Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Smart Biofuels, Jatropha Advances, Electric Minis

Oil company Total is investing in advanced biofuels company Gevo, to develop high value fuel and chemical products from bio-butanol. Gevo acquired the rights to a unique E. Coli based method of producing bio-butanol from glucose in 2007. Since then, Gevo has developed a method for retro-fitting existing commercial ethanol facilities to produce bio-butanol and its higher-value chemical derivatives. Economically, this approach shows much promise.

The non-edible oilseed shrub Jatropha curcas produces excellent quality oil for fuel, with much higher oil yields than soy, rape, or maize. But jatropha only grows in tropical and semi-tropical regions, leaving most of the US out in the cold. But California-based Sirona Fuels has formed a unique partnership to plant jatropha plantations on the impoverished island nation of Haiti. Some of the profits from the venture will help to support orphaned children of Haiti, via a relief fund. The crop will be grown and harvested at the community level, with training and equipment provided by Sirona via the partnership.

Speaking of jatropha, SG Biofuels (San Diego) has opened a genetic resource center to speed the development of high yield jatropha species which are more tolerant to cold, drought, and insect species.

The Illinois Institute of Technology is teaming with Allborg University in Denmark to develop a combination electric battery and supercapacitor drive for small electric vehicles. The battery supplies the bulk of the energy while the supercapacitors provide necessary power boosts for extra exertion. The description of the drive sounds reasonable. It should be easy to add a methanol fuel cell as the project scales up to larger vehicles.

Is oil-from-algae as close as ten years? Here is a brief overview.

The desert rubber plant, guayule, can produce latex, bio-alcohols from bagasse, and protects wood from termites. It grows on hot dry soils, with very little fertiliser.

Don't let anyone tell you there is no such thing as clean coal. The technology is improving all the time, and compared to coal as it is burned in China, virtually all other coal is clean. This big new clean coal plant is a step in the right direction.



Blogger Inj said...

The “2nd Jatropha World Americas 2009? event has been scheduled for June 10 and June 11 in Miami, Florida.

Can 100% of Jatropha Plant be Commercially Viable? Expert Shares Surprising Facts About Jatropha ‘Residue’

Is it possible to take 100% advantage of the Jatropha plant? Top Jatropha researcher Dr. William Ludwig Nolten addresses this question during the groundbreaking presentation “Utilization Technology of Jatropha Seedcake and Residues.”

Most Jatropha growers currently plant and harvest Jatropha curcas primarily for its pure plant oil (PPO) for use as biofuel and biodiesel. However, it is shown that PPO only accounts for a mere 14% of the usable resources in every fruit.

During “Utilization Technology of Jatropha Seedcake and Residues,” Dr. Nolten notes that it is possible to increase Jatropha plant usage to an astounding 100%. Jatropha seedcake and biomass revenues could even exceed returns from the sale of PPO!

“Jatropha seeds and biomass residues are not waste substances . . . you can convert everything to make your project a success,” states Dr. Nolten.

As Asia Director of Waterland Group and cutting-edge Jatropha researcher, Dr. Nolten is widely considered one of the industry’s leading experts. The Waterland Group has planted over 60,000 hectares of Jatropha in Indonesia and has over 12,000 hectares already producing oil.

Dr. Nolten’s presentation, which was one of the highest rated in terms of usefulness and relevance at Jatropha World Asia 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, also covered topics on:

Marketing Jatropha seedcakes and residues to the pharmaceutical industry.

How to tap into the very profitable biogas market.

Trading seed kernel meal as a highly lucrative livestock feed ingredient.

Creating organic fertilizer and soil conditioner from Jatropha agricultural waste.

Making agro-energy pellets for the cooking and heating needs of rural areas.

The 2nd Jatropha World Americas 2009 will bring together the industry’s top agronomists and scientists, investors and financiers, biodiesel refiners, seed and equipment suppliers as well as government officials and NGO representatives united by their interest in Jatropha. Click on the following link to get more details. http://www.futureenergyevents.com/jatropha/ or write to injleep@cmtsp.com.sg

5:57 PM  

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