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…

Q Are biofuels worth the investment? Vote in the poll below. Biofuels are at a crossroads. According to the International Energy Agency, global biofuels production has grown more than sixfold over the last decade, yet biofuels still account for just 3 percent of all road fuel energy. While it may seem preferable, in theory, to…

The Caribbean island of Bonaire has been on a pretty interesting path energy-wise since 2004, when the island’s sole power plant burned to the ground. Given an opportunity to rebuild literally from the ground up, the government decided to create a plan that would lead them to 100 percent sustainable energy generation by the end…

The Navy’s Great Green Fleet staged an impressive show of force as it gears up for more battles — of a political nature — ahead. This week, F/A-18 Hornets powered by a mix of petroleum biofuels roared off the deck of the USS Nimitz for the first time in a demonstration north of Hawaii. Some…

Team Luk Jao Mae Khlong Prapa from Thailand surpassed their own fuel efficiency record from last year by 31 percent to clinch the top place at Shell* Eco-marathon Asia, which concluded on July 7. The students from Dhurakij Pubdit University, whose prototype car runs on ethanol, improved their mileage from 2,213.4 kilometers per liter (5,206.2…

Comments Off on As Half the U.S. Contemplates Hydraulic Fracturing, First Liquefied Natural Gas Export Plant Approved

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday approved the first large-scale liquefied natural gas export terminal in the lower 48 states despite record falling gas prices. Shipping from the $10 billion Louisiana plant is projected to begin as early as 2015. The Cheniere plant is the third liquefied natural gas plant in the works in Louisiana. Others are planned elsewhere in the country. The plants…

Biofuel saw another first on Monday as United Airlines made the first passenger jet flight in the United States using a blend of petroleum and fuel made from algal oil. But how does the airline industry feel about getting a government push to go green? Amid plenty of celebration over biofuel demonstrations – which have…

Boeing and Air China have conducted China’s first sustainable biofuel flight. Lifting off from Beijing Capital International Airport, the Oct. 28 test flight lasted two hours and used a sustainable aviation biofuel sourced in China, Boeing said. (Related: As Jet Fuel Prices Soar, a Green Option Nears the Runway) PetroChina, a partner in the collaboration,…

Perhaps there wasn’t the same fanfare that greeted the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927, but a corporate jet today completed a trans-Atlantic flight that is an important first in the effort to reduce aviation’s dependence on petroleum. A Honeywell-operated Gulfstream G450 that took off Friday night from an airfield in Morristown, New Jersey and…

In Africa, where two-thirds of farmers are women, the potential of biofuels as a low or lower-carbon alternative fuel, with applications at the household energy, community and village level, to a national resource or export commodity, has a critical gender dimension. The key question is: how will increased biofuel production affect women? To look at the…

The RAND Corporation releases a critical report on the state of alternative energy investment in the armed forces. Military commanders, however, remain committed to reducing fossil fuel usage fleetwide.