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Nat. Labs Say Sugars Key in Ideal Biofuel Feedstock (Ind. Report)
ORNL,NREL
Date: 2020-10-23
According to research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), although tall, fast-growing trees are best for biomass/biofuel feedstock the amount of sugars contained within the cellulosic biomass that can be converted into fuels is equally important.

Feedstock growers typically look at how many trees they can plant per acre rather than the quality and volume of fuel those trees will produce. To address the issue, the researchers analyzed 900 samples of black cottonwood trees -- a type of fast-growing poplar -- grown in Oregon to determine how variations in their size and composition affect feedstock quality and biorefinery economics.

The researh found the amount of fuel produced per-acre per-year and the minimum fuel selling price(MFSP) are most strongly connected to the size of a tree. Since a farmer would only plant the biggest and fastest growing trees, the researchers examined those and found that the size and sugar content in those trees were of nearly identical importance to the MFSP.

Download Economic Impact of Yield and Composition Variation in Bioenergy Crops: Populus trichocarpa report details HERE. (Source: US DOE ORNL, Center for Bioenergy Innovation, 19 Oct., 2020) Contact: Center for Bioenergy Innovation, www. cbi.ornl.gov; ORNL, Kimberly A Askey, (865) 576-2841, askeyka@ornl.gov, www.ornl.gvo

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel Feedstock,  Lignin,  ORNL,  NREL,  Cellulosic,  


ORNL Touting New Sustainable, Low Cost Fuel Tech (New Prod & Tech)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Date: 2020-03-30
The US DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), working with Vertimass LLC, a licensee of the technology, reports development of Consolidated Dehydration and Oligomerization (CADO), a new technology to turn ethanol into competitively priced sustainable fuels.

The single step CADO process is capable of converting vapor of wet ethanol into hydrocarbon blendstocks competitively priced at $2/gigajoule that can be blended with gasoline, diesel, or jet fuels to diminish emissions of greenhouse gases.

The conversion procedure of fuel uses zeolite, a kind of catalyst, to create actual loner chains of hydrocarbons from ethanol (alcohol). The process substitutes the traditional multi-step processes and uses less energy. (Source: ORNL, PR, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Daily Facts & Trends, 29 Mar., 2020) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, www.energy.gov/science; ORNL Center for Bioenergy Innovation, Brian Davison, Chief Science Officer, 865-576-7658, www.ornl.gov; Vertimass LLC, John Hannon, CEO, www.vertimass.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Oak Ridge National Laboratory,  Alternative Fuel,  Sustainable Fuel,  


Corn LP Joins Harvestone Ethanol Marketing Platform (Ind. Report)
Corn LP,Harvestone Group
Date: 2020-01-08
Franklin, Tennessee-based Harvestone Group is reporting Goldfield, Iowa-based ethanol producer Corn LP has joined its marketing and trading platform under the terms of a five-year contract. Corn LP produces roughly 75-million gpy of ethanol.

Harvestone Group, and its affiliated companies, is a global commodity merchant focused in the biofuels sector. By designing innovative service offerings and investing in strategic infrastructure, the company help build bridges and cement alliances between producers and end users, ultimately driving the supply chain to operate more efficiently, according to the company's website. (Source: Harvestone, Biofuel Int. 8 Jan, 2019) Contact: Harvestone Group, www.harvestonegroup.com: Corn LP, Brady Hess, 515-825-3933, www.cornlp.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Corn,  Corn Ethanol,  Ethanol,  Harvestone Group,  


Disappointed COP25 Participant Quotes (Opinions and Asides)
COP25
Date: 2019-12-16
"Never have I seen such a disconnect between what the science requires and what the climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful action. Most of the world's biggest emitting countries are missing in action and resisting calls to raise their ambition." -- Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists, Director of Strategy and Policy

"The US has not come here in good faith. They continue to block the world's efforts to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by climate change."

"Developing countries came to this climate conference with the expectation that the people who have lost their crops to drought, or who have lost their homes to cyclones, will finally get help from the UN system. Instead, they have faced bullying, arm-twisting and blackmail. Rich countries most responsible for the crisis have refused to provide a single penny of new money to support communities to recover from the devastation caused by increasingly frequent and severe climate disasters." -- Harjeet Singh, ActionAid Climate Lead

"Major players who needed to deliver in Madrid did not live up to expectations. But thanks to a progressive alliance of small island states, European, African and Latin American countries, we obtained the best possible outcome, against the will of big polluters." -- Laurence Tubiana, European Climate Foundation, CEO, France's Top Climate Negotiator and Architect of the Paris Agreement.

