Friday, May 21, 2010
Where will biofuel stop?
Photos and realities speak better than thousand words.
It seems some people seem to forget that fuel is part of the blood of human today. Blood keeps flowing keeps body alive, fuel keep flowing keeps world going and human live is interwined arround fuel.However, the good all days of fossil fuel which were abundant and thus cheap are marked for the reason that millions of tons of pollution at in terms of carbon dioxide is realesed into atmosphere at daily basis. The climate scientists have better idea to argue here,thus the valididty of biofuel as an alternative way to go has long been embraced. Two way forward, firstly food based and secondly non-food based. The former is subjected further scrutinity given the addtional 800 million people increase per year,meaning increased agriculture,space and demand is proportional linear.
The second item, that is the neone food based has been riggidly addressed as a way to go. Some of these are algae,jatropha, waste to bioeenergy opportunities (biometahen,biohydrogen,syngas etc...).
Algae has gone through a very rapid study and developement with target reaching with in the next ten years in fact some have alreaady pu within the door step in terms of full commercialization.
Just when early-stage companies like Algenol have partnered up with Valero, Dow and Linde; PetroAlgae with Indian Oil; Martek with BP; Synthetic Genomics with ExxonMobil; Solazyme with Chevron; and Sapphire Energy continuing to attract a stream of senior execs from BP, Ex-Im Bank and elsewhere, it’s been starting to feel like the algae biofuels movement has grown into an industry.
It also might appear to readers that the “wild, wild wet” period is over, that innovation will increasingly focus on a handful of companies as they pursue cost parity and scale.
Partly true: the leaders in the algae biofuels space have made screaming progress with strategic investors and developing their commercial-scale strategies and technologies.
I doubt if the Clinton Administration foresaw, in 1996 when they shut down the Aquatic Species program, that 2010 would see virtually every oil major tied up in the algae race, the Navy placing fuel orders, several airlines testing algal biofuels, and Sapphire laying down a vision to reach 1 billion gallons in production, all by its onesy, by 2025.
But wait, there’s more
However, in the tradition of Ginzu knife infomercials – “But wait, there’s more!”
A whole passel of algae companies and ventures are still entering the marketplace, and the Digest today, in Top Story, is dedicated to highlighting just a few of the new. Some of these – in the grand tradition of algal development – are coming out with claims that make you get out your Cliff Notes version of the Laws of Thermodynamics.
But all of them make you marvel at the creativity and persistent entrepreneurship of it all. Bold, brash, brainy – algae has it all. here are some updates on companies from the Wild, Wild Wet.
7 Brides for 7 Investors
In Kentucky, Alltech announced that it will establish the world’s second largest algae farm in Kentucky, and will announce the location in August. Alltech, primarily known as a nutritional supplements maker, said that the deal for land is still under negotiation, but said that the company believed that its algae operations could realize up to 5,000 gallons per acre.
In Texas, Photon8 CEO Brad Bartilson said that his company’s “Traveling Wave Tube” photobioreactor technology can boost algal growth production rates by 500 percent, has slashed production costs associated with other PBR technologies, and has been genetically modifying its algae to double lipid production. Photon8 is presented at the Algae World Summit earlier this week in San Diego.
In Illinois, students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed an algae biofuels photobioreactor, using a collection of parts including an old Apple G4 CPU tower, an Apple iMac CRT, PVC pipes, a Dell Latitude CPX laptop, acrylic panels, and foam. The project’s goal? Bringing algae biofuel production down to the household level, with the project team estimating that a deployment of the BioGrow technology in around 7 million homes would produce enough biodiesel to replace petroleum as a diesel feedstock. The developers say that their algae can be harvested every three days, and can sell for up to a dollar per gallon – with a proposed central collection system that would transport the algae to a biorefinery for oil extraction and conversion to fuel.
