Thursday, September 09, 2010

Bioenergy's Incremental Growth

A Rutgers professor is using radical synthetic biology techniques on E. Coli to boost production of bio-oils and hydrocarbons.
Instead of performing minor changes to specific genes he said, the work will modify large sections of the genome and put in “entirely new traits rather than modifying existing traits.” By using the computer modeling approach, the team will speed up the development process and make it a faster, better process according to Lun. There is currently no timetable for work on the new strain. _Biodiesel

Rentech's new Rialto, California, facility will use gasification and F-T to convert bio-waste to fuels plus generate 35 MW of baseload electric power. Rentech recently announced that it will use technology from a Honeywell subsidiary in the conversion of cellulosic biomass to hydrocarbon fuels.

Blue Northern's new continuous biodiesel production process may reduce capital costs by 40% and production costs of biodiesel by 30%.

The US DOE is investing in the basic research of biomass pyrolysis to fuels and associated feedstock concerns:
W. R. Grace & Company (MD) – New Technology for Processing Bio-oils to Produce Gasoline, Diesel and Jet Fuels – up to $3.3 million. This project will evaluate a specialized catalytic reactor designed to resist corrosion and extend catalyst life.

· Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (WA) – Catalytic Deoxygenation of Pyrolysis Oils – up to $3.1 million. This project will collaborate with Albemarle Corporation and UOP, a Honeywell Company in a three-year project to develop better processes to upgrade pyrolysis oil to hydrocarbon fuels.

· Gas Technology Institute (IL) – Long-Term Processing in the Production of Gasoline and Diesel from Biomass – up to $2.4 million. This project will demonstrate long-term processing and catalyst stability in an automated, integrated pilot plant that converts biomass directly to gasoline and diesel fuel.

· Battelle Memorial Institute (OH) – Upgrading of Biomass Fast Pyrolysis Oil – up to $3.2 million. This project will develop catalysts and an integrated process tailored to upgrade pyrolysis bio-oil, demonstrate system operation for more than 1,000 hours using a single catalyst charge, and produce a final product that can be blended to 30 percent by weight with petroleum fuels or that is compatible with existing petroleum refining operations.

• North Carolina State University – North Carolina State University... and partners will investigate biomass production options compatible with forest management with a focus on pine and switchgrass intercropping. The total cost-shared project value is $4,807,390.

• Purdue University – Purdue University will receive up to $1,592,385 for its project that will conduct a sustainability assessment of multiple species of energy crops including miscanthus, switchgrass, and hybrid poplar, and examine the impacts of removing of crop residues within two watersheds representative of conditions in the Upper Midwest.

• University of Minnesota – The University of Minnesota will receive up to $790,943 for its project that will analyze the Mississippi River watershed using a set of models to help stakeholders make informed decisions about what bioenergy feedstocks to use, where to produce or collect them, and what environmental impacts they will have... _BiofuelsDigest

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