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

    The 4th Annual Brussels Climate Change Conference is announced for 26 - 27 February 2008. This joint CEPS/Epsilon conference will explore the key issues for a post-Kyoto agreement on climate change. The conference focuses on EU and global issues relating to global warming, and in particular looks at the following issues: - Post-2012 after Bali and before the Hokkaido G8 summit; Progress of EU integrated energy and climate package, burden-sharing renewables and technology; EU Emissions Trading Review with a focus on investment; Transport Climatepolicy.eu - January 28, 2007.

    Japan's Marubeni Corp. plans to begin importing a bioethanol compound from Brazil for use in biogasoline sold by petroleum wholesalers in Japan. The trading firm will import ETBE, which is synthesized from petroleum products and ethanol derived from sugar cane. The compound will be purchased from Brazilian petrochemical company Companhia Petroquimica do Sul and in February, Marubeni will supply 6,500 kilolitres of the ETBE, worth around US$7 million, to a biogasoline group made up of petroleum wholesalers. Wholesalers have been introducing biofuels since last April by mixing 7 per cent ETBE into gasoline. Plans call for 840 million liters of ETBE to be procured annually from domestic and foreign suppliers by 2010. Trading Markets - January 24, 2007.

    Toyota Tsusho Corp., Ohta Oil Mill Co. and Toyota Chemical Engineering Co., say it and two other firms have jointly developed a technology to produce biodiesel fuel at lower cost. Biodiesel is made by blending methanol into plant-derived oil. The new technology requires smaller amounts of methanol and alkali catalysts than conventional technologies. In addition, the new technology makes water removal facilities unnecessary. JCN Network - January 22, 2007.

    Finland's Metso Paper and SWISS COMBI - W. Kunz dryTec A.G. have entered a licence agreement for the SWISS COMBI belt dryer KUVO, which allows biomass to be dried in a low temperature environment and at high capacity, both for pulp & paper and bioenergy applications. Kauppalehti - January 22, 2007.

    Record warm summers cause extreme ice melt in Greenland: an international team of scientists, led by Dr Edward Hanna at the University of Sheffield, has found that recent warm summers have caused the most extreme Greenland ice melting in 50 years. The new research provides further evidence of a key impact of global warming and helps scientists place recent satellite observations of Greenland´s shrinking ice mass in a longer-term climatic context. Findings are published in the 15 January 2008 issue of Journal of Climate. University of Sheffield - January 15, 2007.

    Japan's Tsukishima Kikai Co. and Marubeni Corp. have together clinched an order from Oenon Holdings Inc. for a plant that will make bioethanol from rice. The Oenon group will invest around 4.4 billion yen (US$40.17 million) in the project, half of which will be covered by a subsidy from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The plant will initially produce bioethanol from imported rice, with plans to use Hokkaido-grown rice in the future. It will produce 5 million liters per year starting in 2009, increasing output to 15m liters in 2011. The facility will be able to produce as much as 50,000 liters of bioethanol from 125 tons of rice each day. Trading Markets - January 11, 2007.

    PetroSun, Inc. announced today that its subsidiary, PetroSun BioFuels Refining, has entered into a JV to construct and operate a biodiesel refinery near Coolidge, Arizona. The feedstock for the refinery will be algal oil produced by PetroSun BioFuels at algae farms to be located in Arizona. The refinery will have a capacity of thirty million gallons and will produce 100% renewable biodiesel. PetroSun BioFuels will process the residual algae biomass into ethanol. MarketWire - January 10, 2007.

    BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc, which develops and operates carbohydrate-based transportation fuel production facilities, has secured capital liquidity for corporate overhead and continued project development in the value of US$15 million with Quercus, an environmentally focused trust. BlueFire Ethanol Fuels - January 09, 2007.

    Some $170 billion in new technology development projects, infrastructure equipment and construction, and biofuel refineries will result from the ethanol production standards contained the new U.S. Energy Bill, says BIO, the global Biotechnology Industry Organization. According to Brent Erickson, BIO's executive vice president "Such a new energy infrastructure has not occurred in more than 100 years. We are at the point where we were in the 1850s when kerosene was first distilled and began to replace whale oil. This technology will be coming so fast that what we say today won't be true in two years." Chemical & Engineering News - January 07, 2007.

    Scottish and Southern Energy plc, the UK's second largest power company, has completed the acquisition of Slough Heat and Power Ltd from SEGRO plc for a total cash consideration of £49.25m. The 101MW CHP plant is the UK’s largest dedicated biomass energy facility fueled by wood chips, biomass and waste paper. Part of the plant is contracted under the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation and part of it produces over 200GWH of output qualifying for Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), which is equivalent to around 90MW of wind generation. Scottish & Southern Energy - January 2, 2007.

    PetroChina Co Ltd, the country's largest oil and gas producer, plans to invest 800 million yuan to build an ethanol plant in Nanchong, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, its parent China National Petroleum Corp said. The ethanol plant has a designed annual capacity of 100,000 tons. ABCMoneyNews - December 21, 2007.

    Mexico passed legislation to promote biofuels last week, offering unspecified support to farmers that grow crops for the production of any renewable fuel. Agriculture Minister Alberto Cardenas said Mexico could expand biodiesel faster than ethanol. More soon. Reuters - December 20, 2007.

    Oxford Catalysts has placed an order worth approximately €700,000 (US$1 million) with the German company Amtec for the purchase of two Spider16 high throughput screening reactors. The first will be used to speed up the development of catalysts for hydrodesulphurisation (HDS). The second will be used to further the development of catalysts for use in gas to liquid (GTL) and Fischer-Tropsch processes which can be applied to next generation biofuels. AlphaGalileo - December 18, 2007.

    According to the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), Brazil's production of sugarcane will increase from 514,1 million tonnes this season, to a record 561,8 million tonnes in the 2008/09 cyclus - an increase of 9.3%. New numbers are also out for the 2007 harvest in Brazil's main sugarcane growing region, the Central-South: a record 425 million tonnes compared to 372,7 million tonnes in 2006, or a 14% increase. The estimate was provided by Unica – the União da Indústria de Cana-de-Açúcar. Jornal Cana - December 16, 2007.

    The University of East Anglia and the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre have today released preliminary global temperature figures for 2007, which show the top 11 warmest years all occurring in the last 13 years. The provisional global figure for 2007 using data from January to November, currently places the year as the seventh warmest on records dating back to 1850. The announcement comes as the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud, speaks at the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bali. Eurekalert - December 13, 2007.

    The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced it will launch a new journal in summer 2008, Energy & Environmental Science, which will distinctly address both energy and environmental issues. In recognition of the importance of research in this subject, and the need for knowledge transfer between scientists throughout the world, from launch the RSC will make issues of Energy & Environmental Science available free of charge to readers via its website, for the first 18 months of publication. This journal will highlight the important role that the chemical sciences have in solving the energy problems we are facing today. It will link all aspects of energy and the environment by publishing research relating to energy conversion and storage, alternative fuel technologies, and environmental science. AlphaGalileo - December 10, 2007.

    Dutch researcher Bas Bougie has developed a laser system to investigate soot development in diesel engines. Small soot particles are not retained by a soot filter but are, however, more harmful than larger soot particles. Therefore, soot development needs to be tackled at the source. Laser Induced Incandescence is a technique that reveals exactly where soot is generated and can be used by project partners to develop cleaner diesel engines. Terry Meyer, an Iowa State University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is using similar laser technology to develop advanced sensors capable of screening the combustion behavior and soot characteristics specifically of biofuels. Eurekalert - December 7, 2007.

    Lithuania's first dedicated biofuel terminal has started operating in Klaipeda port. At the end of November 2007, the stevedoring company Vakaru krova (VK) started activities to manage transshipments. The infrastructure of the biodiesel complex allows for storage of up to 4000 cubic meters of products. During the first year, the terminal plans to transship about 70.000 tonnes of methyl ether, after that the capacities of the terminal would be increased. Investments to the project totaled €2.3 million. Agrimarket - December 5, 2007.

    New Holland supports the use of B100 biodiesel in all equipment with New Holland-manufactured diesel engines, including electronic injection engines with common rail technology. Overall, nearly 80 percent of the tractor and equipment manufacturer's New Holland-branded products with diesel engines are now available to operate on B100 biodiesel. Tractor and equipment maker John Deere meanwhile clarified its position for customers that want to use biodiesel blends up to B20. Grainnet - December 5, 2007.

    According to Wetlands International, an NGO, the Kyoto Protocol as it currently stands does not take into account possible emissions from palm oil grown on a particular type of land found in Indonesia and Malaysia, namely peatlands. Mongabay - December 5, 2007.

