11 February 2008

Biofuels Three Different Ways

ZeaChem--the company using the termite gut organism, moorella thermoacetica, is making plans to secure a supply of fast growing poplar trees as feedstock for their bio-ethanol from cellulose project.
ZeaChem, Inc. and GreenWood Resources, Inc. (GWR) signed a non-binding Letter of Intent for the supply of poplar tree (Pacific Albus) feed stock under a long-term agreement to support the operation of an initial 1.5 million gallon per year (GPY) ZeaChem cellulosic Biorefinery near a Greenwood Pacific Albus tree farm in the Columbia River Basin.

The ZeaChem biofuel process combines the outputs of two traditional fuel production pathways (fermentation of sugars and gasification of biomass) into a third catalytically-driven step—hydrogenolysis—to produce cellulosic ethanol fuel and cellulose-based intermediate chemicals. ZeaChem’s technology will produce 50% more ethanol per ton of feed than the current best-in-class technology.___Source

Solazyme is an algal biofuels company working to produce both biodiesel and more conventional "bio-petroleum" hydrocarbons from algae.
Solazyme, which recently announced the road-testing of blends of Soladiesel, its first algal biodiesel (earlier post), has successfully taken the test blends up to B100, according to Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme’s CEO....Solazyme has also received funding from NIST to support a project to use algae to produce biopetroleum, which will match the composition of light sweet crude oil. The biopetroleum would be fully compatible with the infrastructure that refines, distributes retails and consumes petroleum products—not just automobile fuels but aviation fuel and chemicals as well.___Source

Meanwhile, back in India, Dwarikesh Sugar Industries Ltd. is using biomass from its sugar production to generate 56 KW of cogenerated power, as well as producing 30,000 liters of bioethanol daily from molasses.
Dwarikesh now has a capacity to generate 56MW of renewable energy as well as 10.95 million liters/year of ethanol from molasses.____Source

Actually, that would be four ways--bioethanol, biodiesel, biopetroleum, and biomass electricity. All of these approaches are far more efficient than corn ethanol and palm oil / seed oil biodiesel.

It is unfortunate that Chinese companies are spending many billions of dollars to destroy tropical rainforests in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, etc. to produce palm oil biodiesel, when there are far more efficient and environment friendly approaches already gearing up. But then, judging from the pollution oozing from China's rivers and air, the environment has never been a top priority there.

It is even more unfortunate that US Senators Ben Nelson and Chuck Grassley (among others) have done so much to waste US taxpayer's money to pursue maize / corn ethanol, when it is such a dead-end approach to biofuels.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts