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    Malaysian palm oil company Kim Loong Resources Bhd has secured European energy trading group Vitol as buyer for all its carbon credits from its planned biogas plant in Kota Tinggi. The biogas facility generates methane from palm oil mill effluent, a waste product. The project is expected to generate over RM2 million (€423,000/US$579,000) of earnings annually. The methane capture and power generation project was registered and approved by the Clean Development Mechanism. The Edge Daily - July 31, 2007.

    GreenHunter Energy, Inc. announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, GreenHunter BioFuels, Inc., located in Houston, Texas has successfully acquired Air Emission Permits from TCEQ (Texas Commission of Environmental Quality) under TCEQ's Permit by Rule (PBR) programs. These permits open the way for construction of a 105 million gallon per year (mgy) biodiesel facility including a separate but related methanol distillation facility. PRNewswire - July 30, 2007.

    Together with Chemical & Engineering News' Stephen K. Ritter, the journal Environmental Science & Technology sent Erika D. Engelhaupt to Brazil from where she wrote daily dispatches of news and observations about biofuels research. In particular she focuses on a bioenerrgy research partnership between the American Chemical Society, the Brazilian Chemical Society, and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). Check out her blog. Dipatches from Brazil - July 28, 2007.

    Consultation is under way on a £50 million (€74/US$101million) renewable energy plant planned for the South Wales Valleys. Anglo-Dutch company Express Power plans to build a wood-fuelled biomass plant on Rassau Industrial Estate in Blaenau Gwent. The plant will generate an annual 160,000 MWh (Mega Watt hours) of green electricity for Wales from forestry, recycled wood and wood derivatives. ICWales - July 27, 2007.

    The price of New York crude leapt to 77.24 dollar a barrel on Thursday, marking the highest level since August 9, 2006, as keen global demand and tight supplies fuelled speculative buying, traders said. On Wednesday, the US government had revealed that inventories of American crude fell by 1.1 million barrels last week. France24 - July 26, 2007.

    Arriva, one of Europe's largest transport groups is trialling B20 biodiesel for the first time on 75 of its buses. The company is aiming to reduce total carbon emissions by around 14 per cent by using biodiesel as a 20 per cent blend (predominantly be a mixture of sustainable soya products, along with used cooking oil and tallow). The 75 buses in the innovative trial will carry around 130,000 passengers every week. Minimal engineering changes will be required to the fleet as part of the scheme. Arriva - July 26, 2007.

    Marathon Oil Corporation announces that it has completed two more projects adding biodiesel blended fuel at its Robinson and Champaign terminals in Illinois. The terminals now feature in-line ratio blending in order to provide soy-based B-2 (two percent biodiesel) and B-11 (eleven percent biodiesel). Marathon Oil - July 25, 2007.

    Norway-based renewable energy firm Global Green One has agreed to set up a € 101.6 million bioethanol plant in Békéscsaba (southeast Hungary), with more facilities planned for Kalocsa, Szombathely and Kõszeg, the latter of which was already a target for a €25 million plant in May this year. The Békéscsaba plant would process 200,000 tonnes of maize per year, employing around 100 people. The logistics part of the facility would also create 100 jobs. The company expects the factory to generate €65 million in revenues each year. Portfolio - July 25, 2007.

    A Canadian firm, Buchanan Renewable Energies, is to begin an investment into Liberia's biomass industry that will grow to US$20 million in October and offer 300 jobs by end of the year. The company will start shipping 90 major pieces of equipment to Liberia by the end of August. Daily Observer (Monrovia) - July 24, 2007.

    KNM Process Systems Sdn Bhd, has secured a RM122 million (€26/$36m) order to build a biodiesel plant in Pahang, Malaysia, for Mission Biofuels Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Australian biofuels company Mission Biofuels Ltd. The plant will have a biodiesel output of 750 tonnes per day and glycerine output of 82 tonnes per day. Malaysia Business Times - July 24, 2007.

    AlgoDyne Ethanol Energy Inc. confirms that its retail partner, Canadian Green Fuels, has entered into an agreement with Cansource BioFuels to open a new biodiesel production facility in Mayerthorpe Alberta. The deal will see the construction and development of a community based, integrated crushing and biodiesel facility to process 10 million litres of ASTM certified canola based biodiesel which will be scaled up to produce 40million litres by 2010. BusinessWire - July 23, 2007.