In Wales, Merlin Biodevelopments said that it is using anaerobic digestion to harness electric energy from cow slurry and food waste, to bring down the cost of producing protein-laden algae for food consumption, using a closed PBR system. The company has developed a bench-level project at the Moelyci Environmental Centre in Tregarth. The company said it is capturing waste CO2 from waste, as well, and characterized its operation as a means of producing high-value protenin from low-value land.
In Pennsylvania, Berks County state Representative David Kessler has driven through a $175,000 award for a feasibility study for algal biofuels production — and said that he has been collaborating with Colorado-based Algae at Work as well as two unnamed “multi-billion dollar” companies in Houston and DC on the prospects for biofuels in the Keystone State. The feasibility study is due within five months.
In California, Jose Olivares updated Xconomy’s Bruce Bigelow on progress at the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB). Olivares said that the consortium of more than 20 companies and universities is primarily focused on increasing algae production rates to more than 20 grams per square meter per day, and developing cost-effective water and oil extraction systems. By contrast, a typical US soy farm develops an average of 1 gram of soybeans per square meter per day. The consortium has a three-year budget of $69 million from the DOE and cost-shares from the institutions.
In Missouri, Phycal announced that it is moving out of the lab and into the BioResearch and Development Growth Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center, with a 2800 square foot facility. Phycal, which was co-founded by Dr. Richard Sayre, Director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels at the Danforth Plant Science Center; Chief Scientist of the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB); and Director of the Center for Advanced Biofuels Systems (CABS). The company is based in Ohio, where it is part of the Logos Energy Group, and is building a pilot project in Hawaii that will open this year.
Why Hawai’i? According to Phycal, “energy costs in Hawai’i are the highest in the United States, and its principal source of electricity is oil-fired plants that consume more than 400 million gallons of petroleum-based fuels annually. Phycal’s system can deliver algal oil at a competitive price for the Hawai’i market.” The company also points to the Hawai’i Clean Energy Initiative, which sets stringent clean energy targets. Successful demonstration and testing of components, system performance, and products will support deployment of a commercial scale farm as soon as 2015.
A whole passel of algae companies and ventures are still entering the marketplace. The Digest Top Story today is dedicated to highlighting just a few of the new. Some of these ventures - in the grand tradition of algal development - come with claims that make you get out your Cliff Notes version of the Laws of Thermodynamics, but all of them cause one to just marvel at the creativity and persistent entrepreneurship of it all.
As they development focuses on other important features such as plant source that can strive with reasonable yield, jatropha has been recently embraced for rapid commercialization due to varieties of features. Camalina,grass species etc..which can give abundance feedstock in shorter time,less fertile regions and sustainable development both short and long term.
Now coming back to the question of where will the biofuel stop, no there is no stop! Biofuel is the essential industry and it will reside side by side with fossil fuel. Blend or pure, there is no leave it.
Biofuel in briefs:
From the Manila Times: "Biofuels should not be viewed as a threat to food security. Instead, it should be considered a boon to the industry if the Brazilian experience is any indication...data from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) negate this misconception as only one percent of the cultivated areas in these countries are used for biofuels crops."
Tyson Foods President and CEO Donnie Smith: "If I'm guessing, E-12 [a 12% blend] will be the highest. Of course, we're hoping there's no change. Grain is down, but look where it's down to. There's a new kind of normal."
In the Netherlands, Avantium announced the launch of its technology platform to produce green building block for materials and fuels, called YXY, on which it will collaborate with NatureWorks and DAF among other organizations. Avantium developed a process to convert biomass directly into furanics, green building blocks for materials and fuels.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance is reporting that global clean energy investment reached $27.3 billion in Q1 2010, up 31% from the Q1 2009, but dropping 13.6% from Q4. Asset-based financing was strongest in China, with $6.5 billion, while the fast-mover was the US, growing from $2.4 billion to $3.5 billion between Q1 '09 and Q1 '10. Last year, biofuels investment reached $44.9 billion for all of 2009.
