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

    With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED), Michigan State University intends to open a training facility dedicated to students and workers who want to start a career in the State's growing bioeconomy. Michigan State University - May 4, 2007.

    Researchers from the Texas A&M University have presented a "giant" sorghum variety for the production of ethanol. The crop is drought-tolerant and yields high amounts of ethanol. Texas A & M - May 3, 2007.

    C-Tran, the public transportation system serving Southwest Washington and parts of Portland, has converted its 97-bus fleet and other diesel vehicles to run on a blend of 20% biodiesel beginning 1 May from its current fleet-wide use of B5. Automotive World - May 3, 2007.

    The Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) and France's largest research organisation, the CNRS, have signed a framework-agreement to cooperate on the development of new energy technologies, including research into biomass based fuels and products, as well as carbon capture and storage technologies. CNRS - April 30, 2007.

    One of India's largest state-owned bus companies, the Andra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is to use biodiesel in one depot of each of the 23 districts of the state. The company operates some 22,000 buses that use 330 million liters of diesel per year. Times of India - April 30, 2007.

    Indian sugar producers face surpluses after a bumper harvest and low prices. Diverting excess sugar into the ethanol industry now becomes more attractive. India is the world's second largest sugar producer. NDTVProfit - April 30, 2007.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet on Thursday signed a biofuel cooperation agreement designed to share Brazil's experience in ethanol production and help Chile develop biofuels and fuel which Lula seeks to promote in other countries. More info to follow. People's Daily Online - April 27, 2007.

    Italy's Benetton plans to build a €61 million wood processing and biomass pellet production factory Nagyatád (southwest Hungary). The plant will be powered by biogas. Budapest Sun - April 27, 2007.

    Cargill is to build an ethanol plant in the Magdeburger Börde, located on the river Elbe, Germany. The facility, which will be integrated into existing starch processing plant, will have an annual capacity of 100,000 cubic meters and use grain as its feedstock. FIF - April 26, 2007.

    Wärtsilä Corporation was awarded a contract by the Belgian independent power producer Renogen S.A. to supply a second biomass-fuelled combined heat and power plant in the municipality of Amel in the Ardennes, Belgium. The new plant will have a net electrical power output of 3.29 MWe, and a thermal output of up to 10 MWth for district heating. The electrical output in condensing operation is 5.3 MWe. Kauppalehti - April 25, 2007.

    A Scania OmniCity double-decker bus to be deployed by Transport for London (TfL) will be powered by ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane, TfL Coordinator Helen Woolston told a bioethanol conference in London. The bus will join a fleet of seven hybrid diesel-electric buses currently running in London, where TfL plans to introduce 50 more hybrid buses by the end of 2008. EEMS Online - April 24, 2007.

    Virgin Atlantic plans to fly a 747 jumbojet on a mix of 60% biofuel and 40% kerosene in 2008. Sir Richard Branson is collaborating with Boeing to achieve this milestone in aviation history. He already hinted at the fact that the biofuels "it was possible the crops could be grown in Africa, thereby helping to alleviate poverty on the continent at the same time as safeguarding the environment." More details to be announced soon. Telegraph - April 24, 2007.

    A top executive of General Motors, vice-chairman Bob Lutz, says the US should launch a 'Manhattan Project' for biofuels to make a 'wholesale switch' within five years. Kentucky.com - April 24, 2007.

    Canada's new government launches a C$200 million 'Ecoagriculture Biofuels Capital Initiative' aimed at helping agricultural producers construct or expand transportation biofuel production facilities. Government of Canada - April 24, 2007.

    Russian oil company Lukoil reportedly installed production facilities for obtaining biofuels in its refinery Neftochim in the coastal city of Bourgas. Lukoil has over 2500 oil stations in Europe, the largest number of which are located in Bulgaria, which joined the EU this year. Sofia Echo - April 22, 2007.

    The government of the Indian state of Haryana approves three small-scale (1MW) biomass gasification projects, while the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) identifies seven industrial sectors it will help to adopt the biomass gasification technology to meet their captive thermal and electrical requirements. Economic Times - April 21, 2007.

