Biofuel, News Roundup

Biofuel News Roundup

Waste-to-fuel plant in Maui
The County of Maui, Hawaii, has awarded an integrated waste conversion and energy project at the Central Maui Landfill in Puunene to Anaergia Services, the California-based subsidiary of Anaergia Inc. Anaergia will design, build, own, operate and privately finance the renewable fuel facility that converts Maui’s waste streams including municipal solid waste, food waste, sewage sludge, oils and grease into liquified natural gas and refuse-derived fuel (RDF).

VTT’s cellulosic ethanol tech on Brazil
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has partnered with Odebrecht, a Brazilian diversified conglomerate for the use of its biomass processing technology in Odebrecht’s planned  construction of a demonstration plant in Brazil producing cellulosic ethanol. VTT’s research centre in Brazil has been granted BRL 10m (EUR 3.8m) in funding by the PAISS programme, established by the Brazilian Development Bank BNDES and the Brazilian technology financing organization FINEP.

… and VTT’s wood-based diesel in VW 
UPM BioVerno diesel, VTT and VV-Auto Group will start fleet tests of wood-based diesel in Volkswagen Golf cars supplied by VV-Auto Group starting in May, and which will last several months. The tests will focus on investigating UPM renewable diesel known as UPM Bioverno in terms of fuel functionality in engine, emissions and fuel consumption. UPM is currently constructing a biorefinery in Lappeenranta, FInland, with the capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes equation to 120m liters/year of renewable diesel. The biorefinery is expected to be complete in 2014.

Biogas for glass manufacture
Saint-Gobain Oberland AG is planning to use biogas for glass container production in a pilot project at its Bad Wurzach facility in Germany. Pretreated substrate our of waste material will be used to generate biogas.

USDA, DuPont in land conservation
The US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) has collaborated with DuPont to safeguard natural resources on private lands used to supply feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production. The partners aim to set voluntary standards for the sustainable harvesting of agricultural residues for biofuel, and will provide conservation planning assistance for farmers who supply feedstock to biorefineries as the industry begins to commercialize. The first plant involved is DuPont’s 30m gal/year cellulosic biorefinery facility in Des Moines, Iowa, currently being build. The plant will use harvested residues from a 30-mile radius around the facility.

BlackGold Biofuels opens recycling facility
Philadelphia-based BlackGold Biofuels has opened a recycling facility in Charlotte, North Carolina,  converting restaurant kitchens’ wastewater, which contains recycling oils, into biofuel. BlackGold Biofuels removes food particles and then extracts and purifies the recovered plant- and animal-based oils for use as biofuel. The company receives grease trap waste from wastewater haulers that is generated in commercial and institutional kitchens during dishwashing and food preparation.

Aemetis restarts ethanol plant
Aemetis has restarted its 60m gal/year ethanol facility in Keyes, California, after a planned maintenance and preparations for the production of grain sorghum-based ethanol, which the US EPA recently designated as under an Advanced Biofuel category. The plat will start up using corn as principal feedstock, with grain sorghum or a feedstock blend used after startup to maximize operating income.  Advanced biofuel generates D5 Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) that have traded at a premium to traditional ethanol D6 RINs.

Air Liquide, CEA biofuel partnership
Air Liquide has partnered with the CEA (Commission for atomic energy and alternative energies in France) aiming to develop a second generation biofuel production pilot plant in France. CEA will develop a chain of processes using  wood biomass for feedstock. Air Liquide will develop a new oxygen combustion technology to transform solid biomass directly into synthesis gas.

USDA extends aviation biofuels development
The US Department of Agriculture is extending its five years agreement to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other partners to help develop a viable biofuel for the aviation industry. The new agreement, which includes partners from the commercial aviation sector, follows the initial success of the 2010-2012 “Farm to Fly” initiatie, where the USDA’s Regional Biomass Research Centers were working with industry partners to produce energy-producing feedstocks within different regions. The renewed deal will focus on evaluating current and potential feedstock types and systems, developing multiple feedstock supply chains, developing state and local public-private teams, communicating results and issuing periodic reports. The federal government and its partners hope to support the annual production of 1 billion gallons of drop-in aviation biofuel by 2018.

DOE in $18m military biofuel grant
The US Department of Energy will grant nearly $18m in four pilot-scale biorefineries that will test renewable biofuels for military jets and ships. Companies involved in the projects include Frontline Bioenergy LLC (up to $4.2m in Ames, Iowa), Cobalt Technologies (up to $2.5m in Mountain View, California), Mercurius Biorefining (up to $4.6m in Ferndale, Washington), and BioProcess Algae (up to $6.4m in Shenandoah, Iowa).

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype?

Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry.

She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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