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    Record warm summers cause extreme ice melt in Greenland: an international team of scientists, led by Dr Edward Hanna at the University of Sheffield, has found that recent warm summers have caused the most extreme Greenland ice melting in 50 years. The new research provides further evidence of a key impact of global warming and helps scientists place recent satellite observations of Greenland´s shrinking ice mass in a longer-term climatic context. Findings are published in the 15 January 2008 issue of Journal of Climate. University of Sheffield - January 15, 2007.

    Japan's Tsukishima Kikai Co. and Marubeni Corp. have together clinched an order from Oenon Holdings Inc. for a plant that will make bioethanol from rice. The Oenon group will invest around 4.4 billion yen (US$40.17 million) in the project, half of which will be covered by a subsidy from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The plant will initially produce bioethanol from imported rice, with plans to use Hokkaido-grown rice in the future. It will produce 5 million liters per year starting in 2009, increasing output to 15m liters in 2011. The facility will be able to produce as much as 50,000 liters of bioethanol from 125 tons of rice each day. Trading Markets - January 11, 2007.

    PetroSun, Inc. announced today that its subsidiary, PetroSun BioFuels Refining, has entered into a JV to construct and operate a biodiesel refinery near Coolidge, Arizona. The feedstock for the refinery will be algal oil produced by PetroSun BioFuels at algae farms to be located in Arizona. The refinery will have a capacity of thirty million gallons and will produce 100% renewable biodiesel. PetroSun BioFuels will process the residual algae biomass into ethanol. MarketWire - January 10, 2007.

    BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc, which develops and operates carbohydrate-based transportation fuel production facilities, has secured capital liquidity for corporate overhead and continued project development in the value of US$15 million with Quercus, an environmentally focused trust. BlueFire Ethanol Fuels - January 09, 2007.

    Some $170 billion in new technology development projects, infrastructure equipment and construction, and biofuel refineries will result from the ethanol production standards contained the new U.S. Energy Bill, says BIO, the global Biotechnology Industry Organization. According to Brent Erickson, BIO's executive vice president "Such a new energy infrastructure has not occurred in more than 100 years. We are at the point where we were in the 1850s when kerosene was first distilled and began to replace whale oil. This technology will be coming so fast that what we say today won't be true in two years." Chemical & Engineering News - January 07, 2007.

    Scottish and Southern Energy plc, the UK's second largest power company, has completed the acquisition of Slough Heat and Power Ltd from SEGRO plc for a total cash consideration of £49.25m. The 101MW CHP plant is the UK’s largest dedicated biomass energy facility fueled by wood chips, biomass and waste paper. Part of the plant is contracted under the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation and part of it produces over 200GWH of output qualifying for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), which is equivalent to around 90MW of wind generation. Scottish & Southern Energy - January 2, 2007.

    PetroChina Co Ltd, the country's largest oil and gas producer, plans to invest 800 million yuan to build an ethanol plant in Nanchong, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, its parent China National Petroleum Corp said. The ethanol plant has a designed annual capacity of 100,000 tons. ABCMoneyNews - December 21, 2007.

    Mexico passed legislation to promote biofuels last week, offering unspecified support to farmers that grow crops for the production of any renewable fuel. Agriculture Minister Alberto Cardenas said Mexico could expand biodiesel faster than ethanol. More soon. Reuters - December 20, 2007.

    Oxford Catalysts has placed an order worth approximately €700,000 (US$1 million) with the German company Amtec for the purchase of two Spider16 high throughput screening reactors. The first will be used to speed up the development of catalysts for hydrodesulphurisation (HDS). The second will be used to further the development of catalysts for use in gas to liquid (GTL) and Fischer-Tropsch processes which can be applied to next generation biofuels. AlphaGalileo - December 18, 2007.

    According to the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), Brazil's production of sugarcane will increase from 514,1 million tonnes this season, to a record 561,8 million tonnes in the 2008/09 cyclus - an increase of 9.3%. New numbers are also out for the 2007 harvest in Brazil's main sugarcane growing region, the Central-South: a record 425 million tonnes compared to 372,7 million tonnes in 2006, or a 14% increase. The estimate was provided by Unica – the União da Indústria de Cana-de-Açúcar. Jornal Cana - December 16, 2007.

    The University of East Anglia and the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre have today released preliminary global temperature figures for 2007, which show the top 11 warmest years all occurring in the last 13 years. The provisional global figure for 2007 using data from January to November, currently places the year as the seventh warmest on records dating back to 1850. The announcement comes as the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud, speaks at the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bali. Eurekalert - December 13, 2007.

    The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced it will launch a new journal in summer 2008, Energy & Environmental Science, which will distinctly address both energy and environmental issues. In recognition of the importance of research in this subject, and the need for knowledge transfer between scientists throughout the world, from launch the RSC will make issues of Energy & Environmental Science available free of charge to readers via its website, for the first 18 months of publication. This journal will highlight the important role that the chemical sciences have in solving the energy problems we are facing today. It will link all aspects of energy and the environment by publishing research relating to energy conversion and storage, alternative fuel technologies, and environmental science. AlphaGalileo - December 10, 2007.

