Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Brief Energy News

The Weizman Institute announced a new synthesis route for the production of methanol from carbon dioxide. More details from Chemical & Engineering News

East SF Bay biotech company Amyris is opening another plant to produce renewable farnesene.
[Farnesene] may be sold directly into industrial applications or put through simple chemical finishing steps to form a broad range of renewable products including squalane, base oil and finished lubricants and diesel.
Global Bioenergie and Synthos are partnering to produce bio-butadiene -- a $30 billion annual market, as noted briefly earlier. Such biological substitutes for petroleum feedstocks will eventually reduce the demand for petroleum and other mined hydrocarbons in the chemicals, plastics, fiber, dye, lubricants and other vital industries.

Brookhaven National Lab scientists are using computer modeling in an attempt to increase the production of seed oil in rapeseed -- an important crop in biodiesel production.

Ethanol acccounts for nearly 10% of the US "gasoline fuel supply."

Nuclear power cannot be written off -- it is here for the long haul

South Korea and India are collaborating to expand civilian nuclear technology

China has connected a new generation 20 MW "fast breeder reactor" to the electrical grid. Most news reports skate around the issue of plutonium proliferation associated with the uranium to plutonium breeder. Most current western approaches to breeder reactors are looking at the thorium to uranium 233 breeding, which has far less weapons proliferation risk.



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