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    Taiwan's Feng Chia University has succeeded in boosting the production of hydrogen from biomass to 15 liters per hour, one of the world's highest biohydrogen production rates, a researcher at the university said Friday. The research team managed to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide (which can be captured and stored) from the fermentation of different strains of anaerobes in a sugar cane-based liquefied mixture. The highest yield was obtained by the Clostridium bacterium. Taiwan News - November 14, 2008.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Philippines identify areas for sugarcane production, to benefit 55,000 farmers

The Philippines' Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap announced that the country's Sugar Regulatory Administration has identified 60,250 hectares of new sugarcane areas that can produce as much as 274 million liters of bioethanol. These new areas for sugarcane will yield more than enough of the biofuel to meet the 2009 requirement which was set at 255 million liters.

Yap said the expansion of sugarcane areas for bioethanol production would help improve the lives of more than 55,000 farmers dependent on the crop.

In order to convert the feedstock into ethanol, about 10 medium-scale refineries would be needed. Interest to establish these is great, with both the local and foreign private sector seeing the Philippines as a relatively good investment opportunity. Recently, a 'Biofuels Country Attractivenes Index' placed the country in the top 15 of the most suitable bioenergy investment destinations mainly because of its central geographical position in the booming South East and East Asian market, its recent biofuel legislation and its suitable agro-climatic conditions for a range of crops.
We have enough land to meet sugar ethanol refinery requirements. What is left for us to do is plant the sugarcane. Compared with other feedstock, only ethanol from sugarcane can be produced in a totally renewable and environment-friendly process by using bagasse - a sugarcane waste material - to fuel boilers that generate the required steam and electricity for the distillery. - Arthur Yap, Philippines Agriculture Secretary
The island state currently has only 38,500 hectares of land planted to sugarcane. The scope for future expansion is large: studies by the Sugar Regulatory Administration showed a total of 377,182 hectares of land are suitable for planting sugar. 17.2 percent of these are in Luzon, 53.3 percent in Negros Island, 6.9 percent in Panay Island, 4.4 percent in the Eastern Visayas region, and 19.1 percent in Mindanao (map, click to enlarge).

Besides existing investments, Yap said the Department of Energy had reported that at least seven new investors have expressed interest in building sugar refineries that would have a combined annual capacity of 402 million liters of ethanol.

Sugarcane is estimated to yield of 4,550 liters of biofuel per hectare, making it one of the best energy crops. With the advent of cellulosic biofuel technologies, part of the fibrous by-product of crushed canes - bagasse - could be converted into liquid fuels:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The Brazilian experience indicates that when bagasse is used to generate power, the energy requirements of an ethanol plant are easily met, which results in an excess of electricity. This excess is most often transferred to a grid that supplies green electricity to local populations. Often this requires the creation of a new grid infrastructure. With cellulosic biofuels, this could be avoided and more liquid biofuel could be produced instead.

The Philippines recently passed its Biofuels Act requiring a minimum of five percent of ethanol to be pre-blended with gasoline by February 2009, with the ratio doubling to 10 percent by February 2011. The same law requires all diesel engine fuels to be pre-blended with one percent coco-biodiesel. This blending ratio will double to two percent by February 2009.

Suitable crops for first-generation biofuels in the Philippines incude sweet sorghum, sweet potato, tropical sugar beet, jatropha and coconut.

Some major recent investments in the country's nascent biofuel sector include a US$1.3 billion project to be implemented by the UK's NRG and state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) (earlier post), and a US$150 million investment into a fully integrated ethanol processing facility in Central Luzon by US firm E-Cane Fuel Corp (more here).


The Inquirer: Gov’t finds new areas for bioethanol production - September 1, 2007.

Biopact: Biofuels and renewables 'Country Attractiveness Indices' for Q1 2007 - May 24, 2007


Anonymous laptop battery said...

Suitable crops for first-generation biofuels in the Philippines incude sweet sorghum, sweet potato, tropical sugar beet, jatropha and coconut.

5:34 AM  

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