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Cellulosic Biofuel Significantly Mitigate Climate Change (Int'l Study)
Biomass. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Date: 2020-03-11
A recent long-term field study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Michigan State University (MSU) has found cellulosic biofuels derived from switchgrass, giant miscanthus, poplar trees, maize residuals, restored native prairie, and a combination of grasses and vegetation that grows spontaneously following field abandonment, could significantly mitigate global warming by reducing carbon emissions.

The study found when compared with petroleum only emissions, cellulosic ethanol was "78--290 better in reducing carbon emissions; ethanol was 204--416 pct improved, biomass powered electric vehicles powered by biomass was 74--303 pct cleaner and biomass-powered electric vehicles combined with CSS was 329--558 pct superior." The research will next assess other environmental and economic aspects of bioenergy crops.

The study was conducted at Michigan State University's (MSU) Kellogg Biological Station and the University of Wisconsin's Arlington Research Station which is part of the U.S. DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. Financial support was provided by the U.S. DOE Office of Science, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation and Michigan State University AgBioResearch. (Source: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, PR, EurekaAlerts, 9 Mar.,2020) Contact: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (212) 302-6443, info@aabgu.org, www.aabgu.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cellulosic Ethnol,  Biomass ,  Climate Change,  Global Warming,  


Axens Providing Cellulosic Ethanol Tech in Croatia (Int'l Report)
INA,Axens
Date: 2020-03-11
Rueil Malmaison, France-headquartered Axens is reporting a licensing agreement with Craotian oil and gas company INA to supply its Futurol™ cellulosic ethanol technology and contract for basic engineering design of a cellulosic bioethanol production plant in Sisak, Croatia.

The plant will use ignocellulosic feedstocks such as agricultural residues and energy crop Miscanthus to produce 70 million lpy of bioethanol.

INA manages a regional network of 445 petrol stations in Croatia and neighboring countries. (Source: Axens, Chemical Engineering, 9 Mar., 2020) Contact: Axens, Frederic Balligand, Renewables Business Group , Director, www.axens.net; INA, +385 (0) 1 6450 000, ina-besplatni.telefon@ina.hr, www.ina.hr/en/home

More Low-Carbon Energy News Axens,  INA,  Bioethanol,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  


Clariant Completes Miscanthus Grass Biomass-to-Ethanol Tests (Int'l)
Clariant
Date: 2019-09-04
Basel, Switzerland-based specialty chemicals company Clariant reports the completion of tests of technology that converts miscanthus biomass into lignocellulosic sugars and ethanol at its pre-commercial "sunliquid" plant in Straubing, Germany.

Approximately 30 tons of miscanthus provided by Croatian oil and gas company INA was tested with funding from the Growing Advanced Industrial Crops on Marginal Land for Biorefineries (GRACE) project -- of which INA is a consortium member. GRACE is supported by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The project aims to optimize various miscanthus grass value chains in order to produce sustainable products and to develop miscanthus as a sustainable feedstock resource for cultivation on marginal, contaminated and abandoned land. Clariant tested miscanthus as a feedstock for the production of lignocellulose sugars and ethanol. (Source: Clariant, Business Standard, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Biofuels and Derivatives, Clariant, Markus Rarbach, Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, +41 61 469 5111, www.clariant.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Clariant,  Miscanthus,  Ethanol,  Biofuel,  


Irish Regulator Stymies Peat-to-Woody Biomass Conversion (Int'l)
Bord na Mona
Date: 2019-07-24
In Dublin, the regulatory development and planning board -- Bord Pleanala -- reports it has denied permission for state-owned energy company Bord Na Mona's planned conversion of a peat-burning power plant at Shannonbridge, Co Offaly, to co-fire with biomass from 2021 until the end of 2027 when its existing peat permit expires. The plant would then be fully biomass fired with 37,000 tpy of woody biomass imported from Australia.

The regulatory board cited the "potential negative impacts on the environment and the inadequacy of the indigenous biomass supply and high dependence on imported biomass that would be contrary to both EU and national climate and energy policy" for its refusal. The regulatory board also noted previous schemes to establish a domestic source of energy crops such as willow and miscanthus have failed.