    The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is planning to build a coconut oil biodiesel plant in Ivisan, Capiz (a province in the Western Visayas region) by the middle of this year in response to the growing demand for biodiesel. News Today (Iloilo City) - April 20, 2007.

    Scientists working for Royal Nedalco (involved in cellulosic ethanol production), the Delft University of Technology and a firm called Bird Engineering have found a fungus in elephant dung that helped them produce a yeast strain which can efficiently ferment xylose into ethanol. The researchers consider this to be a breakthrough and see widespread application of the yeast within 5 years. More info to follow as details emerge. Scientific American - April 19, 2007.

    As part of its 'Le dessous des cartes' magazine, Europe's culture TV channel ARTE airs a documentary about the geopolitics of sustainable transport tonight, at 10.20 pm CET. Readers outside of Europe can catch it here. ARTE - April 18, 2007.

    Spain's diversified company the Ferry Group is investing €50 million into a biomass plantation in new EU-memberstate Bulgaria. The project will see the establishment of a 8000ha plantation of hybrid paulownia trees that will be used for the production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik, Bulgaria - April 18, 2007.

    Bioprocess Control signs agreement with Svensk Biogas and forms closer ties with Swedish Biogas International. Bioprocess Control develops high-tech applications that optimise the commercial production of biogas. It won Sweden's prestigious national clean-tech innovations competition MiljöInnovation 2007 for its 'Biogas Optimizer' that accelerates the biogas production process and ensures greater process stability. NewsDesk Sweden - April 17, 2007.

    A joint Bioenergy project of Purdue University and Archer Daniels Midland Company has been selected to receive funding by the U.S. Department of Energy to further the commercialization of highly-efficient yeast which converts cellulosic materials into ethanol through fermentation. ADM - April 17, 2007.

    Researchers at Iowa State University and the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Services (ARS) have found that glycerin, a biodiesel by-product, is as effective as conventional corn-soymeal diets for pigs. AllAboutFeed - April 16, 2007.

    U.S. demand for uranium may surge by a third amid a revival in atomic power projects, increasing concern that imports will increase and that limited supplies may push prices higher, the Nuclear Energy Institute says. Prices touched all time highs of US$113 a pound in an auction last week by a U.S producer amid plans by China and India to expand their nuclear power capacity. International Herald Tribune - April 16, 2007.

    Taiwan mandates a 1% biodiesel and ethanol blend for all diesel and gasoline sold in the country, to become effective next year. By 2010, the ratio will be increased to 2%. WisconsinAg Connection - April 16, 2007.

    Vietnam has won the prestigious EU-sponsored Energy Globe award for 2006 for a community biogas program, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced. ThanhNien News - April 13, 2007.

    Given unstable fossil fuel prices and their negative effects on the economy, Tanzania envisages large-scale agriculture of energy crops Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Christopher Chiza has said. A 600 hectare jatropha seed production effort is underway, with the seeds expected to be distributed to farmers during the 2009/2010 growing season. Daily News (Dar es Salaam) - April 12, 2007.

    Renault has announced it will launch a flex-fuel version of its Logan in Brazil in July. Brazilian autosales rose 28% to 1,834,581 in 2006 from 2004. GreenCarCongress - April 12, 2007.

    Chevron and Weyerhouser, one of the largest forest products companies, are joining forces to research next generation biofuels. The companies will focus on developing technology that can transform wood fiber and other nonfood sources of cellulose into economical, clean-burning biofuels for cars and trucks. PRNewswire - April 12, 2007.

    BioConversion Blog's C. Scott Miller discusses the publication of 'The BioTown Source Book', which offers a very accessible introduction to the many different bioconversion technologies currently driving the bioenergy sector. BioConversion Blog - April 11, 2007.

    China's State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Import & Export Corp., Ltd. (COFCO) have signed a framework agreement over plans to cooperatively develop forest bioenergy resources, COFCO announced on its web site. Interfax China - April 11, 2007.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador is speeding up writing the country's biofuels law in order to take advantage of the US-Brazil cooperation agreement which identified the country as one where projects can be launched fairly quickly. The bill is expected to be presented to parliament in the coming weeks. El Porvenir - April 11, 2007.