    Malaysia's oil & gas giant Petronas considers entering the biofuels sector. Zamri Jusoh, senior manager of Petronas' petroleum development management unit told reporters "of course our focus is on oil and gas, but I think as we move into the future we cannot ignore the importance of biofuels." AFP - December 5, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Thursday, January 31, 2008

India lauches first biofuels and bioenergy science centre at University of Mumbai to develop advanced fuels

India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at the Ministry of Science & Technology has funded [*.doc] the establishment of the country's first Centre of Energy Biosciences (CEB). The CEB, which is funded at Rs24 crore (€4.1/$6.1 million) and aims to raise an additional Rs16 crore (€2.7/$4 million), has received the specific task of developing cutting-edge biofuels, bioenergy and biohydrogen technologies capable of converting lignocellulosic biomass into transportation fuels. The centre will aim to develop bio-based renewables in order to reduce India’s rising dependence on petroleum fuels and to cut down emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Centre of Energy Biosciences will establish advanced pilot biofuel plants and create research partnerships with leading biotechnology, industry and academic organisations from India, the United States and other countries. Plant biotechnology, enzyme technology, metabolic engineering, and life cycle and technology assessments are focus areas. The CEB is to be established at the University Institute of Chemical Technology (UICT), the University of Mumbai's leading scientific institution.

The problem
Liquid petroleum fuel demand makes up more than 30% of India's total energy consumption of which petrol and diesel consumption together add up to about 65 million tons per year.

According to the UICT, a good part of this demand can be met through biomass resources. Primarily an agricultural economy, India produces about 200 million tons of waste biomass per year unfit for animal and human consumption. This lignocellulosic waste biomass, coupled with specially developed high yield energy crops that can be grown on India’s 30 million hectares of waste but marginally cultivable land, can together yield enough alcohol to meet country’s liquid fuel demand.

However, technologies that can be used to make the required alcohol fuels from waste biomass in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner are still under development. The DBT-UICT Centre of Energy Biosciences has therefor been given the specific responsibility of developing new cutting edge technologies and to integrating technology components developed elsewhere in the country under various research schemes, all with the aim of providing liquid biofuel for the country.
Lignocellulosic waste biomass can become the truly renewable source of bioethanol intended to be next generation liquid fuel. But the technology available today is only in pieces. We will set up a pilot scale plant incorporating all components of the technology to bring down cost capital as well cost of production. - Professor G D Yadav, co-director Centre of Energy Biosciences
Research partnerships
The technical program of the CEB is to be coordinated by Dr. Arvind Lali and will involve active scientific collaboration with industrial and academic partners. While the UICT will be involved in design, scale-up and in bringing all technologies together, India's MAHYCO Research Centre will assist in the development of new biomass and crop varieties; Novozymes South Asia Pvt. Ltd. India will help in enzyme development; the School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, USA and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Centre for Resilience, Ohio State University, USA, will assist with bioconversion of sugars into fuels and is to provide mathematical modelling tools for it. Another bioconversion partner is Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, India:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

These collaborations will be in the specific areas of plant biotechnology, enzyme technology, metabolic engineering, and life cycle and technology assessment. Focus of the research and technology development program at the CEB will be on creating a vibrant bioscience and bioengineering platform for developing and demonstrating viable technologies for bio-alcohols, biodiesel, biohydrogen and other biofuels production.

The UICT has a proven track record of productive association with chemical and biotech industry and with many novel concepts currently under development it is confident of making significant contributions in the area of biofuel technologies in a short time. As a result of the Centre being established and valuable IPR being generated, UICT also expects to garner increasing participation from both private and public investors in its biofuel technology development program in the near future.

Part of the Centre's task is to support the development of India's own bio-based knowledge economy by keeping local science, research and development inside the country:
Unless technology and knowledge is generated by a particular country, the industry and wealth generated is not economical for that country. Our students should take up our own problems. This is what is meant by knowledge economy. - Professor J. B. Joshi, UICT Director
The CEB emerged as a result of the vision and efforts of Dr. M.K. Bhan, Secretary DBT and Dr. Renu Swarup, Advisor DBT, will function under the leadership of Dr. J.B. Joshi, Director of the UICT and Dr. G.D. Yadav.

UICT: DBT funds India's first Center of Energy Biosciences at UICT [*.doc] - s.d. [January] 2008.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home