In Brazil, Reuters is reporting that Bunge is promoting a $100 million investment fund that would be dedicated to agricultural land investments in Brazil. Bunge's management said that the fund would invest in multiple types of crops, but would focus on sugarcane production, noting that domestic demand for Brazilian ethanol has been growing at a rapid pace.
In China, China Integrated Energy (CBEH), announced that it has secured production equipment for its new 50,000 ton biodiesel production facility under construction in Shaanxi. The Company's advanced production technology is estimated to reduce production costs by 20%, and will utilize crop straw, agricultural waste, and organic waste as feedstocks.
In South Africa, ADEPT Airmotive unveiled a light general aviation aircraft, liquid-cooled engine, with advanced electronic engine management, that can operate on biofuels, or LP gas. The 320 horsepower engine was fitted recently in Durban to a SA Ravin 500 light aircraft, where it is expected to significantly reduce lead, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions and noise levels.
In Brazil, UNICA reports that ethanol sales in South-Central Brazil rose 17.83 percent in April to 1.85 billion liters (489 million gallons), with hydrous ethanol sales reaching 1.32 billion liters in April in the Brazilian domestic market, up 24 percent over March. Meanwhile, cane crushing reached 30.56 million tons in the second half of April, up 14.47% with total recoverable sugars at 121.38 kg per tone, up 6.6 percent.
In Israel, FuturaGene (LSE: FGN) has received an $85.9 million takeover bid offer from Brazil's Suzano Papel e Celulose (Bovespa: SUZB5), with an offer for $1.30 per share. Suzano Papel, a paper giant in Brazil which owns 750,000 acres of forest land, said that it wishes to enter the biofuels business. FuturaGene develops genetic engineering methods for biofuels feedstocks and other agricultural crops.
In Denmark, Novozymes filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin against Danisco for patent infringement. Novozymes believes that Danisco's alpha-amylase products GC358 and Clearflow AA for the biofuel and starch industries infringe Novozymes' US patent 7,713,723. The suit asks for an injunction against Danisco for breach of patent, but did not specify damages.
In Argentina, the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber has released its latest study in its State of the Biofuels Industry series, covering the B5 and E5 mandates that began this year. Ethanol and biodiesel highlights, and graphs and tables available via biofuelsdigest.com.
In the Philippines, the Star is reporting that the national government will develop a $5 million, 250 acre, seaweed-based ethanol plant and aquafarm cluster. Sen. Edgardo Angara, speaking with the Star, said that seaweed grows faster than terrestrial crops, has no lignin, absorbs more airborne carbon, requires no pretreatment, and is suited at the Aurora site for up to six harvests per year.
In Germany, Lufthansa CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber confirmed to reporters that the airline will commence a transition to aviation biofuels in 2012. The airline's executive team confirmed that a more specific timeline, including blends, feedstocks and processing technologies/partners, will be released later in the year.
In Singapore, Portelet Asia partner Per Dahlen offers a follow up to his popular Southeast Asia, a Bio-Based Arabia? ."With this story we continue to explore the tremendous potential for 2nd generation biofuels in Southeast Asia by reviewing 25 horsepower tractors and the USD 25bn fuel-subsidies. Both will play a tremendous role in the deployment of second generation biofuels, both in this part of the world, and maybe also on a global scale."
In Peru, the SNV Netherlands Development Corporation released an impact assessment of potential biofuels production. Together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) the reports looks at sustainable palm and jatropha options in the Peruvian Amazon.
In Switzerland, more than 50 organizations expressed support for the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels after support letters were circulated following the withdrawal of the European Biodiesel Board and eBIO from the organization. "We wish to express our continued support to the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) Secretariat" began one letter from members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group. The signatories are on view at biofuelsdigest.com.
In the Philippines, the Department of Energy has announced a plant to increase biodiesel blends to 20 percent by 2025, with intermediate steps at 10 percent in 2015, and 15 percent in 2020. The Philippines have an E10 ethanol standard scheduled to take effect in 2011, which increases to E15 in 2015 and E20 by 2020.