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    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.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

VSE unit to research and test Fischer-Tropsch fuels for USAF

Integrated Concepts and Research Corporation (ICRC), a wholly owned subsidiary of VSE Corporation, announced the recent award of a U.S. Air Force subcontract supporting the Advanced Power Technology Office (APTO) to research, demonstrate and sustain the incorporation of Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) fuel in diesel engines. Fischer-Tropsch fuels are ultra-clean synthetic fuels that can be made from any carbonaceous feedstock, including biomass.

Under a two-year subcontract agreement with Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), ICRC will provide technical support to facilitate the testing of F-T fuel blended with conventional petroleum-derived JP-8. This 50:50 blend will be evaluated in base storage facilities, Air Force ground support equipment, and Air Force ground vehicles. Potential ICRC revenues under the subcontract are estimated to be $1.38 million over a two year period.

The longer-term goal of the broader Defense Assured Fuels Initiative, which this project supports, is to ultimately use unblended F-T fuel in virtually all military equipment in future decades (schematic, click to enlarge).

One of the main advantages of F-T fuel is that it can be produced using domestic resources like natural gas (gas-to-liquids), coal (coal-to-liquids), and biomass (biomass-to-liquids). The use of F-T fuels can potentially reduce dependency on foreign sources of energy. Starting now with an F-T/JP-8 fuel-blend minimizes risks, while making it possible for the U.S. military to utilize whatever quantities of F-T fuel are likely to become available within the next several years, thus improving the Department of Defense’s knowledge base of synthetic fuels as early as possible:
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ICRC has established a record in alternative fuels research and testing, including several contract agreements with the Department of Energy and the Federal Transit Administration, some of which involved the production, testing and demonstration of F-T diesel fuel. ICRC has previously evaluated the usage of the ultra-clean fuel in transit buses and other diesel vehicles in Fairbanks, Alaska, Washington, DC and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Research, demonstration and testing will take place at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. ICRC will install its on-board data acquisition system to accumulate engine operational data from the engines’ electronic control systems over the duration of the evaluation period.

In a larger contex, the development of F-T fuels is crucial to actualise the large theoretical biofuel potential. The advent of next-generation techniques to convert biomass into ultra-clean synthetic biofuels, means any type of biomass will soon serve as a feedstock, thus ending the food versus fuel debate.

ICRC is a diversified technical and management services company that serves the government market. The company’s core expertise lies in information technology, advanced vehicle technology, aerospace, engineering and transportation infrastructure.

VSE provides diversified services to the engineering, energy and environment, defense, and homeland security markets from locations across the United States and around the world.

VSE: VSE Unit Wins FT Fuels Research & Testing Contract with USAF - February 13, 2008.

William E. Harrison III, OSD Assured Fuels Initiative: The Drivers for Alternative Aviation Fuels, Assured Fuels Initiative, Department of Defense.


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