The Irish government's national climate and energy policy calls for a complete phase out of coal and peat fired electricity generation by 2030. (Source: An Bord Pleanala, Green New.ie, 23 July, 2019)Contact: An Bord Pleanala, www.pleanala.ie; Bord na Mona Plc, Mike Quinn, CEO, Patrick Madigan, Bioenergy Division, +353 45 439000, www.bordnamona.ie

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bord na Mona,  Peat,  Woody Biomass,  Biomass Pellet,  


Terravesta Scores £2Mn for Miscanthus Expansion Plan (Int'l Funding)
Terravesta
Date: 2018-11-26
Lincoln, UK-headquartered Miscanthus specialists Terravesta is reporting receipt of a £2 million private investment Nat le Roux, former CEO of IG Group and current Scotgold chairman. The investement is earmarked for working capita, R&D, and expansion. Terravesta presently has operations in Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland and Slovakia. (Source: Terravesta, Bioenergy, 23 Nov., 2018) Contact: Terravesta, William Cracroft-Eley, +44 1522 731873 info@terravesta.com, www.terravesta.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Terravesta ,  Biofuel,  Miscanthus,  


Diverse Biofeedstock Ethanol Yields Investigated (R&D Report)
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Date: 2018-11-16
Biorefineries are picky eaters. They only consume one or two types of plant matter. Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison processed and experimentally measured ethanol production from five different herbaceous feedstocks. They examined two annuals (corn stover and energy sorghum) along with three perennials (switchgrass, miscanthus, and restored prairie). They determined that a lignocellulosic ethanol refinery could use a range of plant types without having a major impact on the amount of ethanol produced per acre, or per land area.

Many biorefineries consume one, or sometimes two, feedstocks grown and harvested nearby. The feedstock contains lignocellulose. That chemical is processed and fermented into biofuels or bioproducts. Accepting a variety of feedstocks could improve the refinery's environmental footprint, economics, and logistics. The team's study showed that a lignocellulosic refinery could be relatively agnostic in terms of the feedstocks used.

Refineries to convert biomass into fuels often rely on just one feedstock. If the refineries could accept more than one feedstock, it would greatly benefit refinery operation. Scientists investigated how five different feedstocks affected process and field-scale ethanol yields. Two annual crops (corn stover and energy sorghum) and three perennial crops (switchgrass, miscanthus, and restored prairie) were pretreated using ammonia fiber expansion, hydrolyzed, and fermented separately using yeast or bacteria.

Researchers found that both biomass quality and biomass yield affected the amount of ethanol each acre produces. However, the effect differed. Biomass quality was the main driver for the ethanol yields for high-yielding crops, such as switchgrass. Biomass yield was the main driver for the ethanol yields for low-productivity crops, such as corn stover. Therefore, to increase ethanol yield for high-yielding crops, focusing efforts on improving biomass quality or conversion efficiency may be prudent.

For low-yielding crops, focusing on increasing biomass yield may be the best strategy. When measuring the amount of ethanol produced during fermentation, most feedstocks fell within a similar range, especially when scientists used bacteria to ferment the biomass. In total, the results of this study suggest that a lignocellulosic refinery may use a variety of feedstocks with a range of quality without a major negative impact on field-scale ethanol yields. (Source: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, US DOE, 12 Nov., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., John Greenler, Dir. Outreach, (608) 890-2444, www.glbrc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,  US DOE,  Biofuel Feedstock,  ,  


Cellulosic Ethanol Feedstocks, Production Strategies Explored (R&D)
Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center
Date: 2018-11-14
Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center led by by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are reporting the investigation of how the quality of different biomass feedstocks -- corn stover and energy sorghum, switchgrass and miscanthus -- affect both the quality and field-scale ethanol yields per acre.

The research found biomass feedstock quality was the main driver for the ethanol yields for high-yielding crops such as switchgrass. Biomass yield was the main driver for ethanol yields from low productivity crops such as corn stover. The re[prt concluded that to increase ethanol yield from high-yielding crops, focusing efforts on improving biomass quality or conversion efficiency "may be prudent."

For low yielding crops, focusing on increasing biomass yield may be the best strategy. When measuring the amount of ethanol produced during fermentation, most feedstocks fell within a similar range, especially when scientists used bacteria to ferment the biomass.

In total, the study suggests that a lignocellulosic refinery can use a variety of feedstocks of varying qualities without a major negative impact on field-scale ethanol yields. (Source: Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center, US DOE, Nov., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., (608) 262-4663, tdonohue@bact.wisc.edu, www.glbrc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Science Center,  Ethanol,  Ethanol Feedstock,  Switchgrass,  Miscanthus,  Cellulosic,  


Univ. Illinois Awarded $10.6Mn for Biodiesel Feedstock R&D (Funding)
US DOE,University of Illinois
Date: 2018-02-26
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports it has awarded $10.6 million over five-years in grant funding to the University of Illinois to transform two of the most productive crops in America into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel.

