Tag-Archive for » biofuel «

quarta-feira, janeiro 27th, 2010 | Author: admin

A new, widely anticipated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) should be issued by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “very soon,” Administrator Lisa Jackson said Tuesday. “(EPA is) working very hard to finalize the [new rule] as soon as possible,” Jackson said. The rule is now at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an interagency review.
Biofuels makers have been waiting for the rules, which are designed to implement a 2007 law that mandated an ever-increasing amount of biofuels be added to transportation fuel. This year, 12.95 billion gallons of renewable fuel must be part of the supply, up almost 17% from last year. Of that total, almost one billion gallons must come from advanced biofuels.
The EPA has been working to determine what biofuels count as advanced. To qualify, each type of advanced biofuel must produce greenhouse-gas emissions that are at least 50% lower than the emissions associated with ordinary gasoline. The question is how to measure emissions, since the EPA must look across the entire life cycle from the time a seed is planted to the time a fuel is burned.  As part of that, the EPA must account for the potential impact of clearing land that absorbs greenhouse gases to make room for crops that absorb less of the gases.
The agency’s ultimate decision will also determine what types of new biofuel plants may break ground.
By law, new biofuel plants must produce fuels with greenhouse-gas emissions that are at least 20% lower that emissions associated with traditional gasoline.
Another question involves the future of corn-based ethanol. When the EPA proposed rules in May 2009, the agency outlined two different scenarios. One scenario largely favored the ethanol industry, and another would prohibit all but one corn-ethanol-production process. At issue is whether the EPA determines that ethanol producers are able to find ways to operate more efficiently–such as through the use of enzymes or other processes.
Oil companies have their own concerns. ConocoPhillips (COP) told the White House recently that the system for ensuring that marketers comply with the standards wasn’t workable. The company also opposed an EPA proposal that would allow biodiesel to qualify. The biodiesel industry is fighting back. The National Biodiesel Board has complained that companies aren’t buying biodiesel in mandated volumes because of the EPA’s delay in issuing rules.

Sugarcane blog

sábado, dezembro 12th, 2009 | Author: admin

The Energy & Environmental Research Center Foundation and Whole Energy Fuels Corp., headquartered in Bellingham, Wash., are poised to commercialize a novel and groundbreaking cellulosic biofuel technology developed at the EERC at the University of North Dakota. Whole Energy is receiving global, exclusive licensing rights to EERC Foundation’s technology, which converts biomass and other recycled material into liquid biofuels.
Utilizing cellulosic materials to produce biofuels has several advantages. Cellulosic materials such as wood, grasses, or the nonedible parts of crops, including wheat straw, soybean hulls and corncobs, are vast and diverse feedstocks compared with first-generation feedstocks such as corn starch or sugarcane. In addition, cellulosic fuels promise to become the lowest-cost biofuel while at the same time provide large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared with petroleum-derived fuels.
“This project presents an exciting opportunity for the EERC, as it is one of the very first involving production of advanced fuel additives from cellulosic feedstocks,” said Senior Research Advisor Ed Olson. “This technology will ultimately be used to improve engine performance using a renewable product, both in gasoline and diesel engines. In the case of diesel fuel, our additives will boost the cetane levels, improve flow properties and, most importantly, reduce particulate emissions.”
The current federal renewable fuel standard requires that 36 million gallons of biofuels be used in transportation fuel by 2022, including at least 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels such as cellulosic biofuels. This creates a gigantic market for cellulosic biofuels.
Atul Deshmane, CEO and President of Whole Energy, is excited to capture this market opportunity and build on more than 15 years of experience in the alternative fuels industry. “Partnering with the EERC and obtaining a technology license from the EERC Foundation will jump-start Mercurius Biofuels, a new company formed with our help to develop and commercialize advanced biofuel technologies,” Deshmane said. “Mercurius is developing the technology with the intent of building and operating a pilot plant to demonstrate what may be the most energy- and carbon-efficient process for making a cellulosic fuel.”
Karl Seck, president of Mercurius Biofuels, is looking forward to building a successful company with the EERC Foundation’s technology as its centerpiece. “The EERC Foundation’s biorefinery technology is superior to other technologies because it does not depend on enzymes, fermentation or extreme operating conditions,” Seck said. Based on experience in the petroleum refining industry, he continued, “This technology is more in line with the petroleum refining model and will benefit from many of the same efficiencies.”
“The EERC is internationally recognized for its applied energy and environmental research programs, which translate to a never-ending stream of commercialization opportunities for our partners,” said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. “Working with Whole Energy and Mercurius Biofuels is another testimony to the success of the EERC’s business model.”

