Monday, March 8th, 2010
The U.S. Congress is coming under increased lobbying pressure from the algal organizations to extend tax code parity to algae-based biofuels.
The Algal Biomass Organization and members of the Biotechnology Industry Organization are urging Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) to adopt an amendment offered to the Tax Extenders Act of 2009 by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Jeff Bingaman D-(NM).
The amendment would ensure algae fuels receive the financial and regulatory benefits available to other advanced biofuel feedstocks and promote the development and commercialization of algae fuels. (more…)
Thursday, February 4th, 2010
President Obama is supporting an ambitious plan to increase biofuel production in the U.S. and to develop 5 to 10 demonstration projects to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and store the CO2 underground.
Unveiling a policy to develop biofuels not only from corn but also from farm and forest waste and switch grass, Obama said his administration will strive to meet a Congressional target of producing 36 billion gallons of ethanol and advanced biofuels by 2022.
Monday, January 25th, 2010
The 107 million tons of grain that went to U.S. ethanol distilleries in 2009 was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels. More than a quarter of the total U.S. grain crop was turned into ethanol to fuel cars last year. With 200 ethanol distilleries in the country set up to transform food into fuel, the amount of grain processed has tripled since 2004.
The United States looms large in the world food economy: it is far and away the world’s leading grain exporter, exporting more than Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Russia combined. In a globalized food economy, increased demand for food to fuel American vehicles puts additional pressure on world food supplies. (more…)
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
A U.S. company has come up with a new way of producing biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks, such as agricultural waste: Using enzymes from the guts of termites to more efficiently produce ethanol.
The startup company, ZeaChem, says using the enzymes from the wood-eating insects has achieved ethanol yields in the laboratory 35 percent higher than other producers of cellulosic ethanol, according to MIT Technology Review.
Friday, October 2nd, 2009
Biofuels offer a unique opportunity for the developing world. Almost 80 percent of the remaining land that has cultivation potential resides in South America and Africa, according to research supported by the United Nations.
However, without a standard method for determining the impact of biofuels on the environment, international bodies like the U.N. will tread carefully when discussing the role of bioenergy in mitigating the effects of climate change, despite the potential economic benefits for the developing world.
The future of bioenergy from algae and bioengineered feedstocks is an exciting and promising opportunity for life science to take a larger role in sustaining our energy needs.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
By Jonathan Williams
During this past summer, the world has seen multiple advances in the alternative energy field, particularly with algae biofuels. A week hasn’t gone by where I didn’t receive several press releases in my inbox highlighting the latest advances by one of the many algae companies out there.
However, while press releases look and sound good, nothing highlights the advances of a company, if not the entire field, than the announcement of a multi-million dollar partnership with a larger, well-known, and respected entity.
During this summer we saw just that, with multiple algae companies announcing their partnerships with larger corporations or entities.
To give you a brief overview on these partnerships, first came Algenol with their partnership with Dow Chemical researching algae as an ethanol fuel source. Next came Seambiotic with their announcement that they will be partnering with NASA to develop a jet fuel from algae. Most recently, and probably most importantly, was Exxon Mobil’s $600 million partnership with Synthetic Genomics to conduct extensive research on algae biofuels.
Friday, May 8th, 2009
There’s a kernel of good to this story, if you care about climate change and high food prices.
Sure, ethanol has been a great example of how America can begin to overcome its dependency on foreign fossil fuels. But using a staple like corn to make the biofuel has driven up food prices and displaced other food crops.
Now comes the Obama administration, which has proposed new rules for renewable fuels, aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, he’s vowed to help prop up the corn ethanol industry with stimulus dollars, and commit stimulus funds to biofuel research.
Friday, May 8th, 2009
This article is part of a series on the Stimulus Update. Previous posts:
– Smart Grid Funding Guidelines Released
- Inching Towards Smart Grid Funding Guidelines
- EE and Conservation Block Grant Funds Releases
- Next Generation Electric Vehicles Funds Released
- Energy Efficiency Funds Released
- Climate Change, the Stimulus Bill, and how CleanTech will benefit
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce US dependence on foreign oil and address the climate crisis by increasing the use of domestic renewable fuels, Secretary of Energy Chu announced Tuesday plans to provide $786.5 million in ARRA funding to accelerate advanced biofuels research and development, and to provide additional funding for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects.
The funding is available through ARRA’s Research and Development program and will be awarded through competitive grants from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
by agathabrown, turtleanddove
No, it’s not the latest CD from Verve, it’s the latest rumble from industry groups and states: Raise the percentage of ethanol blended into unleaded gasoline.
The current cap is 10 percent. An ethanol trade group called Growth Energy has formally requested an increase to 15 percent, saying it will create more than 100,000 jobs and pump more than $24 billion into the economy, Reuters reports. There’s also the added benefit of increasing the demand for ethanol by 6 billion gallons a year, MSNBC says.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying whether a higher blend would harm older cars. Some newer vehicles are designed to run on E-85 (an 85 percent blend).
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
A recent post extolling the virtues of trash as an energy source has stirred up a lot of comments.
Those include an e-mail and phone call from the folks at BlueFire Ethanol, who have a patented process that turns garbage into gas, or cellulosic ethanol, to be more precise.
The company is building a plant in Lancaster, California, where it plans to use a Concentrated Acid Hydrolysis Technology Process to convert “green waste” from an adjacent county landfill into as much as 3.7 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year, a company representative says.