The new research project Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane (ROGUE) will engineer energycane, a bioenergy crop derived from sugarcane, and Miscanthus to produce the oil for the production of biodiesel and biojet fuel. Their work is guided by computer models, which project that these crops can achieve 20 pct oil content in the plant -- a dramatic increase from natural levels of less than a tenth of one percent.

Previous work, funded by the DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), achieved 8 pct oil accumulation, and now ROGUE will further increase oil production and target oil accumulation in the stem where it can be accessed more easily with ROGUE's patented extraction technologies.

ROGUE will also improve the efficiency that these crops can turn the sun's energy into plant energy to fuel their biological oil production. Improving these crops' photosynthetic efficiency will ensure that the production of energy-dense oil will not lower yields or suppress plant defenses.

ROGUE is a collaboration amongst researchers from Illinois as well as Brookhaven National Lab, University of Florida, and Mississippi State University, with support from the DOE Office of Science (Office of Biological and Environmental Research). (Source: US DOE, University of Illinois, Feb., 2018)Contact: Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Stephen Long, ROGUE Director, (217) 244-2999, www.igb.illinois.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodiesel Feedstock,  US DOE,  Energycane,  Miscanthus ,  University of Illinois,  


Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center Refocuses (Ind. Report)
Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Date: 2018-02-19
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reports it has embarked on a new mission develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum.

GLBRC originally focused on corn stover ethanol production and developing perennial plants like switchgrass and miscanthus as biofuel feedstocks. Now, GLBRC goal is centered on designing advanced biofuels, such as isobutanol. These "drop-in" fuels could be used to replace gasoline without engine modification. By engineering bioenergy crops to enhance their environmental and economic value, and conducting research to generate multiple products from plant biomass, these advancements could optimize the bioenergy field-to-product pipeline.

GLBRC scientists and engineers are also improving the yield and processing traits of dedicated bioenergy crops for cultivation on marginal, or non-agricultural, land. With smart management, these crops have the potential to benefit the ecosystem, help mitigate climate change, and provide farmers with an additional source of revenue.

GLBRC is focused on enabling a new and different biorefinery, one that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Realizing this goal will mean increasing the efficiency of biomass conversion and generating a mix of specialty biofuels and environmentally-friendly bioproducts, from as much of a plant's biomass as possible. One such discovery, breaks down lignin's six-carbon rings -- the "aromatics" -- into individual components. Traditionally sourced from petroleum, aromatics are used in a wide variety of products, including plastic soda bottles, Kevlar, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, and are essential components of jet fuel. (Source: University of Wisconsin Madison, GLBRC, PR, 18 Feb., 2018) Contact: Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Tim Donohue, Dir., John Greenler, Dir. Outreach, (608) 890-2444, www.glbrc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,  University of Wisconsin Madison,  Biofuel,  Biochemical,  Ethanol,  Bioplastics,  


Biofuels Feedstock Study Supports Billion-tpy Estimate (R&D)
North Central Regional Sun Grant Center
Date: 2018-01-24
Can farmers produce at least 1 billion tons of biomass per year that can be used as biofuels feedstock? That’s the question that researchers are trying to answer, according to South Dakota State University North Central Regional Sun Grant Center Director Vance Owens. The goal is to replace 30 percent of the petroleum consumed in the United States with biofuels.

Analysis of up to seven years of production data suggests an estimated billon-tpy could be available annually by 2030.

Field trial results and yield projections for herbaceous crops, including switchgrass, energycane, mixed perennial grasses on Conservation Reserve Program land, giant miscanthus and sorghum, as well as the woody feedstocks poplar and shrub willow, are available online in the January issue of GCB Bioenergy.

The raw data from the field trials will be available for public use and can be accessed at Knowledge Discovery Framework at the U.S. DOE website. Among the herbaceous energy crops, field-scale trials using traditional agricultural equipment were conducted for switchgrass and mixed perennial grasses suitable for use on CRP land, while smaller individual plots were utilized for energycane and giant miscanthus due to a lack of vegetative planting materials for these species.

South Dakota State University was the lead institution for the more than $20 million project which was funded by the U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and involved researchers from the U.S. DOE and USDA, 35 land-grant universities, Heidelberg University, INL, ORNL, ANL and several industry partners.

Report details are HERE (Source: South Dakota State University, Jan., 2018) Contact: South Dakota State Univ. North Central Regional Sun Grant Center, Vance Owens, Dir., (605) 688-5476, www.sdstate.edu/north-central-regional-sun-grant-center

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Feedstock,  

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