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    Brasil Ecodiesel, the leading Brazilian biodiesel producer company, recorded an increase of 57.7% in sales in the third quarter of the current year, in comparison with the previous three months. Sales volume stood at 53,000 cubic metres from August until September, against 34,000 cubic metres of the biofuel between April and June. The company is also concluding negotiations to export between 1,000 to 2,000 tonnes of glycerine per month to the Asian market. ANBA - October 4, 2007.

    PolyOne Corporation, the US supplier of specialised polymer materials, has opened a new colour concentrates manufacturing plant in Kutno, Poland. Located in central Poland, the new plant will produce colour products in the first instance, although the company says the facility can be expanded to handle other products. In March, the Ohio-based firm launched a range of of liquid colourants for use in bioplastics in biodegradable applications. The concentrates are European food contact compliant and can be used in polylactic acid (PLA) or starch-based blends. Plastics & Rubber Weekly - October 2, 2007.

    A turbo-charged, spray-guided direct-injection engine running on pure ethanol (E100) can achieve very high specific output, and shows “significant potential for aggressive engine downsizing for a dedicated or dual-fuel solution”, according to engineers at Orbital Corporation. GreenCarCongress - October 2, 2007.

    UK-based NiTech Solutions receives £800,000 in private funding to commercialize a cost-saving industrial mixing system, dubbed the Continuous Oscillatory Baffled Reactor (COBR), which can lower costs by 50 per cent and reduce process time by as much as 90 per cent during the manufacture of a range of commodities including chemicals, drugs and biofuels. Scotsman - October 2, 2007.

    A group of Spanish investors is building a new bioethanol plant in the western region of Extremadura that should be producing fuel from maize in 2009. Alcoholes Biocarburantes de Extremadura (Albiex) has already started work on the site near Badajoz and expects to spend €42/$59 million on the plant in the next two years. It will produce 110 million litres a year of bioethanol and 87 million kg of grain byproduct that can be used for animal feed. Europapress - September 28, 2007.

    Portuguese fuel company Prio SA and UK based FCL Biofuels have joined forces to launch the Portuguese consumer biodiesel brand, PrioBio, in the UK. PrioBio is scheduled to be available in the UK from 1st November. By the end of this year (2007), says FCL Biofuel, the partnership’s two biodiesel refineries will have a total capacity of 200,000 tonnes which will is set to grow to 400,000 tonnes by the end of 2010. Biofuel Review - September 27, 2007.

    According to Tarja Halonen, the Finnish president, one third of the value of all of Finland's exports consists of environmentally friendly technologies. Finland has invested in climate and energy technologies, particularly in combined heat and power production from biomass, bioenergy and wind power, the president said at the UN secretary-general's high-level event on climate change. Newroom Finland - September 25, 2007.

    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.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Yulex partners with USDA and Mendel Biotech to double rubber and biomass yields of Guayule

Yulex Corporation, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), and Mendel Biotechnology have signed an agreement to develop and field test proprietary Guayule plants with enhanced natural rubber latex yields and increased biomass.

Yulex Corporation is at the forefront of a clean technology industry in the U.S. Southwest based on Guayule (Parthenium argentatum), a versatile desert plant that has become a commercial source of bio-based rubber latex, and a cellulosic feedstock for bioethanol and other forms of bioenergy production.

With record oil prices, raw material costs for the manufacture of many rubber products have increased substantially. Both natural rubber (from Hevea trees) as well as synthetic rubber have trended up steeply, partly as a result of high petroleum prices, but strong demand from rapidly growing economies (especially China) is a key factor too (graph, click to enlarge). This situation has revived interest in alternative plants that yield latex. Guayule has been intensively researched as a candidate for almost a century.
Launching this program with Mendel and the Agricultural Research Service will greatly accelerate the achievement of our long term goals which include the ability to provide an economical rubber product on a global basis while providing a regional solution for ethanol production in the Southwest United States. We expect to see a vast improvement in guayule rubber yields which will allow guayule production fields to produce significantly more rubber per acre than rubber plantations in Southeast Asia. - Jeffrey Martin, CEO and President of Yulex Corporation
Robert A. Creelman, senior scientist at Mendel Biotechnology and principle investigator on the project says that expertise in plant regulatory genes and proprietary technology in transferring these genes, must allow for the creation of improved varieties of guayule that will make twice as much rubber. Since guayule grows in the United States, these improved varieties will create opportunities for American farmers, reduce dependence on imported natural latex and rubber, and decrease use of synthetic latex and rubber.

