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

    Cuban livestock farmers are buying distillers dried grains (DDG), the main byproduct of corn based ethanol, from biofuel producers in the U.S. During a trade mission of Iowan officials to Cuba, trade officials there said the communist state will double its purchases of the dried grains this year. DesMoines Register - October 9, 2007.

    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.

Creative Commons License

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hyflux, BP and Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics team up to develop zeolite membranes for dewatering biofuels

Singapore-based Hyflux, petroleum major BP International Ltd and China's Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) have announced plans to jointly develop and commercialise the use of zeolite dewatering membranes in the production of biofuels. By increasing the efficiency of the dewatering step, zeolite membranes have the potential to significantly reduce the energy costs of production of biofuels such as bioethanol.

The scope of the agreement covers the fermentation and synthetic alcohol dehydration of ethanol and propanol, and mixtures of alcohols and diols, specifically monoethylene glycol.

The first project of the three-party collaboration involves the dewatering of bio-ethanol using zeolite membranes. Bio-ethanol is produced by fermentation of sugars derived from starchy plants (corn, potatoes), sugar-rich plants (beets, sugar cane) or ligneous or cellulosic plants (wood, straw). Dewatering of alcohol is typically an energy intensive and costly process which involves adding large amounts of heat. Zeolite membrane technology (schematic, click to enlarge) has been proven to be especially cost-effective in the dewatering process and offers very significant energy savings when compared with conventional processes.
DICP is one of the most creative and innovative research institutes in China and has a track record of turning research into commercial application. Most recently we have commercialised our methanol to olefins technology using novel zeolitic catalyst and process development expertise. DICP are experts in zeolite membranes having worked on them for over 15 years. We have developed and patented novel methods for their preparation which has improved the efficiency of the membrane modules and provided an intermediate level of scale-up to show these can now be fabricated in a cost effective manner. - Dr. Tao Zhang, Director of DICP
Zeolites are crystalline structures made up of 'T-atoms' which are tetrahedrally bonded to each other with oxygen bridges. Zeolites are usually aluminosilicates, but other T-atoms such as P, Ga, Ge, B, Be and others can exist in the framework as well. Because of the regularity of the crystalline structure and the pores with angstrom size dimensions, these crystals, when grown together to form a membrane, can operate as separations devices for gas and liquid mixtures.

Zeolite membranes have advantages over other types of membranes in that they are highly stable under thermal cycling, high temperatures, and harsh physical and chemical environments which other membranes cannot withstand. The chemistry of the zeolites can be modified to provide catalytic properties, to change them between hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces, to change the pore size and structure (creating different types of zeolites), which make them useful for many different applications:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The three-party collaboration will draw upon DICP’s technical knowledge in zeolite membrane technology, on Hyflux’s commercial experience in membrane manufacturing, membrane module manufacturing, process design and systems integration, as well as on BP’s worldwide fuel technology expertise, market network and know-how.
Transportation is an important area to address since it accounts for around 20 per cent of global emissions and increased blending of biocomponents offers a real option for progress in this area on a global scale. - Pek Hak Bin, Country President of BP Singapore
Hyflux believes that this is a significant milestone for the group to enter the field of clean energy. The company successfully commercialised its used oil recycling business last year, and the new partnership represents another potential business in the energy sector.

Looking ahead, Hyflux is optimistic about the potential spin-offs of the widespread applications of zeolite technology.
Zeolite membranes can also be effectively used in the dehydration and recycling of solvents. This will give Hyflux an added area of growth, which is to expand into new industrial sectors such as the fine chemicals and specialty chemicals and biochemicals. - Olivia Lum, Hyflux Group CEO & President
BP has extensive experience and investments in biofuel research and development in Europe, India, Australia, China and the USA, and was a pioneer in the area of zeolite membrane technology. In China, BP and DICP have been working together to research new clean energy technologies. BP also spearheaded the “Clean Energy: Facing the Future” programme in 2001 with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University.

Global investment in biofuels accounted for some US$18 billion in 2006. By 2020, the estimated global demand of bio-ethanol is estimated to reach 120 billion litres.

Hyflux is one of Asia’s leading environmental companies, with operations and projects
in Singapore & Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East & North Africa and India. Specialising in membrane technologies, Hyflux is today an integrated solutions provider offering services that include process design and optimisation, pilot testing, fabrication and installation, and engineering, procurement and construction. It is also engaged in the commissioning, operation and maintenance of a wide range of liquid treatment systems on a turnkey or Design-Build-Own-Operate (DBOO) arrangement.

Hyflux currently focuses on four core businesses namely water, industrial manufacturing processes, specialty materials and energy (oil recycling) In 2006, Hyflux was awarded Water Company of the Year by the UK’s Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Awards. It also made it to Forbes Asia’s Best Under a Billion List 2006.

Founded in March 1949, DICP is a multidisciplinary institute engaging in both fundamental and applied researches of chemistry and chemical engineering. With strong abilities for technological development, DICP has conducted researches in many fields, including catalytic chemistry, engineering chemistry, organic synthetic chemistry, chemical lasers and molecular reaction dynamics, as well as in modern analytical chemistry, especially in chromatography.

Hyflux: Biofuel Joint Development - October 9, 2007.

Biopact: Mitsui Engineering to use zeolite membrane for ethanol dehydration - July 12, 2007


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home