24 April 2008

Bio-Energy Growing Despite its Vocal Critics

Bio-energy is a particularly promising energy for the future, due to its regional and local scale. The sheer variety of approaches to bio-energy to suit almost any region, should induce more humility among the bombastic critics of "biofuels," who generally have no clue what they are talking about. Here is a quick survey of various bio-energy projects in research and industry:

QiBioenergy looks at projects at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and Oklahoma State University, which are helping to perfect sweet sorghum as a better feedstock for bio-ethanol--to replace maize.

New Fischer-Tropsch approaches to creating bio-synthetic fuels are showing promise in Germany and Utah.

Brazil is gearing up to produce biodiesel, jet fuel, and synthetic gasoline from its biomass, by acquiring proprietary technology from California's Amyris biotech company.

University of Texas, Austin, have created a new cyanobacterium that may be used as part of a "biological assembly line" to create fuels from airborne CO2. H/T Brian Westenhaus

Finnish company Wartsila is supplying the "engine" for a Jatropha bio-oil fueled CHP (combined heat and power) plant in Belgium.
HELSINKI,Finland (PRNewswire)- Wärtsilä has secured an order for an engine-driven combined heat and power (CHP) plant that will run on the liquid biofuel, which is extracted from the seeds of the jatropha plant. This CHP plant will be the first power plant in the world ever to produce both electricity and heat using crude jatropha oil as fuel. The contract is valued at approximately seven million euros.

The plant is to be located in an agricultural area in Merksplas, Belgium. The plant will be owned by Greenpower NV, a joint venture between Thenergo (50%), the Belgian developer of sustainable energy projects, four local agricultural companies (40%), and a private investor (10%). Commercial operation of the plant is scheduled to begin in February 2009. ___Source
These projects are only the tip-of-the-tip of the iceberg. Bio-energy is available now, it is becoming more lucrative and more efficient by the month, and it is moving away from the "food for fuels" model faster than our "differently abled" energy journalists and analysts are capable of following.


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

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