The goal of collaboration is to increase the amount of latex, rubber, and biomass the plant produces. Over the next three years, Yulex Corporation, Mendel Biotechnology, and USDA scientists will test the new guayule transgenic lines and enhanced rubber biosynthesis genes for yield improvements as well as stress tolerance. Yulex will conduct latex extraction and chemical tests, the USDA-ARS will perform agronomic, chemical and biochemical tests, and Mendel will carry out molecular tests on the new transgenic guayule plants:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Yulex obtained an exclusive license on a technology developed by Agricultural Research Service scientists in 1997 to extract natural rubber latex from the guayule plant. Since then, Yulex has emerged as the market innovator producing medical grade latex for medical and consumer products.

Yulex is currently marketing its high-performing natural rubber latex material to medical device manufacturers internationally in order to provide needed alternative products for the 73 percent of spina bifida children that suffer from Type I latex allergy and the 10 percent of healthcare workers and six percent of the general population that have symptoms of latex allergy.

The crop

Guayule grows to an average height of three feet, and produces natural rubber latex in its bark. The "variety protected" line of domesticated Guayule, reaches maturity in two years with high-latex yields.

For sustainable production, guayule grows well in arid and semi arid areas of the southwestern United States, North Central Mexico and regions with similar climates around the world. Because the Guayule plant produces terpene resins, which are natural pesticides, it is resistant to many pests and diseases. Herbicides are primarily necessary for stand establishment. When ready for harvest, it is clipped and baled with patented farming equipment. After clipping, Guayule will re-grow from its root system and be ready for latex harvesting again year after year.

Guayule has a century's worth of history as an American rubber source and alternative to the tropical Brazilian rubber tree; however, previous efforts had focused on bulk rubber for the tire industry. Yulex is the first commercial enterprise to develop Guayule as an industrial crop for its valuable latex which is marketed to the medical device industry and other.

Extracting latex
Yulex is the first company to commercially extract latex from Guayule. The patented manufacturing process Yulex uses is economical as well as environmentally sound. The Yulex biorefinery is fully automated 24/7 and produces medical-quality natural rubber latex, bio-based materials such as cellulosic ethanol, adhesives, organic pesticides, wood preservatives and other specialty chemicals.

Yulex's commercial pilot operation is located in Phoenix, Arizona. The bioprocessing operations extract the natural rubber latex from the Guayule biomass utilizing environmentally friendly ("green") processing, using only aqueous (water-based) solution.

The extraction process follows a patented four step operation which includes grinding, filtration, clarification, and concentration. The process begins with homogenizing the Guayule plant. Branches are ground breaking open the cells in the plant, releasing intact rubber particles and creating an aqueous suspension (forming latex). The suspension is placed in a high-speed centrifuge for separation and Guayule rubber particles are lighter than the aqueous solution, they are separated from the suspension. The latex portion of the mixture is culled off the top (much the same way that cream is skimmed off milk) and purified. Yulex latex is then shipped to the company's distribution and manufacturing partners.

Photo opening the article: Guayule latex is milky white after processing. Credit: David Kadlubowski, Yulex Corporation


Ancient Clown said...


Sort of funny that HEMP/Cannabis is still against the LAW considering it was known as the brightest burning oil for centuries and FORD designed his first cars to run on a hemp-based bio-mass fuel.
Considering it has the ability to help solve world hunger, can also be used medicinally for enourmous amounts of illnesses, including BOTH cancer and heart disease.
Sort of funny it was pressure from the United States that made it illegal in the first place just a few decades ago.
Kinda funny and totally EVIL how people follow these liars to their doom despite the FACTS shown them.
your humble servant,
ancient clown

4:28 AM  
Anonymous said...

Good post.

[email protected]

1:36 PM  
Anonymous said...

To learn more about the guayule industry, a new report is available providing readers with the latest information about the industry. Visit www.guayuletech.com

6:53 PM  

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