EERC - Energy & Environmental Research Center Foundation

sábado, setembro 12th, 2009 | Author: admin

The copaiba tree has some serious potential as a biofuel, says biologist Chhandak Basu. The plant comes with a few problems: it only grows in the tropics and it grows too slowly to efficiently make the resin into a fuel for your car.
After five years of research, Basu has a solution–if the genes responsible for the diesel-like fuel production is identified, plants or algae with those genes can be engineered. Basu said using non-food crops would make the biofuel an even better alternative to ethanol, which is produced from corn.
The trunk of the copaiba tree produces a resin that is used for medicine, but Dr. Chhandak Basu, assistant biological professor at the University of Northern Colorado, said the plant has some serious potential as a biofuel. “The goal is that if we can identify the genes that may be responsible for the diesel-like fuel production, we can engineer plants or algae with those genes,” he said.
Those plants and algae could be used to mass produce the resin right here in Colorado. Basu said using non-food crops would make the biofuel an even better alternative to ethanol, which is produced from corn.
“I am from a developing country,” he said. “I was born in India. I really don’t want to use food crops that could be used to feed the hungry people in developing countries.”
The biggest hurdle now is mapping all of the diesel tree’s genes. Basu has completed 800, but estimates there are thousands more. It’s painstaking work, but he said not as painful as the alternative.
“Well, last summer the price of gas was $4 a gallon,” he said.
The Colorado Office of Economic Development awarded Basu a $50,000 grant for his research and UNC matched the grant. He’s also working with Western Energy Partners in Tulsa, Okla. to apply for additional funding from the federal government. He said he hopes to have the first genetically modified plants ready in two to three years.

The Denver Channel

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quinta-feira, agosto 27th, 2009 | Author: admin

<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:”"; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:595.3pt 841.9pt; margin:70.85pt 3.0cm 70.85pt 3.0cm; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> Amyris Biotechnologies made a $24.7 million first close of a potential $62 million Series C financing to ramp up its synthetic biology platform. Unlike traditional biodiesel from lipids and fatty acids, Amyris produces renewable products by applying a proprietary synthetic biology platform. By altering the metabolic pathways of yeast, Amyris said it is able to engineer “living factories” that convert sugar cane into chemicals and renewable fuels.

Both Khosla-backed biofuel companies are on the verge of closing Series C rounds, focused on aggressive timeframes toward commercialization. The race is on to see who can commercialize next-generation renewable biofuels the fastest.

But with the global biofuel market predicted to surpass $280 billion by 2022, there’s room for friendly competitors Emeryville, Calif.-based Amyris Biotechnologies and South San Francisco, Calif.-based LS9 to share in the potential profits.

Amyris, which makes biofuels from synthetic microorganisms, said today it edged a little closer to the finish line, acknowledging a $24.7 million first close of a potential $62 million Series C to ramp up its synthetic biology platform.

Both Amyris and LS9 are looking to lock in Series C rounds to help them meet aggressive production deadlines.

Amyris spokeswoman Annika Jensen told the company is expecting subsequent closings this fall.“This first close of this Series C will be used to accelerate the development and scale up of Amyris’s synthetic biology platform and supports the commercialization of our renewable fuels and chemicals, which is targeted for 2011,” she said, without providing specifics.

The company has previously raised $120 million.She also confirmed today’s latest round included existing investors Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech and Votorantim Novos Negocios.

Unlike traditional biodiesel from lipids and fatty acids, Amyris produces renewable products by applying a proprietary synthetic biology platform. By altering the metabolic pathways of yeast, Amyris said it is able to engineer “living factories” that convert sugar cane into chemicals and renewable fuels, which it said have performance attributes comparable to petroleum-based products.

