NY1 tells us that a wastewater treatment plant in Brooklyn, New York is converting human waste into methane gas to be used as heat for homes and businesses.
The StarTribune reports that low natural gas prices in the US are making biomass projects in the state of Minnesota uneconomic.
Climate Spectator says that cheap imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia and overcapacity are idling biodiesel plants in Europe. Many plants were idled in 2011 as production fell back after a decade of rapid expansion, and further consolidation of the industry is expected this year. The hardest hit countries are Italy, Spain and Germany. Biodiesel is generally made from vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, palm oil and soybean oil but can also be produced from waste products such as used cooking oil.
Canadian Biomass suggests tropical biofuels are making climate change worse. A recent study found that biodiesel from palm oil plantations may be the world’s dirtiest fuel – far worse than burning diesel made from oil when the entire production life cycle is considered.
Electricity made from waste and biomass led all renewable sources in Estonia in 2011 according to err. Renewable accounted for 13% of total electrical production last year. Of this amount, 66% of renewable production was from waste and biomass, 31% from wind and 3%t from hydroelectric sources.
Uganda will be having a pilot project for the promotion of bioelectricity says allAfrica. Funded by the World Bank, the project will use biodegradable wastes (water hyacinth, grass, kitchen waste, market waste, fish waste, agricultural waste etc) for electricity generation. About 100 households in Kayei Landing Site on Lake Kyoga in north – central Uganda, will benefit from the 10 kilowatts of bioelectricity that will be produced by the project. The project is intended to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of providing electricity to a rural community from renewable energy and how decentralized production of renewable energy out of biomass can contribute to solving the energy shortage in rural areas.
Biomass Magazine notes that the Dutch ports are preparing themselves for large imports of biomass. Much of this biomass (wood pellets, wood chips) will be imported from North and South America. Upgrades of the ports of Amsterdam, Duisburg, and Delfzij stem partly from the Dutch government’s 2011 energy report, which included proposals to make biomass use mandatory in the country’s coal-fired energy plants. By 2020, the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia and the U.K. will require 15 million metric tons of biomass per year. See also our earlier post Replacing Coal….One Pellet at a Time
Troy Media says that Latin American wood chip exports have reached a record high. Exports reached a record high of eight million tons in 2011, an increase of almost 60% higher than in 2006. Last year Chile was the biggest exporter, accounting for two-thirds of the total wood chip shipments from the continent, while Brazil and Uruguay both accounted for about 16% each. Latin America accounted for half of globally traded wood chips, a share that has grown from 34% five years ago. Until the last few years 80 to 90% of exports went to Japan. Since that time Europe – and especially the countries of Spain, Portugal and Norway – has become a major importer of Latin American wood chips.
East Texas will become a major supplier of wood pellets to Europe according to the Beaumont Enterprise. The pellets, to be produced by a plant near Woodville, will replace coal in coal-fired plants in Europe. The Woodville plant’s output is expected to be about 500,000 metric tons per year when production begins in 2013. It is expected that European wood pellet consumption will increase to between 15 million and 25 million metric tons per year by 2020.
A 100,000 ton wood pellet plant in Ridgeland, South Carolina will soon be converting pine residue from area sawmills into pellets bound for Europe to be used in residential heating and by utilities companies to generate heat and electricity reports Timber Processing.
Bioenergy Insight says that a new plant in Plymouth, England is to open in mid-2013, converting 40,000 tonnes of wood waste annually into renewable heat and electricity. It will produce about 26,000 MWh of electricity each year, powering about 6,200 homes. The wood, which would normally go into landfill, will be used to produce the gas fuel which can be combusted within a boiler to generate steam. This steam will then be used to power a turbine which will produce power and heat.
A company in Mumbai, India ( LeanWay Energy Pvt Ltd) has developed a system that generates electricity from the waste air coming out of exhausts installed at homes and offices. Cogeneration and On-Site Power Production tells us that the system was recently installed at Burckhard Compression in the city and the power generated is to be used for lighting purposes.
OILPRICE reports that British Airways and Qantas are teaming with the Solena Group to build commercial plasma plants to create synthetic jet fuel from carbonaceous biomass waste. The waste will come from food scraps and other household material such as grass and tree cuttings, agricultural and industrial waste. Biomass, as an crude oil substitute, does not produce any CO2 emissions. Solena is building plants in London and Australia. It says that planes can run on synthetic jet fuel without it having to be mixed with kerosene-based jet fuel.