"The only thing more disastrous than the state of UN climate negotiations at COP 25 is the state of the global climate. This is nothing less than a breakdown in the Paris Agreement. This is not climate leadership, this is a betrayal of humanity and future generations," -- Eric Holthaus, Meteorologist

"What's happening today at COP 25 is a clear and present threat to civilization itself. The Trump administration and its fossil fuel allies around the world have sabotaged the Paris Agreement -- the only global treaty we have to fight climate change. This is a betrayal of humanity.

"For so many people gripped by devastating floods, fires, and storms, time is up. And instead of helping them, rich countries hold on to your dollars and hold up loss and damage. Public mobilizations are swamping the streets. The status quo you are working so stubbornly to protect is not working for people or the planet." -- Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network Canada

(Source: COP25 Wrap-Up, Various Media, 15 Dec. 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News COP25,  Climate Change,  


ORNL Process Sustainable Fuel Viability Studied (Ind. Report, R&D)
Vertimass,ORNL
Date: 2019-12-02
A technology developed at the U.S. DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and scaled up by Irvine, California-based Vertimass LLC to convert ethanol into fuels suitable for aviation, shipping and other heavy-duty applications can be price-competitive with conventional fuels while retaining the sustainability benefits of bio-based ethanol, according to a new analysis.

ORNL worked with technology licensee Vertimass and researchers at 10 other institutions on a technoeconomic and a life cycle sustainability analysis of the process -- single-step catalytic conversion of ethanol into hydrocarbon blendstocks that can be added to jet, diesel, or gasoline fuels to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. This new technology is called Consolidated Dehydration and Oligomerization (CADO).CADO.

The analysis, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that this single-step process for converting wet ethanol vapor could produce blend-stocks at $2/gigajoule (GJ) today and $1.44/GJ in the future as the process is refined, including operating and annualized capital costs. Thus, the blend-stock would be competitive with conventional jet fuel produced from oil at historically high prices of about $100/barrel. At $60/barrel oil, the use of existing renewable fuel incentives result in price parity, the analysis found.

The conversion makes use of a type of catalyst called a zeolite, which directly produces longer hydrocarbon chains from the original alcohol, in this case ethanol, replacing a traditional multi-step process with one that uses less energy and is highly efficient. The conversion operation could be integrated into new biofuels plants or installed as bolt-on technology to existing ethanol plants with minimal new capital investment, the researchers noted.

The project was supported by the Center for Bioenergy Innovation at ORNL, which in turn is supported by the DOE Office of Science. Scale-up R&D were supported in part by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and by Vertimass. (Source: ORNL, PR, NewsWise, Nov., 2019) Contact: US DOE Office of Science, www.energy.gov/science; DOE Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) at ORNL , Brian Davison, Chief Science Officer, Vertimass LLC, John Hannon, CEO, www.vertimass.com; DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office, www.energy.gov › eere › bioenergy

More Low-Carbon Energy News ORNL,  Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Vertimass,  


DOE Awards $2Mn for Performance Computing Energy Efficiency (Funding)
DOE EERE
Date: 2019-07-29
In Washington, the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) reports it has awarded $2 million in funding for seven new high performance computing projects, as part of the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative.

The initiative is a DOE-wide effort comprising EERE, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE), the Office of Science, and the National Laboratories. The initiative helps to leverage the National Laboratories' high performance computing capabilities to address challenges in manufacturing and materials through state-of-the-art modeling, simulation, and data analysis. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) leads the HPC4EI program along with partner laboratories Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia National Laboratories, as well as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory. Funded projects include:

  • NYC-based Ferric, Inc. will partner with LLNL to develop analytical tools that will combine traditional electromagnetic finite-element analysis with micromagnetic simulation.

  • Applied Materials in Sunnyvale, Calif. will continue to work with LLNL on Phase II of developing predictive modeling capabilities for the advanced film deposition technique, High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering.

  • Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Ill., Gopher Resource, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will partner to use high performance computing to increase the productivity of secondary lead furnaces.

  • Kingsport, Tenn.-based Eastman Chemical will collaborate with Argonne National Laboratory on developing open-source software-based models of a gas atomizer based on ongoing work being performed at Eastman.

