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

    Spanish engineering and energy company Abengoa says it had suspended bioethanol production at the biggest of its three Spanish plants because it was unprofitable. It cited high grain prices and uncertainty about the national market for ethanol. Earlier this year, the plant, located in Salamanca, ceased production for similar reasons. To Biopact this is yet another indication that biofuel production in the EU/US does not make sense and must be relocated to the Global South, where the biofuel can be produced competitively and sustainably, without relying on food crops. Reuters - September 24, 2007.

    The Midlands Consortium, comprised of the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham, is chosen to host Britain's new Energy Technologies Institute, a £1 billion national organisation which will aim to develop cleaner energies. University of Nottingham - September 21, 2007.

    The EGGER group, one of the leading European manufacturers of chipboard, MDF and OSB boards has begun work on installing a 50MW biomass boiler for its production site in Rion. The new furnace will recycle 60,000 tonnes of offcuts to be used in the new combined heat and power (CHP) station as an ecological fuel. The facility will reduce consumption of natural gas by 75%. IHB Network - September 21, 2007.

    Analysts fear that record oil prices will fuel general inflation in Kenya, particularly hitting the poorest hard. They call for the development of new policies and strategies to cope with sustained high oil prices. Such policies include alternative fuels like biofuels, conservation measures, and more investments in oil and gas exploration. The poor in Kenya are hit hardest by the sharp increase, because they spend most of their budget on fuel and transport. Furthermore, in oil intensive economies like Kenya, high oil prices push up prices for food and most other basic goods. All Africa - September 20, 2007.

    Finland's Metso Power has won an order to supply Kalmar Energi Värme AB with a biomass-fired power boiler for the company’s new combined heat and power plant in Kalmar on the east coast of Sweden. Start-up for the plant is scheduled for the end of 2009. The value of the order is approximately EUR 55 million. The power boiler (90 MWth) will utilize bubbling fluidized bed technology and will burn biomass replacing old district heating boilers and reducing the consumption of oil. The delivery will also include a flue gas condensing system to increase plant's district heat production. Metso Corporation - September 19, 2007.

    Jo-Carroll Energy announced today its plan to build an 80 megawatt, biomass-fueled, renewable energy center in Illinois. The US$ 140 million plant will be fueled by various types of renewable biomass, such as clean waste wood, corn stover and switchgrass. Jo-Carroll Energy - September 18, 2007.

    Beihai Gofar Marine Biological Industry Co Ltd, in China's southern region of Guangxi, plans to build a 100,000 tonne-per-year fuel ethanol plant using cassava as feedstock. The Shanghai-listed company plans to raise about 560 million yuan ($74.5 million) in a share placement to finance the project and boost its cash flow. Reuters - September 18, 2007.

    The oil-dependent island state of Fiji has requested US company Avalor Capital, LLC, to invest in biodiesel and ethanol. The Fiji government has urged the company to move its $250million 'Fiji Biofuels Project' forward at the earliest possible date. Fiji Live - September 18, 2007.

    The Bowen Group, one of Ireland's biggest construction groups has announced a strategic move into the biomass energy sector. It is planning a €25 million investment over the next five years to fund up to 100 projects that will create electricity from biomass. Its ambition is to install up to 135 megawatts of biomass-fuelled heat from local forestry sources, which is equal to 50 million litres or about €25m worth of imported oil. Irish Examiner - September 16, 2007.

    According to Dr Niphon Poapongsakorn, dean of Economics at Thammasat University in Thailand, cassava-based ethanol is competitive when oil is above $40 per barrel. Thailand is the world's largest producer and exporter of cassava for industrial use. Bangkok Post - September 14, 2007.

    German biogas and biodiesel developer BKN BioKraftstoff Nord AG has generated gross proceeds totaling €5.5 million as part of its capital increase from authorized capital. Ad Hoc News - September 13, 2007.

    NewGen Technologies, Inc. announced that it and Titan Global Holdings, Inc. completed a definitive Biofuels Supply Agreement which will become effective upon Titan’s acquisition of Appalachian Oil Company. Given APPCO’s current distribution of over 225 million gallons of fuel products per year, the initial expected ethanol supply to APPCO should exceed 1 million gallons a month. Charlotte dBusinessNews - September 13, 2007.

    Oil prices reach record highs as the U.S. Energy Information Agency releases a report that showed crude oil inventories fell by more than seven million barrels last week. The rise comes despite a decision by the international oil cartel, OPEC, to raise its output quota by 500,000 barrels. Reuters - September 12, 2007.

