Friday, February 05, 2010

Camelina, Salicornia, Cellulosic, Jatropha, Pyrolysis . . .

Here is more from MIT's Technology Review on the large UAE desert salt water farms growing salicornia for fuels and high value chemicals. The project also incorporates fish and shrimp aquaculture, and the cultivation of mangroves.

A European aerospace group is collaborating with Singapore's ASTAR to assess opportunities to convert algal oils into jet fuels.

A $50 million Dupont plant is already producing ethanol from cellulose. The US federal mandate is to have 16 billion gallons per year production capacity for cellulosic ethanol by 2022.

A little-known weed called camelina may become the "go-to" crop for biodiesel, for temperate climates.

Daimler AG is invested in jatropha cropping projects in India. Jatropha produces a high quality oil that can be used for either fuels or high value chemicals. Scientists worldwide are attempting to create ideal jatropha varieties, and to discover the optimal jatropha growing methods for various soils and climates.

Thermochemical processing of biomass to fuels, including gasification and pyrolysis, is a hot research topic behind the scenes.

A new approach for the electrolytic creation of hydrogen gas may bring hydrogen back into discussions for electrical storage at large wind or solar power installations.

These approaches are generally small scale, local and regional approaches. But that is where the focus needs to shift -- away from the hyper-centralised approaches that have gotten the global economy into such turmoil.

If you secure local and regional energy, power, employment, and economic activity, then swings in global finance have far less catastrophic impact on most ordinary people.



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