    Dutch researcher Bas Bougie has developed a laser system to investigate soot development in diesel engines. Small soot particles are not retained by a soot filter but are, however, more harmful than larger soot particles. Therefore, soot development needs to be tackled at the source. Laser Induced Incandescence is a technique that reveals exactly where soot is generated and can be used by project partners to develop cleaner diesel engines. Terry Meyer, an Iowa State University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is using similar laser technology to develop advanced sensors capable of screening the combustion behavior and soot characteristics specifically of biofuels. Eurekalert - December 7, 2007.

    Lithuania's first dedicated biofuel terminal has started operating in Klaipeda port. At the end of November 2007, the stevedoring company Vakaru krova (VK) started activities to manage transshipments. The infrastructure of the biodiesel complex allows for storage of up to 4000 cubic meters of products. During the first year, the terminal plans to transship about 70.000 tonnes of methyl ether, after that the capacities of the terminal would be increased. Investments to the project totaled €2.3 million. Agrimarket - December 5, 2007.

    New Holland supports the use of B100 biodiesel in all equipment with New Holland-manufactured diesel engines, including electronic injection engines with common rail technology. Overall, nearly 80 percent of the tractor and equipment manufacturer's New Holland-branded products with diesel engines are now available to operate on B100 biodiesel. Tractor and equipment maker John Deere meanwhile clarified its position for customers that want to use biodiesel blends up to B20. Grainnet - December 5, 2007.

    According to Wetlands International, an NGO, the Kyoto Protocol as it currently stands does not take into account possible emissions from palm oil grown on a particular type of land found in Indonesia and Malaysia, namely peatlands. Mongabay - December 5, 2007.

    Malaysia's oil & gas giant Petronas considers entering the biofuels sector. Zamri Jusoh, senior manager of Petronas' petroleum development management unit told reporters "of course our focus is on oil and gas, but I think as we move into the future we cannot ignore the importance of biofuels." AFP - December 5, 2007.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

South East Asia starts work on common biofuel standards

The Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand will spearhead efforts to come up with common biofuel standards that will allow them to trade and export biofuels with less hassle, according to Philippine Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla.

"Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia have something in common in terms of having a strong agricultural base. Therefore we are in a position to develop the biofuel sector," Lotilla said. "So it is in the common interest of South East Asian countries that we push now for the development of common standards, so that the tradeability of biofuels will be enhanced in the future."

The first part of the Philippine's Biofuels Act recently came into force, requiring all petroleum product distributors to blend 2% biodiesel in their supply. The biodiesel is mainly made from coconut oil. Meanwhile the ethanol industry in the country is attracting foreign investments from Japan and China (earlier post).

Indonesia is busy implementing its own very ambitious bioenergy policy, with massive investments from, amongst others, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (earlier post). The program aims to cultivate sugarcane, cassava, palm oil and jatropha on approximately 6 million hectares of land (earlier post and here).

Thailand for its part has no biofuel mandate yet, but produces a considerable volume of ethanol made from cassava, a very efficient biofuel crop (previous post). Because of a lack of clear policies, producers are even facing a surplus and are examining exports to neighboring countries (earlier post).

Lotilla, who attended a recent energy ministers' meeting in Riyadh, said Thai Energy Minister Piyavasti Amaranand had agreed that Thailand and the Philippines should work together in building up the biofuel sector in various international forums.

A separate meeting with Indonesian special envoy Alwi Shihab yielded the same results, Lotilla said. He quoted Shihab as saying the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand should ensure that biofuels and vehicles using them were not hampered by "artificial barriers to trade":
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Lotilla said the Philippines proposed a workshop that would allow countries in the region to exchange information on the status of their national efforts in developing biofuel standards and determine steps for moving forward.

"The three countries have agreed to come up with the common standards so that we will be able to share this with other countries as well," Lotilla said. "We're organising that workshop for a levelling of standards among the different East Asian countries".

There are no details on what kind of standards will be discussed, but we assume they will be dealing with technical criteria (fuel quality standards) and trade issues. Environmental and social sustainability as they are being designed in the EU are probably not the main focus of the negotiations.

Several other regional initiatives, like the Greater Mekong Subregion which includes Thailand (earlier post) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) recently strengthened Biofuels Task Force (earlier post), are cooperating to create biofuels industries in the region.

More details about the Indonesian, Thai and Philippine initiative as soon as they become available.


OpenID otsenre4987 said...

there are a few jatropha planters in the philippines now & not for long the seeds will be ready for biodiesel processing & yet until now i've never heard of any PNS on jatropha biodiesel quality standard but only for cocobiodiesel.is this an oversight on the part of the govt.the philippine govt released hundreds of millions PHP to support the jatropha cultivation but the PNS is hanging.jatropha biodiesel has already been proven to conform with EN14214 by D1 Oils in the UK when they processed & tested it in their UK processing plant(source is available on request).with this attitude,we are driving away investors instead of attracting them.there are a few foreign investors interested to venture into this philippine project,including myself with a foreign financier who is very interested to start within this quarter hoping that this jatropha PNS will be resolve asap.

thank you for your attention,


5:21 AM  

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