Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
Macroalgae grown off the coast of Norway will provide the material for the production of “renewable, sustainable and low cost” ethanol.
Berkeley-based Bio Architecture Lab (BAL) and Statoil, an offshore oil and gas producer with a presence in 40 countries, have announced a partnership whereby Statoil will provide direct funding for R&D (more…)
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Everyone’s heard of solar, wind, and hydro power, but that hasn’t stopped alternative energy researchers from thinking (way) outside the box for more ways to produce heat and electricity.
Even though the world is still trying to wrap its head around the fact we don’t need oil, coal, or gas to stay warm, light up cities, and power our vehicles, many are looking (more…)
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
New Zealand based LanzaTech recently announced that they have successfully produced a necessary component to create polymers, plastics, and fuels from their unique fermentation process.
For those unfamiliar with LanzaTech, it is a company looking to utilize industrial waste gases and waste products like trash to (more…)
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Is food waste-to-energy technology sustainable? There was a lot of publicity last year about ethanol requiring more energy to produce than you can get from the fuel. Is biogas from food waste a better deal for the environment? The answer is yes. It turns out that a tonne of food waste produces enough biogas to not only fuel the collection vehicle that picks it up, but (more…)
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Sustainable fuel manufacturer Zea Chem has announced that it has succeeded in producing biomass-derived ethanol at a capacity that can be scaled to commercial production.
In a statement from the company’s headquarters, Zea Chem described the completion of a suite of products including biorefined cellulosic ethanol. “The next step is to integrate these known processes to achieve the ultimate target of commercial production of economical and sustainable biofuels and bio-based chemicals,” said CEO Jim Imbler. (more…)
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
(Reuters) – The messages are tense, angry, cajoling.
Written between 2008 and January 2010 and sent between lobbyists, scientists and high-ranking European civil servants, they hint at the intense emotions in the debate over one of Europe’s most contentious environmental issues: the use of biofuels, long touted as an alternative to carbon-emitting petroleum.
But it’s not how the emails are written that’s important. It’s what’s in them — and (more…)
Monday, April 19th, 2010
Battle of the Bulbs: LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have been the Next Big Thing in lighting for nearly a decade, but have never been made bright enough to illuminate the pages of Malcolm Gladwell while we read in bed. Until now.
This week, GE unveiled an eco-equivalent to the 40-watt incandescent bulb — a 9-watt LED that will go on sale late this year or early next. Days later, Philips announced its own entry, a 12-watt LED meant to replace the plain ol’ 60-watt bulb. Both will sell for $40 or $50 and could last up to 17 years — long enough that your mattress will give out before your bedroom bulbs do.
Not Exactly Glacial: Usually global warming occurs at pace that’s hard to detect, but that changed on Sunday for the people of Carhuaz, Peru. A massive block of the Hualcan glacier broke off and tumbled into a lake, creating a 75-foot-tall tsunami that killed three. (more…)
Monday, April 12th, 2010
With subsidy support for corn ethanol under attack, algae and cellulosic look to secure federal support. The result: a subsidy battle in the Capital that could dictate the direction of the U.S. biofuel industry over the next decade.
Has the transition to advanced biofuels turned the corner?
Probably not yet, but sustainable alternatives are beginning to get their day in the sun in Washington D.C. The result: a subsidy brawl is taking shape that will likely dictate the direction of U.S. biofuels development over the next 5-10 years.
There are a few moving elements, but here are the recent highlights: (more…)
Thursday, March 11th, 2010
Despite strong evidence that growing food crops to produce ethanol is harmful to the environment and the world’s poor, the Obama administration is backing subsidies and programs that will ensure that half of the U.S.’s corn crop will soon go to biofuel production. It’s time to recognize that biofuels are anything but green.
In light of the strong evidence that growing corn, soybeans, and other food crops to produce ethanol takes a heavy toll on the environment and is hurting the world’s poor through higher food prices, consider this astonishing fact: This year, more than a third of the U.S.’s record corn harvest of 335 million metric tons will be used to produce corn ethanol. What’s more, within five years fully 50 percent of the U.S. corn crop is expected to wind up as biofuels.
Here’s another sobering fact. Despite the record deficits facing the U.S., and notwithstanding President Obama’s embrace of some truly sustainable renewable energy policies, the president and his administration have wholeheartedly embraced corn ethanol and the tangle of government subsidies, price supports, and tariffs that underpin the entire dubious enterprise of using corn to power our cars. In early February, the president threw his weight behind new and existing initiatives to boost ethanol production from both food and nonfood sources, including supporting Congressional mandates that would triple biofuel production to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
Monday, March 8th, 2010
A recent report in preparation for the 12th International Energy Forum’s ministerial, scheduled in Cancun, Mexico later this month, studies and assesses the potential and limitations of biofuels.
Criticized by the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) as “self serving,” the report suggests that mounting evidence from research and analysis shows that the demise of the fossil fuel era is nowhere in sight and cautions against the widespread adoption of biofuels.
Authored by Claude Mandil, the former executive director of the International Energy Agency, and Adnan Shihab-Eldin, the former acting secretary general of OPEC, the report examines the extent to which biofuels could contribute meaningfully to meeting a substantial portion of future demand in the transportation sector.