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

    Kyushu University (Japan) is establishing what it says will be the world’s first graduate program in hydrogen energy technologies. The new master’s program for hydrogen engineering is to be offered at the university’s new Ito campus in Fukuoka Prefecture. Lectures will cover such topics as hydrogen energy and developing the fuel cells needed to convert hydrogen into heat or electricity. Of all the renewable pathways to produce hydrogen, bio-hydrogen based on the gasification of biomass is by far both the most efficient, cost-effective and cleanest. Fuel Cell Works - March 3, 2008.

    An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has developed a project to establish a network of Miscanthus giganteus farms aimed at producing biomass for use in power generation. In a first phase, the goal is to grow the crop on 200 hectares, after which expansion will start. The project is in an advanced stage, but the entrepreneur still seeks partners and investors. The plantation is to be located in an agro-ecological zone qualified as highly suitable for the grass species. Contact us - March 3, 2008.

    A 7.1MW biomass power plant to be built on the Haiwaiian island of Kaua‘i has received approval from the local Planning Commission. The plant, owned and operated by Green Energy Hawaii, will use albizia trees, a hardy species that grows in poor soil on rainfall alone. The renewable power plant will meet 10 percent of the island's energy needs. Kauai World - February 27, 2008.

    Tasmania's first specialty biodiesel plant has been approved, to start operating as early as July. The Macquarie Oil Company will spend half a million dollars on a specially designed facility in Cressy, in Tasmania's Northern Midlands. The plant will produce more than five million litres of fuel each year for the transport and marine industries. A unique blend of feed stock, including poppy seed, is expected to make it more viable than most operations. ABC Rural - February 25, 2008.

    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, 2008.

    '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, 2008.

    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, 2008.

    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, 2008.

    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, 2008.

    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, 2008.

Creative Commons License

Monday, March 03, 2008

Researchers: large potential for sustainable cellulosic biofuels from softwood biomass in New Zealand

Biofuels generated from New Zealand-grown softwood feedstocks have been identified as a feasible, large scale option for meeting both the low-carbon transport vision of the Government’s 2007 Energy Strategy (NZES) and Biofuels Sales Obligation (BSO), say the authors of a report prepared for the New Zealand Lignocellulosic Bioethanol Initiative.

Results from a feasibility study have found that there are no significant technical or supply barriers to producing ethanol from New Zealand’s softwood feedstocks, despite previous concerns that it was technically too difficult and too expensive to utilise this resource.

These findings are the outcome of an international collaboration between New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes Scion and AgResearch, New Zealand’s largest pulp and paper producer Carter Holt Harvey and US-based cellulosic ethanol and specialty enzyme development company Verenium Corporation.

The recently completed study into the development of biofuels for New Zealand evaluated the infrastructure, technology and economics of a transportation biofuel facility using New Zealand softwood plantation forests as feedstocks. It also considered opportunities to utilise existing infrastructure from the pulp and paper industry and Verenium’s proprietary enzymes to convert wood and wood residues into sugars which are then be fermented and refined into ethanol.

The study found there is both sufficient wood and wood residues available in New Zealand to supply a commercial-scale ethanol refinery, and a domestic market large enough to support it:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Scion chief executive Dr Tom Richardson says that in contrast to recent concerns raised regarding the production of ethanol from food crops, the New Zealand study indicates biofuels produced from wood are a sustainable and environmentally beneficial option.
When this partnership was initially formed, we set out to explore options for using existing pulp and paper infrastructure to produce bioethanol from softwood resources. This is in contrast to the majority of international activity which is focused on using grains, sugarcane or grasses, which are often part of the world’s current food supply, or grown on land following deforestation. - Dr Tom Richardson
Softwood feedstocks are a resource that already exists here in abundance relative to our small population. We have some of the world’s largest man-made forests. If we were to introduce purpose-grown energy plantations on marginal lands we could increase that resource without placing pressure on land for food or crops, and alleviate concerns around deforestation while providing forest carbon sinks and other environmental benefits.

The results of the study provide a potential scenario where New Zealand’s entire vehicle fleet could run on nationally grown and manufactured wood-derived biofuels.

Carter Holt Harvey executive and project manager James Flexman says the next step is to refine the technical program, focus the research and development efforts further, and develop a collective strategy to make this opportunity a reality.
Having collectively invested nearly NZ$1 million to bring the study to this stage each of the partners is committed to seeing this opportunity progress which is fantastic as the potential for New Zealand is enormous. However, additional investment is now vital if the vision is to become a commercial reality. - James Flexman
Biofuels generated from softwood feedstocks actively addresses key aspects of the 2007 New Zealand Energy Strategy, a major focus of which is on transitioning New Zealand to a low-carbon energy future.

The New Zealand Government has established a Biofuels Sales Obligation (BSO) of 3.4% transport biofuels by 2012 and set a target to stabilise this country’s net greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 equivalent levels by 2030.

Due to the challenges in reducing carbon emitted from other contributing sources to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emission profile, transportation fuels will need to be a major contributor to the overall reduction targets if the Government is to successfully meet its climate change objectives.

The logical strategy would be to establish a purpose built bioethanol plant that maximises the use of existing pulp and paper infrastructure without impacting on the mill’s current activity.

A facility located in the Central North Island producing 90 million litres of ethanol per annum could fulfil the petrol component of the government’s BSO by supplying a 10% ethanol gasoline blend (E10) to the North Island.

The bioethanol project’s U.S partner Verenium Corporation say they are enthusiastic about the future opportunities this research presents both here in New Zealand and globally.

Beyond New Zealand, Verenium is actively working to address some of the key challenges in biofuels production, including land use practices, sustainability demands, and economic drivers, says Geoff Hazlewood, senior vice president, research at Verenium.

AgResearch chief executive Dr Andrew West says the results of the study present New Zealand with an opportunity to become a pioneer in the technology of manufacturing bioethanol from lignocellulosics.
We believe bioethanol from plantation wood and wood residues presents an environmentally and commercially feasible opportunity here in New Zealand. - Dr Andrew West
Scion’s Tom Richardson says that by integrating industrial biotechnology with the effective utilisation of New Zealand’s forestry plantations and processing infrastructure, the forestry industry has the potential to support the New Zealand Government’s goal to be one of the world’s first carbon-neutral economies.

Carbon neutrality will only happen if technology, policy and industry work together closely in the manner that has been shown by the partners involved in this study.

Other supporting research has already been completed, adding further weight to the argument that New Zealand can provide renewable and sustainable energy alternatives from an environmentally beneficial resource, derived predominately from sustainably managed plantation forests, Richardson concludes.

Scion expects to release another report within the next month: Bioenergy Options for New Zealand, which outlines the volume of plantation forests that would be needed, and how they should be managed, for New Zealand to fuel itself from renewable resources.

Scion is a Crown Research Institute with a shared vision of developing sustainable biomaterials for future generations.

Formerly known as Forest Research, Scion is focused on applying a deep knowledge of plantation forestry, wood and fibre to the development of new biomaterials from renewable plant resources.

In 2003, the organisation launched a "Biomaterial Futures" strategy in response to a growing global demand for materials that can be used as an alternative to synthetic products. Scion is now focused on creating plant-based biomaterials and new manufacturing processes as a basis for sustaining the consumer markets of the future.

Scion continues to provide research and development services to the forestry sector through Ensis, a collaboration between Scion and Australia's CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products. Ensis has enabled the formation of large expert teams capable of tackling complex problems at a scale that will help the sector to remain globally competitive.


Scion: Transport fuels from New Zealand biomass a reality - March 3, 2008.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home