SmartFlow Technologies has agreed to supply its advanced continuous processing solids separation and cell concentration systems to INEOS New Plant BioEnergy. This system would be the first of its kind in INEOS’s commercial plant in Vero Beach, Florida. The plant would produce about 8 million gallons of bio-ethanol every year from renewable biomass. In addition to ethanol, it would be capable of generating power. The plant would be operational in 2012.
Archive for February, 2011
Researchers from Dr. Zhang’s group at Virginia Tech University have discovered an enzyme complex, consisting of 12 enzymes and coenzymes, that works in the presence of toxic infused liquid biomass (hydrolysate), implying that the detoxification step is unnecessary, reducing the cost of producing biofuels and simultaneously increasing the yield by avoiding the production of by-products.
Dr. Zhang quoted that by using the enzyme complex can work in the presence of microorganism-toxic compounds from dilute-acid pretreated biomass, suggesting that enzyme systems do not require high-purity substrates for biotransformation implying that bioconversion can eb done directly, followed by chemical catalysis.
The article, “Biohydrogenation from Biomass Sugar Mediated by in vitro Synthetic Enzymatic Pathways”, was written by Yiran Wang, research scientist in biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech; Weidong Huang, visiting scholar from the University of Science and Technology of China; Noppadon Sathitsuksanoh and Zhiguang Zhu; biological systems engineering Ph.D. students at Virginia Tech; and Zhang.
The research will be published in the Feb. 25 print issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology.
Eco Green Fuels Pvt. Ltd., an Indian biofuel company working on emerging alternative fuels, has recently (Feb 2010) established an indigenous biodiesel manufacturing facility in Bangalore. The company has been involved in setting up biodiesel facility to utilise Pongamia pinnata, Jatropha curcas, Simarouba and Neem for production process for the past few years. It is expected that Karnataka government might support the initiatives by Eco Green Fuels Pvt. Ltd., by promoting the use of barren lands to cultivate Jatropha and Pongamia. Encouraging farmers to cultivate these biofuel feedstocks is also expected to be part of government initiatives to boost biodiesel sector in the state.
The company has already planted 10,000 Jatropa and 25,000 Pongamia plants over 110 acres of land to develop feed stock for initial stages of operations. The biodiesel plant established with complete Indian technology is the first of its kind in India. The use of Indian technology in setting up biodiesel facility, would promote intra industry cooperation to help expand the biodiesel value chain and hence efforts from Eco Green Fuels Pvt. Ltd would encourage new entrepreneurs to follow their way.
More info – http://www.ecogreenfuels.in/
A lot of milestones have been achieved in creating a considerably sustainable future. It is good to see industries and companies striving hard, and competing with each other in bringing sustainability home. One such company has recently introduced a totally biodegradable packaging for its all natural toothpaste product. Swedish toothpaste maker allVeggie has selected bioplastic packaging for its natural ingredient toothpaste to drive home the concept of sustainability.
The toothpaste tube is the first one of its kind – truly biodegradable and environmental friendly and it has been launched for Prabhupada brand toothpaste from allVeggie of Sweden. AllVeggie’s toothpaste product is made from natural substances and is Fair Trade-certified. The idea of this is to create an environmental friendly solution via bioplastics.
The package is manufactured by Techtubes, which does the injection-molds, extrudes, and prints for the various parts of the tube. According to the company, the tube itself stands out due to its excellent mechanical properties. “Using bio-resins for such an application was a challenge for us,” says Johan Barkentin, project leader at Tectubes, Sweden. “We needed to have compatibility between the different parts, and match them together with good conversion properties. By using FKuR’s expertise and range of sustainable bioplastics we were able to reach a very satisfactory solution.”
As pointed out earlier, with all such pioneering research and engineering- all focussed on finding alternatives to switch to a more natural lifestyle, we truly are in for a sustainable future.
Plant geneticist Jose Gonzalez from the South Dakota State University is presently working on using prairie cordgrass as a feedstock for the production of ethanol. The primary aim of the research is to sequence the genes, thereby altering the genetic content to produce better quality offsprings for the production of ethanol.
Prairie cordgrass is very adaptive to various climates and soil conditions. Cordgrass grows very well in marginal lands and soil with a higher salt content.
The sequencing of the prairie cordgrass genes not only helps in improving the quality, but also would throw light on more efficient technologies for biofuel production.
D1 Oils Plc has recently secured UK Patent to detoxify Jatropha seed cake so that it can be used as an animal feed. The patent covers a process for the co-extraction of oil and a protein-rich seedcake. With the anti-nutritional factors removed, the de oiled cake would be ideally suited for use as animal feed.
D1 Oils, as a part of its plant science programs has been conducting research to develop maximised economic value by products, in an attempt to enhance the value of its Jatropha business model. The seedcake of Jatropha is known to have protein content of 62% and energy content of 18 MJ/ Kg of dry matter. This is more than soyabean meal which is known to have the highest market share (70%) in animal feed industry.
The seedcake with nutrient value more than soya bean meal, should achieve at least price parity with it in the marketplace. But due to toxicity associated with the meal and the anti nutritional factors (Phorbolesters, Curcin, TrypsinInhibitor, Lectins, Saponin and Phytates) makes it unsuitable for use as fodder. D1 Oils Plc successfully developed a process to co extract oil with protein rich seed cake, leaving behind all the anti- nutritional factors. The ability to use the by-product for animal feed will dramatically improve the economics of growing Jatropha. It is expected that this innovation would reduce future production costs of crude Jatropha oil by more than 30%. D1 oils Plc is currently in the process of scaling up the process for commercial usage.