    ConocoPhillips will establish an eight-year, $22.5 million research program at Iowa State University dedicated to developing technologies that produce biofuels. The grant is part of ConocoPhillips' plan to create joint research programs with major universities to produce viable solutions to diversify America's energy sources. Iowa State University - April 11, 2007.

    Interstate Power and Light has decided to utilize super-critical pulverized coal boiler technology at its large (600MW) new generation facility planned for Marshalltown, Iowa. The plant is designed to co-fire biomass and has a cogeneration component. The investment tops US$1billion. PRNewswire - April 10, 2007.

    One of India's largest sugar companies, the Birla group will invest 8 billion rupees (US$187 million) to expand sugar and biofuel ethanol output and produce renewable electricity from bagasse, to generate more revenue streams from its sugar business. Reuters India - April 9, 2007.

    An Iranian firm, Mashal Khazar Darya, is to build a cellulosic ethanol plant that will utilise switchgrass as its feedstock at a site it owns in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The investment is estimated to be worth €112/US$150 million. The plant's capacity will be 378 million liters (100 million gallons), supplied by switchgrass grown on 4400 hectares of land. PressTv (Iran) - April 9, 2007.

    The Africa Power & Electricity Congress and Exhibition, to take place from 16 - 20 April 2007, in the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, will focus on bioenergy and biofuels. The Statesman - April 7, 2007.

    Petrobras and Petroecuador have signed a joint performance MOU for a technical, economic and legal viability study to develop joint projects in biofuel production and distribution in Ecuador. The project includes possible joint Petroecuador and Petrobras investments, in addition to qualifying the Ecuadorian staff that is directly involved in biofuel-related activities with the exchange of professionals and technical training. PetroBras - April 5, 2007.

    The Société de Transport de Montréal is to buy 8 biodiesel-electric hybrid buses that will use 20% less fuel and cut 330 tons of GHG emissions per annum. Courrier Ahuntsic - April 3, 2007.

    Thailand mandates B2, a mixture of 2% biodiesel and 98% diesel. According to Energy Minister Piyasvasti Amranand, the mandate comes into effect by April next year. Bangkok Post - April 3, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Monday, April 30, 2007

Dynamotive plans to build 6 bio-oil plants in Argentina

According to Argentinian media, Dynamotive Latinoamerica S.A., a subsidiary of Canadian biofuels company Dynamotive, plans to build 6 pyrolysis plants in the forested regions of the Northeastern Argentinian province of Corrientes.

Dynamotive is an innovative biofuel technology firm involved in developing modular fast-pyrolysis plants that can convert forestry and agricultural biomass residues into so-called bio-oil (earlier post). Pyrolysis is a thermochemical bioconversion path that decomposes biomass by heating it to 500 °C in the absence of air (image, click to enlarge). Several research organisations are working towards optimizing the process (earlier post and here). The pyrolysis oil or bio-oil resulting from the technique can be further refined into clean liquid biofuels. By-products released during fast-pyrolysis are basic components for green chemistry.

The most interesting aspect of Dynamotive's concept is the modularity and scaleability of its plants. Transporting bulky biomass like forestry residues to large centralised processing facilities is uneconomic. Converting the feedstock locally into an oil with a relatively high energy density, is a possible solution to this logistical problem. In short, Dynamotive brings the factory to the forest, instead of the forest to the factory. The concept is interesting especially for the developing world, where it could be used to convert vast biomass waste-streams from forestry and agriculture into carbon-neutral and renewable liquid fuels.

Last year, the company established a subsidiary in Argentina in cooperation with strategic partner Tecna S.A., a local (oil & gas) engineering firm. Tecna built Dynamotive's second and largest (200 tons per day) full-scale plant in Guelph, Ontario. This facility has a capacity to produce 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per year.

The plans to build 6 such facilities in Argentina imply an investment of US$27 million, and will benefit forestry communities in Virasoro and Santo Tomé. In a first phase, the plants will use sawdust from local mills as bio-oil feedstocks. The sawdust in the region has been accumulating for years and large amounts of it are currently burned in the open air, causing, besides CO2 emissions, air and water pollution. The accumulated sawdust yields cetanol, a strong toxic element that pollutes local water bodies:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Provincial authorities say the investment will provide a considerable amount of direct and indirect jobs, and revitalise other industrial sectors, most notably logistics and transport. Local energy security - a problem for this remote province - will be boosted and an environmental problem will be solved.