  • Praxair Surface Technologies Inc. in Indianapolis will work with Ames National Laboratory to enhance the efficiency of metal powder production for additive manufacturing applications.

    Within the High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program, EERE's Vehicle Technologies Office has selected two projects:

  • PPG Industries will collaborate with LLNL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to apply classical molecular dynamics simulations and density functional tight-binding calculations.

  • AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio will collaborate with ORNL on thermo-mechanical forming process development to produce tailored strength automotive structural components. The Office of Fossil Energy selected two additional HPC4Mtls projects to support. Industry partners provide at least 20 pct of the funding for new projects. (Source:DOE EERE, PR, EIN,July, 2019) Contact: US DOE, www.energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE EERE,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Philippines Rice Straw Biogas Facility Launched (Int'l Report)
    Supergen Bioenergy Hub
    Date: 2019-07-01
    In Laguna Province, the Phillippines, a JV between Straw Innovations Ltd, Supergen Bioenergy Hub, QUBE Renewables and the University of Southampton is reporting the launch of a rice straw-to-biogas (R2B) project. The project, which will process the region's abundance of waste rice straw into marketable biogass transportation fuel, is being funded under the Energy Catalyst programme from Innovate UK and UK Aid.

    The rice-to-biofuel (R2B) project will produce biogas for energy and fertilizer using anaerobic digestion reactors with biomethane upgrading equipment. The activities of the "village scale" pilot facility and the development of the associated business models are supported by academic lab work and analysis from the UK research partners. (Source: Supergen Bioenergy Hub, June, 2019) Contact: Supergen Bioenergy Hub, European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), Aston University, Prof. Patricia Thornley, Dir., p.thornleyWaston.ac.uk; Straw Innovations, www.strawinnovations.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News anaerobic digestion,  bioenergy,  Biogas,  Rice Biogas,  


    Loughborough Univ. Granted £200,000 for Green Travel R&D (Int'l)
    Loughborough Univ
    Date: 2019-05-08
    Loughborough University has been awarded £200,000 in grant funding from the UK Department for Transport and Supergen Bioenergy Hub -- a group of experts focussed on developing sustainable bioenergy systems -- for two projects which aim to make the transport sector more environmentally friendly. The projects will explore biofuel production, bioenergy carbon capture, and storage and utilisation.

    One project, led by Dr Jin Xuan, a Senior Lecturer in Low Carbon Processes, will examine the role of e-biofuel in reducing emissions and increasing the sustainability of the road transport sector while enhancing renewable energy security. The research will examine the feasibility of a novel electrochemical process to produce biofuels while reusing the captured CO2.

    The project will develop a new concept of e-biofuel which combines the advantages of both e-fuel (produced from renewable electricity and CO2) and biofuel (produced from biomass) to intensively decarbonise the road transport sector. It also provides Loughborough researchers with a new link to the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and the Department of Transport.

    A second project led by Dr Tanja Radu, a Lecturer in Water Engineering, will research algae-based biomethane fuel purification and carbon sequestration. The project aims to develop and assess an innovative process for the simultaneous production of high-purity biomethane as a potential natural gas vehicle fuel, together with the sequestration of remaining biomass and biogas carbon into algal co-product and biochar.

    The Supergen Bioenergy Hub at Aston University aims to bring together industry, academia and other stakeholders to focus on the research and knowledge challenges associated with increasing the contribution of UK bioenergy to meet strategic environmental targets in a coherent, sustainable and cost-effective manner. (Source: DfT, Loughborough University, East Midlands Business Link, 8 May, 2019) Contact: Loughborough University, www.lboro.ac.uk; Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Professor Patricia Thornley, Dir., p.thornley@aston.ac.uk, www.supergen-bioenergy.net

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioenergy news,  Biofuel news,  CCS news,  Biogas news,  


    Notable Quote Duly Noted
    Christiana Figueres
    Date: 2018-10-03
    "The influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts us all. When that incredible force is primed to catalyze exponential shifts in GHG emissions reductions all sectors of the economy, we can be stubbornly optimistic about delivering a livable planet to our children within the timeframe we have left to do so." -- Christiana Figueres, Sept., 2018

    Christiana Figueres Olsen is a Costa Rican diplomat with 35 years of experience in high level national and international policy and multilateral negotiations. She was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in July 2010, six months after the failed COP15 in Copenhagen, according to Wikipedia. Contact: Christiana Figueres, http://christianafigueres.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Christiana Figueres,  GHG Emissions,  Climate Change,  

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