LS9’s CEO Bill Haywood told that his company’s strategy and process is very similar to Amyris, with both companies using metabolic pathways in a host organism.“They have been raising money to scale their technology just like we have been doing,” he said.

LS9 says it has demonstrated the ability to modify the genetic makeup of its microorganisms and tailor its products to have improved fuel properties, such as cetane, volatility and cold flow.

Also a Khosla Ventures-backed company, LS9 has raised $20 million in two rounds. LS9 has a Series C round currently open, where it is looking to add $10 million to the undisclosed amount raised so far and is contemplating a follow-on.

LS9 has a pilot plant in South San Francisco that’s been operating for more than a year now, Haywood said. The company has been working to prove its technology, wants to build a demonstration facility next and then move into commercialization.

“Both companies have very aggressive agendas,” he said. “It has never been done before. It’s cutting-edge stuff. You have very disciplined milestones on the scale and the technology,” he said.

LS9 has said it’s going to be at commercial capabilities in 2011, with commercial quantities being produced in 2013.

“I’m behind what Amyris is doing,” said Haywood, in a supportive way. “I hope we both make it along with two or three others.”

Amyris, spun out from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, opened a demonstration facility for its bio-based diesel in Campinas, Brazil in June. The facility, located in the midst of the sugar cane processing industry, is the first of its kind in Brazil. It is designed to execute in-country scale-up and demonstration of all Amyris fuels and chemical manufacturing processes, Jensen said.

Amyris has a pilot plant in Emeryville, which houses two 300-liter fermentors producing thousands of gallons of Amyris product a year for testing.
Amyris opened its larger demonstration facility in June in Brazil, which includes a pilot plant similar to the one in Emeryville plus two 5,000-liter fermentors, which have the capacity to produce 35,000 liters of product a year for testing.

The company’s subsidiary Amyris Fuels is building U.S.-based product distribution, generating current undisclosed revenue from an expanding distribution and customer network, she said.

Established in March of 2008, the company’s other subsidiary Amyris Brasil oversees the company’s final scale up, production and distribution in Brazil. It was established when Amyris acquired the outstanding stake in a venture it had with Brazil’s Crystalsev, a sugar and ethanol production company.

Amyris Brasil has approximately 40 employees and facilities in Campinas, including labs, a pilot plant and demonstration facility.

LS9’s business plan also includes making its fuels in Brazil, where sugar cane is inexpensive and there’s good biofuel manufacturing capabilities. LS9’s biofuel product has exceeded both American and Brazilian testing specifications.

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quarta-feira, julho 01st, 2009 | Author: admin

Dow Chemical and Algenol Biofuels, a start-up company, announce that they will build a demonstration plant that,
if successful, would use algae to turn carbon dioxide into ethanol as a vehicle fuel or an ingredient in plastics.

Because algae does not require any farmland or much space, many energy companies are trying to use it to make commercial quantities of hydrocarbons for fuel and chemicals. But harvesting the hydrocarbons has proved difficult so far.

The ethanol would be sold as fuel, the companies said, but Dow’s long-term interest is in using it as an ingredient for plastics, replacing natural gas. The process also produces oxygen, which could be used to burn coal in a power plant cleanly, said Paul Woods, chief executive of Algenol, which is based in Bonita Springs, Fla. The exhaust from such a plant would be mostly carbon dioxide, which could be reused to make more algae. “We give them the oxygen, we get very pure carbon dioxide, and the output is very cheap ethanol,” said Mr. Woods, who said the target price was $1 a gallon.

Algenol grows algae in “bioreactors,” troughs covered with flexible plastic and filled with saltwater. The water is saturated with carbon dioxide, to encourage growth of the algae. “It looks like a long hot dog balloon,” Mr. Woods said. Dow, a maker of specialty plastics, will provide the “balloon” material.

The algae, through photosynthesis, convert the carbon dioxide and water into ethanol, which is a hydrocarbon, oxygen and fresh water.

The company has 40 bioreactors in Florida, and as part of the demonstration project plans 3,100 of them on a 24-acre site at Dow’s Freeport, Tex., site. Among the steps still being improved is the separation of the oxygen and water from the ethanol. The Georgia Institute of Technology will work on that process, as will Membrane Technology and Research, a company in Menlo Park, Calif. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an Energy Department lab, will study carbon dioxide sources and their impact on the algae samples.

Algenol and its partners are planning a demonstration plant that could produce 100,000 gallons a year. The company and its partners were spending more than $50 million, said Mr. Woods, but not all of that was going into the pilot plant. The company had applied to the Energy Department for financing under the stimulus bill, but would build a pilot plant with or without a grant, he said.

With a stimulus grant, he said, the division of spending would be slightly more than 50 percent from the private sector, although the normal level was 20 percent. The project would create 300 jobs, he said, adding that Algenol and Dow were “incredibly hopeful” of getting the grant, partly because they had a combination of an innovative start-up company, a major company with extensive experience in industrial processes, a university and a national laboratory.

At Dow, Peter A. Molinaro, a spokesman, said that the ethanol was “intriguing to us as a feedstock, because the chemistry is simple.” Dow is already working on using ethanol from Brazilian sugar cane as a replacement for natural gas as an ingredient in plastics.

When Congress created a tax subsidy for ethanol, it raised the price for nonfuel users like Dow, he said. “We’re looking at options, and this is one,” he said.

The New York Times, Matthew L. Wald

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domingo, junho 07th, 2009 | Author: admin

“Brazil is the only country in the world where gasoline is the alternative fuel”, said José Sérgio Gabrielli, president of Petrobrás, to the surprise of many present foreigners that attended to the Ethanol Summit plenary session.

At present, gasoline supplies less than 50% of the market of light vehicles, a proportion that will reduce to 17% in 2020. Ethanol, on the other hand, will be present in 22% of light and heavy vehicles. The flex fluel models will represent 75% of the fleet in 2020, compared Gabrielli.

That composition of the Brazilian fleet was not reached all of a sudden. The president of Petrobrás reminded that the infrastructure that allows today to deliver ethanol anywhere in the country began started to be created 40 years ago. There are hundreds of producers, 37 thousand gas services where there is at least one ethanol bomb. Today 97% of the cars produced are flex.

Petrobrás will invest US$ 2,8 billion in the production of biofuels, including the sugarcane ethanol, the president of the company announced. Petrobras will invest US$ 174,4 billion during the period 2009-2013.

Petrobrás will also be the first ethanol dealer in Japan. With up to 5% of ethanol mixture in the gasoline it is not necessary to invest in distribution; above this, up to 25%, some important structural changes are requested.

Biggest world producer of sugarcane, Brazil is the only country in the world to mix up to 25% of ethanol to the gasoline, observed Marcos Jank, president of the Union of Sugarcane Industries(Unica), entity that gathers 127 industrial companies.

Unica has conceived the Ethanol Summit - in its second edition, in 2009 - as a forum for deep and high level debates on this biofuel, gathering entrepreneurs, government’s representatives, producers and researchers of several parts of the world.

According to Jank, the production and the use of sugarcane ethanol is an important tool in the combat against global heating. It is considered that it has avoided the emission of about 45 million tons of carbon dioxide in Brazil since 2003, when the vehicles flex fuel were launched in the market.

“Since the 1970s, the use of sugarcane ethanol has produced an estimated reduction of 600 million tons of carbon dioxide. To reach a similar reduction, it would be necessary to plant, at least, 2 billion trees”, Jank added.

José Serra, the governor of the State ofSão Paulo, has also presented data about the reduction of carbon dioxide(CO2). “Between 2004 and 2008, the fleet of flex fuel vehicles in the State avoided the emission of about 35 million tons of CO2 in the atmosphere”, he said. “The ethanol use for that fleet would be equal to planting about 110 million trees.”

The sugar-energy production sector is responsible for the direct job of more than 800 thousand workers throughout Brazil. The Country has produced and processed about 496 million tons of sugarcane in the harvest 2007/2008, for 350 industrial plants in the whole country.

At the end of the harvest 2007/2008, the cane occupied 7,8 million hectares, or 2,2% of the total of arable lands in the country. The area Center-south produces about 90% of the Brazilian sugarcane. The State of São Paulo alone is responsible for 60% of the total sugarcane produced in Brazil.