Different stakeholders, including provincial governor Arturo Colombi, the Minister for Public Works and Services Marcelo Falcione and the intendant of Virasoro, Rodolfo Fernández, accompanied by municipal authorities, met with with Raúl Parisi, vice-president of Dynamotive Latinoamericana SA to discuss the plans. Most of these officials were in favor of the project.

Fernández and Colombi stressed the bio-oil plants would benefit not only the local communities but "the entire province." Colombi said vice-president Al Gore expressed support for the project as it was presented to him during an American biofuels conference held in Buenos Aires. Fernández added that the project would not involve any funding from the Province nor from the State.

Minister for Public Works and Services Marcelo Falcione said a strong analysis of real costs had still to be made, because fuel pricing in Argentina is relatively complex. The final costs of the biofuels made by Dynamotive will have to be compared to the real costs of fossil fuels, because the latter are heavily subsidised in the country. If the biofuel is not cost-competitive with non-subsidized fuels, the project will cost money to the nation. For this reason, it is fundamental "to assess whether the economic and financial equation of such a contract [between the province which will buy the fuel] works out and benefits the provincial government."

More information:
La República de Corrientes: Anuncian que podrían instalar seis plantas de bio oil en la provincia - April 28, 2007.

Momarandu: Capitales canadienses instalarían seis plantas de biodiesel en la provincia - April 28, 2007.

Article continues

EU underestimates biofuel potential - study

According to a study by the Fachhochschule Eberswalde - Brandenburg in Germany, the European Commission underestimates the potential for biofuels in Europe.

The school's biomass potential study group[*German] assessed current biofuel refinery capacity across the Union, and concludes that Europe-wide there is already a capacity that allows 6% to 10% biodiesel and bioethanol to be mixed into the liquid fuel supply of the Union.

Speaking at a conference organised by Eurosolar, the European Association for Renewable Energy, in Potsdam, professor Hans-Peter Piorr, agronomist at the Fachhochschule Eberswalde presented details of the study. "We already have a higher production capacity than the EU thinks", he said, indicating that the Commission's target to mix 5.75% biofuels into Europe's liquid fuels by 2010 can already be reached today.

Piorr sees the maximum potential for biofuels made from feedstocks in the EU standing at 20%. This would require careful land-use planning, but modern analytical tools, including Earth Observation and GIS systems should make this possible.

When the EU imports feedstocks or finished biofuels from the South, the potential is much larger, says Piorr:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

For sugar crops, we have a potential to replace 10 to 15% of all liquid fuels in Europe. Importing ethanol and sugar from other countries can boost energy security over the long term.

But imports of raw materials like palm oil should be placed within the context of certification mechanisms. "This feedstock must be produced sustainably. Tropical rainforests should not be cut down to make place for oil crops like palm oil. The EU market must be protected against imports of unsustainably produced biofuels."

In the EU, biodiesel is produced mainly from rapeseed and sunflower oil, whereas bioethanol is made from maize, potatos, sugar beets.

More information:
Rundshau.de: Forscher: EU unterschätzt Biokraftstoffe - April 12, 2007.

Fachhochschule Eberswalde/Brandenburg: Potenzialstudien Biomasse / Bioenergie [*German]- project overview.

Article continues

Vinod Khosla funds green chemistry start-up Segetis

Mix Soviet chemists, Silicon Valley capital and Minnesota know-how and a promising cleantech company is born. Segetis Inc. aims to develop chemical products made from biomass as alternatives to petrochemical products. The hot topic in venture-capital circles these days is 'the bioeconomy' and the Minnesota start-up founded by a pair of Russian chemists with big ideas and some impressive Silicon Valley backers is hoping to become a leader in the field. One of the investors is Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems, and serial biofuel entrepreneur (in Brazil, and in the US).