    The Center for Management Technology announces the second Biomass-to-Liquids Technology conference will take place in Vienna this year, from 12 to 13 September. The current state of BTL-technologies will be presented and discussed. Biomass-to-Liquids conversion pathways are seen by many as promising avenues into the world of second generation biofuels that relies on the use of a broad variety of possible biomass feedstocks. CMT - July 23, 2007.

    Gulf Ethanol Corporation, a Houston-based energy company, announced today that it has initiated negotiations with representatives of government and industry in Uruguay. Discussions, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, centered on the synergy between Gulf Ethanol's interest in exploiting the potential of sorghum as a non-food fuel stock for ethanol production and the ideal conditions for growing the crop in Uruguay. The company criticizes the use of food crops like corn for ethanol in the U.S. and is seeking alternatives. Yahoo Press Release - July 20, 2007.

    Dutch company Capella Capital N.V. announces its investment in BiogasPark N.V. and acquires a 20 % stake upon the foundation of the company. The remaining shares are held by the management and strategic investors. BiogasPark N.V. will invest in the field of renewable energy and primarily focuses on financing, purchasing and the maintenance of biogas plant facilities. Ad Hoc News - July 20, 2007.

    Bioenergy company Mascoma Corp. is to build the world's first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Michigan where it will collaborate with Michigan State University. The $100 million plant will rely on the biochemical, enzymatic process that breaks down biomass to convert it to sugars. One of the factors that attracted Mascoma to Michigan was the recent $50 million federal grant MSU received to study biofuels in June. MSU will help in areas such as pretreatment technology for cellulosic ethanol production and energy crops that can be utilized by the plant. The State News - July 20, 2007.

    PetroChina, one of China's biggest oil companies, aims to invest RMB 300 million (€28.7/US$39.6m) in biofuel production development plans. A special fund is also going to be jointly set up by PetroChina and the Ministry of Forestry to reduce carbon emissions. Two thirds of the total investment will be channeled into forestry and biofuel projects in the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Hebei, the remainder goes to creating a China Green Carbon Foundation, jointly managed by PetroChina and the State Forestry Administration. China Knowledge - July 19, 2007.

    Netherlands-based oil, gas, power and chemical industries service group Bateman Litwin N.V. announces it has signed an agreement to acquire Delta-T Corporation, a leading US-based bioethanol technology provider, with a fast growing engineering, procurement and construction division for a total consideration of US$45 million in cash and 11.8 million new ordinary shares in Bateman Litwin. Bateman Litwin - July 18, 2007.

    TexCom, Inc. announced today that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Biodiesel International Corp. (BIC), and is developing a plan to build an integrated oilseed crushing and biodiesel production facility in Paraguay. The facility, as it is currently contemplated, would process 2,000 metric tons of oil seeds per day, yielding approximately 136,000 metric tons (approximately 39 Million Gallons) of biodiesel and 560,000 metric tons of soy meal pellets per year. Initial feedstock will consist mainly of soybeans that are grown in the immediate area of the proposed production plant in the Provinces of Itapua and Alto Parana. MarketWire - July 18, 2007.

    Spanish power company Elecnor announced that it will build Spain's biggest biodiesel production plant for €70 million (US$96.48 million). The plant, in the port of Gijon in northern Spain, will be ready in 22 months and will produce up to 500,000 tonnes of biodiesel a year from vegetable oil. The plant will be one of the world's biggest. Spain has decided to impose mandatory blending of biofuels with conventional fossil fuels as part of European Union efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Elecnor [*Spanish] - July 18, 2007.

    The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) conducted a feasibility study to determine the most economical solutions to provide biomass energy to the isolated Chugachmiut Tribal Community in the village of Port Graham, Alaska, located on the Kenai Peninsula about 180 miles southwest of Anchorage. The village is only accessible by air or water, making traditional fossil fuel sources expensive to deliver and alternative forms of energy difficult to implement. The case study based on decentralised bioenergy offers interesting parallels to what would be needed to provide energy to the developing world's huge population that lives in similarly isolated conditions. EERC - July 18, 2007.

