Tag archives for biofuel

Comments Off on The Value of Sugar Palm in Indonesia

When conservationist Willie Smits got married in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 1980, the dowry cost six sugar palm trees, a fact that intrigued him. The six trees equaled almost one month’s income for most locals. What made sugar palms so valuable? That question ultimately led Smits on a quest to maximize the tree’s value for…

Comments Off on In Sao Paulo, Experts Eye the Future for Brazil’s Energy Mix

Brazil is a vast country of abundant natural resources, and Brazilians are anxious both to preserve irreplaceable habitats and fulfill their potential to contribute significantly to global energy and food supply. Finding the right balance is crucial, not just to Brazil but to the world, and much rests on determining the right energy mix. In…

Comments Off on The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard: It’s Not Just for Ethanol Anymore

The debate surrounding ethanol and federally mandated targets for its production tends to dominate the conversation about the United States’ Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But the Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a tweak to the RFS that also deserves attention. The agency said that electricity generated from biogas counts toward compliance with the RFS, a…

In July my colleagues and I, together with the Great Plains Institute in Minnesota, organized a Cellulosic Summit in Iowa.  We brought together experts in clean transportation (many from California) with experts in sustainable agriculture (many from Iowa) to see for themselves the latest developments in cellulosic biofuel commercialization. Cellulosic biofuels are a key element…

The U.S. Department of Energy has been counting on leftover residue from corn cultivation—such as  stalks and cobs—as an abundant future source of renewable clean energy, and touted it as a potential goldmine for farmers as well. But University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) researchers may throw a damper on those plans, with a newly published study…

Comments Off on Milestone IPCC Climate Report Shifts on Biofuels

In a newly issued document, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shifted position on biofuels, for the first time acknowledging that they may have negative impacts that take away from their value in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Working Group II contribution to the IPCC’s report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability ,…

Alternative energy company KiOR, which aimed to lead the nation into a future in which fuel manufactured from wood chips, grasses and other plant materials would replace petroleum, now faces dire financial difficulties that may threaten the company’s future. (See earlier story on KiOR: “Beyond Ethanol: “Drop-In Biofuels Squeeze Gasoline From Plants.”) In a March…

Comments Off on As Holiday Shipping ‘Peak Week’ Hits, Global Air Transport Continues to Rise

Waiting for a package? The holiday shipping countdown has begun: Online retailers are issuing regular reminders of how many days are left to order for delivery by Christmas, while shippers such as UPS and FedEx are scrambling to distribute record volumes of parcels from all of that e-commerce. Dubbing this “Peak Week,” UPS said it…

For the first time in the history of its program to promote biofuel as a replacement for petroleum-based fuels, the U.S. government proposed Friday to reduce the amount of ethanol that is required to be added to the nation’s gasoline supply. The move by the world’s No. 1 producer and consumer of biofuel reflects profound…

The greenish sheen that sometimes appears on still water is actually a potential energy powerhouse–cyanobacteria, a microorganism that manufactures its own energy through photosynthesis. Biotechnology companies today are working to develop cyanobacteria, algae, and even municipal waste as feedstocks for advanced biofuels. But these promising abundant non-food sources lack either the government subsidies or the…