% biodiesel in its fleet of public buses. The world's largest city is served by the Toei Bus System, which is used by some 570,000 people daily. Digital World Tokyo - Feb. 12, 2007.

    Fearing lack of electricity supply in South Africa and a price tag on CO2, WSP Group SA is investing in a biomass power plant that will replace coal in the Letaba Citrus juicing plant which is located in Tzaneen. Mining Weekly - Feb. 8, 2007.

    In what it calls an important addition to its global R&D capabilities, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to build a new bioenergy research center in Hamburg, Germany. World Grain - Feb. 5, 2007.

    EthaBlog's Henrique Oliveira interviews leading Brazilian biofuels consultant Marcelo Coelho who offers insights into the (foreign) investment dynamics in the sector, the history of Brazilian ethanol and the relationship between oil price trends and biofuels. EthaBlog - Feb. 2, 2007.

    The government of Taiwan has announced its renewable energy target: 12% of all energy should come from renewables by 2020. The plan is expected to revitalise Taiwan's agricultural sector and to boost its nascent biomass industry. China Post - Feb. 2, 2007.

    Production at Cantarell, the world's second biggest oil field, declined by 500,000 barrels or 25% last year. This virtual collapse is unfolding much faster than projections from Mexico's state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos. Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2007.

    Dubai-based and AIM listed Teejori Ltd. has entered into an agreement to invest €6 million to acquire a 16.7% interest in Bekon, which developed two proprietary technologies enabling dry-fermentation of biomass. Both technologies allow it to design, establish and operate biogas plants in a highly efficient way. Dry-Fermentation offers significant advantages to the existing widely used wet fermentation process of converting biomass to biogas. Ame Info - Jan. 22, 2007.

    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is to build a biofuel production plant in the tribal belt of Banswara, Rajasthan, India. The petroleum company has acquired 20,000 hectares of low value land in the district, which it plans to commit to growing jatropha and other biofuel crops. The company's chairman said HPCL was also looking for similar wasteland in the state of Chhattisgarh. Zee News - Jan. 15, 2007.

    The Zimbabwean national police begins planting jatropha for a pilot project that must result in a daily production of 1000 liters of biodiesel. The Herald (Harare), Via AllAfrica - Jan. 12, 2007.

    In order to meet its Kyoto obligations and to cut dependence on oil, Japan has started importing biofuels from Brazil and elsewhere. And even though the country has limited local bioenergy potential, its Agriculture Ministry will begin a search for natural resources, including farm products and their residues, that can be used to make biofuels in Japan. To this end, studies will be conducted at 900 locations nationwide over a three-year period. The Japan Times - Jan. 12, 2007.

    Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has launched an arrogant attack on "quasi-hysterical Europeans" and their attitudes to global warming, calling the Stern Review 'dubious'. The remarks illustrate the yawning gap between opinions on climate change among Europeans and Americans, but they also strengthen the view that announcements by US car makers and legislators about the development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing. Today, the EU announced its comprehensive energy policy for the 21st century, with climate change at the center of it. BBC News - Jan. 10, 2007.

    The new Canadian government is investing $840,000 into BioMatera Inc. a biotech company that develops industrial biopolymers (such as PHA) that have wide-scale applications in the plastics, farmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Plant-based biopolymers such as PHA are biodegradable and renewable. Government of Canada - Jan. 9, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sweden takes biogas to a new level: methane from wood chips to fuel 75,000 cars

Europe is experiencing a real boom in the use of biogas for transport. According to an EU well-to-wheel study of more than 70 different (fossil and renewable) fuels and energy paths - including hydrogen from wind, solar or nuclear -, biogas is the cleanest and most climate-neutral transport fuel of them all (earlier post). Given the expectation that carbon prices will explode in the coming years, the clean green gas is attracting major investments as an alternative to fossil fuels.

The gas, which is obtained from municipal, industrial or agricultural organic waste, holds tremendous potential, both in Europe (where it can replace a large amount of natural gas imports from Russia), and in the developing world (with India having interesting plans for biogas). Using innovative technologies, the green fuel can be purified to natural gas standards, and mixed into the natural gas grid (earlier post), with several countries already doing this. Other European countries and companies are rapidly building infrastructures to use the gas as an automotive fuel (an example from Germany, and one from Austria) with some companies building real biorefineries around it which result in green specialty chemicals and products such as biopolymers and plastics (example from Austria). More and more, specially bred dedicated biogas crops - such as Sudan grass hybrids, Sorghum or biogas maize - are being planted for the production of the green fuel.

Biogas from wood chips, more efficient than cellulosic ethanol
Sweden, Europe's leader when it comes using renewables (the country generates 28% of all its energy from green sources) is now taking the development of biogas as a transport fuel a step further. Anders Hedenstedt, CEO of Göteborg Energi AB, wrote the following letter to Euractiv, a main EU news source: "In Gothenburg, biogas is produced locally by digestion of sewage waste, providing the equivalent of 4000 passenger cars with a fuel that is cleaner than petrol, or any other biofuel.

Now Göteborg Energi is taking biogas production to the next level. By gasification of low-grade biomass such as forestry residues, we can produce biogas in much greater quantities. Our aim is to build a biomass gasification plant with a capacity to produce enough biogas for 75,000 cars. We will convert wood chips into methane with 70% efficiency:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

We plan to have the plant in operation by 2011 at a cost of roughly €150 million. Since the technology employed is untested on this scale, we are depending on government or EU funding.

Public awareness of biogas as a fuel for vehicles is crucial for our success in this project. Of course, biogas could be used for many more applications than for vehicles. But we are convinced that the transport sector will play a key role as a driver of new technology, because the willingness to pay in this sector is high, and that there is a very real opportunity for consumers to individually contribute to a more sustainable society."

Several studies indicate that, using a combination of substrates (from dedicated energy crops) that are co-fermented, biogas yields much more useable energy than cellulosic ethanol. The bioconversion process is far more efficient. But the large-scale use of the green gas has one major disadvantage, in that one needs dedicated cars, similar to CNG-vehicles, to use the fuel.

More information:
Trendsetter-Europe, the information source on sustainable trends in urban mobility in the EU, has a range of interesting articles on biogas as a transport fuel.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home