The world production is close to 1,6 billion tons and it is concentrated mainly in tropical regions, especially in the developing nations of Latin America, Africa and South and Southwest of Asia, in about a hundred producing countries.

“If 10% of the gasoline of the world had ethanol in its formulation, it would be possible to avoid the emission of 530 million tons of CO2 every year, which would be equal to
1 million trees standing”, the governor compared. “In Brazilian case, the addition of ethanol to gasoline nowadays varies from 20% to 25%. Those data are extremely significant and reinforce the ecological benefits of the biofuel”, affirmed Serra.

According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the production and the use of ethanol have helped to reduce up to 90% the emissions of greenhouse effect gases in comparison to gasoline, following analyses accomplished during the whole life cycle of the product, from the planting of sugarcan to the vehicle supplied with ethanol.

Besides the economical and environmental advantages, the production and the use at national level of ethanol have allowed the country to save billions of dollars in oil imports in the last three decades.

“We have all the interest in disseminating the commodity concept for the ethanol. That is key point for us, because it will allow the best development of the internal and external trade, avoiding that ethanol competes directly with sugar”, the governor from São Paulo said.

Several research and educational institutions, as well as private companies in the State of São Paulo are developing the second generation of ethanol, the cellulosic ethanol from sugarcane. But this is an expensive process, that needs the use of enzymes capable to break cellulose molecules. “The enzymes for the production of second generation ethanol are still too expensive”, observes physicist José Goldemberg.

In his opinion, the production of first generation ethanol can still progress a lot and to reach superior productivity levels. The scientist defends the conquest of a larger efficiency in the ethanol production, enlarging the extracted volume per ton of sugarcane, today around 80 liters.

Besides, the horizontal enlargement of the areas of cultivation is a considerable factor, since Brazil uses only 1% of its arable lands for ethanol. Therefore, it has a potential to expand the farming.

“The first generation of the ethanol is not yet finished and it won’t be, at least during the next 10 years”, said Goldemberg, who has been already minister, state secretary and dean of the University of São Paulo.

Enthusiast of the renewable energies, Goldemberg affirms that compared to other biofuels, sugarcane ethanol offers important gains both in the energy area and in the emissions of greenhouse effect gases.

On the last day of the Ethanol Summit, an intense debate agitated the plenary session “Ethanol: Domestic vs. Global Production”. Ethanol exports, tariffs, opening of markets, sustainability criteria and trade rules were some themes that opposed representatives of Brazil, United States and United Kingdom, all defending the status quo of their countries. It was evident that there is still a long road ahead in the search of a consensus that assists to global interests and to those of each country.

“The Brazilian government is favorable to sustainability, but the debate should be fair, and sustainability should be discussed by all of us”, declared the diplomat André Corrêa do Lago, of the department of energy of Itamaraty (Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

The president of the Renewable Fuels Association of the United States (RFA), Bob Dinneen, said that the rules have changed in the middle of the game and that’s impossible to invest until understanding them. “We are becoming too much sustainable”, retorted Dinneen. “Which is the metric used to measure carbon? This metric will harm the continuous evolution of this sector.”

For Corrêa do Lago, however, the danger of sustainability lies in not transforming ethanol into a global commodity. Such complicated criteria are created, as the use of land, which is difficult to measure, that it will probably making producers disappear”, said the diplomat. “That is being to make the whole ethanol market come to an end”, he added.

The representative of Unica to North America, Joel Velasco, reminded that both the ethanol and the gasoline are taxed almost equally in Brazil and, in the competition among the two fuels, ethanol is almost winning in consumption volume. He wanted to emphasize that it’s not possible to compete if the product doesn’t become a commodity.

Dinneen said that Brazil could help USA with its experience in mixing the fuels, because the Americans could use this mixture even in boats. In USA, mixture can only reach 5% of ethanol in gasoline. “We want to reach 15%. In Brazil you put 25%, and cars ride! “, surprised the executive.

