Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Energy News and Views

DuPont prepares to fire up its cellulosic ethanol demo plant on 29 January 2010. The plant will accept both agricultural waste and biomass crops as feedstock.

ZeaChem's approach to cellulosic ethanol may give it a jump-start over competitors. "ZeaChem’s technology is a parallel hybrid system of fermentation and gasification. This hybrid process achieves 40% higher yield than other cellulosic processes. ZeaChem’s patented biorefining process uses an acetogen – a species of bacteria naturally adapted to digest the tough carbon chains of cellulose – to extract the maximum amount of energy available from the feedstock. ZeaChem offers the highest yield, lowest production cost and lowest carbon emissions profile of any known biorefining process."

California startup Cobalt Biofuels aims to produce bio-Butanol from "non-food" biomass. Butanol has several properties that make it a superior biofuel to ethanol for use in most modern internal combustion engines.

"White coal" (pressed biomass briquettes) is becoming a popular and economical fuel in many parts of rural India. (via Bioenergy) The briquettes are made from agricultural waste which farmers have no use for -- creating a new and welcome cash stream to poor rural areas.

The Jatropha genome is being tweaked to improve oil production. Jatropha is potentially one of the best of the 1st generation oilseed crops -- since it can be co-cultivated with other cash crops, and even with food crops, making more efficient use of land.

Canadian company develops process to produce both cellulosic ethanol and sweetener xylitol from wood chips. The key to profitability and competitiveness in the biofuel industry is to make full use of resources. The ability to produce multiple profitable products efficiently from the same feedstock gives a company flexibility to meet changing market demands.

Obama's green jobs initiative likely to prove one more disaster on top of an already disastrous Obama presidency.



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