More info – http://www.d1plc.com
Dyadic International Inc, USA, has been issued a U.S.Patent titled “Construction of Highly Efficient Cellulase Compositions for Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Cellulose”, by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The patent is all about the use enzymes of newly identified and isolated strains of Chrysosporium lucknowense, which when used in combination with other enzymes, demonstrates an extremely high ability to convert lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars like glucose, xylose, arabinose, galactose, mannose, rhamnose, sucrose and fructose. These sugars are the key ingredients in the formation of biofuels.
C. lucknowense is a fungus, capable of producing cellulases, hemicellulase and other such enzymes. Dyadic identified various new enzymes including two new cellobiohydrolases (CBH Ib and IIb, or Cel7B and Cel6B), an endoglucanase (EG VI),a beta-glucosidase (BGL), and a xylanase (Xyl II) through the genome annotation project conducted in conjunction with Scripps Florida.. The research group at Dyadic was keen on using at least on of the two new cellobiohydrolases in conjunction with a BGL and EG VI.
This patent is the seventh U.S. patent issued to Dyadic.
You can access the patent here – http://goo.gl/pp8fB
Mission New-Energy Limited, a global renewable energy provider with operations in Australia, Malaysia, India and Mauritius, has succeeded in a global tender by Chevron Technologies Ventures for the supply of Crude Jatropha Oil into the United States. As part of Chevron’s exploration into the long-term use of Crude Jatropha Oil as feedstock for the production of renewable diesel, Mission New-Energy Limited will initially supply Chevron with 3,000 gallons of Crude Jatropha Oil. Mission New-Energy Limited has its biodiesel facilities functioning at Malaysia which has an operating capacity of 350,000 tonnes of biodiesel per annum. Mission has a well-developed upstream feedstock business in India, focused on the use of Jatropha curcas and has recently expanded its productive acreage in the country by 30%
Mission New energy, one of the largest non-food, sustainable biofuels feedstock companies, is well positioned to address the shortage of sustainable feedstock either for production of biodiesel, renewable diesel or as renewable fuel for power plants. Non food feedstock grown on marginal land remains the key to sustainable biofuels. In the United States, the Renewable Fuels Standard requires the use of one billion gallons of biodiesel per year from January 2011, which would likely result in demand for over 1 billion gallons per year of feedstock material. With increasing pressure on food supplies, Mission’s non-food based “Sustainable” feedstock is fetching a substantial premium above other biofuels and feedstocks. Over the next 30 years, the existing acreage currently under cultivation by Mission’s contract farmers is expected to produce an estimated 22 million barrels of sustainable non-food oil supply.
More info - www.missionnewenergy.com
Curcas Oil Inc., a Dutch based jatropha crude oil producer, with its subsidiaries Alternative Energy Manufacturing Ltd. (Thailand), Curcas Oil Philippines Inc. (Philippines) and PT Pengembangan Jarak (Indonesia) is involved in the cultivation of Jatropha curcas plants for the production of jatropha crude oil in a sustainable and responsible manner. Curcas Oil Philippines Inc. has decided to investigate and pursue the possibility to apply intercropping on new plantations with the purpose of generating faster returns, especially during the initial few years of the business.
Since it usually takes about 12 to 15 months before the first Jatropha seeds can be harvest from the new trees, Curcas Oil Philippines Inc. will earn from peanuts as a secondary crop. The peanuts will be planted and harvested for a period of about two years, while the Jatropha trees are still young and allow enough light and space for the peanuts to grow. During that period the peanuts can be harvested every four months. Curcas Oil Philippines Inc. uses idle or marginal land to grow Jatropha and therefore the harvest yields approximately 1’000 kilos of peanuts per hectare or 3’000 kilos per hectare per year. There is a local market for peanuts and the price is around 0.86 EUR per kilo, resulting in revenues of approximately 2586 EUR per hectare per year. . This is a lower yield than on top soil. Intercropping will nevertheless improve the short term ROI of new plantations, and will moreover help to avoid the growth of weeds.
More info – http://www.curcas-oil.com/
Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica – Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy (PCJ’s CERE) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) have recently signed a $10.3 million agreement to initiate pilot scale biodiesel project. The small scale biodiesel production project would involve the utilization of oilseed bearing plants in the country of Jamica. PCJ will invest 60 per cent of the share, while and CARDI will provide the remaining 40 per cent. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has also provided funding support of US$50,000 for the project.
PCJ has already procured plant seeds from Brazil, India, China and Jamaica for initiating the cultivations. Plants cultivated at CARDI’s Farm would be the source for seeds for the project which aims to assess the viability of producing biodiesel for the Jamaican automotive industry from locally grown Jatropha and Castor.
Due to Jamica’s dependence on oil as a prime energy source, it is essential for the country to remain committed towards diversifying ‘the energy mix’, using natural resources which are economically feasible. Hence this partnership will help Jamaica to forge ahead with its development of biofuels thereby adding to its energy diversification. Jamaica has already made huge strides, in recent years, in the biofuels industry, with the successful introduction of ethanol into the fuel mix, and commercialisation of E10 87 and E10 90 octane gasolines.
The research and development phase of the project will involve the cultivation and harvesting of six varieties of the oil yielding plants, to determine their oil content, harvesting potential and relative productivity. If the feedstock varieties that are to be tested by April, end up to be productive, a biodiesel blend becomes a serious possibility and, with the continued support of the Jamican Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and a framework of biofuels policy, Jamaica should be able to introduce biodiesel to the transport sector.
More info – http://www.cardi.org/
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