Thursday, June 12, 2008

Forestry Waste for Diesel, Ethanol, Furfural

Cellulosic biomass can be turned into just about any hydrocarbon fuel that human chemical engineers can imagine. A lot of dead wood is sitting about forests thanks to the pine beetle. Ethanol producers in British Columbia, Washington, and Alabama are eager to put that waste to good use.

A Norwegian company is planning to make diesel fuel from wood waste.
The venture called Xynergo aims to build a prototype plant near Norske Skog's Follum plant in 2010. A full-scale facility could be on stream in 2015, producing enough fuel to meet about 15 percent of Norway's annual road transport diesel needs.

"We are now entering an exciting and demanding phase for production of second-generation biofuels," Xynergo managing director Klaus Schoffel said in a statement. __Bioenergy
Algenol is collaborating with Mexican BioFields to grow an algae that secretes ethanol in a continuous process.

Meanwhile several countries worldwide are looking at furfural, a byproduct of wood pulp processing, as a viable diesel substitute. Furfural burns much cleaner than regular diesel.

The wood pulp industry is well positioned to act as a bioenergy spearhead. By turning "waste" into useful energy, large pulpers are adding to their cash flow slowly but appreciably.



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