    According to a basic market report by Global Industries Inc., world biodiesel sales are expected to exceed 4.7 billion gallons (17.8 billion liters) by 2010. Though Europe, with a share estimated at 84.16% in 2006, constitutes the largest market, and will continue to do so for the coming years, major growth is expected to emanate from the United States. The automobile applications market for biodiesel, with an estimated share of 55.73% in 2006 constitutes the largest as well as the fastest growing end use application. Other applications independently analyzed include the Mining Applications market and the Marine Applications market. PRWeb - July 18, 2007.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Study looks at opportunities and effects of using biofuel co-products as livestock feed

By-products from biofuels could help beef up livestock feed in the future, according to a study completed by environmental research group ADAS UK in collaboration with the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham's Division of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Rising animal feed costs – partly driven by the demand for biofuels – have caused alarm in the meat production industry recently. But over the long term, biofuel by-products may slow down this upward trend. The study, funded by the Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), British Pig Executive (BPEX) and English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX), looks at the possibility that co-products from both biodiesel and bioethanol could be used to feed livestock. Some of the findings echo earlier assessments made by the EU (previous post).
It is estimated that, by 2010, there will be an additional 150,000 tonnes of rapeseed meal (RSM) and 10,000 tonnes of glycerol from UK crushed oilseed rape. Predicting wheat distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is more difficult but, based on current planned production, some 940,000 tonnes may be available for use as animal feed. - Dr Bruce Cottrill, report author
These large streams of co-products result in a considerable potential for inclusion in livestock feed formulations for cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Table 1 outlines the projected inclusion rates for rapeseed meal and for DDGS in different compound feeds.

Key-findings of the report titled Opportunities and Implications of Using the Co-products from Biofuel Production as Feeds for Livestock [*.pdf], include:
  • In the short term, co-products from biofuel production from oilseed rape (and other oilseeds) and sugar beet are likely to have a similar nutritional value to existing co-products. DDGS resulting from bioethanol production could be very different nutritionally to that of DDGS produced from the current potable alcohol production, but this will depend on methods of production used.
  • In the medium term, pressure to reduce green house gas emissions is likely to result in lower protein content feedstocks produced through lower fertiliser use and the development and use of new varieties. This will result in a lower protein content in the co-products. The effects of this on total or digestible amino acid content, or on rumen degradability, are unknown, but will need to be assessed in order to optimise the use of the co-products in livestock diets.
  • Glycerol (glyerin) a co-product of biodiesel is a high energy feed, which can be fed to both ruminants and monogastric animals, although there is relatively little experience of its use as an animal feed. Further research in the UK is recommended to assess maximum inclusion rates in livestock diets.
  • Based on current estimates of production, it seems likely that the livestock industry could absorb all of the additional RSM and glycerol produced. Their use would displace other feed materials currently imported into the UK.
The report further notes that variability in the composition of co-products between different biofuel producers does occur, and can be a major issue for feed compounders. However, variability is likely to become less as technology develops and biofuel producers adopt the most efficient methods of production:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Increasing global demand for biofuels will affect feed prices primarily as a result of the increase in demand for the raw feedstocks (wheat, maize, soyabean and oilseed rape). In the UK it is anticipated that cereal prices will rise, and as a result overall feed prices will increase. If significant supplies of RSM and DDGS become available in the UK, protein sources used in compound feed formulations may change, and this will be reflected in changes in the total protein and amino acid profiles of rations. As a result, there could be increases in the amounts of N and P excreted by livestock. Concentrate feeds used in the UK are subject to world feed prices, and as a result, increasing supplies of RSM, DDGS or glycerol would be most likely to replace imported feeds.
The amount will fluctuate as the biofuel market matures but this is undoubtedly an opportunity for the British pig industry and manufacturers will be including significant amounts of these in diets. - Mick Sloyan, BPEX chief executive
Methods of energy generation from biomass are likely to change rapidly over the next few years. Lignocellulose sources are likely to become the major feedstocks for bioethanol plants, while there will be increasing attention on the development and use of alternative oilseeds for biodiesel production. These developments will have an impact both on crop and livestock producers in the UK, and they will need to react rapidly to changes in the supply of feed materials.

EBLEX chief executive Richard Ali said: "What shines through in this report are the linkages between energy and agricultural policy and I have no doubt that the livestock sector will become increasingly active in analysing the effects of proposed changes in those regimes."

Photo: distillers’ dried grains from corn in a U.S. ethanol plant. Courtesy: USDA ARS.

Bruce Cottrill, Claire Smith, Pete Berry, Richard Weightman, Julian Wiseman, Gavin White and Mark Temple, Opportunities and Implications of Using the Co-products from Biofuel Production as Feeds for Livestock [*.pdf], ADAS UK, University of Nottingham - April 2007.


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