Segetis, the brainchild of former Soviet scientists Sergey and Olga Selifonova, is aiming to develop renewable chemical products such as bioplastics, adhesives and solvents from agricultural and forestry crops and byproducts, replacing petrochemicals. The company has secured US$15 million in three installments from Khosla Ventures, a highly respected California venture capital firm founded by Vinod Khosla, a leading green fuel and products investor. The first US$5 million came in the first quarter of the year.
"For decades, the production of many products of everyday life, from plastic table tops to shampoo bottles to car seat cushions, has been dependent on fossil materials such as petroleum, gas and coal. Green chemistry can deliver novel cost-competitive products that perform at par with or better than the existing petrochemical goods." - Sergey Selifonova.
Using crops and trees as the chemical building blocks for products has significant transportation and raw material cost advantages over petrochemicals. In addition producing value-added goods from crops could help phase out the need for farm subsidies around the world, creating a new kind of green revolution - a transition away from the petro-economy towards the bright green bioeconomy:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The Selifonovas, who met as college freshmen at Gorky University in the U.S.S.R. and are about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, came to America as visiting scientists in 1990. That was during the Glasnost era before the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. After eclectic academic and corporate careers that included stops in Pennsylvania, Florida, Minnesota and California's Silicon Valley, they've settled in the Twin Cities to build their company.

Segetis, a Latin word that means "of the crop field," was founded in Minnesota for several reasons, the couple said. They've lived in the Twin Cities periodically since the mid-1990s; both have worked at the University of Minnesota, and Olga worked at Cargill's Biotechnology Development Center from 2000 until earlier this year.

"We like the state, we like the people, and we have to be in the Midwest," Olga said, because that's where the resources for their green chemistry technology are -- not only the land, crops and forests, but the farmers and other agricultural experts. We would like the Twin Cities to be the prime capital of sustainable chemistry," Olga said. "All the ingredients are here -- we just need to change the mentality, and show by example that it can be done."

Another big plus is the University of Minnesota's University Enterprise Labs in St. Paul, an incubator for start-ups where they have leased lab space while they look for a suitable building. Making use of that facility allowed them to get Segetis up and running quickly.

They moved in two weeks ago, and although they are waiting for lab equipment and furniture to be delivered, they have hired nine researchers and are interviewing for more jobs. They said they expect to have 20 or so employees by year's end.

Their company is being built on the principles of sustainable chemistry and responsibility for future generations, "and capitalism," Sergey added with a grin. Because of their background, he said, "we see capitalism with very different eyes. It's a chance for scientists to see what makes sense economically -- how to build an enterprise out of an idea."

Their idea -- and a trove of intellectual property and patents on their broad-based technology -- convinced Khosla Ventures of Menlo Park, Calif., that Segetis was an attractive investment, said Doug Cameron, Khosla's chief scientific officer and interim CEO of Segetis.

Khosla Ventures was founded in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, who founded Sun Microsystems and went on to become a highly lauded venture capitalist, specializing in green technology. Fortune magazine recently dubbed him one of the nation's most influential ethanol advocates. "Vinod is like a rock star in the venture capital world," said Dan Carr, CEO of the Collaborative, a Minneapolis-based forum for business development. "Activity breeds activity. To have [Khosla] make an early-stage investment in a non-ethanol, cleantech company is a good thing."

Cameron, who worked with Olga Selifonova at Cargill when he led biotechnology research at the agribusiness giant, said the couple is "smart and hard-working, with a strong entrepreneurial spirit."

While using ag products as renewable chemical raw materials isn't new -- Cargill's NatureWorks operation is a pioneer in the field -- Segetis is working on next-generation products and technology, Cameron said.

"There are numerous, numerous challenges ahead," he said. "Anybody who knows about the chemical industry knows there are lots of speed bumps when you introduce new molecules into the field. But we're fully aware of that. ... We're hoping that we're a little bit leading the way, but positioning ourselves to be a leader in the field."

The Selifonovas said Khosla Ventures' mentoring and guidance has been just as valuable as its investment. "They really do care ... it's pretty much a family relationship," Sergey said. "And [Vinod Khosla] has made every mistake he could make, so we don't have to."

