Tag Archives: Biomass

Microalgal biofuels: Flexible bioenergies for sustainable development

aaaaaa11111Abstract – To confront energy shortage, global warming and climate changes, biofuels derived from biomass have received increasing attention from the industry, academia and governments. Of the potential sources of biofuels a most promising one is the simple photosynthetic microalgae, which can be grown in open ponds, photobioreactors and fermenters. The advantages to produce biofuels from microalgae include easy adaption to environmental conditions, high photosynthesis efficiency, high lipid content and noncompetition for farmlands. Nonetheless, the real hallmark of microalgae is the fact that these microscopic organisms can provide the biomass feedstock for the flexible production of several different types of renewable and sustainable biofuels such as biodiesel, bioethanol, biogas, biohydrogen among others via thermochemical and biochemical conversion processes. Amazingly, from a sustainability perspective the integrated algal biofuels production, where biodiesel, bioethanol and biogas are continuously produced from one biomass source, can evidently lead to an increase in the energetic productivity of the microalgal biomass, thus improving the economics of this algal biorefinery approach. Developments in several areas, such as genetic and metabolic engineering, are expected to further improve the costeffectiveness of the biofuels from microalgae in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Source: ScienceDirect, December 2, 2013
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Sweet hydrogen: how sugar could help satisfy the world’s energy needs

SugarThe Guardian – Hydrogen makes an extraordinarily efficient and clean fuel. Three times as energy-efficient as petrol, Nasa used it to power its space shuttles. It can be used to generate electricity and only produces water as a byproduct.

And yet, scientists are struggling to scale up hydrogen production. Ironically, given hydrogen’s green potential, the cheapest and most viable sources are hydrocarbon-based compounds such as natural gas. But liberating hydrogen from fossil fuels creates carbon emissions that outweigh any environmental advantages.

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Agriculture, hunger and food waste

BiodieslBy Ricardo Ernesto Rose

The search for food, as in all living beings, has always been a major concern of humanity. Our Paleolithic ancestors, still unaware of the practice of agriculture, depended on the collection and especially hunting. For more than 100,000 years modern man, Homo sapiens, chased herds of wildebeest, zebras and antelopes and the African steppe mammoths, bison and reindeer through icy plains of Eurasia. Approximately eight thousand years ago, at the end of the last glacial period, the hunt begins to wane. With increasing temperature, the climate began to change and thus flora and fauna also undergo adaptive changes. The animals, which for thousands of years were abundant and provided large amounts of protein, decreased in number, moved to other colder latitudes or became extinct.

Our ancestors, spread over a vast area stretching from Africa to Europe Continue reading

Teaching a microbe to make fuel

Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence – The soil bacterium Ralstonia eutropha has a natural tendency, whenever it is stressed, to stop growing and put all its energy into making complex carbon compounds.

Now scientists at MIT have tinkered with its genes to persuade it to make fuel — specifically, a kind of alcohol called isobutanol that can be directly substituted for, or blended with, gasoline.

Christopher Brigham, a research scientist in MIT’s biology department, explains that in its natural state, when the microbe’s source of essential nutrients (such as nitrate or phosphate) is restricted, “it will go into carbon-storage mode,” essentially storing away food for later use when it senses that resources are limited ..>> Read More<<

Source and Photo: Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence , August 22nd 2012
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Semi-Dwarf’ Trees May Enable a Green Revolution for Some Forest Crops

Science Daily – The same “green revolution” concepts that have revolutionized crop agriculture and helped to feed billions of people around the world may now offer similar potential in forestry, scientists say, with benefits for wood, biomass production, drought stress and even greenhouse gas mitigation.

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Source and Photo: Science Daily, September 27th, 2012
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Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean

David Pimentel and Tad Patzek

SpringerLink – In this analysis, the most recent scientific data for corn, switchgrass, and wood, for fermentation/distillation were used. All current fossil energy inputs used in corn production and for the fermentation/distillation were included to determine the entire energy cost of ethanol production. Additional costs to consumers include federal and state subsidies, plus costs associated with environmental pollution and/or degradation that occur during the entire production process. In addition, an investigation was made concerning the conversion of soybeans into biodiesel fuel.

Click here to read the complete article at SpringerLink.
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Biofuel – Spotlight on Brazil

By Daniel Coelho Barbosa

Ethanol Producer Magazine – Brazil was the center of attention March 29 in London where the Financial Times sponsored “Spotlight on Brazil,” an event organized to present this South American agribusiness giant from its best side.

Representatives of Brazil’s orange juice, edible oils and meat sectors, as well as government agencies and others, exposed their arguments in front of an exclusive, by-invitation-only audience of investors and executives. Ethanol was represented by Marcos Jank, at the time president and CEO of UNICA, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association…. Read More

Source and Photo: Ethanol Producer Magazine, May 10th, 2012
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