    OPEC decided today to increase the volume of crude supplied to the market by Member Countries (excluding Angola and Iraq) by 500,000 b/d, effective 1 November 2007. The decision comes after oil reached near record-highs and after Saudi Aramco announced that last year's crude oil production declined by 1.7 percent, while exports declined by 3.1 percent. OPEC - September 11, 2007.

    GreenField Ethanol and Monsanto Canada launch the 'Gro-ethanol' program which invites Ontario's farmers to grow corn seed containing Monsanto traits, specifically for the ethanol market. The corn hybrids eligible for the program include Monsanto traits that produce higher yielding corn for ethanol production. MarketWire - September 11, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Monday, September 24, 2007

Schmack Biogas to build biogas plant coupled to ethanol facility, fed by residues

Germany's Schmack Biogas AG announces an interesting initiative: it will build a highly sophisticated biogas plant that will digest waste streams from a bioethanol production facility. In the coming weeks Schmack Biogas will start construction of the plant in Poland, which will be the country's largest biogas plant with a capacity of 2MW. The anaerobic digester will be built on behalf of Agrogaz, a Polish joint venture between Regensburg-based Aufwind Schmack GmbH Neue Energien and Polish energy provider Polenergia.

The Polish biogas plant will be engineered to tie in with an existing bioethanol plant which will supply residuals from bioethanol production as the main feedstock for the biogas production. In turn, the biogas plant will not only produce electricity but also feed its process heat back to the bioethanol plant. Dr. Karl Reinhard Kolmsee, Schmack Biogas AG's Managing Board member in charge of sales says this is a highly ecologically optimised cycle which makes excellent economic sense.

When ethanol is made from grains, its major byproduct is distillers’ dried grains (DDG, or in their original form, wet distillers grains: WDG) which has alternative, low value added uses as as animal feed (previous post) or as an organic fertilizer and herbicide (more here). Several researchers think DDG can be used for a range of more valuable products like biohydrogen or chemicals like polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) used for the production of biodegradable plastics (earlier post). Schmack Biogas sees WDG as an excellent feedstock for anaerobic digestion, provided production systems are highly integrated:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Dr. Kolmsee adds that the construction of this technologically sophisticated plant marks the company's entry into another European market, thereby demonstrating the future potential and long-term viability of biogas and highlighting the continued strong demand on the part of energy providers and investors.

Schmack Biogas AG is a leading German supplier of biogas plants. Established in 1995, the company provides its services through two divisions, namely Planning and Construction and Plant Management and Service, and is one of the few full-service providers in the industry. Apart from technical support, the company focuses on comprehensive microbiological service.

Through its newly established subsidiary, Schmack Energie Holding the company now also operates its own plants and markets the biogas produced as well as the electricity and heat generated - mainly together with joint venture partners. To date, Schmack Biogas has built 201 plants with a combined nominal output of approx. 58 MW.

According to a recently published Energy Barometer on Biogas, the renewable fuel has a large potential in Europe and is growing rapidly amid increasing concerns about oil and gas prices and climate change. In 2006, around 5.35 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) was produced in the EU, an increase of 13.6% compared to 2005. The production of electricity from biogas grew by 28.9% over the same period. Germany remains European leader and noted a 55.9% growth in 2006 in electricity generated from the renewable gas.

Analysts, amongst them a founder of Schmack, have found that over the long term (2020-2030) the European biogas sector can replace all imports of natural gas from Russia (earlier post).

Biogas has seen a growing interest in the EU because of the fuel's excellent greenhouse gas emissions and energy balance (earlier post and here).

When the green gas is purified and upgraded as biomethane to natural gas quality, it can be used in the form of fuels for vehicles running on natural gas (CNG) (earlier post) or injected into the natural gas distribution network, when this is so permitted by national legislation (more here). Both applications are being undertaken in several EU member states. Use of the green gas in fuel cells is a recent development (more here).

Image: EUCO Titan® 640, a Schmack Biogas plant. Credit: Schmack Biogas AG.

Biopact: Steps to biorefining: new products from biofuel leftovers - August 10, 2007

Biopact: Study: EU biogas production grew 13.6% in 2006, holds large potential - July 24, 2007

Biopact: Study: biogas can replace all EU imports of Russian gas by 2020 - February 10, 2007


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home