The general secretary of eBio (European Association of Bioethanol), Rob Vierhout, admitted that the European industry doesn’t like ethanol. The discussion of percentile of mixture is a luxury because we are still in the strip of 5%”, he observed. He argued that first it would be necessary to have flex fuel vehicles in Europe, then later to increase the ethanol market.

“I was a lobbyist, but then I recovered. Now I am regulator”, played Nick Goodall, CEO of the Agency of Renewable Fuels of United Kingdom. “If you want a help in this battle ‘mine is better than yours’, it is important to consider the renewable fuel for the future. We cannot use half criteria when dealing with social and environmental impact.”

Michael McAdams, president of the Association of Advanced Fuels of the United States, took advantage to ask all to speak in only one voice. “A unique voice, but not a cartel that controls the product of all”, retorted Velasco, of Unica.

Bob Dinneen, from RFA, suggested that Brazil doesn’t abandon the international program because of protectionist barriers, arguing that the American program is not an obstacle for the entrance of the Brazilian product: “If you want that United States don’t have a tariff, then the Americans would be subsidizing Brazil.”

In Europe, the ethanol market in 2008 was of 1,5 billion liters, compared to 3 million liters three years ago, said Vierhout, from eBio. From the total exports for that continent, Brazil was responsible for 77%, according to him, while the Europeans exported more than 50%, which he considers as an open and balanced market. “Sustainability is not there to protect the European producers”, he affirmed. “We only want him to be sustainable.”


domingo, maio 10th, 2009 | Author: admin

One farmer’s crude vegetable oil and animal fat could run another’s tractor. These waste products were previously thought to have no value at all, but Best Energies wants to challenge that way of thinking.
As they explained at the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Summit, the company prides itself on taking these products and refining them to produce a clean, environmentally-friendly bio-fuel known as biodiesel.
Biodiesel is a fuel made up of mono-alkyl esters of long-chain, fatty acids originated from vegetable oils or animal fats.
Anthony Keyzer, a purchasing manager for Best Energies, explained that his company “uses a variety of discarded agricultural crude oils and bio-waste products that farmers simply don’t have a use for,” and they turn these products into useable energy.
Biodiesel can run on any diesel engine powered vehicle or machine (with a few minor modifications to the engine) such as cars, trucks, buses and boilers.
This type of fuel can also be blended with other diesel fuels to power vehicles.
The significantly low emissions that this fuel gives off when it’s burned is a major positive in lowering greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
The ability to blend biodiesel with other fuels speeds up the process of reducing our country’s dependence on foreign oil by implementing another alternative fuel.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that in 2008 the United States led the world in the number of barrels of crude oil imported by any country with over 4.7 trillion barrels.
They also reported that our country has already imported over 408 million barrels in January this year alone.
Such staggering numbers show that our country needs another viable alternative fuel, and Best Energies could help provide it.
Biodiesel production also creates jobs. Best Energies is completing a biodiesel plant in Cashton, Wisconsin, that will be able to produce eight million gallons per year of B-100 biodiesel.
This one plant in Wisconsin can give the opportunity for employment to the town of Cashton.
It can also attract other “green” companies to set up in rural areas because of their ideal location.
What makes areas like Cashton and the state of Wisconsin special for bio-fuel development is that they have a large amount of open farming land which contains the right crops to make this fuel (corn and soybean).
Being able to take the leftover husk of corn and the unused parts of soybeans that would otherwise be used as cattle feed or garbage and converting them into a natural fuel source could be a gold mine in rural areas hit hard by our economic depression.
So the next time you take a mouthful of soy products to the face or eat some corn on the cob, just remember that the stuff could one day power your automobile.

sábado, maio 02nd, 2009 | Author: admin

Toyota may be focusing on hybrids and Nissan on electrics, but Volvo is placing its faith in the green car race firmly on Flexifuel.
The Swedish manufacturer has already created and manufactured several new vehicle models that can be used utilising alternative fuels that are less harmful to the environment. At present Volvo has nine models and three of them are already available as bio-ethanol powered vehicles: the Volvo C30, S40 and V50.
According to Magnus Jonsson, the senior vice president of Volvo Cars’ Research and Development team, flexifuel has “great potential for larger engine sizes”. He also admits that the company is planning to expand its range of bio-ethanol powered engines in the coming years.
In addition, Volvo has created the XC60 concept vehicle which uses the same powertrain as the Volvo S80 when it was first introduced in 2006 but has the capacity to run on E85 biofuel without compromising power and performance - it can achieve some 265horsepower with 251lb ft of torque. The vehicle can also run from 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds.

