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

    The 16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - From Research to Industry and Markets - will be held from 2nd to 6th June 2008, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre of FeriaValencia, Spain. Early bird fee registration ends 18th April 2008. European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - February 22, 2007.

    'Obesity Facts' – a new multidisciplinary journal for research and therapy published by Karger – was launched today as the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Obesity. The journal publishes articles covering all aspects of obesity, in particular epidemiology, etiology and pathogenesis, treatment, and the prevention of adiposity. As obesity is related to many disease processes, the journal is also dedicated to all topics pertaining to comorbidity and covers psychological and sociocultural aspects as well as influences of nutrition and exercise on body weight. Obesity is one of the world's most pressing health issues, expected to affect 700 million people by 2015. AlphaGalileo - February 21, 2007.

    A bioethanol plant with a capacity of 150 thousand tons per annum is to be constructed in Kuybishev, in the Novosibirsk region. Construction is to begin in 2009 with investments into the project estimated at €200 million. A 'wet' method of production will be used to make, in addition to bioethanol, gluten, fodder yeast and carbon dioxide for industrial use. The complex was developed by the Solev consulting company. FIS: Siberia - February 19, 2007.

    Sarnia-Lambton lands a $15million federal grant for biofuel innovation at the Western Ontario Research and Development Park. The funds come on top of a $10 million provincial grant. The "Bioindustrial Innovation Centre" project competed successfully against 110 other proposals for new research money. London Free Press - February 18, 2007.

    An organisation that has established a large Pongamia pinnata plantation on barren land owned by small & marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India is looking for a biogas and CHP consultant to help research the use of de-oiled cake for the production of biogas. The organisation plans to set up a biogas plant of 20,000 cubic meter capacity and wants to use it for power generation. Contact us - February 15, 2007.

    The Andersons, Inc. and Marathon Oil Corporation today jointly announced ethanol production has begun at their 110-million gallon ethanol plant located in Greenville, Ohio. Along with the 110 million gallons of ethanol, the plant annually will produce 350,000 tons of distillers dried grains, an animal feed ingredient. Marathon Oil - February 14, 2007.

    Austrian bioenergy group Cycleenergy acquired controlling interest in Greenpower Projektentwicklungs GmbH, expanding its biomass operational portfolio by 16 MW to a total of 22 MW. In the transaction Cycleenergy took over 51% of the company and thereby formed a joint venture with Porr Infrastruktur GmbH, a subsidiary of Austrian construction company Porr AG. Greenpower operates two wood chip CHP facilities in Upper and Lower Austria, each with an electric capacity of 2 MW. The plants have been in operation since the middle of last year and consume more than 30,000 tonnes of wood chips and are expected to generate over €5 million in additional revenue. Cycleenergy - February 6, 2007.

    The 2008 edition of Bioenergy World Europe will take place in Verona, Italy, from 7 to 10 February. Gathering a broad range of international exhibitors covering gaseous, liquid and solid bioenergy, the event aims to offer participants the possibility of developing their business through meetings with professionals, thematic study tours and an international forum focusing on market and regulatory issues, as well as industry expertise. Bioenergy World Europe - February 5, 2007.

    The World GTL Summit will take place between 12 – 14th May 2008 in London. Key topics to be discussed include: the true value of Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) projects, well-to-wheels analyses of the GTL value chain; construction, logistics and procurement challenges; the future for small-scale Fischer-Tropsch (FT) projects; Technology, economics, politics and logistics of Coal-to-Liquids (CTL); latest Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) commercialisation initiatives. CWC Exhibitions - February 4, 2007.

    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.

Creative Commons License

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nobel Laureate Steven Chu sees a biofuels revolution

Late last year, Professor Steven Chu held a talk at the World Affairs Council of Northern California in which he explains his work on advanced generations of biofuels and how science and technology could make the green fuels part of an entirely new, sustainable energy paradigm. Some of the world's best scientists - amongst them 43 Nobel Laureates - are working in Chu's Lab on bioenergy, renewables and global warming because the energy and climate challenges we face require a Manhattan Project approach, he says.

Professor Chu, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997, says no one nation can effectively reverse the growing problems caused by our changing climate and growing energy consumption. Coordinated global efforts - between governments, international organisations, and civil society - can help us conserve and develop new energy resources, as well as ensure the continued growth of emerging and developed nations.

Biofuels might play an important role in this development. Rapid scientific advances in biotechnology and plant sciences make the efficient production of renewable energy from non-food biomass - that is, cellulose, the world's most abundant organic compound - possible. Increases in the photosynthetic efficiency of plants will soon emerge, but the ultimate challenge will be to develop 'synthetic plants' with very high conversion efficiencies. Such artificial photosynthetic machines, inspired by nature, will make hydrocarbons out of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.

But before we get there, emerging advanced biofuels are likely to be applied on a world changing scale. The Nobel Laureate questions many of the conventional neo-malthusian views on the availability of natural resources. Instead, he says, there is a large enough carrying capacity - land, water, sunshine, soil and seeds - and institutional capacity to generate highly efficient, genuinely sustainable biofuels, food and fiber products for the population. With enough political will and the right policy choices, a secure energy and climate future based on biofuels becomes possible.

Current biofuels come with their problems and the dependence on food crops is not sustainable nor desirable. Scientists like Chu are therefor working to develop new biomass conversion technologies that could end the food versus fuel dilemma, and serve communities in poor countries. The Nobel Laureate refers to an energy crop like Miscanthus, which yields 10 times more fuel than corn, requires no fertilizer or water, reduces erosion by a factor of 100 and requires no till. It grows its own nitrogen fixing bacteria and improves soil properties. These crops will become the feedstocks of the future. Chu is working on novel and efficient ways to breakdown the cellulose of these plants, which would make biofuels abdunant and cheap. Genomics and genetic engineering of microbes (such as those found in termite guts) will accomplish the task.

In his talk, Chu also referred to the most comprehensive report written so far about the future of energy this century, the panel for which he co-chaired. It is the report titled 'Lighting the Way: Toward A Sustainable Energy Future', published by 13 National Science Academies, written by the world's leading energy scientists and discussed here. In it, the scientists warn for a potential energy crisis of unprecedented proportions, and call for the immediate implementation of new technologies and fuel sources - like biofuels and carbon-negative bioenergy - that can avert it. They conclude that biofuels hold great promise for simultaneously addressing climate-change and energy-security concerns. In all these efforts, the interests and needs of the poor - some 2 billion people without access to modern energy - should be met first.

Steven Chu is a Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Video courtesy of Fora.tv: Steven Chu, A New Energy Paradigm. Fora.tv hosts transcripts, downloads and a discussion forum for this video.
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When are you going to start telling the truth instead of pandering to the anti-car lobby?

Climate change is NATURAL. The weather changes all the time.

The CO2 is already here or are aliens in spaceships dumping it on Earth?

9:44 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home