More information:

StarTribune: Venture funding backs 'green chemistry' start-up - April 30, 2007.

Article continues

The bioeconomy at work: companies team up to produce methacrylate monomers from cellulose

Ceres Inc. a biotech firm dedicated to developing energy crops, and Rohm & Haas Company, a leading manufacturer of specialty materials, today announced a research collaboration project that will work toward producing plant-based methacrylate monomers as an alternative to the petroleum-derived material used in thousands of home and industrial products. Such an innovation would boost the economics of energy crops and biofuel production, and could one day displace as many as 6.6 million barrels of oil annually with a renewable source, in the United States alone.

Funded by a €1.1/US$1.5 million research grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the three-year green chemistry project will determine if energy crops planted for cellulosic ethanol could simultaneously produce the methacrylate monomers, a key raw material used in the manufacture of many products including paint and coatings, building materials, and acrylic sheet and resins. The economics are attractive. More than 680,000 tons of methacrylate monomers are produced annually in the United States, a market worth €573/US$780 million.

Though in its early stages, the science looks promising. Molecular biologists and biochemistry experts at Ceres say that some plants naturally produce compounds similar to methacrylate monomers, but do not necessarily accumulate them in extractable forms or quantities. They believe it may be feasible to alter the way plants produce these compounds so that they can be extracted from the dried stalks, stems and leaves before these are fed into biorefineries producing ethanol from cellulose (image, click to enlarge). Cellulosic ethanol derives its energy from the whole plant rather than just the grain, as in corn-based ethanol.

The potential production of co-products may encourage greater investments in biorefineries capable of producing ethanol from cellulose.
"Getting the cellulosic ethanol industry up and running will take significant investments and the bigger the prize at the end, the better. Methacrylate monomers are a compelling co-product due to the significant market size, feasibility of plant-based production and the fact that it is currently derived from oil and natural gas." - Richard Hamilton, Ceres President and CEO.
There is a readymade market for plant-based methacrylate sources, but the final product will still need to be up to industry specifications, says Tim Donnelly, Global Technology Director for Rohm and Haas Company's Primary Materials business. As one of the world's leading producers of acrylate and methacrylate monomers, Rohm and Haas Company is bringing its market knowledge and technical expertise to the project. They will assist in developing extraction and isolation technology as well as evaluating the end-products:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

"Rohm and Haas Company's Primary Materials business is aggressively
pursuing economically viable routes to acrylic monomers made from renewable materials. We look forward to adding our monomer expertise to this project," says Donnelly.

Steve Bobzin, Ph.D , Ceres' principal investigator on the grant, says that the research will focus first on producing methacrylate monomers and similar compounds in a model plant with well-understood metabolic pathways. Successful traits would then be applied to energy crops.

Funding for this project was provided by USDA and DOE's 2006 Biomass R&D Initiative grant program, which has targeted $17.5 million for 17 biomass projects. Separately, Ceres received a second $1.5 million grant under the program to double switchgrass yields by 2020. Switchgrass is one of the top feedstocks being considered for cellulosic ethanol production.

Ceres is a leading developer of high-yielding energy crops that can be planted as feedstocks for cellulosic ethanol production. Its development efforts cover switchgrass, miscanthus, poplar and other energy crops. Founded in 1997 as a plant genomics company, Ceres holds the largest proprietary collection of fully sequenced plant genes, including more than 75,000 genes and 10,000 gene promoters. The privately held company also licenses its traits to other organizations. Ceres' headquarters are located in Thousand Oaks, California.

Rohm and Haas has developed innovative technologies and solutions for the specialty materials industry. The company's technologies are found in numerous industries, including: building and construction, electronics, food and retail, household and personal care products, industrial process, packaging, paper, transportation and water. Based in Philadelphia, PA, the company generated annual sales of $8 billion in 2006.

Image: idealised concept of the bioeconomy with its biorefineries that replace the petrochemical industry.

Edit (May 5, 2007): a personal communication from a plant cell wall expert at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology taught us that the monomers are produced in the plant cells and are not derived from the cellulose. After extraction of the monomers, the cell walls (including the cellulose) are then converted to bioethanol.

Article continues