domingo, março 29th, 2009 | Author: admin

Oil companies in the Philippines are allowed to import ethanol from foreign suppliers until 2011. According to Mario Marasigan, Department of Energy (DOE) director for energy utilization and management, the country would need at least 200 million liters of ethanol for the year. Marasigan said the DOE has also conceptualized a year-round promotion of the E10.
With only less than a fifth of the ethanol requirements to be initially sourced locally, oil companies are allowed to import from foreign suppliers, at least until 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.
“As estimated, the country would need at least 200 million liters of ethanol for the year,” Mario Marasigan, DOE director for energy utilization and management, said.
He admitted that, unfortunately, the country’s current production capacity is only 39 million liters, thus, the balance between the requirements and what the country can only produce would have to be imported elsewhere.
He said importing some of the ethanol requirements is allowed until 2011, since the proposed ethanol plants have yet to be fully constructed.  “So, come 2011, importing it [ethanol] is no longer possible,” he added.
Marasigan said the country’s ethanol program has recently kicked in, and that promotional campaigns are being conducted by industry stakeholders. “We want to prove that E10 is there already, as very few have noticed that E10 [10-percent ethanol blend] is available at the pump,” he added.
Marasigan said the DOE has also conceptualized a year-round promotion of the E10. He added the DOE has no problem with biodiesel since it’s all over the country already. Marasigan said the DOE is looking at increasing the biodiesel blend to 3 percent from the current 2 percent by the end of the year. “A technical committee on petroleum-products standards is now formulating the guidelines for the increased blend,” he added.
Marasigan said increasing the blend to 3 percent was floated and is being considered by the technical committee. He added the technical committee is finalizing the details of the guidelines, which will be subject to public consultation.
“Once the guidelines have been subject for consultation, we hope to implement the higher biodiesel blend within the year.”
The DOE, according to Marasigan, recently promulgated guidelines for Republic Act 9367, or the Biofuels Act of 2006. The guidelines are expected to facilitate the entry of more investors into the biofuels industry.  He added it also provides a clearer and faster accreditation process for biofuel producers, distributors and oil companies.
Marasigan said the guidelines will “promote the development of the local biofuel industry and attract private-sector participation, and will put in place mechanisms that will speed up investments in the biofuel industry.”
Marasigan said the guidelines also provide for the setting up of a one-stop shop under the National Biofuels Board. The one-stop shop is envisioned to undertake all the needed processes in evaluating and approving biofuels-related project.

quarta-feira, janeiro 21st, 2009 | Author: admin

The decision by the German government to raise taxes on biofuels and to reduce blending rates in fossil fuels will mean more biodiesel plants in the country will face closure, a German biofuels industry association says.
Europe’s largest biodiesel industry has been operating at under 60% of its 5 million tonne a year capacity, Johannes Lackmann, CEO of German biofuels industry association VDB, comments.
‘Many medium and small size plants will have little chance of survival this year,’ he warns. ‘Some larger biodiesel plants will seek to export more to the European Union and east European, but a large number of smaller plants do not have the ability to do this.’
A tax rise of €0.06 a litre had been in the statute books for 1 January 2009, but the government agreed in late 2008 to cut this to a €0.03 rise after biofuel industry pro tests that the rise was making biofuels too expensive compared to fossil fuels.
The tax change however is yet to come into law and technically the €0.06 rise still applies. ‘As this change has not come into force we do not know what tax level we have,’ Lackmann says.
In October 2008 the government said oil refineries will have to mix 5.25% biofuels in fossil fuels from January 2009 instead of 6.25% previously planned.
The VDB estimates the change will reduce 2009 biodiesel demand by about 600,000 tonnes, reflecting output cuts from six biodiesel plants and more refinery closures were on the cards.
This change has also not been implemented meaning January’s blending levels are also unclear.

Biofuels International

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